Avon Valley (south side) Walk - (Walk #16)

 

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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 west across side valley

from laterite scarp, May 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.

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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.

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 "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 :

87 kms NE of Perth (road distance). 

Length :

18 field kms (85% off-track).

Or can be shortened to 16.5 kms by following Governors Drive 'short-cut' between waypoints 'S29A' and 'S35' near end of walk.

Degree of difficulty :

MEDIUM - HARD  (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 450m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred : YES
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 bypass, then north on Roe Hwy, then approx. 48 kms NE along Toodyay Rd to signposted turnoff to Avon Valley National Park on left (Morangup Rd), then about 5 kms  to Park entrance road on left. Park entry fee is $10.00 per car. Follow the gravel road for about 8 kms, passing Quarry Rd ('No Entry') on the right, to reach a fork in the road soon after. Take the left fork which is Governors Drive and is signposted "to Bald Hill".  (The right fork which is Forty One Mile Rd,  is signposted "to River", and ends at the Valley Campsite near the Avon River).  Follow Governors Drive for less than  1.5 kms and turn left into the signed Homestead Campsite and park in the camping area. (Public toilet close by). 

Park opening-closing times are 8.00am-5.00pm.  Make sure you finish the walk in time to leave the Park by 5.00pm before the entry gate is closed.  Take care driving on the narrow and gravelly Park access roads, and watch for kangaroos and emus crossing.     For Park Ranger, ph. 08 95713066.

Escape route/s :

Via South Break (dirt road) which runs SW-NE through the centre of the walk area and meets Governors Drive.  Also, in the west (near waypoint  'S12') a dirt track heads approx. NW, presumably down to the Valley floor (not checked). -Then the railway service road (along the north side of  the railway track through the Valley) can be followed for about 6 kms to Forty One Mile Rd (below Valley Campsite), then south. 

Main features

/Highlights:

This walk takes in some of the rugged scenery within part of the Avon Valley National Park on the south side of the Avon River. The River runs southwestward through  this  4400 ha park,  cutting deeply into the granite of the Darling Range  (as it has also done about 20 kms further SW at Walyunga National Park, where it becomes the Swan River).  The steep slopes of the Avon Valley and its side valleys provide for some good views. 

The Park lies at the northern limit of the jarrah forests and includes a transitional mix of wandoo woodland with jarrah and marri trees. The walk route is across quite varied terrain and mainly through mixed forests and open woodlands, with some short sections of thicker shrubland and tall heath.  (Wear trousers or gaiters to avoid scratches -and be aware of ticks!)

The Avon Valley is now an important area for native fauna conservation. Animals re-introduced to the Park in recent years by DEC/AWC include the tammar wallaby, the black-flanked rock wallaby, the quenda (southern brown bandicoot), and woylies (bettongs).

Two-day visitA good option is to spend a weekend in the National Park, arriving Saturday morning and leaving Sunday afternoon. Camp at the Homestead Campsite (for fee of $7.00/night per adult, additional to the park entry fee). Do the Avon Valley (Both sides) Walk on Day 1 and then this walk on Day 2.  There is no significant overlap between the two walks, but both start conveniently from the Homestead Campsite.

Cautions

Unexploded Ordnance ('UXO'):  Avon Valley National Park was the site of a former Department of Defence Artillery Training Area (1958-1966) and may still be contaminated with unexploded Mortar Bombs and Artillery Projectiles. DEC signs alert walkers to the 'Risk Areas'. Off-track walking is not prohibited and there is negligible risk provided walkers do not attempt to touch, handle, remove, or disturb in any way any UXO (or suspected UXO) that they may rarely come across. UXOs have been found in the recent past and FESA advises that any ordnance found must be treated as extremely dangerous. Without disturbing the object or immediate vicinity, the site should be clearly marked (e.g. with flagging tape or small rock cairn) and a GPS location obtained, or the site marked on a map if available. The location must then be reported to the Park Ranger or nearest Police Station a.s.a.p. (See also FESA 'Warning' sheet; rev. April 2007.)

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.

"Avon Valley Survey Heritage Trails: recognising the pioneering achievements of 19th century surveyor/explorer, Lord John Forrest." - undated former Department of Land Administration, Mapping & Survey Division publication (two maps on one double-sided A4 sheet.  Copy provided to me by the Park Ranger but original also available in W.A. State Library map collection at Battye Library; Call # 9022.H65E635.) You will see one or two of the red-orange trail markers in the walk area and also an information board at the Homestead Campsite entry. The walk route described on this page doesn't follow the Heritage Trails but the small Survey Cairn "OS" can be reached by a short 150m detour as described in the Route notes below.

Other: Jumperkine & Toodyay 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series Sheet 2134-4 & 2134-1; or,

Avon Valley 1:50,000, National Map Ref. 2134-4 & -1 (WA Forests Dept., 1983); or,

Jumperkine 1:25,000 2134-IV, NE & SE sheets (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1983; Series R811) -available on DVD.  

