Bungendore Park-Wungong Gorge Walk (Walk #5)

 

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On this page:  

1) Walk map - Shows route and waypoint locations

2) Photo from walk  (also see Photo Galleries)

3) 3D map view

4) Google map & Satellite imagery

5) Route profile

6) Walk description

7) Waypoint listing and grid references

 

 Walk map  Photo
   

Click on map for large version.

View NW from south side

of Wungong Gorge, Jan. 2003.

Click on photo for larger version.

More photos.

      3D map view

 

 

  

  Google Map

 

 

 Additional Satellite Imagery
 

Click here

for larger frame Google Maps image

of the walk area. -Use zoom bar

for road details.

For Google Earth  users

Step 1: Left Click here

For fly-in to waypoints and route

 on image of the walk area.

Or Right Click to

 "Save Target/Link As..."  kml file.

Step 2: Left Click here

For fly-in to 3D view

 of the walk area.

Or Right Click to

 "Save Target/Link As..."  kml file.

Hint: For enhanced 3D effect, set 'Elevation Exaggeration'

in Google Earth to "3" (via 'Tools' menu, 'Options' & 'View' tab).

 

        Route profile

 

                                   

 Walk description  
Location :

33 kms SE of Perth. 

Length :

17 field kms (35% off-track)

(or can be shortened to 10-13 kms by simple variations, and/or by leaving a second car at the Wungong Dam end of the valley).

Degree of difficulty :

MEDIUM-HARD   (What does this mean?)

Note: The full walk is quite challenging even for experienced walkers, but various shorter and easier walk options can be selected by the less fit or less experienced walker.

Amount of uphill walking : 610m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred :

YES

Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

(Use zoom ladder for detail. Select 'Hybrid' to add satellite imagery.)

Follow South Western Hwy south from Armadale toward Byford for approx. 4.5 kms, then turn left into Rails Crescent (south end of the Crescent,  not the north end which also meets the S.W. Hwy, but about 1.5 kms closer to Armadale). Immediately after turning off the Hwy, park  on a small grassed area on right hand side of Rails Crescent at the Start point for the walk. (For a much-shortened walk, a second car can be left at a carpark  opposite the Wungong Lower Dam picnic area which is reached via Albany Hwy and Admiral Road).

Escape route/s :

West along Wungong Brook track to South Western Hwy, or east along track to Admiral Road.   

Main features

/Highlights:

 

This walk is a good exploration of the quite rugged Wungong Brook Gorge area which lies within the 4100 ha Wungong Regional Park (part of the former 'Darling Range Regional Park' system). The Gorge has been formed by the Wungong Brook eroding about 200m into the granite bedrock as it crosses the western edge of  the Darling Range. The walk includes three energetic, but well-separated climbs out of, and back into the Gorge area (each climb approx. 150-200m).  This provides for lots of great views along the Gorge and across the Swan Coastal Plain from both the north and south sides.  Short sections of the route also lie along the southern edge of the Bungendore Park reserve (now included in the Wungong Regional Park) which covers a broad, forested lateritic plateau immediately north of the Gorge. The walk also includes about 3 kms of easy walking along a section of a wide track which follows the  Brook through the Gorge from near the Wungong Dam to the South Western Hwy.    

The route climbs some quite steep, rocky or gravelly slopes, both on and off-track, but these are safe provided reasonable care is taken.  The off-track sections include some short sections of scratchy heath and shrubs. 

Note: Along the banks of Wungong Brook, as occurs along many other rivers and streams near the Darling Scarp, the invasive pink- to red-flowering weed Watsonia spp. is rapidly infesting the stream banks. The Narrow-Leaf Cotton Bush (or Swan Plant; Gomphocarpus fruticosus) is another common weed becoming established, which attracts large numbers of Wanderer (Monarch) butterflies (Danaus plexippus) to the area as the larvae feed on the weed (but don't control it).

Shorter and easier walk options: The route can be easily adjusted to give a shortened walk of approx. 13 kms by bypassing the eastern section after waypoint '19' and instead crossing the Brook at 'CSG2' and continuing from waypoint '32'.   Another possible variation for a walk of approx. 10 kms is to have two cars available and to leave one at the Admiral Road (Wungong Dam) end of the Gorge and finish the walk at that end. Off-track walking on the quite steep southern side of the gorge  can also be bypassed by much easier, though less interesting on-track options (after waypoint '34').

