Boonerring Hill Walk (Walk #29c)
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|On this page:||
1) Walk map - Shows route and waypoint locations
3) 3D map view
7) Waypoint listing and grid references
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View to granite dome of Boonerring Hill,
from outcrop 700m NW, Aug. 2007.
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
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57 kms SE of Armadale along Albany Highway.
20 field kms (45% off-track);
or 18 kms alternative (70% off-track).
|Degree of difficulty :||
MEDIUM (What does this mean?)
|Amount of uphill walking :||
380m main route (via Boonerring Spring)
also 380m on alternative route.
PREFERABLE for off-track sections, especially alternative route. Alternatively, simple map & compass navigation skills should be adequate.
See Google Map for start point on road map.
(Use zoom ladder for detail. Select 'Hybrid' to add satellite imagery.)
Continue down Albany Highway to Serpentine River crossing, which is 7.5 kms before the North Bannister Roadhouse (and before North Bannister-Wandering Rd turnoff). Turn off onto minor vehicle track (Summer Track) on right hand side just after the Serpentine River crossing. Park less than 100m down the track at the Start point. (Don't attempt to drive west along the track as it soon becomes deeply rutted and is waterlogged and boggy in winter-early spring.) Nearest facilities are at North Bannister Roadhouse (toilets, food and petrol).
Important access issue: Walkers need to be aware that this walk area and many others on WalkGPS lie within drinking water catchment areas. In 2007 DoW in effect recommended a prohibition of all traditional off-track bushwalking activities across the entire Perth region catchment areas covering 4500 sq km, far beyond the limits of existing or proposed Reservoir Protection Zones (see map). By March 2008, the DoW had been persuaded to reconsider its published position. The new Policy of 2012 refrains from banning traditional bushwalking in the outer catchments. The community, including visitors to WalkGPS, need to remain vigilant to ensure that commonsense continues to prevail over regulatory zealotry. See also Home page: 'Access' and Related access issues on WalkGPS, and DOW's "Serpentine Dam Catchment Area...Drinking Water Source Protection Plan" of 2007.
|Escape route/s :||
In north, head east via Summer Track for 1-1.5 kms to Albany Highway.
In south, follow Bibbulmun Track east to Albany Hwy (if necessary bypassing the steepest part of the Track by following (via '47' and '48') old vehicle track initially SE when Bibb. Track branches off just NE of waypoint '18').
Boonerring Hill is one of the higher points in the Darling Range (elevation above sea level approx. 530m). It rises less than 200m above the surrounding landscape, but the summit area is an impressive, near-bald granite dome (or 'monadnock') which provides spectacular 360 degree views across the forests of the Darling Range and some farmlands and blue gum plantations. Some of the landmarks include Mount Solus (22 kms NW), Mount Cooke (22 kms NW), Bannister Hill (14 kms SE), Kimberling Hill/White Horse Hills, 4.5 kms SW), and Bowerling Hill (6.5 kms WNW).
The route described here initially follows a valley south through lowland heath and grassland and joins the Bibbulmun Track east of Boonerring Hill. It then follows the Track for about 2.5 kms to a saddle at the northern end of the main granite dome of Boonerring Hill. From there it continues southward and off-track to ascend (60m) the quite steep northern slope of the granite dome to reach a small rock cairn on the flat summit area. The route rejoins the Bibbulmun Track via a spur track from the summit area. The main, longer route then follows the Bibbulmun Track for less than 2 kms, initially through some delightful wandoo woodland along a ridge and then down to a valley and past Boonerring Spring (a permanent waterhole). The route then heads off-track (through heathland and jarrah forest) to traverse the ridge west of Boonerring Hill, gaining a good view from a small outcrop to the south to Kimberling Hill/White Horse Hills during the initial 100m ascent. After descending the northern flank of the ridge the route meets Summer Track which is followed for about 6 kms eastward, descending to the Serpentine River valley, then passing through some pleasant open wandoo woodlands and heathlands for a few kilometres to the end of the walk.