Other background references :

"Avon Valley National Park - Park Guide" and "Avon Valley National Park - Park Guide" by DEC (undated PDF ); and

"Avon Valley National Park -Guide to areas outlined on 720 ABC Perth..." by DEC (undated PDF).

DEC's website also provides a very brief description of the Park.

Landscope magazine (CALM), Spring 2004, includes article on CALM/AWC collaborative work to restore wildlife to the Avon Valley.

Also "Travellers guide to the Parks & Reserves of Western Australia" by Simon Nevill, 2001, p.41 (Simon Nevill Publications) includes a brief summary of the Park). 

For a climber's perspective of the Avon Valley see the Climbers' Association of W.A. website.

Route notes :

 

Start from the Homestead Campsite (waypoint 'START2').  Head approx. due south, initially crossing the nearby stream course and then climbing gently along the hillside through open wandoo-dominated woodland and low heath. After almost 1 km (at 'S1'), veer SW, initially along slope and then gently downhill the reach a stream course after about 700m.  Veer approx. south to cross the stream course (at about 'S1A') and climb gently for 500m  through mixed forest to reach a stand of tall wandoo trees (at 'S2') near the ridge. Veer SW again and descend to soon cross another stream course, then climb gently and then along slope through mixed forest and some shrubland to 'S2A'. Then veer west to soon reach an area of shrubland and balgas and cross a broad sandy stream course. Meet a dirt road at 'S3' and turn right to follow the road north (via 'S3A').  At about 'S3B', turn left onto an older vehicle track to follow it approximately west for only 150m to meet another dirt road (South Break; at about 'S4'). Turn left (SW) to follow South Break  for 750m (to 'S4A').  [Note: Don't be tempted to take a short-cut route from 'S3' direct to 'S4A'. -That shortens the walk by about 500m but passes through quite dense and scratchy dryandra shrubland -not pleasant!].  Then turn right to follow a side road which heads initially NNW (to 'S5') and then west. Veer left off the road at 'S5A' to head SW downhill to reach a small low outcrop (at about 'S6') surrounded by fairly tall heath. Veer west to head down the valley keeping quite close to the south side of the stream course for about 500m.   Then (at approx. 'S7') cross the stream course to avoid denser shrubland on the south side, but soon (at about 'S7A') head approx. SW to recross the stream course.  Then head west at 'S8' to soon recross again to the north side. At 'S9' veer approx. WNW to climb initially fairly steeply to reach the laterite plateau surface after 400m. Then pick your way for about 400m through the fairly straggly shrubland (dryandra etc) that dominates this area of the plateau. At 'S10' veer NW to soon descend a steep rocky slope to a side valley (at about 'S11') in which the stream gullies are quite deeply incised. Climb for a short distance through open woodland to a saddle (at 'S12') in very open woodland. This is approx. the halfway point on the walk. (There is a small forested promontory immediately to the west of the saddle, with the high point, the 'KNOB', only about 200m west of 'S12'; but the very limited views from that point are disappointing.)  From the saddle, head approx. NNE and climb gently along the steepening rocky slope, following a well worn kangaroo and feral goat trail, gaining views across the Avon Valley(If feeling energetic, at about 'S12A' you can opt to take a short, 150m detour toward the SE, off the main route, to visit the location at 'CRN0S' of Cairn "OS" , which was one of several cairns placed by John Forrest's surveying team in early 1878 on observation points overlooking the valley. The current small rock cairn is up a steepish slope, and is located on a small outcrop, just south of a larger dolerite outcrop. During the the uphill climb from 'S12A' veer safely N-ward of the steep dolerite rock outcrops. When leaving the cairn, don't descend to rejoin the main route immediately, but instead head direct to 'S17', mainly along-slope for easy walking through very pleasant open wandoo woodland.)

