What Makes a 4WD Track Iconic?

In assessing a potential Iconic 4WD Track consideration needs to be given to:

  • Difficulty
  • Length
  • Location

An Iconic 4WD Track needs to align with certain Values:

  • Cultural
  • Historic
  • Natural


The degree of difficulty is accessing/negotiating a track often might be the first criteria considered. Such consideration is very subjective.

This is a list of WA’s Iconic 4WD Tracks not WA’s Toughest Tracks, therefore, the degree of difficulty is only one of many criteria and certainly not the most important.


An Iconic 4WD Track should not be accessible to all. Some effort should be required to tackle it. It may or may not be a public road.


An Iconic 4WD Track will be predominantly unsealed although it may have sealed connecting sections.


An Iconic 4WD Track should require the use of 4WD at some point and at some time. A high clearance vehicle would be an advantage though not an exclusive requirement. Some parts of an Iconic 4WD Track could be sealed and some unsealed parts could be traversed by a 2WD vehicle.

Not Too Easy

An Iconic 4WD Track should not be too easy. It should present an appropriate challenge that requires a degree of planning and preparation.

Not Too Difficult

If a track is too difficult (to the point of exclusion of all but the most extreme vehicles) it has little value to the 4WD community.


An Iconic 4WD Track should be of such length that at least one overnight stay would be required to comfortably traverse it.


The occurrence of the listed criteria is not dependent on the proximity, or otherwise, to areas of habitation.

Beauty, challenge, interest, scenery, history, significance is where you find it.



An Iconic 4WD Track generally but not always, has/had a purpose for being constructed. Implicit in that is that, while obviously all tracks have a start and finish place, the Iconic 4WD Track has a destination. The purpose could be as simple as providing access to locations possessing some of the values expressed here.

Unique / Worthwhile Manmade Features

If manmade features are part of the attraction of the Iconic 4WD Track they should be unique or at the very least worthwhile with a high level of creativity and workmanship. Features that don’t meet these criteria would not exclude the track but equally they cannot be used as points of inclusion.

Special Significance

If it is held that one of the criteria considered in deciding on an Iconic Track is that it has Special Significance, then that significance should be that it needs protection and maintenance for future integrity.


An Iconic 4WD Track, or a least parts of it, should have historic value, generally related to the purpose for initially being made.


Natural Phenomena

The occurrence of unique natural phenomena is not necessary for the determination of an Iconic 4WD Track, however, it should be a major part of such consideration.

Important Biological Features

An Iconic 4WD Track should traverse areas of important features such as wildflowers, stromatolites or wetlands. While these may not be the essential reasons for the track’s classification they would be part of the decision in declaring it an Iconic 4WD Track.


It would be reasonably expected that an Iconic 4WD Track would traverse interesting and varied scenery that perhaps exhibits unique features. Important and outstanding natural beauty would be a major factor in consideration of the status of an Iconic 4WD Track but its lack would not be a reason for exclusion. The aesthetic importance of the area would be another consideration.

Scientific or Conservational Value

While these are worthwhile criteria, such attributes could very well lead to the exclusion of vehicles and the consequent inability of inclusion. Bureaucracy and the actions of stupid four wheel drivers aside, scientific/conservational values would be attractive criteria when considering the classification of an Iconic 4WD Track. It would indeed be unfortunate if the identification and development of an Iconic 4WD Track by four wheel drivers led to its closure on scientific/conservation grounds.


Go to the draft list of Iconic 4WD Tracks.



© Kim Epton 2022
709 words.
See Terms of Use

Feel free to use any part of this document, however, please do the right thing and give attribution.