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HOT PRESS!

  ● WalkGPS celebrates its first decade:  10yrs from 9 Oct.  2003!!

  ● One very active bushwalking Club's current walks program:

         Insider’s view of 'Perth Bushies' amazing program.....

  ●  WalkGPS info is all free but I thrive on feedback! Thoughts and

       suggestions for the site are very welcome!  (email, Tweet, form).

  ●   See WalkGPS onTwitter for the very latest bushwalking info.

and issues.

  ●  Special treat for GPS mapping software users

See Maps, Waypoints & Track Files page for easily downloadable MAP files (OziExplorer *.map format) for all WalkGPS walks.

  ●  Impact of Bauxite Mining on bushwalking near Perth.

       WalkGPS article (Feb. 2012). (For aerial perspective click here).

  ●  Impact of Red Hill Quarry Extension  ..... (see Susannah Brook.)

 

  This site....

provides descriptions for more than 50 one-day walks, most of which are less than 100km from the city of Perth in Western Australia.  Route maps, waypoints, links to satellite imagery, video, and over 700 photos are included within 120-plus web pages.

This is a privately-owned non-sponsored, non-profit site. All WalkGPS information is provided free-of-charge for your own use and has no commercial purpose whatever. WalkGPS is not an advertiser, promoter or seller of GPS units, software, maps or books, or guided commercialised walks. The acronym "GPS" in WalkGPS stands for Global Positioning System, not an abbreviation for 'groups'.

 

The walks are mainly through the mixed marri-jarrah eucalypt forest and wandoo woodlands of the Darling Range. Bushwalking is best done in the cooler months from mid-April to late November and especially in spring (September-November) when Western Australia's unique wildflowers are also at their best and the granite outcrops become richly coloured with mosses, lichens and sundews. The southwestern area of Australia (with the notable exception of the Stirling Range) mainly lacks the dramatic scenery of the more popular walking areas such as the Blue Mountains of NSW or the Tasmanian wilderness (or the New Zealand 'tramping' environment that I was raised on), but the beauty of the wildflowers and the granite outcrops of the monadnocks offer the bushwalker their own special rewards.  - Dave Osborne

 

       

                             The walks 

Using this map.

      

See Bushwalks page for more detailed summary of the walks.

 

 

 

1.

Bold Park

9b,c

Hancock Brook

20.

Christmas Tree Well

2. Thomsons Lake

10.

Serpentine Falls–Kittys Gorge

20a. Running Brook
2a. Bells Rapid - Mount Mambup 11. Eagle Hill  (Gleneagle) 21. Mt. Cooke
3. Piesse Brook (Kalamunda Nat. Park) 11a. Turtle Pool - Eagle Hill 22. Windsor Rocks– North
3a. Ellis Brook - Bickley Brook 12. Mt.  Dale–Beraking Brook 23. Mt. Solus
3b. Victoria Reservoir - Bickley Brook 13. Serpentine–Karnet Rock 24. Windsor Rocks–South
3c. Lions Lookout - Bickley Reservoir 13a. North Dandalup 25. Mt. Observation–Pony Hill
3d.
Darling Scarp (Lesmurdie-Kalamunda)
14. Three Mountains 26. Julimar
3e.
Kattamordo Variation
14a. Mt. Randall area 27.

Upper Dale River

4.
Eagle's View (John Forrest Nat. Park)
15. Mt. Yetar 28. Geddes Rock
4a.
Northern  John Forrest Nat. Park
15a. Nockine Brook 29. Gibbs Rocks
5. Bungendore Park–Wungong Gorge 15b. Mt. Billy area 29a. Boyagarring Cons. Park
5a. Boulder Rock- Poison Gully 15c. Mt. Yetar-Shorter 29b. Bannister Hill
6. Walyunga  National Park 16. Avon  Valley – South side 29c. Boonerring Hill
6a. Wooroloo Brook 17. Avon  Valley – Both sides 30. Lupton Conservation Park
7. Manns Gully–Chinamans Gully (Mundaring) 18. Upper Darkin 30a. Boyagin Rock
7a. Barton's Mill-Little Darkin 18a. Flynn Hills 31.

