Darling Scarp Walk (Walk #3d)

(Lesmurdie - Kalamunda)

 

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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 through forest, Darling Scarp, Jan. 2004.

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 :

18 kms east of Perth. 

Length :

12.5 field kms (all on-track).

or many possible short walk alternatives.

Degree of difficulty :

EASY to MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 490m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred :

NO. GPS is certainly not required for navigation here but waypoints are provided in case you are new to GPS and would like to test your GPS navigation skills, or if you just want to remove any uncertainty at track junctions. 

Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

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

Via Orrong Road or Shepperton Rd, then Welshpool Rd, then 1.5 kms past Tonkin Hwy intersection turn left into Lewis Rd. Follow Lewis Rd to end and parking area at start of Whistlepipe Gully Trail.

Access options : This section of the Darling Scarp between Welshpool Rd in the south and Kalamunda Rd in the north is very accessible from either the foot of the Scarp to the west (Wattle Grove / Forrestfield) or from the top of the Scarp (via Lesmurdie or Kalamunda) in the east.  A few of the options for alternative access to the trails in this area include:

i) in the north, via the carpark past the end of West Terrace Road

ii) in the south, via carpark and picnic area (plus toilets) at end of Palm Terrace (off Lewis Rd),  which gives access to the lower Lesmurdie Falls trails;

iii) via Lesmurdie and Falls Road:  carpark and picnic area (plus toilets) at Lesmurdie Falls off Falls Rd;

iv) various other entry points from the  top of the Scarp including Connor Road and Ozone Terrace.

Escape route/s :

Via various tracks either west down the Scarp or east up the Scarp.

Main features

/Highlights:

Walking in this area close to Perth is an enjoyable and scenic introduction to the heathlands and forests along the western edge of the Darling Range.

Suburbia intrudes on the Darling Scarp from both west and east in this area, but a reasonably protected and unbroken strip about 1 km wide covers the mainly steep and rugged slopes of the Scarp and extends N-S for about 4 kms between Welshpool Road in the south and Kalamunda Road in the north. This strip, which lies within the 538 ha Mundy Regional Park (named in 2008; previously 'Kalamunda Regional Park'), contains extensive areas of relatively undisturbed low heathland and patches of mixed forest (including marri and wandoo), plus flowing streams, and noteably, in the south the small Lesmurdie Falls National Park (56 hectares), which includes Lesmurdie Falls. In winter to spring the Falls usually cascade impressively over two main drops totalling about 50 metres. The short (2 km) Lesmurdie Falls Walk Trail, which is incorporated into this route, was selected by DSR and DEC in late 2008 as one of about 30 bushwalking trails in WA that are to be promoted as TrailsWA "Top Trails"

Walkers are often intrigued by the old house ruins below a large granite outcrop in Whistlepipe Gully. The imaginative Japanese-influenced house was built in the 1960's and actually straddled the stream course. It used the granite rock faces partly as walls and sourced its own electric power from the stream flow using a 'Pelton' wheel. (See link below for more details on the fascinating history behind the ruins.)

Spring is always an excellent time for walking the Scarp because of the prolific heathland wildflowers.  The Scarp also provides wide panoramas of the coast and Perth city. Despite the proximity to suburbia and the city views you will still be able to find some sense of 'wilderness'  even here.

Existing trails: There is a fairly extensive network of tracks/trails along this section of the Scarp.  Most of these are shown in red on the map. The Shire of Kalamunda has established from these a number of marked walking trails, most of which are short walks of around 4-6 kms.

Suggested walk: There are endless options for varying and combining the existing trails into longer or shorter walks.  -The route suggested below is one combination that achieves not only a day-walk of reasonable length but also some variety of terrain and scenery (including Whistlepipe Gully and Lesmurdie Falls) while not 'over-doing' the amount of steep uphill walking and also minimising on-road walking (about 13% or 1.6 kms of the route is on sealed roads). The route also offers the option to easily shorten the walk at a couple of points if the distance and hill work does prove too challenging on the day! 

