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1) Walk map - Shows route and waypoint locations
3) 3D map view
7) Waypoint listing and grid references
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Sixty Foot Falls in Ellis Brook Valley, Oct. 2003.
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
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20 kms ESE of Perth.
12-15 field kms (10% off-track), depending on options taken.
or 7-8 km alternative (if an extra car can be left at Ellis Brook Reserve car park at the end of Rushton Road in the south to enable car shuffle back to the Start point.
or 16.5-19.5 km alternative if Victoria Reservoir option is taken.
|Degree of difficulty :||
MEDIUM (What does this mean?) (Note: This route was originally mainly 'EASY' but many sections have become quite overgrown in recent years. By 2008 the walk had become a little more challenging.)
|Amount of uphill walking :||480m
(or 560m if Victoria Reservoir option is taken)
PREFERABLE (to help locate subtle turning points and to follow a few overgrown tracks).
See Google Map for start point on road map.
(Use zoom ladder for detail. Select 'Hybrid' to add satellite imagery.)
Orrong Road or Albany Hwy to Welshpool Road, then right onto Tonkin Hwy, left into Kelvin Road (about 3.8 kms down Tonkin Hwy), right into White Street, and left into Hardinge Road. Follow Hardinge Road to Hardinge Park on the left and park in the parking area (picnic area, public toilets and barbecues nearby).
|Escape route/s :||
Toward Hardinge Road in the north or Ellis Brook Valley carpark (and Rushton Road) in SSW.
Alternatively, in south, for easiest escape to nearest sealed road to SSE follow 1.75km long 4WD track which leaves powerline track less than 50m south of waypt '27' and heads initially mainly due south, then curves east to meet corner of Douglas and Versteeg Grove Rds (sealed) and nearby private residences. A short (300m) connector track from the powerline track to that 4WD track also meets the powerline track about 300m north of waypt '26' (and 300m south of waypt '27'). Alternatively from waypt '27' follow powerline track 2.7km SW to meet Mills Rd East (sealed).
This walk area is mainly within the Banyowla Regional Park (named 2008; formerly a part of 'Darling Range Regional Park') and starts in the north at Hardinge Park adjacent to Bickley Brook Reservoir. The first half of the route is the most interesting and varied. It follows the edge of the Darling Scarp (the western edge of the Darling Range) and crosses/skirts a few of the small valleys where the Scarp has been incised by streams. It also passes close by the large (and unfortunately still-expanding) Boral Quarry pit in the north. There are some excellent views across the Swan Coastal Plain and to Perth city, 18 kms WNW. The highlight at the halfway point is the impressive 60 Foot Falls in Ellis Brook Valley Reserve in the south. The vegetation varies from jarrah-marri forest to heathlands and some wandoo forest. The second half of the walk is across mainly gentle terrain, aside from the final steeper descent to Bickley Brook Reservoir.
As an alternative shorter walk (7-8km) the second half of the walk can be omitted if preferred by doing an initial car shuffle to leave an extra car at the Ellis Brook Reserve car park at the end of Rushton Road in the south. See Google Map.)
Caution: The walk is mainly on existing tracks but in recent years (by 2008) these have become increasingly overgrown in several places (e.g. between waypoints '20' and '21' near Ellis Brook in the south, and especially between '13' and '14' where an old disused vehicle track is now almost entirely concealed beneath dense new growth shrubland of Hakea undulata/Wavy-leaved hakea which has developed since a fire several years ago. Fortunately the toughest section between '13' and '14' can be easily bypassed if preferred (either via '12ALT1' etc, or '13ALT1' etc. See Route notes).
Alternative longer walk (16.5-19.5km): the last stage of the walk can be extended with a visit to the Victoria Reservoir (and Old and New Victoria Dams) which provides another scenic highlight and some historic interest. -See also Victoria Reservoir-Bickley Brook Walk (Walk # 3b on this site) for photos and also for an alternative walk route in this general area. (The old Victoria Dam opened 1891 and provided Perth city's first permanent water supply. It was taken out of service and partly demolished 1990.) The extra section of the walk (all on-track and shown in blue on the map) also includes part of the Mason & Bird Heritage Trail and crosses an old wooden bridge which was on the route of a 14.5 km wooden-railed horse-drawn tramway operated between 1872 and 1882 to transport newly logged jarrah timber from Mason's Mill to the Canning River. (Mason's Mill was the first sawmill in the Darling Range, built in the early 1860's. Railway sleepers were exported from the colony to India.)
|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 routes. The final routes were 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, NW sheet (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1981; Series R811) -available on DVD.
|Other background references :||
Family Walks in Perth Outdoors, DEC/CALM, included mud maps and brief descriptions for the Sixty-foot Falls Walk, a 2 km on-track loop walk; and for the Valley to Valley Walk, an 8 km one way on-track walk from Ellis Brook to Bickley Dam.
