Christmas Tree Well Walk (Walk #20)

 

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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.

On 'The Anthill', Sept. 2009.

Click on photo for larger version.

More photos.

        3D map view

 

  

  Google Map

Using this 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 :

64 kms SE of Perth, along Brookton Hwy to Christmas Tree Well picnic area entry road on left (about 700m after Dale Pine Plantation and before Yarra Road).  

Length :

12.5 field kms (99% off-track).

Degree of difficulty :

EASY - MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 175m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred :

PREFERABLE (to help locate subtle turning points and features).

Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

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

Follow the entry road to Christmas Tree Well picnic area about 500m off Brookton Highway (signposted on Brookton Highway). Park at the picnic area carpark.

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 "Mundaring Weir Catchment Area Drinking Water Source Protection Plan" of 2007.

Escape route/s :

To Brookton Highway and/or Dale West Road (dirt road) in south, and/or via Yarra Road (dirt road) which runs north-south. 

Main features

/Highlights:

This walk is a relatively short and  easy ramble mostly through picturesque, open wandoo woodlands, with some shorter sections of jarrah forest. Seventy percent of the route (the area east of Yarra Road) lies within one of the very scarce areas of remnant old growth forest. At present that area is still part of the State Forest and is not included in the nearby Wandoo National Park. It will hopefully be protected into the future by the proposed 3360 ha 'Russell Conservation Park' as flagged under the current draft Forest Management Plan 2013-2023.   Bauxite mining expansion plans to the SE remain a future threat. (Also see WalkGPS video).

Christmas Tree Well near the picnic area at the Start point was one of the old watering holes used during the early days of stage coach travel.

The route is over reasonably gentle terrain, with only a few modest slopes around the low, laterite-topped, forested  hills.  Expect a few short sections of low scratchy heath.

For a longer walk, with some good views and more variety in terrain, this walk can be combined with the eastern portion of the Running Brook Walk.

Meney & Brown, 1985 have previously noted of this walk area that "the character and form of the widely spaced virgin wandoo creates a most unique bush atmosphere which is a delight to any bushwalker". There are only limited forest views from the low hillsides, but the beauty of the woodlands combined with the prolific wildflowers in late winter to spring more than compensates for the limited variety in  the terrain. M.&B. also noted that this area lies within "the largest remaining woodland of uncut wandoo in the south west, and is therefore of immense conservation value."  

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 & Beraking 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2133-4 & 2133-1;

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

Other background references :

"Forests on Foot (40 walks in W.A.)" by Meney & Brown, 1985, pp.93-95 (Wescolour Press, Fremantle).  Includes a 9 km walk which follows a partly similar route to this walk, plus good descriptions of the vegetation.  Can be viewed at State Library of WA (book Call Ref. # 919.412 MEN).

"Draft Forest Management Plan 2013-2023" by Conservation Commission of W.A. - p.194 and Map 4 of the Plan identify the area of old growth forest and proposed Russell Conservation Park (Reserve proposal ID#33).

"Worsley Bauxite mining expansion Environmental Review and Management Programme (ERMP)" by Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd, May 2005.  Released May 2005 by the EPA.  Public submissions closed August 2005 and W.A.'s EPA gave final environmental approval of the expansion plan in February 2008. The mining area expansion within the extensive existing lease is likely to eventually impact on the SE portion of this walk area. (Worsley is 86% owned by BHP Billiton).- For information on the future impact on walk areas see WalkGPS submission to EPA (5MB pdf). See also Related access issues on WalkGPS. 

Route notes :

 