Shorter walk options: The Palm Terrace, Whistlepipe Gully, Lewis Road and West Terrace Walks were included in the ERMC booklet referred to below are all part of the  trails shown on the map here.

Also see Top Trails WA for Lesmurdie Falls Walk Trail.

For another walk along the Darling Scarp also see Lions Lookout-Bickley Reservoir Walk (Walk # 3c on this site)

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:  Mundaring 1:50,000  (CALM, 1990)

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

or 1:25,000 sheets:  Mundaring  2134-III, SW, 1983, plus Kelmscott  2133-IV, NW, 1981 (Dept. of Lands & Survey; Series R811) -available on DVD

Other background references :

"Darling Scarp Field Excursion...", in Nov. 2006 Newsletter (pp.4-10) of Friends of the E de C. Clarke Earth Science Museum. -This provides an excellent summary of the geological origin of the Scarp.

"Mythic Houses: Some Western Australian examples" Duncan Richards, 2006. -This includes, on pages 5-6, the fascinating details and history of the Whistlepipe Gully house ruins (also see cover pictures of the original house).

"Swan Valley and Perth Hills Trails Discovery Guide", Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council ('EMRC'). 2005. - This is an excellent booklet summarising 41 mainly short on-track walks in Shires of Kalamunda and Mundaring and City of Swan. It has been withdrawn from public sale but a copy can be viewed at the State Library of WA (book Call Ref. # 919.411 SWA).

The booklet includes maps and notes for four walks in the Darling Scarp area covered by this walk. 

Sections of the  following walks in the ERMC Guide are included within the route described here (but in the reverse direction in part):

Whistlepipe Gully Walk (pp.16-17),  

West Terrace Walk (p.16 & 18),

Palm Terrace Walk (p.16 & 19), and

Lewis Road Walk (p.16 & 20).

The trail notes in the Guide provide additional details for many of the individual walk segments on this 'trail'. Be aware that parts of the 'established' trails in the area are not well marked (despite occasional "Shire of Kalamunda" signs) so it is wise to have  a good walk description with you.

Family Walks in Perth Outdoors, CALM, rev. edn. 2000, pp.32-34, includes a mud map and description for the Lesmurdie Falls Walktrail, a 2 km return on-track walk.

DEC's site includes a brief description of the Lesmurdie Falls National Park.

Route notes :

 

Start at the carpark at the end of Lewis Road. A gate with a "Darling Range Regional Park" sign marks the start of the Whistlepipe Gully Walk trail. Follow the wide trail eastward along the south side of the stream. Just before reaching a small concrete bridge (waypt 'BRIDGE') across the stream, turn right (at '1') onto a smaller foot-track which climbs a short way up the hillside and over a granite outcrop before returning to the stream bank. - Beneath the granite outcrop you will see the ruins of the house built in the 1960's which straddled the stream course and used the granite rock faces partly as walls (more info.).  Continue along the south bank of the stream, cross another track (the Lewis Rd Walk trail) at '2', near a second bridge, and continue along the stream through forest to another bridge at '3'.  Cross here and then return west along the north bank of the stream to meet the Lewis Rd Walk trail again at waypt '5' near the bridge.  Turn right (NW)) to follow the wide and pebbly track steeply uphill.  Ignore side tracks on the right (including at '6') and veer westward, still uphill, to meet Ozone Road (at 'ROAD').  Follow the sealed road around the hillside (near the top of the Scarp) for a total of about 1 km, getting excellent westward views to Perth and the coast, and ignoring the side road (Prospect Court) on the right. Veer NE into Panoramic Terrace (at '8') and after less than 100m turn left (at '8A') to head NW along a dirt track which meets a junction with another track after 200m (at '11').

[Alternatively at '8A',  continue on Panoramic Rd to its end (at 9'). Pass through the gate and take the track that veers initially off to the left (approx. NW) and then immediately turns sharply SW (at '10'), and then west to meet the track intersection at '11'. This is about 300m longer than going direct from '8A' to '11'].