Lane Poole  (Murray River)

8. N. Ledge-S. Ledge (Mundaring Weir) 18b. Upper Darkin Variation 32. Dryandra
9. Mt. Gorrie 19. Qualen Rd    SUSANNAH VALLEY  
9a. Ngangaguringguring Hill 19a.  Gunapin Ridge
             
             

 

  Cross-country walking

Many of the walks described on WalkGPS are new routes explored by myself and not published elsewhere, and are either mainly off-track (i.e. cross-country; not on existing paths or trails) or have a significant off-track component. The walk pages are not one-off ‘trip reports’ but are based on my several visits to each of the areas to test and optimise the off-track routes for walking enjoyment. (Nevertheless, the Australian bush is ever-changing, so be prepared for surprises! An initially easy, open forest walk - over a period of just a few years following a bushfire - may turn into a grim struggle through a new dense understorey of 'Prickly Moses'!) Aside from always carrying a map and compass and knowing how to use both, proficient GPS-user skills are recommended if you wish to follow the routes closely as the waypoints have been designed for GPS-users rather than for traditional compass navigation.  A compass should always be carried as a standby, but preferably not used as the primary navigation tool for those particular walks as many of the waypoints and features are not distinctive landmarks. -They could be missed very easily using compass alone. However, if you prefer compass navigation, the maps on this site should still be useful to experienced bushwalkers. - You can easily adapt and simplify several of the walks yourself from the maps to make them more suitable for compass work (remembering to add approx. 2 degrees to grid north bearings read from the maps to correct them to magnetic north).

  For starters

If you are new to bushwalking, join one of the local bushwalking clubs and learn the basics first-hand from experienced club members. Also try out a few of the shorter on-track walks provided on this site or published elsewhere that don't require GPS or compass navigation skills and are located close to Perth. The shorter walks and near-city walks along the Swan and Canning River foreshores or in Bold Park, Kings Park, or Whiteman Park are also great alternatives for early morning exercise in the summer months when the days are otherwise too hot for the longer distances. For other warm weather, shorter walk ideas, see WalkGPS BLOG, 24 Oct. 2010 article. And if you have a young family, visit the unashamedly 'ocker', but delightful Sandgropers' family site to see how early and easily the kids can be introduced to bushwalking, to develop a love of nature, the outdoors, and a joy of life in general!

WalkGPS includes Google road maps, Google Earth displays and GPS waypoints and 'track' files (including PCX5, GPX, KMZ and MAP files for all walks), so that you can easily find your way to walk start points and discover the walk routes, including several established walk trails within the Perth region that are not described in detail on WalkGPS e.g. Coastal Plain Walk Trail, Kyotmunga Walk Trail, Yaberoo Budjara Walk Trail, Kattamordo Heritage Trail, Numbat Trail (Paruna Sanctuary) and Bibbulmun Track-Northern Half (and Munda Biddi Bike Trail which is also accessible to walkers). Google Earth displays and GPS files are also included for some iconic walks in the southwest, beyond the Perth region e.g. Cape to Cape Track (and Meelup Trail), and Stirling Ridge Walk.

If you haven't used GPS before, you should first develop and test your skills close to home before heading off-track on these walks.  Becoming proficient at using a GPS unit is no more difficult than learning to use a mobile phone.  Combined with a few basic map reading skills, your GPS navigation skills will soon allow you to confidently and accurately navigate off-track through the bush and to fully enjoy the bushwalking experience and environment, freed from the usual limitations and uncertainties of traditional compass navigation.  For your own safety and the re-assurance of others in the case of emergency, especially if you walk alone, consider investing also in a handheld GPS personal locator device, either a Satellite Personal Tracker and Messenger or a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) with built-in GPS.

If you are uncertain if walking of any kind is the right activity for you, see WalkGPS "Why (not) Walk?" page for some inspiration through poetry and prose.

  For overnighters

The walk routes on WalkGPS are primarily intended as day walks, but there are also excellent designated campsites within, or close to, at least 15 of the walk routes on this site. Campsite location details are included on each of those walk pages of WalkGPS. These include Bibbulmun Track shelters which may be used only where the walk routes include a significant section of the Bibbulmun Track. There are no fees for use of those campsites. A standard fee of $7.00/night per adult applies for the Avon National Park campsites.  Unfortunately opportunities for camping outside of the designated campsites are very limited. Such camping is currently banned within the extensive water catchment areas, which cover most of the forested region and walk areas (an area of around 45 kms wide by 100 kms; see WalkGPS map Dept. of Water information (1.12MB pdf), and also Designated Camping policy).

