Weekend trip to the coastal dunes
This details a few of tracks that lead through the dunes in the south west
of Australia near Pemberton
On Boxing Day, we made a rush decision to
visit the south and do some driving along the dunes. We found some
fantastic chalets called Karri Glades. We had the place to
ourselves, which was really nice. We were also surprised at how
cold it was. We had to buy some rugs to keep us warm.
We wanted to do the Yeargerup Dunes with Paul, who would be doing
his first trip. The karri forests are an adventure in themselves
and we took tracks where we could to get the D’Entrecasteaux
National Park. At the parking bay we dropped our tyre pressures to
10psi as recommended by the DPaW signs. The tyres at this pressure
are very soft and the vehicle handling is different, but the
results on the sand speak for themselves.
You can see where people have to rev up to keep going because the track
becomes very lumpy. Right at the base of the dunes we were stopped by
people who had only then decided to let down their tyres. The flying
sand is an indicator they should have lowered pressures even further.
One bloke tried, but failed and dug in. When he backed down they pulled
off the track to let us pass. We suggested 10psi and they must have
gone down this low because they caught up with us not long after.
Our ascent of the hill was without any dramas or wheel spin from
three vehicles, which was pleasing as the other people were
We travelled the very narrow track towards the ocean. I was
extremely vigilant because it was holiday season and people were
roaring around the tracks as if they knew no one else was around.
We saw a couple of times where head on crashes nearly occurred
because of this.
We were held up at the top of the dune with people trying to come
up. They had very long run-ups and lots of sand flinging wheel
spin…. Quite a few vehicles accumulated at the top and once the
others were up, we went down quickly to free up space. We pulled
off at the base to let the faster vehicles rush ahead.
At the beach we were amazed to see that the Warren River had
deviated again. We drove down to where it went into the ocean, at
nearly the same location where Julie’s Dad is. Julie and I stood
side by side for a few quiet moments, and reflected on the trip
down Calcup in convoy when we scattered his ashes a few years
The wind was up and it was a bit sandy. A full on recovery was
going on where someone had driven close to a small pool of water
and become bogged to their eyeballs. They didn’t need any help.
I had no trouble getting off the beach, Paul had a couple of goes,
but I think he was not using his gearshift properly and it kept
changing up a gear and losing momentum. Steve, with the bigger car
had some trouble. After a few goes he got stuck on the crest, and
with my suggestion he rolled back a few inches and then forward to
make a slightly harder base, before having a last go to get over.
He made it.
The ascent up the dune was pretty easy, with Steve and I getting
up from a standing start half way up the dune. Paul was still
having issues with his gear shift, but he got up no worries. We
had waited a fair time before trying the run up, as there is a
blind crest and no way of knowing if someone is coming down. We
sent up a lookout, though a few people just drove on up.
The exit to the park was like a beehive with the sound of small
pumps putting more air in tyres.
We chose a route to Calcup through the forest again and pleasantly
had a couple of river crossings. We drove into the Calcup area
(though Paul got stuck on a slope because he had re-inflated his
tyres to highway pressures, while Steve and I had stayed down to
Once again the drive in was very pretty. We stopped at the top of
Calcup and watched a few people having numerous goes getting up,
loud engines and rooster tails. One bloke got all the way and
stopped to celebrate, but couldn’t take off again, and he had to
go back down.
We decided not to travel down because of the issue with Paul's
gear selection and lack of time. For this Paul broke my rear wheel
On the way back we saw a big tiger snake which tried to hide in a
hole in the bridge. It eventually fell into the creek below. It
was then back to the Chalets. The next day we were to follow another sandy track to Black Point.
We followed tracks all we could and had more water to cross. At
one we pulled up and used the freshwater to make a cup of coffee.
It was very pretty there.
We stopped at Lake Jasper, which has had enormous work done to
provide facilities for the public.
The track to Black Point was a good 4WD track, though again there
was needed a bit of vigilance to avoid a head on. We explored the
point for a while before heading towards the bitumen and then
home. A couple of days with no firm plan in mind made for a great
Places to See
Yeargerup and Calcup Dunes
Warren River Mouth
Degree of Difficulty
this as moderate. High ground clearance is needed, low ratio.
the sand dunes are difficult. You absolutley need to lower tyre
pressures. Only dicks persist in attempting these dunes with pressures
higher than 10PSI, and consequently completely piss off the locals and
ruin the track.
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