- The section of the walk, from waypoints '11' to '19', now follows much of the West Terrace Walk trail, but in reverse direction to the purple markers. - At the track intersection at '11' take the northward track and soon descend quite steeply downhill to a T-junction with another track near the south bank of Crumpet Creek (at '12'). Take the right fork and cross the stream (at '13'), then follow the track steeply uphill to meet another T-junction (at '14').  Again take the right fork which heads initially downhill, then up the valley to re-cross the stream at a bridge (at '16'). After crossing the stream turn left to follow the south bank upstream (to '17'), then turn right (south) and climb steeply uphill (past houses on the left) until you reach the flatter, lateritic plateau surface at the top of the Scarp (at '18'). Follow the track  approx. SW around the plateau margin through forest to another T-junction (at '19'). Turn left to follow the track a short distance uphill to meet the intersection of four sealed roads (at 'ROAD2'). Ignore Prospect Court (on the right) and Yorna Rd (on the left), and head SSW for 300m on fairly flat  sealed road along Ozone Terrace, with forested park land on the left. Just before the road bends more to the right and starts downhill (off the plateau), locate a wide track on the left that heads approx. eastward. Only a few metres after leaving Ozone Terrace veer to the right (between two laterite rocks) off the wide track to locate a narrower unmarked track (at 'BLDR').  Follow it SSW. It soon descends quite steeply (take care on the pebbly, rutted surface) to meet the Lewis Rd Walk trail again (at '6'). Turn left and downhill via '23'. (The next  section of the walk, from waypoints '23' to '27', now follows part of the Lewis Road Walk trail; red markers.) The wide track crosses the bridge across Whistlepipe Gully stream. (This is close to the halfway point on the walk and a good shady spot for a rest stop and lunch.) It  then climbs back up toward the top of the Scarp on the south side of the valley (to '24'). Then follow the track approx. SW  (via '25' and 26') along the hillside with pleasant valley and Coastal Plain views through forest and across open heathland. Take a left branch of the track (at '27'). (You are now leaving the Lewis Road Walk trail and following part of the Palm Terrace Walk trail via waypoints '28' to '32', but in the opposite direction to the apricot colour markers).  The track climbs steadily to the SE (to approx. '28REV') and veers left to enter forest near the top of the Scarp (near the end of Ashurst Drive, an alternative access point). Then turn right near the wireless station and old house ruins and descend toward Lesmurdie Brook. After the track turns SW along the valley slope, take the next track branch on the left (at '29') to cross the Brook and then turn right (at '30') to follow the south bank of the Brook downstream to Lesmurdie Falls picnic area (at approx. '32'; toilets, picnic area and carpark nearby). Continue on along the Falls track to reach the viewing platform which straddles the Brook at the top of the Falls. There are good views SW down the Lesmurdie Brook valley to the Coastal Plain.  Follow the track SW along the steep south face of the valley  and at a track intersection (at '34') veer right to follow the track steeply downhill to meet a trail (at '35') along the south bank of Lesmurdie Brook.  If time and energy allows, as an addition to the walk, turn right (east) to follow this trail to near the foot of Lesmurdie Falls (worthwhile especially in winter-spring when the Falls are in full flow).  Then follow the trail west to reach a carpark (and toilets; at 'PKG3' at the end of Palm Terrace (a sealed road). - The next section of the walk from waypoints 'PKG3' to '39', now follows another part of the Palm Terrace Walk trail, again in reverse; red markers.) Follow Palm Tce for 300m and turn right (at '37') through the gate  to follow the first track on the right.  The track initially follows an old fenceline NE and then veers east and uphill before crossing a stream gully (at '38').  It then climbs northward around the hillside  to meet the Lewis Road Walk trail (at '39'; see the two Shire of Kalamunda trail marker signs at the corner). Then take the left fork (the Lewis Road trail) and follow it downhill (via '40') and veer westward to follow the track past the water tanks to meet the sealed Lewis Road (at 'ROAD3'). Finally follow the road for 300m northward to get back to the start point at the Whistlepipe Gully carpark.  (Alternatively, soon after '40' and just before the water tanks, you can take a right fork in the track - marked by a trail sign in a tree -  and follow that to meet the road closer to the carpark.)      

