Enjoying riding trail bikes and quad bikes in Western Australia

Recreational trail and quad bike riding are enjoyable activities with physical activity and social benefits for riders. Most riders value the same experiences that attract bushwalkers, mountain bike riders and horse riders: enjoying the outdoors, physical challenge and quality time with friends and family.

Recreational trail bike and quad bike riders need to know how to access safe, well-designed and managed trails and off-road vehicle (ORV) areas.

Friends and families can join in activities at specially set up sites which can cater for motocross, freestyle, enduro, trial bike, quad bike and pee-wee riders. For more information about trail bike and quad bike riding, you can contact these WA clubs and associations:

In this document, the term trail bike is used to refer to all trail, adventure, motocross, quad and mini-bikes that can used off-road on a dirt or gravel road, track or trail.

Where can I ride?

ORV-registered trail bikes and quad bikes or any trail bike being ridden by anyone without a WA motorcycle licence can only be legally ridden in permitted ORV areas. 

Any trail or quad bike can be ridden on a private property with the owner’s permission. Trail bikes do not need to be registered and riders do not need to hold a license to ride on private property.  

Road-registered trail bikes can be ridden by anyone with a WA motorcycle licence on any open public road including roads in State forests, national parks and drinking water catchment areas.

There is no specific licence for trail or quad bike riders however riders must be over eight years of age.

To find more information about where to ride, go to the ORV Area State-wide Mapping (WA) available on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.

The pull-up table at the bottom of the map provides links to more information about each ORV area.

Permitted off-road vehicle areas in WA

Perth Metro

  • Pinjar Off-road Vehicle Area (managed by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA))*
  • Gnangara Off-road Vehicle Area (managed by DBCA)*
  • Medina Off-road Vehicle Area*

York

  • York Off-road Vehicle Area*

Lancelin, Ledge Point And Cervantes

  • Lancelin Off-road Vehicle Area*
  • Ledge Point Off-road Vehicle Area*
  • Ledge Point Reserve 27215 Off-road Vehicle Area
  • Cervantes Item 2 Off-road Vehicle Area

Geraldton

  • Explosives — Point Moore
  • Pages Beach
  • Separation Point
  • Francis St Carpark
  • Drummond Cove — Glenfield
  • Cape Burney Off-road Vehicle Area

Carnarvon

  • Carnarvon Item 1 Off-road Vehicle Area
  • Carnarvon Item 2 Off-road Vehicle Area

Karratha

  • Karratha West Off-road Vehicle Area
  • Karratha East Off-road Vehicle Area
  • Karratha Item 2 Off-road Vehicle Area

Port Hedland

  • Deepwater Reserve Off-road Vehicle Area
  • Spoilbank Off-road Vehicle Area

*Gazetted as permitted ORV areas in accordance with the ORV Act

Apart from ORV areas managed by the State Government and local governments, there are several commercial ride parks operating on private land that can cater for unregistered bikes and unlicensed riders. These include:

To summarise, the table below shows whether a driver’s (motorcycle) licence is needed and what type of vehicle registration is required to access different types of areas.

  • Private property or club track
    • Driver’s licence not required
    • No registration
  • ORV area
    • Driver’s licence not required
    • Off Road Vehicle registration
  • Events
    • Driver’s licence required
    • Class B Conditional vehicle registration
  • Public roads
    • Driver’s licence required
    • Class A full road registration

Are there places I can’t ride?

It’s against the law to ride a trail bike or quad off-road in any area described as prohibited in the Control of Vehicles (Off-road Areas) Act 1978 and in any area designated as prohibited by local government. 

Prohibited areas include riding off-road in national parks, nature reserves and drinking water catchments. Prohibited areas are highlighted on the online map available on the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries website.

In addition, unlicensed off-road vehicles are prohibited from crossing or travelling along public roads. A conditional licence to allow the crossing of roads or to compete in authorised events, can be issued by the Department of Transport.

Trail bike registration

Before an unlicensed off-road vehicle (i.e. any trail bike not licensed for use on public roads under the Road Traffic Act) can be used in a permitted ORV area, it must have ORV registration issued by the Department of Transport.

Registration of your trail or quad bike will enable you to ride legally in permitted ORV areas managed by the State Government and local governments. Your registration fees will go in a special purpose account that is used to create and maintain ORV areas across WA.

Your WA trail bike registration will also help you recover your bike if it is stolen.

There is no compulsory third part insurance provided with ORV registration. More information about registering your bike.

Breaking the rules

Penalties for riding the wrong bike in the wrong place or without the correct vehicle registration or motorcycle license is costly. There are fines of up to $2000 for the unauthorised use of a vehicle on public land.

Local government rangers and police can confiscate trail or quad bikes when they believe the vehicle is involved in an offence (such being illegally ridden on a public road) or if the rider is unable to prove ownership.

Safety

Riders are responsible for their own safety and as off-road riding can be a high-adrenaline activity, riders always need to be alert.

Riders should wear appropriate protective clothing including long pants, long-sleeve shirts, boots and an approved helmet.

Page reviewed 25 June 2019