The alternative slightly shorter walk reduces the amount of on-track walking. It includes an off-track segment along the ridge west of Boonerring Hill (via waypoints 'ALT1'-'ALT5') as an alternative to descending on the Bibbulmun Track to Boonerring Spring. It also includes an alternative route segment across two northern outcrops (via waypoints 'ALT6'-'ALT12').
This is an easy walk overall. The longer route includes more on-track walking (11 kms, versus 6 kms on the shorter route (on Bibbulmun Track & Summer Track). There are only three short, quite steep uphill sections. The 'Medium' difficulty rating mainly reflects the walk distance (18-20 kms).
For overnighters: For those keen to camp overnight in the area, there are two options:
i) White Horse Campsite (which includes a 3-sided shelter) is located on the Bibbulmun Track about 6 km further south of the halfway point (at'18') on the walk route. By adding the detour from waypoint '18' to the Campsite (via a return trip on the Bibbulmun Track) you will increase the walk distance to about 16 kms per day for the two days.
ii) Gringer Creek Campsite (a 3-sided shelter) is located on the Bibbulmun Track east of the Albany Highway and about 5.5 km east of waypoint '6' on the walk route. This campsite could be linked into a variation of the walk route by starting the walk via the 0.5 km Bibbulmun Track spur trail to the campsite from North Bannister Roadhouse at the corner of Albany Highway and North Bannister-Wandering Road.
Note: The changing view from Boonerring Hill - Perth's next major waste landfill site -Unfortunately, Perthwaste, is set to receive approval from the EPA in 2011 to locate a new 20ha landfill site (the 'North Bannister Waste Facility') at the foot of Boonerring Hill within sight (and 450m) of the summit and the spur track off the Bibbulmun Track. The site will have an active life of 17 years during which it will receive 2.2 million tonnes of waste. It is clear from the EPA Referral Document that the noise and visual impacts have not been adequately assessed. However, Newmont Boddington Gold Mines, the site's immediate neighbour and the premier sponsor of the Bibbulmun Track Foundation, is "positive about the [Perthwaste] project".
Controlled burns: See DEC's current 6-season indicative burn program.
|Additional maps :||
WalkGPS walk map for OziExplorer users: A downloadable OziExplorer format MAP file (*.map) for this walk area is included on the Maps, Waypoints & Track Files page. The zipped folder also includes the associated 'base' topo map image file, plus other attached waypoints, tracks/routes, etc in OxiExplorer file formats.
WalkGPS reconnaissance history: Click here for a map of past WalkGPS test walks in the walk area, plus the final route. The final route was selected only after several visits to the area which aimed to achieve a walk that would be the most rewarding.
Other: Duncan 1:50,000 Sheet 2132-1 (CALM/DOLA, 1995).
|Other background references :||
"A Guide to the Bibbulmun Track, Northern Half, Kalamunda to Donnelly River Village" by Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) 2002, 2nd ed., pp.118-124.
Route notes :
From the Start point, head approx. southward through open jarrah forest to meet an old vehicle track at waypoint '1'. Follow the track SW to cross the nearby stream course. At '2', turn SE (left) to leave the track and walk through open forest to '3'. From '3' follow the open valley floor for about 1.5 kms through lowland heath and patches of grassland, via '4', keeping just to the west of a nearby stream course. Cross the stream course to reach '5', then head approx. SW for about 1.5 kms, climbing a very gentle slope through open jarrah forest to meet the Bibbulmun Track at '6'. Follow the Bibbulmun Track for 2.5 kms, initially westward, then via waypoints '7' to '11'. This on-track section includes the climb up the forested, lower NE slope of Boonerring Hill. At '11', leave the track and head SSW along a short saddle (partly forested) to reach the foot of the Boonerring Hill granite dome. Continue SSW to climb the quite steep north slope of the dome to '12', keeping to a strip of fractured and partly vegetated rock which provides a reasonably easy and safe route up the slope and avoids likely slippery patches on the smoother rock surface. (Alternatively, in wet weather, avoid this steepish climb by staying on the Bibbulmun Track at '11' and continuing to a spur track turnoff at 'JCTN', which provides a very easy, much gentler and safer wet weather route to the Boonerring Hill summit.) From '12' head approx. southward across the dome for only about 50m to locate the cairn at the summit (approx. 