For the main route, at 'S12A',veer NE and continue mainly along slope to 'S14', then veer more eastward to climb gently across the slope (via 'S15', and  'S16') to 'S17' which is just downslope from the edge of the laterite plateau. Then head NE  along the slope to 'S18'.  Then veer SE, soon climbing onto the laterite surface and passing from the very open woodland on the slope into dryandra shrubland on the plateau. At about 'S19' descend SE back into woodland around the flanks of the plateau. At 'S20', veer eastward near a stream gully and continue initially along slope through wandoo woodland and then climb back up to the laterite plateau (see view).  Continue eastward through heathland  along the northern edge of the plateau to 'S21'.  Then veer NE and soon begin descending through forest and heath. At 'S22' veer more eastward and continue descending down a partly rocky ridge to a small but prominent granite outcrop at 'S23'. This provides good eastward views across the side valley and a northward view toward Bald Hill and is a good spot for a rest stop.   Then veer approx. SE to descend (via 'S23A') through forest and heath and cross a stream gully at 'S24'. Then climb NE-ward through fairly thick shrubland and heath to a small outcrop at about 'S24A' from where there is a good view west back across the side valley. Then veer NNE mainly along slope, soon crossing a dirt road (mislocated on the published map). After 'S25' veer NNW, following a kangaroo trail slightly downslope to 'S26'.  Then veer approx. north to reach a steeply sloping granite outcrop with a view NNW down the side vallley to Avon Valley. Cross the upper edge of the outcrop for less than 100m (to 'S27'), then head initially eastward, then NE, steeply up the slope partly through tall heath and over rocky ground. Soon reach the laterite plateau surface and continue NE for about 500m through shrubland to reach Governors Drive (at 'S28').  Follow Governors Drive eastward for about 700m (via 'S29') to 'S29A'. [From this point, if you prefer the shortened (16.5 kms) route, simply continue eastward along Governors Drive back to the Start point.] If you prefer to follow the full 18 kms route,  then veer NE offtrack at 'S29A', soon descending through forest and shrubland to 'S30'.  Then veer NW initially through woodland and then heathland, gaining some views across the side valley.   Near 'S31' reach a granite outcrop marked with a small rock cairn. Follow the outcrop downslope to reach a rocky stream gully (at 'FALLS').  (A short diversion of about 100m westward down the gully from this point would take you quite close to the top of Emu Springs Falls. The falls drop about 20-30m  but are hidden from sight from this position and sheer granite rock faces make any closer approach from this direction too dangerous. The Falls can be best viewed, as in the photos, from a separate short but partly steepish walk along a rough foot-track from Drummonds campsite which is reached off Governors Road. See map.)  Follow the sandy stream bed via 'S32' and at 'S32A' leave the stream gully on the south side and veer NE along slope through open forest and heath to 'S33'. Then veer more eastward, soon passing through some fairly dense prickly shrubland (?Hakea sp.) to reach the stream gully again at 'S34' where the stream flows (in winter-spring) across a granite outcrop. Find a way ESE along the south bank through the shrubland flanking the stream and at 'S34A' veer approx. SE to climb gently upslope through low heath and open woodland for about 500m, then cross South Break track and continue SE to soon meet Governors Drive (at 'S35'). Turn left to follow Governors drive across a bridge and then downhill to soon get back to the Start point at the Homestead Campsite. 

 

 

 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

START2      428400  6502567  Homestead Campsite.

S1          428507  6501659  In wandoo-dominated woodland.

S1A         427955  6501230  At stream course.

S2          427880  6500681  In tall, open wandoo woodland, near ridge.

S2A         427172  6500305  In mixed forest.

S3          426370  6500242  Meet dirt road.

S3A         426493  6500715  On dirt road.

S3B         426376  6500896  On dirt road. Old vehicle track joins nearby on W-side.

S4          426225  6500898  Meet South Break (dirt road). 

S4A         425717  6500350  Dirt track turns off South Break road.

S5          425634  6500549  On dirt road.

S5A         425500  6500551  On dirt road.

S6          425375  6500443  On south side of stream gully.

S7          424930  6500453  On south side of stream gully.

S7A         424799  6500502  On north side of stream gully.

S8          424704  6500382  On south side of stream gully.

S9          424565  6500397  On north side of stream gully. 

S10         423896  6500739  At edge of laterite plateau, slope to NW.

S11         423770  6500971  Near deeply incised stream gully.

S12         423642  6501075  On ridge in open woodland.

S12A        423694  6501505  On quite steep slope above Avon Valley. Views.

S14         423848  6501622  On quite steep slope above Avon Valley. Views.

S15         424095  6501664  Above steep slope above Avon Valley. Views.

S16         424341  6501761  Near top of slope above Avon Valley.

S17         424425  6501767  Just below edge of laterite plateau.

S18         424554  6501871  On scarp at edge of laterite plateau.

S19         424809  6501700  Near edge of laterite plateau.

S20         424963  6501482  On slope near stream gully.

S21         425531  6501456  On laterite plateau.

S22         425634  6501594  Descending from laterite plateau.

S23         425860  6501648  At granite outcrop. Views across side valley.

S23A        425882  6501585  Minor stream gully.

S24         426053  6501388  Cross stream gully.

S24A        426253  6501489  On small granite slab. Views across side valley.

S25         426295  6501761 

S26         426216  6501947

S27         426232  6502036  At granite outcrop, sloping steeply west.

S28         426752  6502359  Meet Governors Drive (gravel road).

S29         427163  6502153  On Governors Drive.

S29A        427320  6502304  On Governors Drive.

S30         427415  6502683  In open forest.

S31         427103  6502967  In high, thick heath.

FALLS       427055  6503060  In rocky stream bed (130m upstream of falls).

S32         427105  6503063  In sandy stream bed.

S32A        427191  6502990  In forest, just south of stream gully.

S33         427316  6503081  In forest and low heath.

S34         427538  6503093  At stream course and rocky outcrop.

S34A        427712  6503023  Near stream (south side).

S35         428074  6502451  Meet Governors Drive (gravel road).

END         428400  6502567  Back at Start point at Homestead Campsite.

Additional waypoints on map : 

CRN0S       423804  6501419  Location of Cairn OS.

KNOB        423416  6501046  Near top of small, forested promontory (views limited).

 

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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.