19 March 2021
While we applaud the fact that more people are exploring our beautiful State, it has unfortunately resulted in an increase in off-road vehicle (ORV) activity in non-designated areas - including on WA’s premier long-distance hiking trail, the Bibbulmun Track.
Why is so important to stay off the Track?
The BTF (Bibbulmun Track Foundation) helps to maintain and promote the Bibbulmun Track which attracts hikers from around the world to the south west. The facilities along the Track and the Track itself are purpose built for walkers and walkers alone.
Other than a very few short sections where it is unavoidable (eg access roads to property and near towns) - ORVs are not permitted on the Bibbulmun Track for various reasons. Some are -
- Many areas through which the Track passes are of high conservation value with unique flora and fauna which is easily damaged, destroyed or disturbed by ORVs.
- Dieback poses a serious threat to flora and is carried easily on tyres. Find out more about Dieback here. The Bibbulmun Track Maps show Disease Risk Areas (DRA) clearly, if there is not a red or green car pictured on the map then you are not permitted to drive along that road to access the Track. You can find more information on our website here.
- Over 350 passionate volunteers spend over 30,000 hours a year caring for the Track and infrastructure - including steps and water bars to minimise erosion. Damage by ORVs is very demoralizing.
- There have been close calls when vehicles have driven through campsites and nearly run over tents.
Importantly – it is also the quality of the experience for hikers that we wish to protect.
Legal riding areas in WA: The problem
We are aware of the argument that there are limited places for trail bikes to ride and we continue to advocate that the government support the recommendations in the WA Trail Bike Strategy released in 2008. You can see these letters here and here.
So where can I go 4WDing/riding in WA? Resources and Maps.
1. You’ll find a very handy map here, courtesy of the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC). This map outlines each area currently available across the state, including information on the areas below the map. You’ll also find an ORV guide for WA here, including where to ride, a list of local clubs and Facebook groups and explanation of Off-road rules in the state of WA.
2. We also recommend joining the Pinjar Motorcycle Area Facebook Group here. As one of the only designated riding areas in the metro area, they are a great place to find like-minded ORV riders and are very much family friendly. See the Trail Network here.
3. If you are getting into Trail Riding for the first time, the Victorian Government has also released a useful publication here outlining trail types, safety, trail etiquette and guidelines on respecting the environment in which you are in.
4. Finally, RTRA (Recreational Trailbike Riders Association of WA) are the premier representative for trail bike riding in WA. The website alone has plenty of helpful information, including places to go, rules for riding in WA, licensing laws, and up to date information on current projects.
We are lucky in Western Australia to have a wealth of different trails and camping grounds that cater for the various user groups, including those who use ORVs. However, please don’t use ORVs on tracks and trails designated for only walkers.
If you found this article helpful PLEASE help us to spread the word and pass it on to your members/user groups/mates and family – your support to get this message out is greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your assistance.