  Minimal impact

The eucalypt forests and woodlands of the Perth Region are mainly relatively light and open and generally ideal for cross-country, minimal impact bushwalking.  'Bush-bashing' is not required! The routes on this website  try to avoid having to push through sections of more dense undergrowth. Short sections of scratchy shrublands and heathlands are common around the granite outcrops, but well worn animal trails (from kangaroos/emus) usually provide an easy way through. Protecting your legs with gaiters or trousers will avoid scratches. Wherever possible on the granite outcrops keep to the bare rock surfaces to avoid damaging the fragile moss-covered areas, but also avoid the darker-stained patches of rock which often become treacherously slippery when wet. Follow good bushwalkers' standards  to minimise your impact on the environment, including leaving behind no rubbish, and ensuring good bush hygiene and sanitation.

  Access

These walks are mainly within State Forest, National Parks, Conservation Parks, Nature Reserves and water catchment areas.  Restrictions on vehicle and walker access may apply or vary from time to time: 

WATER CATCHMENTS  -  Around 80% of the total traditional bushwalking opportunities close to Perth lie within extensive water catchment areas. Restricted access to 2km-wide 'Reservoir Protection Zones' (RPZs) around the water reservoirs is intended to protect against perceived possible risks to drinking water quality. (Contact the Dept. of Water or DPAW for map "Protecting our Drinking Water Catchments", by Water Corp./DOE/DLI; also see Department of Water (DoW) Operational Policy 13, Sept. 2012. Several DoW Plans published in 2007 in effect recommended a prohibition of all traditional cross-country bushwalking opportunities across the entire northern 4500 sq km of forested water catchment areas, far beyond the limits of the RPZs. See WalkGPS 'Access & Land-use Issues' map. DoW intended to restrict bushwalking to designated trails, which are currently non-existent over most of the catchments (apart from the well-known Bibbulmun Track). Thanks to extensive submissions to Government by bushwalkers and other community groups, the DoW reconsidered the published 2007 Plans, ultimately refraining in the new Policy 13 2012 from a ban on traditional bushwalking in the outer catchments. Also see WalkGPS "Water Catchment Access near Perth" for a summary of this important issue for bushwalkers.

BAUXITE MINING  - Long-term mining leases held by ALCOA and Worsley (-BHPB) cover most of the northern Darling Range State forests and drinking water catchment areas, and most of the walk areas on WalkGPS. Major expansions of the mining operations have been approved, of which the general public is largely unaware. The expansions will increasingly impact on and greatly diminish quality bushwalking opportunities in the region in coming years. See WalkGPS  "The Impact of Bauxite Mining in the Darling Range" for a summary of this other most important issue for bushwalkers.

ABORIGINAL HERITAGE  - Many walk areas in the Darling Range include areas of special significance for the aboriginal people. Aboriginal sites are a part of the heritage of the whole community and it is important they are respected and not disturbed. Usually the sites are not obvious, but moving, breaking or removal of rocks, trees or other natural features should always be avoided in reserves or protected areas (including the building of new stone cairns on outcrops!). It is against the law to disturb a site or to remove artefacts. (For information on aboriginal sites in the region see the DIA's Aboriginal Heritage Enquiry System.)

DIE-BACK  - In the State Forests, designated Disease Risk Areas (for phytophthora die-back) are generally out of bounds to private vehicles (without special permit) except on approved roads indicated on the DPAW/DLI (formerly DEC/CALM/DOLA) 1:50,000 maps. 

PRESCRIBED BURNS  - DPAW (former part of DEC) periodically conducts prescribed (or controlled) burns in State Forest areas (see DPAW's Indicative Burn Plans for Swan and Indicative Swan Region Burn Program for Autumn 2013-Spring 2016.-To be safe, check DPAW's notice of "Active Prescribed Burns" or check with the relevant DPAW office before walking in the State Forest. You can also access the information via your Smartphone, including the Emergency AUS app

FORESTRY OPERATIONS  - Also check Forest Products Commission’s timber harvesting plans (including indicative harvest plan maps and coupe listing for Swan Region) within the State Forest areas to check there are no current or recent logging operations in your planned walk area that could lessen the enjoyment of your walk.

