4 Wheel Driving on the South Coast

On the Rainbow Coast of Western Australia

4 Wheel Driving and off-road driving on the south coast is great!

The Rainbow Coast offers much to the 4 Wheel Driving enthusiast and casual four-wheel driver. There are many 4wd tracks and trails throughout the south coast.

The Department of Environment and conservation states on their website: "4WD vehicle owners and drivers who access public lands have a responsibility or 'duty of care' to help protect Western Australia's flora, fauna and natural landscapes so that future generations of users will be able to enjoy what we now take for granted."

It is important to remember that 4 Wheel Driving can be dangerous to the inexperienced driver. Ensure you have taken the time and effort to thoroughly plan your adventure. If you are planning to head to remote areas (for instance Bornholm Beach at West Cape Howe) it is important to notify someone of your trip and your estimated time of return.

The best practices we've found can be accessed on the DEC's website: Four Wheel Driving Tips for Trips.

4 Wheel Driving in Albany, Denmark & Walpole, Western Australia 4 Wheel Driving in Albany, Denmark & Walpole, Western Australia Western Australian Pelican

Where to 4 Wheel Drive?

Some of the most accessible Four Wheel Driving tracks include Torbay Inlet (near Albany), Peaceful Bay (towards Walpole), and William Bay National Park's Mazzoletti Beach. One of the most secluded and dramatic is Boat Harbour.

Probably the most challenging beach of all (which we DO NOT RECOMMEND visiting without a serious 4WD, supplies, and radio) is Bornholm Beach at West Cape Howe. (Reported to be one of the most difficult beaches to access in all of Australia!)

We recommend stopping at the local Visitors Centres to see which tracks are open and whether your vehicle is equipped to manage such trails. If in doubt, DONT. Getting bogged is NOT fun.

Environmental Note

4 Wheel Driving in Albany, Denmark & Walpole, Western Australia

South Coast 4 Wheel Driving Locations in Albany, Denmark, Walpole and Surrounds

4 Wheel Driving on the South Coast

 Tap the markers for information about the locations on the Map below.

What's on the map? These are the locations plotted above:

Walpole-Nornalup National Park Walpole-Nornalup National Park
Expansive covering over twenty thousand hectares of the Walpole Wilderness Area. Visit Walpole-Nornalup National Park
Walpole-Nornalup National Park Map Walpole-Nornalup National Park Map
Map of the Walpole-Nornalup National Park Visit Walpole-Nornalup National Park Map
William Bay National Park William Bay National Park
Visit Greens Pool, Elephant Rocks, Mazzoletti Beach, Tower Hill, Madfish Bay and Waterfall Beach! Visit William Bay National Park
Mount Frankland Mount Frankland
Starting in the karri trees you wind up and through towards the summit of Mt Frankland way above the tree top canopy. Visit Mount Frankland
Torndirrup National Park Torndirrup National Park
Including The Gap, Natural Bridge, The Blowholes, Jimmy Newells Harbour, Stony Hill, Cable Beach & Stony Hill. Visit Torndirrup National Park
Two Peoples Bay NP Two Peoples Bay NP
Located approximately 25 kilometres north-east of Albany. Rediscovery of the presumed extinct noisy scrub-bird. Visit Two Peoples Bay NP
West Cape Howe National Park West Cape Howe National Park
Containing the southernmost point of Western Australia this national park is astounding. Visit West Cape Howe National Park
Boat Harbour Boat Harbour
The path through Quarrum Nature Reserve which leads to Boat Harbour offers great views of the Southern Ocean. Visit Boat Harbour
Broke Inlet Broke Inlet
Broke Inlet is located in Dentrecasteaux National Park approximately 40km west northwest of Walpole Town. Visit Broke Inlet
Dentrecasteaux National Park Dentrecasteaux National Park
Dentrecasteaux National Park is filled with beaches, dunes, cliffs and forests west of Walpole. Visit Dentrecasteaux National Park
Gull Rock National Park Gull Rock National Park
25k east of Albany, Gull Rock National Park is a reserve for many endangered animals, trees and birds. Visit Gull Rock National Park
Mazzoletti Beach Mazzoletti Beach
Mazzoletti Beach stretches from Greens Pool in the East by foot to Parry Beach in the West by car where it crosses the Parry Inlet at Parry Beach Visit Mazzoletti Beach
Peaceful Bay Peaceful Bay
Peaceful Bay beach is split in two by the Irwin Inlet as it discharges into the ocean. Sand dunes abound. Visit Peaceful Bay
Sinker Reef Sinker Reef
It is easy to see why it was given this name as the jagged black rocks rise in rows along the entire stretch of coastline. Visit Sinker Reef
Taylor Inlet Taylor Inlet
Taylor Inlet near Nanarup is a winding Inlet, home to many species of waterbirds. Visit Taylor Inlet
Wilson Head Wilson Head
Wilson Head marks the eastern perimeter of Ratcliffe Bay, stretching out into the Great Southern Ocean. Visit Wilson Head

