Do I need a 4WD in Western Australia?

Jan 25th, 2008, 05:14 AM
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Posts: 53
Do I need a 4WD in Western Australia?

Hi everyone: I am almost done with the planning part of my upcoming WA trip. Thanks everyone for the great help I found on this forum!

Now, I am still not entirely sure about the car rental part - do I need a 4WD in WA? I will be travelling from Perth to Pinnacles, and then from Perth - Albany - Pemberton - Margaret River - Perth. I have planned many stops in the national parks. I have noticed many places are 4WD only, so do I need to rent a 4WD which is considerably more expensive than a normal car. Thanks for your input!

jhw0101 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 09:01 AM
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G'day Julie,
for the route you mention you certainly won't need a 4WD.

Should you want to venture further off the beaten track it is a different story.
Name the Nat. Parks that you wish to visit. I can then tell you if you'll need a 4WD for those.
Many of the Nat. Parks along your route are easily acessable in a conventional vehicle, although you may strike the odd (short) stretch of gravel road and then you just take it slow and easy.

Also, how much time do you have for your trip?

I wish you a good trip,
OzMike is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 04:31 PM
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Hi Julie -

We've visited WA three times and have never rented a 4WD vehicle.

We've run into lots of unsealed roads in national parks, but we've not had a problem getting to where we wanted to go (and we're the types who go off the beaten path).

We had to ditch the car once when we came upon a particularly rough unsealed road, which was clearly marked for 4WD vehicles only. We were trying to access a section of a walking track. We ended up parking the car and we walked the road to the track. No biggie.

Personally, I wouldn't spend the extra $ on a 4WD vehicle unless you plan to do some serious four wheeling.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 09:07 PM
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Thanks OzMike and Melnq8! That's what I thought but just want to make sure. Melnq8 - thanks for your detailed trip reports on this forum which are most helpful. It's a shame that not much is posted on this forum on WA, I will try to post my trip report after my return. While planning my trip, I am getting more and more excited about visiting that part of the world. Can't wait! Thanks again!
jhw0101 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 09:42 PM
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Julie -

It seems that many Australians have never been to WA, so I guess it's not all that surprising that so few overseas visitors make it there.

Please, please post a report when you get back - this forum is in dire need of more WA info.

Have a great trip.
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 25th, 2008, 11:17 PM
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Julie, I'm presently in WA visiting relatives & touring the Margaret River region. This is my sixth visit to WA, and I can tell you now, that if you stick the designated track through the Pinnacles you will 'not' require a 4WD, nor will you require a 4WD to do the Perth-Albany-Pemberton-Margaret River-Perth route.
On the latter mentioned trip, try to stop or visit Denmark region, great wines/beaches/scenery etc.
You don't mention what time of the year you are visiting WA
tropo is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 03:43 AM
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Hi tropo - thanks for the reply. As a matter of fact, I am heading over WA next Friday (right after the school holiday). Woohoo!

Actually, now looking at my itinerary, it is a bit cramped than I would have liked, always too much to do in too little time! Typical tourist's delimma. Oh well, will see how things will turn out and I will sure post a trip report.

Dear Melnq8 - I have booked stays at Foreshore Apartments in Albany and Peppermint Grove Retreat in Pemberton and I will be renting a car from M2000 Car Rental. Thanks for the info on those places.

jhw0101 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 03:16 PM
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Julie -

Loved Peppermint Grove! Beware, no AC at Foreshore Apartments - we about died our second time there (heatwave). If you get a chance, you might want to drive out to the Stirling Range and meet the owners at the mill.

I'm so jealous - wish I were going back.

Any plans to climb karri trees or visit wineries in Pemberton?
Melnq8 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 08:52 PM
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Hi Melnq8 - yeah, I was aware of the fact that Foreshore has no AC, but checking the weather forecast for Albany, it appears to be in the low 20's, so we are ok with that. We are just casual drinkers not so much of the winos, we will be visiting some wineries, but probably not as much as you guys did. Climb trees, hmmmm, I am still debating on that... BTW - how do you wash your car before returning the rental? do you wash it yourself or get it through some sort of drive through? Thanks!
jhw0101 is offline  
Jan 26th, 2008, 11:42 PM
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Hi Julie -

We took the car to a drive through car wash and gave it a quick vacuum before returning it in Perth. Not sure M2000 requires all that, but we thought we'd err on the side of caution. Our car was completely covered in bug innards after a few weeks anyway.

BTW, a friend of mine recently returned from WA and she rented through Bayswater, which has gotten good feedback here on Fodor's.
Melnq8 is offline  
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