WA – Wilbinga to Seabird

Submitted: Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 16:45
ThreadID: 33189 Views:7219 Replies:8 FollowUps:14
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Hi Folks,
New to WA and Perth and looking for some place to go for a day out. It needs to be north for various reasons. In the 4wd days out of Perth book I see a day out suggestion to go from Wilbinga to Seabird.

Couple of questions to you locals: (Vehicle: Toyota LC HZH105 DX and travelling alone and with father who is old, easily excitable and never been 4x4ing before)
1. Is this good for a day out? Recommended?
2. No exhaust jack or hi lift, will either be necessary? (I’ve been on Stockton Beach in NSW many times so I have sand driving experience and never needed either because there was always more than 1 vehicle in group.)
3. Likelihood of getting badly bogged? Very soft sand? it’ll be mid week, travelling alone but we have a winch (no land anchor so we’ll be burying spare wheel)
4. Is a sand flag necessary or can you see good distances ahead?

If you were going north for a day would this be your choice? Thanks in advance for any tips because we have never been up that way before. I guess there is also Lancelin to Cervantes but that looks like a real long day out.
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Reply By: t0me (WA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 18:04

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 18:04
I've only ever done the first half (Wilbinga) and I've done it a few times in both a Challenger (stock), and a Delica (lifted, and a few other mods).
Both have gotten through with no problems. There's a couple of bits that are soft. There isn't very good viewing distances and a sand flag is very much recommended.

A couple of sections you need to take a little run at (particularly one hill you'll see, has high sides and turns right at the top, its the turn that gets you if you do it slowly).

Lancelin to Cerventes is pretty straight forward till you get past Wedge, then there are some narly bits, especially just before Grey. Again, I've done it completely in the Challenger, and 3/4 of it in the Delica.

Lancelin to Cerventes, I agree, more of a weekender than a day trip.
If you do stop for lunch in Wilbinga, don't stop near the FigTree as I'm told its swarming with ticks. Also, watch for cows on the tracks, I was there a couple of weeks ago and there was some stock wandering around. The only reason I haven't done the second half is time constraints and I could'nt be bothered letting the tyres down again. I've been told there's good fishing down there but I haven't tried.

I did those tracks alone. I didn't have any problems. Chances are a shovel will get you out of trouble if you do. You have a UHF right? There's usually someone around. There's a 4x4 recovery service that covers the area. They probably charge heaps but its worth taking the number down as you enter the area (placards are around the entrance - where you let your tyres down in the booklet).
AnswerID: 168735

Follow Up By: Grumpy in WA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:00

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:00
Yep, have a UHF and a HF but will probably leave the HF at home. I'll get a sand flag then.
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 18:50

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 18:50
Lancelin and or Wedge Island are also perfectly fine for a day trip. The Lacelin-Cervantes trip can be done in a day comfortably but you don't have time for anything other than driving. An overnighter is a great idea on that one.

As for Wilbinga, be very very careful before heading down to the beach. The dunes are normally fine, but the beach can get VERY soft at times. Probally a good idea to have a walk down there first, even if you see other 4bies down there or fresh tracks. Somtimes it's a walk in the park down there, but it can get very soft and seeings as you'll be by yourself I'd deffinatally be on the cautious side. Personally I don't travel beaches on my own anymore, I always make sure I've got a second vehicle. I had a nasty experience on that beach when I first started 4bying and it's stuck with me ever since.

You can head down to wilbinga and just cruise around the sand tracks/dunes for a few hours without hitting the beach if your not comfortable with it also.
AnswerID: 168745

Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 19:39

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 19:39
I'd agree with all comments, Wilbinga is a great spot and being close to perth makes it even better. If you stick to the sand tracks, you'll be pretty right. The beach, as mentioned can get very soft (I hate using the shovel!!LOL)

Im actually heading out there tomoz, so Ill post some info on the conditions upon my return.
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Follow Up By: Grumpy in WA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:50

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:50
ro-dah-o (WA)

How did your trip to Wilbinga go?
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Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:26

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:26
went well indeed

tracks in from the south are quite corrugated. Tracks are firm due to the rain, but well used due to what seems to be regular traffic and two wheeled transport. Beach was reasonably firm, got off easy enough. tyres @ 15psi and no real probs. I will upload a photo to my profile that depicts how much fun i really had!!

A good day out. Discovered some more tracks and found the norhtern sand bowl. All in all a great day out with friends.

Well worth a day trip. Take lunch and a comfy chair and its even better. If your looking for people to go with, Im sure myself and others from the holden club could have their arms twisted enough LOL!!

