Piesse Brook Walk (Walk #3)

(Kalamunda National Park)

 

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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.

Rocky Pool, Piesse Brook, Aug. 2010.

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 :

18 kms east of Perth. 

Length :

14 field kms (all on-track).

Degree of difficulty :

EASY - MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking :

550m (cumulative ascent)

GPS-preferred :

NO, but useful for locating correct track junctions.

Access  :

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.  

Main features

/Highlights:

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 :

"Rocky Pool Bushwalk", on The Sandgropers Blog, Nov. 2008. -Share in the joy (and delightful photos) of a young family's continuing discovery of Perth's bushwalking opportunities.   

"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.

 

 

 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       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.