"More Family Walks in Perth Outdoors", by DEC/CALM, included mud maps and brief descriptions for Mason & Bird Heritage Trail, an 8 km return on-track walk; and New Victoria Dam Walk', a 13 km on-track return walk.
"Kattamordo Heritage Trail", City of Mundaring site, provides a brief Trail summary and mud map extracted from Heritage Trail - Kattamordo". 1998; an excellent, out-of-print pamphlet by the Heritage Council of W.A. available at State Library W.A. (Call #994.11/MUN). The pamphlet provides an excellent 22 page overview of the interesting history along this 27 km Trail (and the Mason & Bird Heritage Trail).
City of Armadale. 1999. Heritage Country Trails - Bushwalks & Trails in Perth's "Heritage Country", City of Armadale, Armadale, WA. (ISBN 0-646-38397-3). This out-of-print booklet included brief descriptions of a few walks in the Ellis Brook-Bickley Brook area which partly overlap with this walk. Be aware that the "Ellis Brook Valley Trail" has not been maintained in the north an is now much more poorly marked in than this old booklet might imply.
Trivia: The trail name Kattamordo replaced the Heritage Council of W.A.'s early, incorrect spelling of the trail name as 'Kattamorda' which is still often used and is on trail signage.
Route notes :
Start from the Hardinge Park parking area and cross Hardinge Road to the start of two tracks. Follow the old vehicle track that initially swings to the left and then uphill southward to waypt '2'. Then continue steadily uphill and SSW on the track to '3', obtaining good views WNW to Perth city. Then veer sharp left (ESE) and more steeply uphill to '4', passing close to the northern edge of the Boral Quarry (which can be best viewed from a vantage point down a short sidetrack about 200m after '3', but keep well back from the sheer drop!). Continue ESE as the track climbs more gently to a ridge. Turn right at waypt 'TRN' to follow an old and largely overgrown track SSW for 150m through the jarrah forest and dryandra bushes. Cross another old vehicle/dozer track at 'AHD' and continue straight ahead (SW) and quite steeply downhill on a narrow foot-track. Turn left (SSE) at '5' (ensuring that you don't proceed to the edge of the quarry ahead!) and continue downhill through heathland. Cross a small stream and follow the track uphill to about '6'. At about this point the track disappears, but continue uphill SSW through forest, via '7', to reach a laterite plateau at '8'. Veer SE across the fairly flat pebbly/rocky surface (picking a way through patches of 'Prickly Moses' which has thickened following a fire) to cross an E-W vehicle track at '9'. Veer south, cross another track after about 250m, then begin descending from the plateau to soon reach an overgrown vehicle track at '10'. From here there are good views south along the Scarp to Ellis Brook Valley and across part of the route ahead. Turn left to follow the track ESE, crossing a broad stream gully at '11'.
[New 0ption (in blue on original map): Click here for NEW map for this recommended option. At waypoint '11', you may opt to bypass a section ahead between waypoints '13' and '14' which has become very overgrown by 2008. - Instead of continuing along the track to '12', take the sidetrack which heads initially down the gully from near '11'. The track then becomes partly overgrown with heath and harder to follow as it descends a small spur ridge via '12ALT1' to cross a stream at '12ALT2'. It then opens up and ascends to a ridge, merging with other vehicle tracks via junctions at '12ALT3' and '12ALT4'. Follow the vehicle track which descends SW-ward from the ridge. After about 400m, pass on the left a cyclone fence which surrounds the abandoned Barrington Quarry. The vehicle track soon after rejoins the main walk route at '12ALT5', below the old quarried areas, between waypoints '22' and '23'. Then, after reaching the top of Ellis Brook Falls at '25', bypass '26' and '27' by following '21', '20', '19' direct to '18'. Then continue on the original route described below via '28' etc. This is a good option that will result in a total revised walk length of 12 kms versus the original 15 kms. If you include the optional longer route extension via Victoria Reservoir the total walk length is 16.5 kms . ]
If you do opt to stay on the original route after '11', continue around the hillside on the old overgrown track via '12'. At '13' (near a small outcrop to the left of the track) turn right (SSE) toward '13A' and locate (if still possible!) a very indistinct old vehicle track which has become increasingly concealed beneath quite dense Wavy-leaved hakea shrubs. You may in places find kangaroo tracks to follow along the old vehicle track, but be prepared for slow progress for 150-200m.