The Australian National 4 Wheel Driver's Code of Ethics:

  1. Obey the laws and regulations for recreational vehicles that apply to public lands.
  2. Respect the cultural, heritage and environmental values of private/public land, by obeying restrictions that may apply.
  3. Respect our flora and fauna. Stop and look, but never disturb.
  4. Keep to formed vehicle tracks.
  5. Keep the environment clean. Carry your own, and any other, rubbish out.
  6. Keep your vehicle mechanically sound and clean to reduce the environmental impact.
  7. Adopt minimal impact camping and driving practices.
  8. Seek permission before driving on private land. Do not disturb livestock or watering points, leave gates as found.
  9. Take adequate water, food, fuel, basic spares and a first aid kit on trips. In remote areas travel with another vehicle and have Royal Flying Doctor Service, or equivalent, radio contact.
  10. Enjoy your recreaction and respect the rights of others.
  11. Plan ahead and lodge trip details with a responsible person.
  12. Support 4WD touring as a responsible and legitimate family recreational activity. Consider joining an affiliated 4WD club.

"All vehicles are required to stay on established roads or tracks. Vehicles may only be used off a public road or track (e.g. a beach) if an area has been designated for such use. In the case of national parks and conservation parks, this designation is generally conferred through the preparation of a management plan, which involves extensive public participation. Similarly, off-road vehicle use in all other reserves and State Forest is not permitted, unless so designated. In other words, ‘bush bashing' or travelling cross-country is not allowed." ~ Dept of Environment and Conservation

Resources for 4 Wheel Drivers on the South Coast; Albany, Denmark and Walpole

Dept of Environment and Conservation: The DEC has very useful information on Four Wheel Driving in Western Australia including links to Clubs and Associations, Policy on Public Acess and the best Tips we've found anywhere.

Western Australian Four Wheel Driving Association: Useful information about 4WD clubs in Western Australia: http://www.wa4wda.com.au/

ExplorOz has an excellent basic Skills and Rules guide for 4 Wheel Drivers at: http://www.exploroz.com/

Rainbow Coast Regions:

Albany Region Albany Region
The Albany Region of Western Australia is a land of mountains and waterways. An amazing region to explore. Visit Albany Region
Denmark Region Denmark Region
The Denmark Region is gorgeous. Trees, hills, beaches, rocks, wildlife around the river and the inlet. Visit Denmark Region
Walpole Region Walpole Region
Walpole is the western end of the Rainbow Coast and is surrounded by National Park and forested wilderness. Visit Walpole Region

Main Attractions on the Coast:

