Upper Darkin Walk (Walk #18)


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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 north through wandoo trees across Darkin River valley, July 2002.

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 :

65 kms SE of Perth,  along Brookton Hwy to Yarra Road on left,  then further 16.1 kms up Yarra Road (good condition dirt road).

Length :

17 field kms (98% off-track)

Degree of difficulty :

MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 380m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred :


Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

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

Park 16.1 kms up Yarra Road at white boom gate blocking CALM forestry track on left hand side.

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 :

Reach Yarra Road and then south to Brookton Highway (or alternatively north (approx 30kms) to Great Southern Highway.

Main features


This walk is mostly through picturesque, open wandoo woodlands immediately south of the upper Darkin River and 12-16km east of Mount Dale. It lies mainly within the new 44,000 ha Wandoo National Park.  The terrain is varied with some easy walking over reasonably gentle terrain, but also a few steeper slopes across laterite breakaways and stream gullies. There are some pleasant views from the outcrops across the Darkin valley and toward Mount Dale. Expect a few short sections of scratchy heath around granite outcrops.

For a shorter walk (14 kms) in this general area, try the nearby Upper Darkin Variation Walk, which is immediately to the NW. That walk route includes a very short segment overlap of less than 1 km (between waypoints '25' & '28' in the NW) with this walk. The nearby  Flynn Hills Walk,  immediately to the NE, also offers some similar easy walking, but is only 13.5 kms versus 17kms for this route.

Controlled burns:  See DEC's 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 :

"Wandoo National Park - Park Guide" by DEC (undated pdf). 

Route notes :


Head initially SSW down forestry track, then veer SSE off-track at waypt '1' to climb gentle slope to hill-top views at approx. waypt '2'. Veer approx. eastward along the ridge through wandoo woodland and after waypt '3' descend to cross Yarra Road at waypt '5' and reach broad, very lightly wooded valley. Follow the valley from waypt '6' to '8', then veer  NE to cross water course. Walk uphill, crossing an old forestry track (Lightning Road) at waypt '9'. Pass through a short section of  dryandra scrub on a low, broad ridge, then reach another ridge at waypt '10'. Walk north along the ridge to waypt '11' then descend  across partly open, rocky ground, to waypt '12'.  Ascend again, partly through a thicket of casuarina (sheoak)to reach a granite outcrop at 'GDROK'.  Climb to the ridge to the SW into wandoo woodlands again and then veer WNW, recrossing Lightning Road and across a gentle valley through open marri-jarrah forest, before ascending to waypt '16' at the northern edge of a laterite-capped ridge, with good northward views through the wandoo tress and across the Darkin valley. Descend to a large granite outcrop at 'GDVURK' with open views across the valley (and a good place for a lunch break). Descend the outcrop to waypt '17' then veer west and cross a broad gully at waypt '18', followed by a steepish ascent up a laterite-capped breakaway to a narrow boulder-strewn plateau at waypt '19', with large wandoo trees. Descend from the 'plateau' at waypt '20' and walk along-slope to cross Yarra Road again at waypt '21'.

Then initially continue along the northern escarpment of the laterite plateau to cross a ridge at approx. waypt '22' and descend quite steeply through some heath and scrub and across rocky ground to cross a stream gully at waypt '24'. Climb to a ridge at waypt '25' then descend partly through heath and some rocky ground to cross two stream gullies  (waypoints 'GULLY' and '27'). Climb to a small outcrop at '28' then turn southward. Reach another very small rock outcrop at 'SMLRK' with views eastward across the small valley. After reaching waypt' 31', descend eastward to cross the stream gully at waypt '32'. Then climb northward, partly through heath to reach waypt '33' Then veer  east again to reach a small outcrop with good views of Mount Dale 14kms to the west. Walk approximately along slope to reach another small outcrop at '35'. Cross a dryandra-covered ridge at waypt '36' and descend initially mainly through fairly open dryandra scrub and then marri-jarrah forest to reach Yarra Road at waypt. '37'. Follow Yarra Road southward for about 250m to get back to the Start point.



 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        446626  6447494    Park car. Walk SSW down side road.

1            446527  6447162    Veer SSE from dirt road, commence off-track.

2            446784  6446549    Reach top of small ridge.

3            447043  6446483    Still on small ridge, begin descent to ESE.

4            447176  6446360   

5            447863  6446185    Cross Yarra Road.

6            448072  6446100    Veer ENE on broad valley floor.

7            448355  6446259    Still on broad valley floor.

8            448847  6446224    Cross water course and veer to NE.

9            449112  6446490    Cross old dirt road (Lightning Road).

10           449555  6446922    Veer north along gentle ridge.

11           449541  6447258    Begin descent from ridge.

12           449678  6447715    Begin gentle climb.

GDROK        449576  6447964    Reach rock outcrop

14           449440  6447875    On ridge.

15           448527  6448062    Within gentle valley.

16           447769  6448629    Good views to north through wandoo trees.

GDVURK       447715  6448831    On rock outcrop. Broad views across Darkin valley.

17           447635  6449110    Bottom of rock outcrop.

18           447101  6449116    In small valley. Begin climb to ridge.

19           446888  6449281    On ridge. Nearby large wandoo trees.

20           446804  6449187    Veer off ridge toward WNW.

21           446315  6449423    Cross Yarra Road again.

22           445578  6449291    Descending from ridge.

23           445532  6449172   

24           445401  6449112    Cross stream gully.

25           445150  6449208    On NW-sloping ridge.

GULLY        445015  6448965    Stream gully.

27           444869  6448657    In larger stream gully.

28           444584  6448719    On rock outcrop.

29           444621  6448251   

SMLRK        444791  6448118    On very small rock outcrop.

31           444835  6447967    Veer eastward to begin descending.

32           445284  6448034    Cross stream gully. Veer northward.

33           445337  6448413    On hillside.  Veer eastward.

GTVURK       445476  6448398    Reach small outcrop with view to Mt. Dale.

35           445668  6448316    Small outcrop. Veer approx. south.

36           445681  6448218    In dryandra scrub. Veer ESE.

37           446515  6447711    Reach Yarra Road. Follow road southward.

END          446618  6447469    End walk back at car.


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This page was last updated  :   24 March, 2017

 Site authored by David Osborne.  Photographs and text are copyright  2003-2013 David Osborne.