Post-walk activity: If time allows after your walk, stop in at the nearby Armadale Reptile Centre which is on the South Western Hwy about 1.5 km toward Armadale from the Start point of this walk. This rescue and education centre, owned by Klaas & Mieke Gaikhorst, is open 7 days a week (but only to 4.00pm) and has over 50 different species of snakes, pythons, lizards and other native wildlife on display in natural surroundings.  Entry fee (adults) is $15/head.  Well worth a visit!

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:  Kelmscott 1:50,000 Sheet 2133-4, (CALM/DOLA, 2002)

or Kelmscott 1:50,000 Sheet (WA Forests Dept., 1984)

or Kelmscott 1:25,000 2133-IV, SW sheet (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1981; Series R811) -available on DVD.

Other background references :

Landscope magazine (DEC), Autumn 2008, p.40-45. - Article (on the history, management, etc) of Wungong Regional Park which covers both Wungong Valley and much of Churchman Brook to the NE.

Travellers guide to the Parks & Reserves of Western Australia by Simon Nevill, 2001, p. 48 (Simon Nevill Publications), includes a  brief summary of Bungendore Park.

Heritage Country Trails - Bushwalks & Trails in Perth's "Heritage Country", City of Armadale, Armadale, WA. (ISBN 0-646-38397-3). This includes sketch maps for existing short trails in Bungendore Park and for the Wungong Gorge Trail (the direct 5 km path which follows the Wungong Brook through the Gorge).

Visit Frank O'Connor's website for a bird spotter's summary .  Western Australian Museum's 'CockatooCare' site provides good summaries of the endemic black cockatoo species that can be seen in this area, the most common being the Forest Red-tailed Black Cockatoo. 

For a climbers' perspective of the Gorge, check the Climbers' Association of W.A. website listing of guide books.

Route notes :

 

Head SE for 0.5 km from the Start point to '1', after crossing the nearby stream. The route crosses an open  grassed area. Then veer approx. eastward to follow the steepening ridge uphill through open forest and grass trees to reach a N-S vehicle track at waypt '2', and get a view south across the Wungong Brook valley. Continue up the ridge through a more dense understorey of grass trees. Reach another track at '3' and get good views SE across the side valley.  Follow the track initially a short distance eastward, then uphill northward to reach the crest of the ridge at '4'. Turn eastward off-track to follow the ridge through forest (and passing a small survey cairn at 'SMLCRN') to meet another track after only about 150m. Follow the track to reach (at '5') a N-S vehicle track along the fenced boundary of the Bungendore Park. Turn right to follow the track for 100m and then turn left at '6' to follow a track into the Park. Follow the track gently uphill for about 250m to '7' and then veer approx. south off-track and gently downhill to reach after only about 100m (at 'CAMPVU') an old campsite at a small granite outcrop with good views SW down the valley  to the Coastal Plain.  Veer west though heathland and across more outcrops to '9' and then NW to '10'.  Then descend quite steeply SW to '11', veer NW along slope to '12' and then descend steeply SW again through fairly dense heath/shrubs to reach a vehicle track at '13'. Follow the track downhill for 0.5 km to '14', then south to '15' to reach the main track through the Wungong Gorge. Follow this vehicle track approx. eastward through the Gorge for about 2 kms :  After the first 500m along this track you will see broken rocks at the edge of an old granite quarry on the left that was mined in the 1960s to provide rock for the Garden Island Causeway. Soon after you cross Wungong Brook by a small bridge and then follow the south bank for 500m, with good views of the steep rock faces along the northern side of the Gorge.  (The large rock 'slab' here is popular with climbers.  -See Climbers' Association of W.A. ).  Along this section, take a short diversion down a short side track which veers off down to the Brook to a flow gauging weir.  Re-cross the Brook to the north side via a bridge at about '17'.  After '18' the track climbs gently.  On reaching waypt '19' turn left off the main track to follow a side track  up a fairly steep ridge to reach '20' after 0.5 km.  [Alternatively at '19', if you prefer the shortened 13 km walk, turn right down the short steep track to cross a shallow ford across the Brook at 'CSG2'. Then proceed from that point as described below.] The track then rises more gently to pass through a gate near the flat site of a former house ('HOUSE') which was demolished in about 2004. Continue gently uphill northward (to '23') onto the laterite plateau and through an area being revegetated within Bungendore Park. Then turn right (east) through the jarrah forest and at 'FIRES1' pass a firetrack on the right and continue east on a track along the Park boundary to '25'.  Then turn right on a track which enters an old gravel pit. (This is at about  the halfway point on the walk.) Veer SE to cross the gravel pit and re-enter the forest off-track.  Pass through a section of bracken ferns and then into wandoo woodland and grass trees close to a ridge. At '26' veer south down the ridge (and take care not to trip on loose wires along an old fenceline crossed at 'WIRE'). Further down the ridge (and still off-track) the forest gives way to open grazing land, with a view up the valley to Wungong Dam, 1 km to the SE.  (About 0.5 km across the valley from this point is the site of the  homestead of the pioneering Butcher family which was built in the 1860s - only the  foundations remain.)  At '27' meet a track and follow it downhill less than 100m, then take a right turn at '28' to get back onto the main track through the valley. [Alternatively after '27', if you have left a second car at the 'CARPARK' near the Wungong Lower Dam picnic area, you turn left to follow the track to a gate at  'RD' and then descend steeply off-track to the right to soon reach the carpark. This results in a total walk distance of only about 10 kms.]

