Piesse Brook Walk (Walk #3)
(Kalamunda National Park)
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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
|Click on map for large version.||
Rocky Pool, Piesse Brook, Aug. 2010.
Click on photo for larger version.
|Additional Satellite Imagery|
for larger frame Google Maps image
of the walk area.
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|For Google Earth users|
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on image of the walk area.
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18 kms east of Perth.
14 field kms (all on-track).
|Degree of difficulty :||
EASY - MEDIUM (What does this mean?)
|Amount of uphill walking :||
550m (cumulative ascent)
NO, but useful for locating correct track junctions.
See Google Map for start point on road map.
(Use zoom ladder for detail. Select 'Hybrid' to add satellite imagery.)
Great Eastern Hwy and Kalamunda Road (or Orrong, Welshpool, Lesmurdie and Canning Roads) to Kalamunda. At Kalamunda follow Mead Street (off Canning Road) to the roundabout at the intersection with Railway Road (this is also the start of Mundaring Weir Road. The northern terminus of the Bibbulmun Track is also on the corner). Turn left into Railway Road then first on right into Spring Road. Follow Spring Road for less than 1.5 kms to its end and park (the Start point).
Alternative access points for walks in the area include the Northern Terminus of the Bibbulmun Track or the end of Crescent Road in the SW, the end of Schipp Road (along Piesse Brook) in the south, or the end of Helena Valley Road (along Helena River) in the north (see map).
Important access issue: Walkers need to be aware that part of this walk area and many others on WalkGPS lie within drinking water catchment areas. The Middle Helena Catchment Area Land Use and Water Management Strategy released in June 2010 proposes a new reservoir protection zone ('RPZ') to protect drinking water quality of the Helena Pumpback Dam (formerly 'Pipehead Dam'). Following planned Government gazettal of this new RPZ, walking on existing trails near the Dam, including the Helena Pipehead Walk Trail, will be prohibited. This will impact on the northern portion of the walk route described on this page. (Note: The Shire of Kalamunda and the community remain opposed to the trail closures, consistent with objections raised and discussed following release of the original draft in 2003).
|Escape route/s :||
In south, via Piesse gully track to Schipp Road, or back to Spring Road start point. In north, via tracks to Helena Valley Road. In west, via tracks to Goosebery Hill residential area. In SE follow power line (and pylons) SE to Fern Road.
The Kalamunda National Park and adjacent forested areas provide for some excellent bushwalking close to Perth. Piesse Brook flows northward through the area and meets the Helena River upstream from the Pipehead Dam in the north. There are lots of good views from the enclosing rugged valley slopes which are covered with open woodlands of jarrah, marri, wandoo and butter gum, interrupted by numerous granite outcrops and some large areas of open heathlands. The heathlands offer superb wildflower displays in late winter and spring. The route passes small waterfalls on Piesse Brook at Rocky Pool and on a side stream and also visits the Lower Helena Pipehead Dam reservoir in the Helena River Valley. The route also includes a 2 km section of the Bibbulmun Track which begins in nearby Kalamunda and crosses from SW to east through the area. The route also uses some of the various other, mainly unmarked tracks. Most of these are rough 4WD vehicle tracks. A few follow the high-voltage power transmission lines which unfortunately pass from NW to SE right through the middle of the national park area!
Some of the tracks are quite steep and gravelly but should not be any problem for the reasonably fit and careful.
Variations to this walk (using the additional waypoints and map) could include a track along a ridge in the NW which provides good views west over the heathlands of the Darling Scarp and across the Swan Coastal Plain. Also the walk can be varied to start in Kalamunda and can then include more of the Bibbulmun Track and also a track from Crescent Road (off Mundaring Weir Road) to Schipps Road through Jorgensen Park .
Note: The Friends of Piesse Brook have carried out a massive weed clean-up program and native plantings along Piesse Brook since year 2000. They have achieved impressive results in restoring the local habitat within the Park, especially along the banks of the Brook itself, which had previously become severely infested with various introduced plant species including the introduced pink- to red-flowering weed, Watsonia, and blackberries, pampas grass and other weeds, which were choking out the native heathland. (See below; article in Landscope magazine.)
Controlled burns: A burn was carried out by DEC in early July 2011 in the walk area west of Piesse Brook. See DEC's indicative burn programme.
|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 1:25,000 2134-III, SW sheet (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1983; Series R811) -available on DVD;
or Mundaring 1:50,000 Sheet (Dept. of CALM, 1990)
or Mundaring 1:50,000 Sheet 2134-3, (CALM/DOLA, ?2002/03).
|Other background references :||
"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 a few walks in the Piesse Brook area. Sections of the Helena Pipehead Walk (pp.21-22), Rocky Pool Walk (pp.21 & 23), and Schipp Road Walk (p.21 & 26) partly overlap with the route described here. 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 :
"More Family Walks in Perth Outdoors", by CALM, 1994, also includes mud maps and brief descriptions for the following:
'Piesse Gully Loop Trail', pp.36-37, a 7.5 km on-track loop walk;
'Rocky Pool', pp.40-41, a 3 km on-track return walk.