 

 

 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       408076  6460777  Carpark at nth.end of Lewis Rd, Whistlepipe Gully.

1           408454  6460618  Fork in track just before small concrete bridge.

2           409104  6460742  Near a bridge across Whistlepipe Gully stream.

3           409318  6460705  At south side of stream near small bridge.

4           409335  6460734  At north side of stream near small bridge.

5           409087  6460763  Near a bridge across Whistlepipe Gully stream.

6           408978  6460915  Fork in track.

ROAD        408810  6460898  Track meets Ozone Road (sealed road).

8           408576  6461298  Ozone Road meets Panoramic Terrace.

8A          408634  6461364  Track leaves Panoramic Terrace.     

11          408525  6461530  Track cross-roads.

12          408501  6462054  Track T-junction close to Crumpet Creek.

13          408639  6462037  Crossing of Crumpet Creek.

14          408761  6462189  Track T-junction.

15          409054  6462030 

16          409117  6461848  Bridge across Crumpet Creek.

17          409222  6461769  Track veers south uphill away from the creek.

18          409222  6461604  Track turns approx. SW.

19          408953  6461430  Track T-junction.

ROAD2       408999  6461363  Track meets sealed roads near intersection.

21          409066  6461363  Near rd. corner opp. the start of Ozone Terrace.

BLDR        409009  6461066  Laterite rocks near start of minor track.

6           408978  6460915  Minor track meets Lewis Road walk trail.

23          409054  6460873  On track (descending to Whistlepipe Gully).

24          409162  6460586  On track (ascending from Whistlepipe gully).

25          409053  6460412  On track (Lewis Road Walk trail).

26          408626  6460256  On track (Lewis Road Walk trail).

27          408265  6460162  Track junction between Lewis Rd and Palm Tce walks.

28REV       408627  6459909  Near end of Ashurst Drive, top of Scarp.

29          408663  6459681  Track branches left.

30          408726  6459614  On sth. side of Lesmurdie Brook near strm.crossing.

32          408571  6459504  Near Lesmurdie Falls picnic area and carpark.

FALLS       408364  6459434  Viewing platform at top of Lesmurdie Falls.

34          407996  6459181  Track junction.

35          407971  6459295  Track T-junction, near Lesmurdie Brook.

PKG3        407782  6459299  Carpark (and toilets) at end of Palm Terrace.

37          407551  6459527  Track branches NE off Palm Terrace.

38          408009  6459721  Cross stream gully.

39          408122  6460187  Track junction between Lewis Rd and Palm Tce Walks.

40          408047  6460422  On Lewis Road Walk trail.

ROAD3       407871  6460473  Track meets Lewis Rd near water tanks.

END         408076  6460777  Back at Whistlepipe Gully carpark.

Additional waypoints on map : 

9           408785  6461526  At NE end of Panorama Terrace.

10          408773  6461552  Track turns sharply.

BDGE        408471  6460622  Small concrete bridge across Whistlepipe stream.

PKG2        408569  6462708  Carpark near end of West Terrace Rd (in north).

W-TC-1      408727  6462519  On West Terrace Walk trail (in north).

L-RD-1      408123  6460972  On Lewis Rd Walk trail.

P-TC-1      407543  6459248  On Palm Terrace Walk trail. Track T-junction.

P-TC-2      407568  6459121  On Palm Terrace Walk trail. Near Honey Rd.

P-TC-3      407824  6459130  On Palm Terrace Walk trail.

P-TC-4      407925  6458953  On Palm Terrace Walk trail.

P-TC-5      408264  6458625  On Palm Terrace Walk trail.

P-TC-6      408516  6458706  On Palm Terrace Walk trail.

ENDRD       408353  6459199  Palm Terrace Walk trail meets SW end of Falls Rd.

 

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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.