The Chart and Map Shop asked me if I would take a look at a couple of 4wd books and write up a review for them. “Sure!” I said. I love this kind of thing. I’m always looking for the next adventure, the next track. Anything 4wd is a good thing if you ask me!
The two books they sent were the 4wd Days Out of Perth (4th Edition), and the 4wd Weekends Out of Perth (3rd Edition). The books are written and published by Ian Elliot and Nick Underwood, two of WA’s best known 4wd enthusiasts. Their passion for showing fellow adventurers our great state is demonstrated throughout these books. They have obviously invested some significant time in not only discovering interesting 4wd adventure tracks, but also in finding out the history and little-known facts of the areas that the tracks run though.
The books form part of a larger series that includes 4wd Days in the Goldfields and 4wd Days on the South Coast.
On opening the books, the reader is presented with an introduction which describes the book, any changes since the previous editions and basically welcomes you to adventuring in Western Australia. Following this up is some good advice about 4wd’ing. Things like what to take with you, how to prepare your vehicle, what to expect on 4wd trips and some driving tips and tricks.
Then we get into the interesting parts…
The trip locations are identified by number on a map of the area. Each number relates to a trip ‘chapter’ so to speak. Flicking through the pages, each trip has been given a descriptive name. Names such as Moondyne Country, Down Nannup and Collie Climbs all combined with great photography whet your appetite for adventure.
The 4wd Days out of Perth book contains 15 trips that can each be undertaken easily in a day. The furthest you’ll go is Cervantes in the north, York in the east and Collie in the south.
4wd Weekends out of Perth contains 14 trips, some of which are probably more appropriate for a long weekend, but all of which are a great weekend away. You’ll find yourself venturing as far north as Morawa and Paynes Find, east towards Yellowdine and Southern Cross and then down south around Walpole, Pemberton and Margaret River.
Each trip is described in detail and includes a history of the area, interesting facts about what you’ll see, and then detailed trip notes to make sure you don’t get lost along the way. The trip notes are very straight forward and simple to follow, but it will definitely help to have a navigator reading the notes out as you go. Each trip also contains a number of significant waypoints and the GPS coordinates for these are all listed. Recommendations for appropriate paper based maps are also made, if you feel the need to take one along.
The trips range in difficulty from very simple drives along well formed gravel roads that any vehicle could probably undertake, to more serious adventures where 4wd is a must. And in some cases, low range is definitely a requirement.
Towards the back of each book is more detail on driving tips, GPS navigation, recovery techniques and equipment you’ll need to take with you.
The books are a fantastic introduction into the vast range of 4wd adventures that await us in our huge state. If you’re new to the 4wd game then I’d strongly recommend getting hold of these books and trying some of these trips out. They’re a great way to test your driving skills, boost your confidence in yourself and in your vehicle and have some fun, all within a relatively short distance from Perth.
4WD Days out of Perth is available here
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