City of Karratha

Off-Road Vehicles

We know off-road vehicles are popular for recreation in the Pilbara but we also need to protect our foreshores and sand dunes from erosion.

Driving vehicles on sand dunes like those at Back Beach is prohibited and Rangers have the power to issue infringements to ensure the integrity of our coastline.

Where can I ride?

Permitted areas:

  • Private property (with the land owners permission)
  • Off-road clubs - motorcycle, motocross or off-road club venues
  • Off-road areas
    - Lot 87 Millars Road, Karratha. (Please avoid Lot 4229 and the adjoining airport reserve)

Please read the following warnings before using Lot 87:

Prohibited areas:

  • Public areas and public open space
  • Reserves, parks, beaches and dunes
  • Any drainage area or ditch
  • Any road, sealed or unsealed
  • Verges, footpaths or car parks
  • Hearson Cove, Cossack and Point Samson
  • Anywhere signposted 'No Vehicles'
  • Private property without consent

Off-road vehicles and the law

In 1978, the State Government introduced the Control of Vehicles (Off-road areas) Act. This law empowered local governments to designate certain areas as permitted off-road areas, to ensure off-road vehicles were safe and registered for off-road use. It was also to enhance the enjoyment of residents by limiting areas of use and stopping certain activities by off-road vehicle users.

The law applies to any non-road registered vehicles being used within any permitted or prohibited area. Sections of the Road Traffic Act apply to any sealed or unsealed road and the Local Government Act deals with vehicles in public areas anywhere in the City such as parks, footpaths, reserves and beaches.

It also outlines who is authorised to administer the requirements of the Act. In the City of Karratha this reponsibility is given to City of Karratha Rangers and local Police.

Although the law may seem restrictive to some, it was written to ensure that everybody has the freedom to enjoy off-road vehicles without imposing on the freedoms of the public in general. It also safeguards the wellbeing of the public and users. A copy of the Act and its regulations can be obtained from the State Law Publishers by calling 08 9426 0000 or via

What happens if I am caught?

If you are found to be breaking the law you may be issued with a warning, a fine or you may be prosecuted. The officer may also seize your vehicle if you:

  • Are in a prohibited area and have no registration and ID
  • Continue to use an off-road vehicle contrary to the Act

An authorised officer may seize a vehicle from a public place or enter your property if you are seen committing an offence. Your vehicle may be seized for up to 12 months.