"A Guide to the Bibbulmun Track, Northern Half, Kalamunda to Donnelly River Village" by Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) 2002, 2nd ed.
"Volunteers make a difference" article by J. & L. Stanley in Landscope magazine (DEC), Winter 2007, pp.42-45. - A tribute to the great efforts of the Friends of Piesse Brook (Facebook / website) in restoring much of the Piesse Brook valley to its former state.
See Climbers' Association of W.A. 'Kalamunda Bouldering Mini Guide' by Ben Fleming, Mar. 2005, for a climber's perspective of Perth's premier 'bouldering' area.
Route/Trail notes :
The 14 km 'route' recommended here is entirely on existing tracks. GPS is not required but most of the tracks are not 'signposted'. The waypoints provided here will help you find the correct tracks first time and allow you to test your GPS navigation skills.
Start from the end of Spring Road and walk north about 50m and turn right (NE) and downhill on the track to cross a stream after about 200m (at waypt '1A'). Veer right (east) for only 50m to locate the Bibbulmun Track (at '2') and follow it NE down the stream gully, passing a granite outcrop and small waterfall to the left after a short distance. Continue down the Track (via '3' and '4'), then directly cross the Piesse Brook track (a vehicle track; at 'BIB') to locate the track marked by a large post with a Kalmunda Shire Trail sign. (Note: At the vehicle track crossing, ignore the Bibb. Track direction marker for the newly aligned Bibb. Track which detours northward down the vehicle track for about 150m to cross the Brook and then soon climbs to rejoin the 'original' Bibb.Track.) The track crosses Piesse Brook by a footbridge then climbs (via'5') to soon rejoin the Bibbulmun Track, then crosses a ridge and descends SE-ward to a stream gully at '6' on the east side. The Track then follows the gully upstream southward, passing through some picturesque wandoo woodland and past granite outcrops. It veers east at '7' and climbs to a laterite plateau and jarrah forest before reaching a NW-SE vehicle track (at '8') which follows the power transmission line. Turn right to leave the Bibbulmun Track and follow the vehicle track for about 500m SE across the plateau. Then follow the first vehicle track on the right (at '15') to descend westward from the plateau (via '16', '17', '18', '18A'), then re-cross Piesse Brook at a bridge and meet the Piesse Brook track. Turn right to follow the track northward along the gully (via '19' and '20'), passing after about 1km the point where the Bibbulmun Track crosses (at 'BIB'). After another 250m (at '22') look for a short, side foot-track to view Rocky Pool and small waterfall to the left. Then continue on the vehicle track to a junction near the power line on a broad ridge (at '23'). Veer left (NW) and follow the track and powerline downhill to cross Piesse Brook at a bridge ('BDGE'). Then climb steeply for about 400m to reach a vehicle track junction (at '24'). Follow the track on the right which heads back initially SE around the hillside (via '25'), and then NE to reach a gully and another track junction (at '26'). (Note: Unfortunately access to the next section of the walk route from waypt. '26' to '32' may be prohibited in the future due to implementation of a water management strategy.) Turn right to follow the track initially down the gully (to '27') and then climb eastwards to a ridge (at '28'). The track then turns northward on the east side of the ridge, with good views eastward up the Helena River valley. It soon descends (via '29') to reach (at '30') a track along the western side of the Lower Helena Valley Pipehead Dam reservoir. (You can make a worthwhile short diversion to the right (south) along the lake side and then return to '30'. The Dam was built in 1970-71. Water is pumped from there to the Helena Reservoir upstream. Lower Helena now supplies about 40% of the water stored in the main Helena Reservoir.) Turn left to follow the track NNW along the hillside, with views of the Pipehead Dam below. Continue down the valley on the track for more than 1 km (via '31'), veering NW to reach a parking area and picnic site (at 'ENDRD', which can also be accessed from the NW by vehicle along Helena Valley Road and a short, but very rough section of vehicle track.) Walk westward on a vehicle track from the parking area for less than 100m (to '32') then turn left to follow a rough vehicle track uphill to soon reach the power line route (at '33') and follow it more steeply uphill to cross the ridge and head back downhill (via '34') past the track turn previously taken (at '24') and retrace the route across the bridge ('BDGE') and via '23' and '22'. After re-passing the rocky pool and falls (now on the right) continue south back along the Piesse Brook vehicle track for only 150m to locate (at 'SDTRK') an unmarked but well-used foot-track on the right. Follow the foot-track SW and quite steeply uphill for about 500m, gaining some good views SE across the gully. The foot-track then meets a vehicle track (at 'SDTREV') close to a stream. Turn left (SW) to follow the vehicle track uphill through jarrah and marri forest. After about 400m (at '35') the track flattens and then descends steeply to return to the Start point at the end of Spring Road.