Albany Wind Farm Albany Wind Farm
Beautiful and productive green energy from the wind of the Torndirrup, just outside Albany City towards Frenchman Bay. Visit Albany Wind Farm
Ancient Empires Walk Ancient Empires Walk
The Ancient Empires Walk takes you through the forest at the base of the Giant Tingle Trees at the Treetop Walk. Visit Ancient Empires Walk
Bibbulmun Track Bibbulmun Track
The Bibbulmun Track stretches from Kalamunda in the Perth hills to Albany, through many locations in the heart of the Rainbow Coast. Visit Bibbulmun Track
Brig Amity Replica Brig Amity Replica
Experience the first settlers arrival in Albany, the first settlement in Western Australia, from onboard a replica of the Amity. Visit Brig Amity Replica
Denmark Wineries Denmark Wineries
Denmark Wineries and Vineyards to visit while on holiday along the Rainbow Coast. Wineries with restaurants, music, cellar doors and more! Visit Denmark Wineries
Elephant Rocks Elephant Rocks
Giant rocks shaped like elephants stand together facing into the waves of the Great Southern Ocean Visit Elephant Rocks
Ellen Cove Ellen Cove
Ellen Cove, Ellen Cove Boardwalk and Ellen Cove Pier are at the far southern end of Middleton Beach, Albany. Visit Ellen Cove
Frenchman Bay Frenchman Bay
Located on the southern side of the King George Sound this is a beautiful setting with picnic area and barbecues and a boat launch. Ideal for relaxing, eating, and having quiet day out. Visit Frenchman Bay
Giant Tingle Tree Giant Tingle Tree
This Giant Tingle Tree is special because it the oldest living eucalypt in the world. It is an 800 metre walk from the car park to the Giant Tingle and back. Visit Giant Tingle Tree
Greens Pool Greens Pool
Almost completely sheltered from the waves of the Great Southern Ocean, Greens Pool is a paradise. Visit Greens Pool
Lights Beach Lights Beach
Inspiring lookout and beach offering spectacular views of William Bay from the east. A favourite local beach. Visit Lights Beach
Little Beach Little Beach
This gorgeous beach is approximately 25 kilometres north east of Albany in Two Peoples Bay National Park. Visit Little Beach
Mandalay Beach Mandalay Beach
Spectacular views to Chatham Island, gorgeous white sandy beach it is a must-see... sometimes the shipwreck is visible too. Visit Mandalay Beach
Middleton Beach Middleton Beach
The most popular beach in Albany. Swim or relax under the trees. Cafes and amenities. Visit Middleton Beach
Monkey Rock Monkey Rock
Spectacular elevated views over William Bay Nat. Park, Ratcliffe Bay, Ocean Beach and the Nullaki Peninsula. Visit Monkey Rock
Mount Frankland Mount Frankland
Starting in the karri trees you wind up and through towards the summit of Mt Frankland way above the tree top canopy. Visit Mount Frankland
Natural Bridge Natural Bridge
The Natural Bridge is a granite formation caused by the gradual wearing away of the rock by the Great Southern Ocean. Visit Natural Bridge
Ocean Beach Ocean Beach
Ocean Beach is set between the Wilson Inlet and the Great Southern Ocean, and is the closest beach to Denmark Town. A popular surfing spot and lookout.. Visit Ocean Beach
Princess Royal Fortress Princess Royal Fortress
One of the best outdoor military museums in Australia. The Fortress is within the Albany Heritage Park, atop Mount Adelaide. Visit Princess Royal Fortress
Rainbows Rainbows
The coast is perfectly placed to see Rainbows! And perfectly named. Green trees, mountains, forests beaches, and winter rainbows. Visit Rainbows
Shelley Beach Shelley Beach
Turquoise waters, verdant surrounds and ocean breeze make this beach a popular yet remote destination. Visit Shelley Beach
South Coast Beaches Map South Coast Beaches Map
South Coast Beaches from west of Walpole to East of Albany all on one map! Visit South Coast Beaches Map
The Gap The Gap
An impressive rugged granite channel carved by the waves of the Great Southern Ocean crashing against the granite coastline forming a spectacular sheer drop of almost twenty five metres. Visit The Gap
Two Peoples Bay NP Two Peoples Bay NP
Located approximately 25 kilometres north-east of Albany. Rediscovery of the presumed extinct noisy scrub-bird. Visit Two Peoples Bay NP
Valley of the Giants Valley of the Giants
The Valley of the Giants Wilderness Discovery Centre at the Treetop Walk is the most visited place on the Rainbow Coast. Visit Valley of the Giants
West Cape Howe National Park West Cape Howe National Park
Containing the southernmost point of Western Australia this national park is astounding. Visit West Cape Howe National Park