Head north from the Start point for about 150m on a sandy track to waypt '1', then veer NE off-track though light forest and low heath, soon climbing gently uphill to reach a small granite tor at 'SMLRK' after about 500m.  Continue NE across very gentle terrain and through mainly jarrah forest and descend gradually to cross a broad, open valley floor to reach Yarra Road (at '3') after 1.3 kms.  Then head approx. east for about 250m to reach a small, low granite outcrop (at 'RK2').  Veer approx. SE around the hillside for about 300m (via waypoints '5' and'6') and then head approx. east and gently downhill for almost 1 km, entering wandoo woodlands before reaching the broad, open valley floor. At '7' veer NE along the valley floor and cross a small stream course (at '8') after about 250m, then head north down the valley for another 250m (to '9').  Then veer NNE to head uphill to reach (after about 300m) more open wandoo woodlands on a ridge. Continue NNE to cross a small saddle and reach a small but prominent dome-shaped hill ('ANTHIL'), which  is almost unvegetated except for a few tall powderbark trees (M.& B. 1985 aptly noted that this hill resembles a "giant anthill").  Descend the 'anthill' in a ESE direction and in less than 200m reach another a small hill top, this time with a local capping of laterite rock (at '11').  From here head approx. SSE  for about 800m, initially crossing a broad gentle saddle through open woodland and then ascending gradually, partly through young, thin dryandra to cross the flanks of a laterite plateau to the laterite breakaway at the SW edge (at '12').  Head a short distance (100m) along the edge of the plateau to '13' where the scattered fallen logs and limited views SW across the valley make this a pleasant place for a rest stop, close to the halfway point on the walk.  Then descend approx. SW down the slope below the breakaway for about 100m (to '14') and then veer SE along slope and through open forest for about 300m (to '15'). Then head due south for approx. 1.6 kms, initially descending to the very open stream valley floor, then climbing slowly through open woodland (via '16') back toward the more rocky slopes below the eastern laterite plateau,   crossing small granite outcrops, including a small promontory at 'RK4' and finally descending through mixed forest and shrubland to reach a small,  low granite outcrop surrounded by sheoaks.  Then head a short distance (approx. 50m) SW to cross a stream course (at '19') and then veer approx. NW, through open woodland to cross (after 500m) another stream where it runs across granite bedrock (at 'RKYCSG').  Continue approx. NW, now uphill (on the SE flank of the 'main hill' in the area), to reach a small rocky outcrop (at '21').  Then veer approx. westward for about 1 km to follow the slope through mixed forest  (via '22' and '23'). At '23' head NW and soon begin descending gradually to reach the very open valley floor after 500m (at approx. '24').  Then head WNW to re-cross Yarra Road  after 400m. Continue WNW another 400m (to '26') climbing gently back into mixed forest.  Then veer approx. WSW and follow the gentle slope of the hillside for about 750m (to '27'), then a further 250m westward to '28'. Then veer SW to soon meet (at '29') the short track back to the Start point at the picnic area.

 

 

 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 : Australian Geodetic 1966       Zone :  50

Waypt name         Easting      Northing        Comments

START       445449  6433949   Carpark at Christmas Tree Well picnic area.

1           445422  6434088   Leave dirt track just north of picnic area.

SMLRK       445772  6434383   Small granite tor.

3           446887  6435086   Cross Yarra Road.

RK2         447164  6435122   Small low granite outcrop.

5           447255  6434993   In mixed wandoo-jarrah forest.

6           447399  6434948   In mixed wandoo-jarrah forest.

7           448301  6434896   Valley floor (abundant everlastings in spring).

8           448421  6435088   Cross small stream course (dry in summer-autumn).

9           448379  6435325   On lower valley slope.

ANTHIL      448574  6435858   On small rounded hill (like giant "anthill").

11          448735  6435804   Another small partly laterite-capped hill top.

12          448906  6434992   At edge of plateau, Near laterite breakaway.

13          448995  6434951   At top of laterite breakaway.

14          448954  6434865   On SW-sloping hillside.

15          449176  6434652   On SW-sloping hillside. 

16          449165  6433639   In open wandoo forest on west-sloping hillside.

RK4         449178  6433341   Small granite promontory on hillside.

RK          449228  6433104   Small low granite outcrop surrounded by sheoaks.

19          449194  6433054   Small stream crossing (dry in summer-autumn).

RKYCSG      448759  6433281   Stream crossing (stream cuts into bedrock).

21          448547  6433462   Small granite outcrop in wandoo woodland. 

22          448081  6433396   In forest on south flank of main hill.

23          447623  6433577   In forest on SW flank of main hill. 

24          447256  6433971   Near edge of very open, flat valley floor.

25          446883  6434085   Re-cross Yarra Road.

26          446510  6434267   In light forest.

27          445762  6434097   In light forest.

28          445497  6434127   In light forest. 

29          445442  6434088   Meet dirt track just north of picnic area.

END         445457  6433940   Back at Start point. 

Additional Waypoints on map : 

ENTRD       445918  6433718   Picnic area access road leaves Brookton Hwy.   

CNR         445886  6433794   At west bend in picnic area access road.

30          451809  6432836   Dirt road east of walk area meets Dale West Rd.

35          450563  6435229   On dirt road about 1.5kms east of walk area.

 

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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.