Francois Peron/Shark bay/Denham

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 15:15
ThreadID: 107526 Views:2413 Replies:6 FollowUps:6
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Hey guys,

In August me and a couple of mates are looking to take a few days up at the shark bay/denham area.

We are interesting in travelling through the Francois Peron national park and possibly camping in there.

I have a Nissan x-trail 4WD manual (Lock, but not low range) - has anyone gone through the park with a vehicle like this? Is it possible? or is it not advisable?

Anyone done a similar trip? We'll be heading from Perth.

Cheers!
Lewis
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Reply By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 15:47

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 15:47
Low range isn't really required as it's fairly flat for the most part. The main roads are fairly sandy and as are some of the campsites.

As long as you have 4wd, let the tyre pressures down a fair way, and keep the momentum up you should be OK.

Beautiful part of the world. One of my favourite campsites out at South Gregories.



Track on the way in

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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:03

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:03
Another view of the track in...

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Follow Up By: none_obviously - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:29

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:29
Thanks Scott!

What time of year were you there?

Was the sand on the tracks fairly shallow as far as rutting and things go?
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:21

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:21
We were there in winter - around June/July.

In the most case it was shallow - as long as you stick to the wheel tracks it was reasonable well packed. Some of the tracks into the campsite had deeper ruts - not sure what the clearance on the RAV is, but you should be OK - just pick your lines. One spot into South Gregories we had to get a bit of momentum up.

Correct tyre pressures for sand (20 psi or less) is the most important thing, you should be fine.
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Follow Up By: none_obviously - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:32

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:32
Its an x -trail with ground clearance of 209mm, 27 degree approach and 23 degree departure angles. Still has stock highway terrain tyres on it, but have the gear to let them down and pump them up again + shovels and stuff.

Ive noticed the recovery track plastic things you can get at outdoor stores now, would it be worthwhile taking a set of those to compliment the shovel etc?
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Follow Up By: Member - Scott M (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 21:05

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 21:05
A set of MaxTrax certainly wouldn't hurt...
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Reply By: jacent - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:50

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 16:50
When I was therei saw chicks in rav 4 n all pretty sandy but as said if u got 4wd all good I was in 4hi range all the time in my cruiser
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Follow Up By: none_obviously - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:35

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:35
Thanks mate. that makes me feel more confident about it if they could take that in there hahaha.
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Reply By: DiscoTourer - Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:44

Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014 at 17:44
I would have a good play on sand first before you head up there.

We have a good friend with an xtrail that kept disconnecting the rear from the front, and it struggled on soft sand with tyres at 10psi, suffice to say we towed it most of the time. When he got back he found out from Nissan that the coupling (or however it works) got too warm and caused it to disconnect and rendering it as front wheel drive only. Nissan told him not to take it on long stretches of sand.

Just a word of caution based on experience.

The tracks around the peninsula are easy to travel on, but there are soft patches, so your belly will rub on some of the high centres of the tracks.

Brett.....
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 12:16

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 12:16
Hi Lewis,

If you have not done a 4WD course, do one before you go as it will give you a better idea of the capabilities of your vehicle.

On our last visit to the area last October, we spoke with some French tourists driving an Outlander. Simple advice was given on tyre pressure, how to drive in sand and to look out for vehicles charging at you along the track. We spoke with them on their return to Perth and they had a great time and saw everything they wanted to :-)

Enjoy your trip and don't forget to spend some time in the hot tub.

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.
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Reply By: Steve M1 (NSW) - Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:24

Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014 at 20:24
to the orig poster:

I don't know that area at all but it doesn't look too bad at all. I think the best thing you can do is go on a 4x4 training course which will probably last a day and you'll really enjoy it and come out of it pretty confident and you'll feel a lot more relaxed about going. Well worth the money and you and one or even two of your mates can go on the training course and split the costs. It'll also help having two or three heads that take in the info. It will probably make you hungrier for more so even if it's a few hundred split 3x you will benefit sooooo much and enjoy it into the bargain.

Have a great trip anyway.

As an alternative, you could join a 4x4 club, preferably a Nissan club where they are familiar with the vehicle and that would cost less than doing a training course. The clubs charge an annual membership fee and you go on their training day - probably a better bet than doing a 4x4 course but you might have to wait for their next club training day.
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Reply By: PajDIDauto - Friday, May 02, 2014 at 15:52

Friday, May 02, 2014 at 15:52
I was up there last week Lewis. You'll have no problems with any of the main access tracks. You will need a bit of sand driving skill (correct gearing, tyre pressures etc) if you stop in some of the softer stuff at the beach entry points. Have fun, it's a fantastic part of the world.
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