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 411520 6463167 Start point at end of Spring Road.
1 411537 6463222
1A 411680 6463332
2 411739 6463337 On Bibbulmun Track.
3 411943 6463739 On Bibbulmun Track.
4 412036 6463845 On Bibbulmun Track.
5 412258 6463891 On Bibbulmun Track.
6 412614 6463765 On Bibbulmun Track.
7 412725 6463375 On Bibbulmun Track.
8 412960 6463383 Bibbulmun Track meets powerline track.
15 413352 6462947 Sidetrack leaves powerline track.
16 413092 6462866
17 413025 6462938
18 412811 6462901
18A 412763 6462739
19 412321 6463150 On Piesse Gully vehicle track.
20 412303 6463582 On Piesse Gully vehicle track.
BIB 412114 6463859 Bibbulmun Track crosses Piesse Gully track.
22 412121 6464142 On Piesse Gully vehicle track, near pool & falls.
23 412273 6464320
BDGE 412176 6464449 Bridge crossing of Piesse Brook.
24 411931 6464748 Track junction along powerline route.
25 412107 6464646
26 412179 6464845 Track junction.
27 412346 6464599
28 412517 6464561
29 412553 6465010
30 412650 6465070 Track junction at west side of Pipehead Dam.
31 412315 6465879
ENDRD 411646 6466153 Parking area near end of Helena Valley Road.
32 411573 6466141 Track junction.
33 411571 6465633
34 411989 6464620
BDGE 412176 6464449 Re-crossing of bridge previously crossed.
23 412273 6464320
22 412121 6464142 On Piesse Gully vehicle track, near pool & falls.
SDTRK 412103 6463992 Foot-track leaves Piesse Gully vehicle track.
SDTREV 411644 6463796 Foot-track meets vehicle track near stream.
35 411396 6463515
END 411520 6463167 Back at Start point, end of Spring Road.
Additional waypoints on map:
POOL 412100 6464154 Rocky pool and small waterfall on Piesse Brook.
26A 411697 6465756 On alternate good track in northern area.
40 412040 6462193 On Crescent Rd to Schipp Rd track(approx.)
41 412334 6462236 On Crescent Rd to Schipp Rd track(approx.)
42 412510 6462270 On Crescent Rd to Schipp Rd track.
43 412599 6462439 On Crescent Rd to Schipp Rd track.
44 412688 6462490 Crescent Rd track meets Schipp Rd (approx.)
59 411616 6463748 Junction of vehicle tracks.
60 411507 6463879 On a vehicle track in west.
61 411324 6464125 On a vehicle track in west.
62 411173 6464154 On a vehicle track in west.
63 411086 6464281 On a vehicle track in west.
64 411101 6464798
65 411000 6464845 On track junction on Park boundary in west.
66 411007 6465239 On track junction in NW area.
66A 411220 6466006 On vehicle track in NW area.
67 410546 6465302 On vehicle track to ridge in NW.
68 410412 6465396 On vehicle track to ridge in NW.
69 410446 6465590 On vehicle track along ridge in NW.
70 410790 6466396 On vehicle track along ridge in NW.
71 411241 6466684 On NW ridge vehicle track.
EXIT 411394 6466600 NW ridge track meets Helena Valley Rd.
PARKG 411466 6466506 Small parking area at end of Helena Valley Rd.
RD 411457 6466341 On rough dirt road extension of Helena Valley Rd.
SIDEKW 411894 6464807 Sidetrack (marked "No Through Road").
72 411752 6464904 Sidetrack crosses ridge.(Off-track route to '73').
73 411306 6464718 Off-track ridge route (from '72') meets track.
73A 411740 6464345 On vehicle track.
73B 411835 6464023 On vehicle track.
SDTR3 412216 6464388 Sidetrack heads west from powerline track.
74 412072 6464387 On track approx. along boundary of National Park.
75 412447 6463032 Steep track off Piesse Gully track in south.
76 412333 6462955 On steep track in south, off Piesse Gully track.
77 412065 6463006 On track in south, Piesse Brook to Spring Road.
78 411869 6463286 On Bibbulmun Track, first 1.5 km, (approx. locn.)
79 411935 6462960 On Bibbulmun Track.
80 411567 6462476 On Bibbulmun Track,(approx. locn.)
81 411267 6461993 On Bibbulmun Track, approx. Spring Road crossing.
BIBBTR 411107 6462015 Northern Terminus of Bibbulmun Track.
CRESCR 411582 6462100 End of Crescent Rd (Jorgensen Park car park).
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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.