PARK CLOSURES OR OTHER NEWS  - DPAW's website may also provide alerts on temporary closures of parks or recreation areas (due to recent bushfires etc) and Bibbulmun Track news.  Also check Fire & Emergency Services (DFES) alerts. Be aware of 'Warning' on unexploded ordnance (military hardware) if walking in the Avon Valley National Park.

ENTRY FEES  - A pass or fee is required for entry to some of the National Parks (usually $11.00 per car for a day pass; as at 1 Sept. 2009). 

DOGS  - Dogs are not allowed in most of the walk areas, with the exception of Bold Park (Perth), the Darling Range Regional Park (Darling Scarp Walk), Lane Poole Reserve (Dwellingup), and Bungendore Park (Armadale), where dogs must be on the leash. Dogs are allowed in Whiteman Park. There are also many off-lead dog exercise areas closer to Perth. Dog owners need to be aware that the '1080' poison baits widely used in southwest forests to control foxes are also lethal to dogs.

TRANSPORT  - The walk areas are mainly remote from public transport and you will require a reliable private car to reach most start points. For a petrol price of around A$1.50/litre, the typical fuel cost for most of the walks will be around $18-24 return for small (4 cyl) cars or $24-37 return for the more fuel efficient of the larger (6 cyl) vehicles. The cost becomes less significant if others join you on your walk and share the cost. That is another benefit of joining one of the local bushwalking clubs.  Also, compare the value for money of your invigorating day in the outdoors compared to a brief visit to your local health club! 

  Enjoy! 

For new GPS users or newcomers to off-track bushwalking, I hope that at least one or two of the walks described on this site will help you discover the freedom and enjoyment of off-track bushwalking. For more experienced GPS users and walkers, I hope these pages will give you some new ideas for walks and encouragement to try other routes.

This is a non-profit and non-sponsored site. It is a hobby. I neither seek nor receive money or payment in kind from it, nor from any bushwalking activities.  I am not a marketer, agent, or seller of any brands of GPS units, books, or other products, nor am I a guide for commercialised walks. By sharing this information with others I simply hope they will find similar great enjoyment from the many bushwalking opportunities close to Perth. For that reason I look forward to your feedback through "Your Comments" form or via a Tweet or by email to  . If you have encountered anything on one of these walks you think I need to check out and update please also contact me. Many thanks to those who have already let me know that this site is useful to them (and not just therapy for me!). - Dave Osborne

 

Visitor stats - Statcounter stats (average for first week June 2012) for WalkGPS.com indicate the following:

 

 'Unique' visits to the Site per day :

    448   

 

 Visits of more than 5 minutes :

    21 % 

 

  Number of Page loads per day :

  1003

 

 Visits longer than 1 hour :

    11 % 

 

 

 

  Disclaimer:   All care has been taken to make the walk descriptions and other information on this site as accurate as possible, but the use of any of the information is at the user's own risk and  I accept no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone pursuing any of the activities described on this website. All outdoor activities involve some risk of injury or death, and bushwalking in Western Australia is no exception

(e.g.  bushfire,  bush roadssnakebite,   ticks,   water availability and quality,  weather,  heat exhaustion/heat stroke,  river crossings ankle sprains,  unexploded ordnance (Avon Valley). 

See "Aids to Survival",  WA Police Academy Bushcraft & Survival Guide, 2007 (pdf 1.3MB).  Also  Bushwalking/Outdoors manuals).

You must exercise your own independent judgment as to whether the walks described on this site are safe for you in the context of your fitness, training, skills and experience.

Links to other websites on this site do not imply endorsement of those websites by WalkGPS.  You link to such websites at your own risk.

 

 

 

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This page was last updated  :   07 September, 2013

 Site authored by David Osborne.  Photographs and text are copyright  © 2003-2013 David Osborne.

www.WalkGPS.com was launched  9 October 2003.

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