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Follow Up By: ro-dah-o (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:36

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 18:36

the only real bad spot, top of the norhtern sand bowl, went a little to high and down she went!! All in good fun, mind you when the tail end slipped and she started rocking, pukka-pukka-pukka!!!
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Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 19:40

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 19:40
Done the Lancelin to Cervantes with my camper trailer a couple of times to give you an idea, only done this in a group never on my own. You can get lost in Grey and end up somewhere you didn't intend to go or want to. A good days driving we stopped for a smoko and lunch break with swimming and made Lancelin by 16:00 hrs ish. Found the softest bit around Lancelin were the beach sees heavy traffic, as you leave Lancelin heading North we've had people get quite stuck.
Wilbinga been there for a sand gymkhana, great fun playng in the dunes, when it gets windy it's painful and time to leave. early morning is the best time to play. watch the lee side of the dunes they can be very soft and deceptive, like talcum powder.
Good luck you'll have great fun, take a shovel and your own snatch strap, I offered to pull someone out , they attached their own strap unknown to me was a tow strap and not a snatch strap, bit of an earth bleep tering take off that one. Better using your own gear.
Keep the shiny side up

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AnswerID: 168750

Follow Up By: Grumpy in WA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:02

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:02
Thanks for the reply, have heaps of my own recovery gear, I try not to reply on other people if at all possible.
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Reply By: RedGibber - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 20:16

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 20:16
Did Seabird to Moore River a few weeks back. Sand is very soft/hungry in some sections but there are about 6 million different tracks to take!!! Some of the sandhills are quite challenging and you need low tyre pressures and plenty of grunt to negotiate them. Around some there are chicken tracks but as others have said...when you travel along the dune country you need to get out often and observe the terrain before proceeding.

AnswerID: 168759

Reply By: The Rambler( W.A.) - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 20:47

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 20:47
Just remember that at this time of year there can be a lot of washouts on the beach sections between Lancelin and Cervantes.There are alternative tracks to avoid the beach--a bit longer -- but a lot safer if you are on your own without experience in that area.
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Reply By: fisho64 - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 21:24

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 21:24
Lancelin-Cervantes took me 3 hours at moderate pace with me dear old ma aboard. There and back in a day would be a bit of a hassle but there and back return on hiway would be easier. Loads of spots to camp but.
Prepare for a few lost looking Britz 4X4's though. Go to the Lancelin Real Estate office for a mudmap. And make sure they're not bombing the range also!
AnswerID: 168785

Reply By: 1arm - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 22:14

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 22:14
Did seabird to guilderton last year. Some soft sand and big dunes.
There is as far as I know no public aircompressor at seabird to reinflate tyres so you will need your own.
Played around in the dunes behind the lighthouse at Guilderton on the weekend.
Got bogged at the bottom of the first hill. Tyres down and all. Very soft.Dug my way out and off I went. Kids loved it.Gas tank on Nissan Patrol bottoms out quickly.
After the first bit of Guilderton to Seabird it is quite open .
AnswerID: 168800

Follow Up By: Grumpy in WA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:04

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:04
Thanks for that, we have our own air supply..
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Reply By: V8Diesel - Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 23:14

Monday, Apr 24, 2006 at 23:14
Wilbinga can get quite scratchy in parts if you are worried about your paint. Bush is that dreary bleak grey / khaki coastal scrub everywhere, so not much for the passenger to look at after the first 10 minutes or so.

On the other hand, the Powerline track in the hills is quite picturesque and has a few good challenges with the option of 'chicken tracks' too so it's a fun drive. I drove it again today and cooked a steak on my gas stove overlooking the hills for as far as the eye can see. Very nice indeed.

Most WA coastal stuff sh*ts me to tears, but I'm well aware I'm the exception rather than the rule on that one. Then again, I think fishing must be one of the most overrated pastimes I've ever encountered too. Red dirt for me thanks. Each to his own.
AnswerID: 168807

Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 04:14

Tuesday, Apr 25, 2006 at 04:14
Gotta say I'm with you there to some degree... I like the coast on a hot summers day with the kids having a swim etc... Heading up the powerline tomorrow, havn't been there for a few months, it's easy but always a nice little drive to break up city life.

I love the red dirt!
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Follow Up By: Grumpy in WA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:59

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 13:59
Any further details on the Powerline track? Sounds more like my think, beaches are beaches to me too.

Are there notes / maps available? Where does it start and and end?

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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:20

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:20
Well! Went up there yesterday and it was a little wet. :-)

You just drive up the hill along the Great Eastern Highway, then turn right just before you enter Sawyers Vally down a now sealed road that goes for about 200m next to the Kalgoorlie pipeline. It then turns to Gravel and you follow it for about 500m. Then you turn left down the power line track and follow it all the way to the York highway. Turn left on the highway and head back to town. It takes you about 2-3 hours to do.

