Yesterday we took the FJ out for it’s first off-road adventure. With 500km’s racked up from delivery day only last Monday, the sun was shining and the weekend was here.
We met up with Graham and Barbara (the inlaws) at Dwellingup pub, ready for a trip along the Captain Fawcett Commemorative Trail.
The trail is approx 102km in length and is rated as easy/medium. Being very wet this week, and winter, it was nice and muddy, with lots of wet ruts and a just a couple of challenges. More on the trail here (history, map, etc)
We set off on the trail and after a period of time came across our first challenges, some rather rocky ascents and deeply rutted hills. Both FJ’s ate it all up. I walked a couple of the sections to check out the sharp rocks and see just how slippery it was with the mud. We found a nice little clearing which was ideal for morning tea, we parked up and enjoyed some freshly baked goods (thanks nan!) It was beside a massive tree which someone had appropriately pinned a street sign on “King Tree Road”. Sadly the little camp fire that was at the site was very littered with lots of broken glass and all kinds of things thrown on the fire (cans/bottles, etc). We would have cleared it out but didn’t have enough disposal bags to take care of it
Off we went, 40 minutes later, we realised we were actually on a little more difficult track, the Nanga Heritage 4×4 trail. Once we’d made it back around to Nanga road, we headed south to find a bushy (quiet) area to have lunch. We found a little bush trail (and when I mean little, I mean probably barely narrow enough for a bike, let alone a car). It was here searched for a place to set up for lunch. It was also here that the new FJ’s earned their first pin stripes! 🙂 We didn’t end up stopping for lunch, the driving was too fun.
Soon we came to an old section of timber bridge, once used for the logging. We stopped here, had lunch, and the kids had a chance to run around and play for a while.
The rest of the trail was a mix of mud, gravel, ruts, rocks, etc. We had around six other vehicles in total coming in the opposite direction (four of which were a convoy/club).
It was a nice opportunity to learn some of the controls and abilities of the FJ. I used 4H most of the time and switched through the gears as needed, using L2 for steep stuff and engine braking. 4L was used for some of the rock climbing and a few of the deep muddy ruts/holes. I did try the rear locker and A-trac but didn’t need it anywhere. I also flicked on crawl control, which is, interesting… I can see it would be useful in steep climbs or drop offs for careful throttle and braking control.
I have to say, with the minor modifications that we had done by the dealer (suspension and tyres), it’s a very capable vehicle. Graham’s factory standard FJ had no trouble at all either, just a little scraping in some of the deep ruts.by