[Further Option (in blue on map): If at '13' you decide you would prefer to bypass this overgrown section after all, you can continue eastward on the original track which climbs initially steeply uphill and crosses a ridge. The track almost merges with a good vehicle track at '13ALT1'. Follow that good track southward to rejoin the main walk route again via 'LVRD' and '16 etc.]
If you decide to persist with the original route via '13A': The track crosses a broad stretch of heathland (spectacular during spring flowering) and a stream gully, before climbing for about 150m through further quite dense shrubland to reach a clearing at '14'. Veer right (SSW) through the clearing and continue on an old overgrown track that veers left (approx. SE) after about 100m. Follow the track (or kangaroo tracks) through thick shrubland for a further 130m to reach a good vehicle track at '16'. Turn right and follow the track SSW via '17' to reach a sidetrack (an old vehicle track) on the right at '18' about 130m after crossing a stream. (Note: The track entry at '18' is now partly concealed by large Calothamnus bushes and very easy to miss.) This sidetrack initially climbs gently WSW and then crosses a forested laterite plateau via '19' and '20' before descending toward Ellis Brook Valley. The track narrows to a foot-track and is closely encroached by thick Calothamnus and Hakea shrubs spreading from both sides. About 250m past '20' the track crosses a small granite plateau surrounded by heath and until about 2007 marked by a rock cairn. Sadly the (possibly historic) cairn has since been demolished by vandals. Detour about 80m to the right through the heath to obtain good westward views of the Swan Coastal Plain. Continue to '21' and take the right hand (north) branch in the track which continues downhill as a well maintained foot-track to reach the abandoned Barrington Quarry at about '22'. (This quarry was opened in the 1950's and was closed in 1963. It was then used for some time as a popular swimming hole known as "the rockies", but is now fenced off for safety reasons.) After crossing the old quarry site the track veers SW and provides excellent views up Ellis Brook Valley to the 60 Foot Falls. It then descends to cross Ellis Brook close to the Reserve car park ('CARPK'). After crossing the Brook via the footbridge, turn left (SW) to follow the track up the valley via '23' and '24', stopping to take in the valley and coastal plain views from a lookout platform near '24'. The track then crosses the stream and granite outcrop just above the 60 Foot Falls, providing more great views. At waypt '25' take the right hand branch in the track which heads approx. SE in forest along the northern side of the Brook. In places this track follows an old vehicle track, but partly overgrown foot-tracks provide useable short-cuts for a few short sections where the vehicle track takes longer detours. After almost 1 km from '25', the track crosses the brook (in wandoo forest) and soon reaches a T-junction at '26' Turn left to follow a vehicle track NNE approx. along the Muja-Kwinana powerline and pylon route. The track crosses a stream and climbs uphill for about 300m to reach '27'. Veer onto the vehicle track to the left and follow it NNW for about 1 km via '28' to reach '29'. (Note that about 500m of this section of the route overlaps directly with the section walked previously in the other direction between waypoints '16' to '18'.) Continue on the track as it veers NE. At 'LVRD', head approx. east for about 100m, mainly off-track but partly following an indistinct old track. At '29A' veer NNE and after about 200m reach a sizeable man-made 'POND' (for fire-fighting water) containing a small stand of paperbark trees. Turn left (NW) onto the sandy vehicle track on the far side of the pond. Reach '30' after about 250m, then continue north on the track for almost 1km, rising onto a laterite plateau before reaching at '31' at a vehicle track junction. [Option (in blue on map): Instead of continuing to '31' you can at '31ALT1' opt to connect (via '31ALT2') to a good foot-track which heads NW-ward to meet the main walk route at 'AHD'.]
At '31' you also have the option of either a short remaining walk (2.5 kms) back to the Start point, or the longer alternative route via Victoria Reservoir (which adds about 4 kms to the total walk length), as follows:
For 15 km walk route (in red on map): Take the left (NW) branch of the track and follow it across the forested plateau via '32'. At '33' take the right fork in the track and descend gently NW to '34'. The track descends more steeply after '34' giving good views across Bickley Valley. Follow it downhill and take short-cuts via foot-tracks at 'TRK' and 'TRK2' and continue NW down the ridge via '35', '36', '39'. Turn left at '40' to follow the foot-track close to Hardinge Road. When the track descends to a small stream, cross the Road to reach '42' and walk west up the road to soon reach the start of a concrete path to follow around the edge of Bickley Reservoir to end the walk back at the Start point at the car park.
