Busselton’s Secret 4WD Track

Busselton’s Secret 4WD Track

What’s this?! Busselton has a secret 4wd track? I don’t blame you for being surprised, everyone knows all the good spots down there right? But yet there it is, a stretch of moderate difficulty 4wding only 18 kilometres out of the town centre. It runs all the way to the Blackwood River at Sues Bridge, and I discovered it thanks to Western 4WDer magazine (always full of excellent weekend trips as well as stuff further afield).

4wding-busselton

We were late to depart for our long weekend thanks to a scheduling mix up, and the plume of black exhaust smoke didn’t engulf my neighbourhood until well after midday. Oh well, shit happens. We just had to hope it wouldn’t be too hard to find a campsite as I had been banking on having a little more time. Stopping only for some lukewarm and potentially salmonella infested servo food; we arrived at the start of the track somewhere around 4PM. The track doesn’t look like much, I only know it’s the right spot thanks to the GPS and some very careful trip planning.

4wd-tyres-deflating

It starts off a sandy and pleasant drive, but that only lasts a few hundred metres. Looking back on it now I would say that the first half of the track consists of mostly low swampy land, punctuated by little ‘islands of relief’. If you have the chance to do this track in the middle of winter, I recommend you don’t. It would be absolute hell! We made it through the first swamp okay, walking every route to avoid becoming stuck to close to nightfall. The second swamp however….lets just say it’s a wonder I made it through the first one! The story is pretty embarrassing, but I’ve thrown it in the video because it’s also a little bit funny.

free-camping-busselton-blackwood-river

By the time we had got moving along from the second swamp the sun had cast its last light upon the tree tops. It’s mostly state forest along here, so camping is legit and we had just enough time to set up camp with a little bit of light left in the evening. We were fortunate enough to land ourselves in a clearing with a good supply of firewood – it was going to be a very cold night, and indeed everything was iced up and frosted over when I awoke the next day.

campfire-breakfast-bacon-eggs

 

The second day started off about the same as yesterday ended. Mud. We kept checking every puddle and even came across the Margaret River. There was a warning in Western 4wdriver that this crossing could be alarmingly deep and it would be advisable to skirt back out to the highway and around it when conditions are wet. It was not much more than a long puddle for us, but it still managed to fill Beau’s air filter with water; bringing it scary close to an untimely death.

Then my turn for trouble came around once again when ONE TIME we didn’t check a puddle properly. We poked it about 2 thirds the way along and it was fine. Of course the problem part had to be the last third of the puddle where the ruts dropped down deep and the patrol came straight to rest on its diffs. Took a bit of recovering that one!

mud-driving-busselton-blackwood

So far mud seemed to have been the theme for this track, and I was actually getting pretty sick of it! I was hoping to make camp on the banks of the Blackwood river, but progress so far hadn’t been great. Thankfully we moved into higher ground about half way through the track where washouts and what can best be described as small rock ledges were the new challenges. A little track building was required here and there but nothing too serious.

tough-4wd-track-near-busselton

In the end we pulled out onto the banks of the Blackwood in pretty good time, having not seen a single other vehicle for the entire length of the track. Pretty impressive for a long weekend hey? The track exits about a 5 minute drive from the Sues Bridge camp ground, a beaut option for camping but unsurprisingly packed for the long weekend. We settled for a camp of our own on the Blackwood, after an hour of searching. Not because they were all full or anything, but just because we were feeling picky!

fishing-redfin-blackwood

Now you want to know how to get there right? At the bottom of this post you will find downloadable GPS waypoints in OziExplorer format to suit a wide range of devices, as well as a text file for manual entry of waypoints to other devices. Grab the PDF download of Google Earth images covering the track as well, I have marked them with the route to follow and the same waypoints. If you don’t have the password to access downloads, just subscribe on the right hand side at the top of the page, and the password will be emailed to you 🙂

One more thing, check out the video from the trip below!

Alex

Alex Garner

 

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  1. Anne
    July 03, 11:48 Reply
    Looks good, I have not been to the Blackwood River so we need to get down that way soon.
  2. tim machin
    July 03, 22:25 Reply
    I downloaded all the tracks for hema maps im running hema on android and it dosent even recinize the files
    • Alex Garner
      July 06, 07:54 Reply
      Hi Tim, the Hema waypoint and track files I use are for Hema navigators and other navigators running OziExplorer only. The Android and IOS Hema apps have a different way of doing things and your best option is to download the text waypoints for manual entry.
  3. […] It’s all easily done in a day, but we settled in to camp for the night. The following day heading out of Julimar is where I got sad. I won’t go into detail here, you can see that in the video. The result of the whole ordeal though, was ankle deep mud through the entire front and rear sections of the vehicle. Right after I’d removed and washed the carpets after the Adelaide Road Trip! […]
  4. Robbie
    May 14, 21:29 Reply
    Gday. Gotta basic navara 4door ute...9man tent....wife....3yr old an 5yr old kids....and we like2get out there. S there a family friendly group i can get n touch wth pls? We jus moved2 Vasse
    • Alex Garner
      June 02, 09:14 Reply
      Hey Robbie, try the South West 4WD Club http://www.southwest4wdclub.com.au/ or Downsouth 4WD Club buddy! https://www.facebook.com/downsouth4wdclub/
  5. Roger Speldewinde
    September 22, 22:04 Reply
    Busseltons secret track is actually quite a challenge especially if trying to cross the Blackwood when the water is a bit higher. It is is one of those tracks which appears quite easy but if you got stuck by yourself, you might find yourself waiting for quite some time for any assistance. Roger S
    • Alex Garner
      September 27, 18:48 Reply
      Absolutely right mate! It's the wettest track I've ever driven by far! And once you're bellied out in a pool of water, you're really up shit creek.

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