Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 10:21
ThreadID: 9728 Views:11885 Replies:2 FollowUps:6
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Heading to Dwellingup (W.A) for the Australia day long weekend, i've heard that there are some 4x4 tracks around that area?

If anyone knows where and what sort of terrain, that would be great!

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Reply By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 13:27

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 13:27

Dwellingup area is practically my backyard. Terrain is hilly and forested as you would expect as it is the Darling Scarp. Main feature is the Murray River winding its way through the valley so many of the tracks in the region follow or radiate from the river valley. Unfortunately over the years, CALM has closed off many of the fire trails and old timber tracks that you used to be able to access although there are still some good ones around. Degree of difficulty varies quite a bit but most accessible tracks are easy with clearance being the main issue. After rain the red bulldust tracks can become very slippery and some of the hillclimbs a challenge as many have deep ruts and clay surface. I doubt this will be an issue you when are there. For camping, there are several areas to choose from including Baden Powell (avoid this one as it is notorious for idiots) and old Nanga mill/townsite which is a large open area with plenty of shade and adjacent to Nanga Brook which has quite a few shallow pools ideal for the kiddies or just cooling off in. There are other smaller campsites further down the river from Baden Powell including Tony's Bend, Charlies Flat etc which have individual campsites but due to overuse of pine bollards these aren't suitable for large tents or groups and definitely no good for campertrailers etc. Last option is to keep going along the river past Nanga and quite some way down you will come across some "unofficial" individual riverside campsites such as on Christmas Creek. I say unofficial because CALM don't advertise these sites but it was actually a Lane Poole Reserve ranger who put us on to them.

Bare in mind that the reserve and campgrounds will be pretty busy over the Aust. Day long weekend. Also, in an effort to overcome the all-too-frequent "idiot factor" in the reserve, a total alcohol ban throughout the reserve has recently been introduced on long weekends with big fines in place for breaching this regulation. I believe CALM officers will conduct vehicle searches as you enter the reserve. If you like a beer it could be a dry weekend for you but hopefully the alcohol ban will deter the minority of people who in the past have used the reserve as a drinking/partying venue to the detriment of everyone else who is there to enjoy their surroundings. Enjoy!

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
AnswerID: 42934

Follow Up By: Member - Alan- Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 13:34

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 13:34
Glad to hear they're enforcing that Melissa. We went there on a long weekend a year or so back and the idiots were arriving with utes full of the amber liquid.
I don't mind anybody boozing as I do enough of it myself, but when the empties get chucked everywhere, the music (!!!) is at a thousand decibels and so are the voices, it's time to go home, which is what we did.
Hope the new rules help those who now go there to enjoy themselves amongst the peace and quiet.
FollowupID: 305230

Follow Up By: Synergist - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 13:53

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 13:53
Wow, what a response. Full of usefull info and a little bit of a warning, thankyou very much.

It sounds like it would be a great place to go for a bash, just not on the long weekends with all the other clowns, might save it for a normal weekend!

My other option was to go a little further south (not to far) and go for a surf, as metro areas have been missing the swell! Do you have any good spots near Margret river where a 4x4 drive and camp is allowed?

Cheers Melissa!!
FollowupID: 305232

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 14:23

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 14:23

Didn't mean to turn you off Dwellingup but wanted to give you the full story. In truth, our worst ever camping experience was a night spent at Lane Poole Reserve about 4 years ago. We resolved never to camp there again which is easy for us as we can explore the region in an easy day trip from home. However, going back on our word, we spent a weekend there just before Christmas and had to move after the first night due to the idiot factor. I think the trouble is that it is just a bit too close and too accessible to Perth...Anyway, during the week or a non long-weekend/school holiday weekend it would be lovely.

As for Maragert River, we tend to explore this region from bases in Busselton, Augusta or Nannup. There are two waterside campsite around Nannap but unfortunately I can't remember the names. Near Augusta, Alexandra Bridge beside the Blackwood River is a popular spot where we have had nice camps on a couple of occasions. Nearer Maragaret River and the coast you could also try Boranup Forest campground which is delightful or Conto Field by the coast. Warren NP on the coast towards Pemberton is very popular and gets great wraps for the camping and 4WDriving although we haven't personally had a chance to explore this one yet (it's definitely on the list!).

Another option worth considering is the Collie River region, a favourite of mine. There are NP camp grounds at Honeymoon Pool and Potter's Gorge but we always stay along Lennard Drive which is actually a rough 4WD track beginning just across the bridge opposite Honeymoon Pool and follows the Collie River as it winds its way through the valley. Unfortunately since becoming a NP a few years ago, CALM have closed off many of the great individual riverside camp sites (what else can you expect) but there are still a few good ones open. The first one is about 5-7km's along the track is known as the 4WD Assoc. campground and has a long drop dunny. There are a couple of other sites further along the track from here. No facilities...just you and the bush and the river.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
FollowupID: 305235

Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 14:27

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 14:27
Hi Alan,

Agree something had to be done. It is a lovely area but more ofton than not is spoilt by the inconsiderate minority. We were informed of the alcohol ban when we were up there just before Christmas. We asked the range what was to stop people bringing in alcohol after dark when the rangers entrance station was unmanned. The answer is not much really except the threat of big fines. Also, there will be regular police patrols throughout the night. Be interesting to see what effect this all has.

:o) MelissaPetrol 4.5L GU Patrol &
Camprite TL8 offroad camper
FollowupID: 305236

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 22:19

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 22:19
We camped there a couple of years ago and the ranger checked our vehicle. We had a bottle of bourbon and a six pack of udls.
He said that it was fine - it was more the huge amounts they were after and it not's hard to pick between the trailer trash with their XD fords from Girrawheen and your serious campers.

I guess it's changed for the worse now - to close to Armadale or Perth for that matter.

Nice southerly coastal fishing trip someday.
FollowupID: 305302

Reply By: Bitsumishin - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 20:02

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 20:02
We are heading down there that weekend as well. She who must be obeyed likes her creature comforts and so we'll be staying at the Dwellingup Caravan Park just a few minutes out of town. It's got power, clean flushing toilets and hot water.
Hey, just because we like 4 wheel driving, doesn't mean we have to rough everything in life. As for tracks, there's a couple from Days out of Perth that don't seem too far away.
AnswerID: 43002

Follow Up By: Synergist - Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 20:37

Wednesday, Jan 14, 2004 at 20:37
Sounds like the place to stay! Might have to look into it. If you see the big beige fj55 and a white Rangie down there you know i took your advice!
FollowupID: 305286

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