Optional longer route (in blue on map): This is all easy on-track walking. Take the right-hand track which heads approx. NE (to 'V1') as a foot-track (actually an old overgrown vehicle track) and then soon starts descending a fairly steep hillside via a few quite well benched zigzags, partly through wandoo woodland. After reaching a stream gully (at 'V2') the track initially climbs eastward and then soon descends NE around a hillside to meet the Victoria Reservoir Trail (at 'V3'; There is an old 'Information' building at this point.) Turn right to follow the Trail SE along the west side of Munday Brook valley to reach the Old Victoria Dam wall (also toilets in nearby picnic area). The interesting history of the Old Dam is given on the information panels on the Dam wall. Then head up the nearby bitumen access road (via 'V4'). to reach the top of the new Victoria Dam wall (at 'V5'). Climb the nearby wooden steps to the lookout platform above the eastern end of the dam to get good views across the Dams and Reservoir. Then retrace the route back to 'V3' and continue on a gravel road approx. NW down Munday Brook valley to meet Masons Heritage Trail at 'V6'. Cross the nearby restored tramway bridge across Munday Brook. -This was originally built using convict and 'ticket-of-leave' labour in 1871-72 and is believed to be the oldest surviving all-timber bridge in Australia. West of the bridge the road is now gravelled. At approx. 'V7' look for the rock marker in bushes on the left to follow a short diversion of the old tramway around a side gully and avoid a section of the gravelled road. At approx. 'V9' the old tramway meets the east end of Hardinge Road. Follow the foot-track along the south side of Hardinge Road. When the track descends to a small stream, cross the Road to reach '42' and walk west up the road to soon reach the start of a concrete path to follow around the edge of Bickley Reservoir to end the walk back at the Start point at the car park.
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 : Geocentric Datum Australia 1994 Zone : 50
Waypt name Easting Northing Comments
START 408840 6455897 Carpark at Hardinge Park.
2 408867 6455668
3 408548 6455114
4 409013 6454966
TRN 409257 6454862
AHD 409226 6454722
5 409150 6454679
6 409202 6454433
7 409287 6454307
8 409203 6454154
9 409288 6454036
10 409281 6453680
11 409501 6453614
12 409764 6453455
13 410026 6453542 Start of very overgrown section of old track.
13A 410085 6453433 Old vehicle track concealed by shrubs.
14 410290 6453036
15 410264 6452942
16 410375 6452867
17 410435 6452605
18 410495 6452351 Track entry (partly concealed by bushes)off W-side of N-S road.
19 410158 6452212
20 409937 6452203
21 409457 6451969
22 409404 6452375 Barrington Quarry.
CARPK 409051 6452175 Carpark at end of Rushton Road, Ellis Brook.
23 409212 6452060
24 409263 6451815
25 409466 6451885
26 410347 6451333 Track meets Muja-Kwinana powerline route.
27 410573 6451851
28 410452 6452571
29 410342 6452731
LVRD 410551 6453114
29A 410652 6453123
POND 410748 6453335 Man-made pond.
30 410583 6453521
31 410520 6454394
32 410427 6454495
33 409953 6454635
34 409639 6455005
TRK 409567 6455199
TRK2 409497 6455346
35 409358 6455426
36 409349 6455562
39 409315 6455578
40 409213 6455798
42 409078 6455754
END 408849 6455906 Carpark at Hardinge Park.
Additional waypoints on map :
12ALT1 409553 6453352 On indistinct overgrown old vehicle track.
12ALT2 409419 6453181 On old track, close to stream.
12ALT3 409513 6452869 Old vehicle track T-junction.
12ALT4 409598 6452768 Track junction.
12ALT5 409135 6452247 Vehicle track T-junction.
13ALT1 410499 6453513 On good vehicle track.
13ALT2 410559 6453242 On good vehicle track.
31ALT1 410583 6453742 On good vehicle track.
31ALT2 410362 6454045 Cross west-east vehicle track.
31ALT3 410031 6454288 On good foot-track.
31ALT4 409616 6454564 On good foot-track.
V1 410680 6454598 On track, for alternative route to Victoria Resvr.
V2 411153 6454670 On track.
V3 411634 6454911 Track junction.
V4 411955 6454728 On main dam access road below New Victoria Dam.
V5 412108 6454517 At east end of New Victoria Dam.
V6 410566 6455606 Near old wooden bridge. Mason Heritage Trail.
V7 409966 6455652 Mason Heritage Trail leaves gravel road.
V8 409822 6455583 Mason Heritage Trail crosses small stream course.
V9 409348 6455833 Trail meets east end of Hardinge Road.
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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.