'SMT'). Take time out to wander around the summit area to take in the magnificent views in all directions across the surrounding Darling Range plateau. Less than 100m south of the summit, at '13', locate the start of the spur track that leads back to the Bibbulmun Track, Follow the spur track westward down the forested ridge to meet the main track at 'JCTN'. Then follow the Bibbulmun Track westward (for 1.7 kms), initially through wandoo woodland along the ridge (via '14') and then descending through jarrah-banksia forest to a valley (via '15' and '16') and past Boonerring Spring, a permanent waterhole, at 'WTR'. (Or see 'Alternative short-cut' below). On reaching a sharp bend in the Track at '18' (the halfway point on the walk), head approx. WNW off-track and begin climbing, initially gently through open forest and a patch of heathland (with abundant yellow flowers of Plume Petrophile, Petrophile serruriae, in spring). After about 300m the slope steepens. At '19' veer NW and continue upslope to reach a low granite outcrop forming an open terrace at 'VU', from where there is a good view SW to Kimberling Hill/White Horse Hills. Veer approx. northward to continue up a ridge to '21'. Then veer NW along a gentle slope through open jarrah forest to reach the crest of the main ridge at '22'.
Alternative ridge route (from '14' to '22'): This optional short-cut reduces this leg of the walk distance by less than 1 km but avoids one steepish ascent of about 100m: At '14' veer right (northward) to leave the Bibbulmun Track and cross the rocky forested ridge to 'ALT1' to reach an outcrop on the northern side. Head WNW along the outcrop to 'ALT2' and pass through low fringing shrubland to re-enter the jarrah and sheoak forest. Continue westward (via 'ALT3') to then approx. follow the crest of the ridge through open forest. Between 'ALT3' and 'ALT4' cross a small outcrop on the southern flank of the ridge crest. Continue via 'ALT5' along the narrowing ridge crest to '22'.
From '22', follow the ridge northward across a gentle saddle, then cross a local high point on the ridge at '23'. Continue approx. northward (still in jarrah forest) to descend the north flank of the ridge. The slope flattens onto a terrace (at about '24'), then continues gently downhill. (Or see 'Alternative northern outcrops route' below). On reaching '25', near a minor stream course, veer NNE to initially follow the stream course. Then cross another stream course and continue through mixed jarrah and wandoo forest to meet Summer Track (vehicle track) at '26'. Follow Summer Track for 6 kms (via 'waypoints '27' to '34') to get back to the Start point, initially passing across gentle, jarrah- forested slopes and after about 2 kms through open wandoo woodlands and lowland heathland/grasslands fringing the Serpentine River.
Alternative northern outcrops route (from '24' to '31'): This optional route segment bypasses almost 4 kms of on-track walking along Summer Track and also visits two northern granite outcrops which provide further excellent panoramic views across the surrounding landscape (including to Mounts Solus, Cooke, etc). From '24', instead of continuing northward to reach Summer Track, veer NE and cross two stream gullies within the first 1 km. Then begin climbing initially gently, then increasingly steeply (via 'ALT6')to cross a forested rocky knoll and reach a north-sloping outcrop at 'ALT7'. Veer ESE to descend the outcrop and re-enter open forest. Continue eastward near a ridge (via 'ALT8') for less than 400m, then descend through a belt of denser understorey to reach the second major outcrop (at 'ALT9') which slopes NE. Veer right to follow the outcrop SE along slope to 'ALT10', then descend the outcrop (about 55m) approx. NNE to 'ALT11'. Then continue northward to re-enter forest. Soon cross two stream courses and climb gently to a gentle ridge at 'ALT12'. Veer ENE to reach Summer Track at waypt '31' after about 600m. Then, follow Summer Track eastward for approx. 2 kms to get back to the Start point.
Right click here and then "Save Target/Link As..." if you wish to download the waypoints and GPS 'track' as a GPX file in the standard format recognised by most devices and programs including Garmin and Magellan units and GPS Mapping Software. If you have a problem uploading the data, please feel free to contact me directly at WalkGPS rather than your users' forum!