Follow the track via '29' and '30' along the north side of the Brook for about 1 km back to waypt '19'.  Then turn left down the short steep track to cross a shallow ford across the Brook at 'CSG2'.  Walk up the south bank, partly off-track, to '32' and then turn right (west) and soon follow a vehicle track, veering NW from about 'RD1'.  On reaching '34', veer northward off-track and initially quite steeply downhill to '35'. [Alternatively at '34' , if you prefer to bypass about 1.4 kms of off-track walking between '34' and '43', you have an easy, but much less rewarding option of continuing along the vehicle track. The track soon bends sharply southward and climbs gently uphill for about 300m before switching back WNW-ward to a 4-way junction at 'JCN-1'. For the shortest - but least interesting option -  take the southward track which soon veers due west and continues via 'TRN2' and 'XRD' to '43'. For another option, take the northward track from 'JCN1' which leads you gently downhill to 'JCN2., then zigzags southward up to the hilltop before heading westward for about 350m. Turn left at '41' and follow an old track which heads due south. Turn right  at 'XRD' after 400m to follow another vehicle track west along a boundary fence to reach '43'.]

From '35', pick a way along slope through a short section of denser understorey and abundant grass trees to reach a rock outcrop at 'ROK1'. Climb the outcrop SW-ward to '37', then veer due west to follow an animal trail through scratchy shrubland and  cross a track. After another short section of shrubland, reach the beginning of a more steeply sloping open area of outcrop on the south side of the Gorge. There are excellent views across and along the Gorge from about this point.  At '38' veer left (SW) to climb the rocky slope and soon reach a broad area of heathlands and very open forest around the edge of a southern plateau. Walk westward mainly along slope via '39' and '40', across outcrops, and on animal tracks through the heath, to meet a vehicle track at about '41'.  The track soon branches left, but continue straight ahead downhill to '42', and then SW until the track reaches a stream gully at '42A'.  Cross the gully to continue SW off-track, initially picking a way through  low shrubland to enter relatively open forest after about '42B'. Reach an east-west vehicle track and follow it SW to cross another stream gully (at '43'). Continue westward on the track via '44', to get some good views north and NE across the Gorge. On reaching 'CNR2', follow a track which runs initially northward and downhill along the east side of a fence. The track soon veers NE to '46'. [Alternatively at '44' , if you don't mind bypassing some good views, you can cross an old barbwire-topped fence on the north side of the vehicle track and head downhill almost due west to reach the other track at '66' more directly after only 75m, cutting about 250m off the walk distance.] From '46' the track follows a gully steeply downhill, then after crossing the stream course it climbs to cross a spur ridge with excellent views eastward back along the Gorge. It then descends again, initially very steeply, becoming deeply rutted and rocky, before reaching the banks of Wungong Brook. Continue north on a short foot-track to cross the Brook and reach the main vehicle track again on the northern side (after '47'). Follow the main track NW for about 200m (via '48') and then continue off-track and NW through the open forest and back across the open grassed area to get back to the Start point.