There is some nasty bit's in there at the moment. Normally it's ok as there are chicken tracks around the hard bits, but one of the hardish bit's yesterday WAS the chicken track. I went up ok with muddies, good clearance and long rear travel but my mate in his stock Jackeroo 3.5L with AT's on had to have a second go and then it was a rough old ride for him only just making it over with wheels spinning madly. The other dodgy bit is where everyone takes suspension travel photo's comming up a ridge after a small mud pit, it's normally a wheels off the ground spinner in the dry but it was all wet clay yesterday and the chicken track had a tree that was either cut down or feel down blocking it, so that one's going to be challenging for you too. Other than that the rest of it's pretty easy, just slow going as it's very rocky.

Very pretty up there though.

The way that track has been trashed over the summer this year I think it's only a matter of time before it's closed off though. Unless some 4wd clubs or trackcare go up and do some repairs to it soon.
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Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:38

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:38
Howdy Grumpy, there's an excellent series of books out by the Western4WDriver magazine folk that I'd thoroughly recommend checking out. In particular, there's one called '4x4 days out of Perth' from memory that has about a dozen trips in it. These have clear directions and some pics to give you an idea of what to expect.

It's worth a trip to the Map Shop in Collie St Fremantle if you are ever in that neck of the woods. They have some good reference material in there (and also the lovely Danielle behind the counter;-))

Another option is to keep an eye on some of the local 4x4 clubs websites and see if they are organising a run up there. Don't just roll up uninvited though, email them well beforehand and ask if you can tag along. This is a good way to get into 4x4'ing and you may even want to join a club later on. A word of advice though, I have found most 4x4 clubs to be very tightknit closed groups and surprisingly rude to new potential members. Not intentional behaviour, just completely unaware of 'outsiders' so don't expect anyone to make you feel at home straight away. Not just me either, I've seen it many times happen to many different people from different clubs.

Perth4x4.com is website that regularly has trips organised everywhere, but this is not a club so much as public noticeboard. This mostly attracts the younger crowd and like any public place, you never know who you'll be travelling in convoy with, but I've done a few trips and generally had a good time.

If you want to do the Powerlines on your own, A good way to go is to start from West Talbot Road which is a few km's past the Lakes Roadhouse on the York Road. You'll know you've hit the powerline track when you see......you guessed it, the powerlines. Turn back towards Perth and there you go. There are 'chicken tracks' around most obstacles and the terrain ranges from basic to tricky. I would strongly advise doing it the first time with someone experienced if you are not (talking about the powerlines here;-)) so if you get stuck, there is some backup available.

A nice easy one to get started is the 'Wandoo Woodlands' track from that book I mentioned earlier. That is nice and easy and has some lovely views to take in.

Hope you have fun Grumpy, good luck!

(I'll insert my standard disclaimer here - I have no affiliation to any of the goods, services or organistaions mentioned above.)
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Follow Up By: V8Diesel - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:46

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:46
Hi Jeff, must have posted at the same time.

That rain would have made it interesting!

Perth 4x4 is in discussion with CALM about the track and its upkeep at the moment. I like it the way it is to tell you the truth, but realise it probably will have to be smoothed out soon to keep the powers that be happy. Such is life.

Re: the trees. There were a group of tree loppers up there on Monday who were going apesh*t, cutting down anything growing nearby from what I could see.
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:53

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 14:53
Yeah I think it's fine to have it challenging, great in fact for us, but the fact is that it is a working maintenance line and if western power can't get a 4x4 truck through there then they'll just close it off to the people who wrecked it in the first place.

All that needs to be down is to fix the chicken tracks and leave the hard core, hard core.

Yeah I had my baby daughter and white knuckled missus in the car, plus the surf was making some nasty clucking noises from the front end (turned out to be a missing bolt on the front sway bar, so nothing to worry about) and I had the jackeroo behind me so I opted to just drive over the tree branches (they were too big to move) rather than tackle that obsticle, but would have been fun giving it a go I reckon....

I hadn't seen that thread on Perth4x4, I shall go check it out, I'd be ready to help those blokes out, good on them!
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Follow Up By: Grumpy in WA - Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:22

Wednesday, Apr 26, 2006 at 17:22
Jeff, V8,
Thanks for the tips, I'll definately check it out soon. Happy enough to have a go on my own, LC has 265 Cooper AT's but it also has a winch and I have a few straps too so I should be Ok.
Did quite a bit with the TLCC in Sydney for the experience (basic and advanced training) but a few of us did our own thing after a while as the "leaders" had too much ego and they allowed the groups to get too big.
New to WA and love the place, i keep an eye on 4x4 web pages but have limited time at the moment due to 10 month old at home.

Much appreciated, thanks for taking the time to answer.
Grumpy (not all of the time :-) )
FollowupID: 424456

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