The waypoints in the alternative listing below are given as UTM coordinates with datum to match the Walk Map. NOTE: If you wish to manually enter these into your GPS unit you must first set your unit to the correct Datum. Caution: An incorrect datum can result in an approximate 200m location error! (This is a very slow, error-prone method compared to using the above downloadable file and is not recommended.)
Route list :
Projection : UTM Datum : Australian Geodetic 1966 Zone : 50
Waypt name Easting Northing Comments
START 442895 6400685 Park car on Summer Track, just off Albany Hwy.
1 443058 6399880 Meet old vehicle track near stream course.
2 442995 6399741 On old vehicle track.
3 443348 6399436 At edge of forest, near valley floor.
4 443689 6398618 In lowland heath near stream course.
5 443576 6398057 In lowland heath near stream course.
6 442756 6396848 Meet Bibbulmun Track.
7 441945 6396953 On Bibbulmun Track.
8 441224 6396697 On Bibbulmun Track.
9 441072 6396390 On Bibbulmun Track.
10 440749 6396268 On Bibbulmun Track.
11 440644 6395986 On Bibbulmun Track.
12 440564 6395780 At top of northern slope of granite dome.
SMT 440585 6395729 Near cairn at summit of Boonerring Hill.
13 440568 6395653 End of spur track which joins to Bibbulmun Track.
JCTN 440331 6395704 Spur track meets main Bibbulmun Track.
14 440046 6395834 On Bibbulmun Track.
15 439791 6395975 On Bibbulmun Track.
16 439270 6395543 On Bibbulmun Track.
WTR 438960 6395628 Boonerring Spring (a permanent waterhole).
18 438836 6395712 At sharp bend on Bibbulmun Track.
19 438288 6395886 Off-track, in forest, on south slope of ridge.
VU 438216 6396038 On small flat outcrop, view to Kimberling Hill.
21 438300 6396359 On gentle south flank of forested ridge top.
22 438053 6396722 Near gentle saddle on forested ridge.
23 438018 6396958 Near crest of forested ridge.
24 438102 6397548 On terrace, on north flank of ridge.
25 437840 6398404 Close to stream course.
26 438056 6398800 Meet Summer Track.
27 438158 6398787 At bend on Summer Track.
28 439012 6399948 On Summer Track, in jarrah forest.
29 439738 6400052 On Summer Track.
30 440208 6400460 On Summer Track(through heathland & wandoo trees).
31 440888 6400172 On Summer Track.
32 441817 6400262 On Summer Track.
33 442148 6400527 On Summer Track (close to Serpentine river course).
34 442479 6400509 On Summer Track.
END 442895 6400685 Back at Start point.
Additional Waypoints on map :
ALT1 440050 6396082 Off-track, near edge of outcrop.
ALT2 439859 6396213 On granite outcrop on north side of ridge.
ALT3 439265 6396347 On ridge, in jarrah forest.
ALT4 439074 6396473 On forested ridge, in saddle area.
ALT5 438525 6396430 Near south edge of forested ridge top.
ALT6 439170 6398924 On narrow, forested spur ridge.
ALT7 439454 6399059 At top of north-sloping outcrop.
ALT8 439667 6398907 In open forest, near ridge crest.
ALT9 439900 6398916 At top of NE-sloping outcrop.
ALT10 439976 6398823 Near top of NE-sloping outcrop.
ALT11 440120 6399063 Near foot of NE-sloping outcrop.
ALT12 440294 6400002 On crest of gently NW-sloping ridge.
45 436762 6396674 Bend on Williams Road.
46 437641 6395015 Old vehicle track crosses Bibb. Track.
47 440661 6394840 Old vehicle track crosses ridge sth of Bng. Hill.
48 441372 6395188 On vehicle track SE of Boonerring Hill.
49 445613 6396855 On Bibbulmun Track, near Albany Highway.
50 445947 6397149 Bibbulmun Track meets Albany Highway.
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This page was last updated : 07 February, 2013
Site authored by David Osborne. Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2013 David Osborne.