 

 Waypoint listing

 

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!

Also see WalkGPS Maps, Waypoints & Tracks page for downloadable MAP files, plus GPX and Google Earth (KMZ) files. Also see explanatory notes on file formats and how to upload to your unit.

If you require another format you will need to convert the downloaded file using GPS Visualiser (online) or freeware such as GPSBabel.

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 : Geocentric Datum Australia 1994       Zone :  50

Waypt name        Easting         Northing         Comments

START       407222   6438165   Corner of South Western Hwy & Rails Crescent.

1           407624   6437833

2           407996   6437909   Meet N-S track.

3           408195   6438092   Meet another vehicle track.

4           408238   6438355

SMLCRN      408265   6438355   Very small cairn of laterite boulders near Lands & Survey marker.

5           408474   6438333   Meet track along Bungendore Park fence.

6           408482   6438231   Entry gate into SW area of Bungendore Park.

7           408715   6438084

CAMPVU      408740   6437970

9           408554   6437995

10          408512   6438046

11          408436   6437953

12          408381   6438003

13          408317   6437961   Meet vehicle track.

14          408009   6437597   Track crosses stream gully.

15          408005   6437411   Track meets main track through Gorge.

INTRN2      408438   6437042   Main Gorge track crosses Brook.

17          408910   6437273   Gorge track crosses to north side of Brook.

18          409684   6437119

19          409891   6436829   Meet side tracks. (Option here to go direct to 'CSG2')

20          409934   6437316

HOUSE       410103   6437538   Clearing. Site of former house.

23          410067   6437951

FIRES1      410199   6437963

25          410508   6437966   Entrance to old gravel pit.

26          410812   6437665

WIRE        410805   6437602   Cross old fenceline (watch out for loose wires!)

27          410754   6437292   Meet track. Option here to go NE to 'CARPARK'.

28          410792   6437216   On main track through Wungong Gorge/valley.

29          410369   6437269

30          410031   6437036

19          409887   6436825

CSG2        409946   6436761   Shallow ford across Wungong Brook.

32          409886   6436668

RD1         409668   6436656   On vehicle track.

34          409610   6436758   On vehicle track.

35          409645   6436882

ROK1        409581   6437017   Rocky outcrop.

37          409516   6436985

38          409321   6436988

39          409219   6436861

40          409108   6436876

41          408872   6436805   Meet vehicle track.

42          408680   6436777   Track branches.

42A         408612   6436621   At sharp bend in old dirt road, at stream course.

42B         408633   6436549

43          408515   6436388   Track crosses stream gully.

44          408159   6436406   On vehicle track.

CNR2        408002   6436307   Track branches.

46          408083   6436423

47          408009   6437386   On foot-track across Wungong Brook.

48          407903   6437538   On main vehicle track.

END         407216   6438168   Back at Start point. 

Additional waypoints on map :

ENTRY       407280   6437790   Main entry gate to Wungong Gorge vehicle track.

ENTRY2      410798   6438885   Eastern entry gate to Bungendore Park.

FIRES2      409021   6438067   On W-E track through southern Bungendore Park.

23A         409752   6438778   Intersection of tracks in Bungendore Park.

QRY         408334   6437252   Site of old granite quarry at Gorge entry.

ALTCSG      409085   6437249   Poss. additional off-track Brook crossing point.

CSG         410419   6437250   Additional Brook crossing point near east end.

RD          411072   6437503   Gate across main vehicle track near east end.

CARPARK     411214   6437539   Carpark on west side of Admiral road.

DAMPARK     411622   6436729   Carpark near Wungong Dam.

CNR         410831   6436487   Intersection of vehicle tracks/road in SE.

GATE        410411   6436183   Gate across track into private property.

TRN2        409444   6436431   Point on W-E vehicle track in south.

JCN1        409525   6436555   4-way junction of old vehicle tracks.

JCN2        409443   6436932   Y-junction of old vehicle tracks.

XRD         408858   6436420   Intersection of vehicle tracks in south.

 

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This page was last updated  :   15 June, 2013

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