Gibbs Rocks Walk (Walk #29)


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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 to east flank of Mt Cooke monadnock

 in distance (11km WNW),  from north flank

 of main Gibbs Rock monadnock, Jun. 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.

-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 :

62 kms SE of Armadale,  down Albany Hwy to Wearne Road (poorly signed on left),  then further 21.5 kms via Wearne Road, Metro Road and Pike Road (dirt/gravel roads).

Length :

18.5 kms (95% off-track)

(or 17 kms (taking optional 'short-cut')

Degree of difficulty :

MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking :

260m (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.)

To reach parking spot at Start point (see map), follow Albany Highway and turn left into Wearne Road (3 kms before reaching North Bannister). Follow Wearne Road for 9 kms then take Metro  Road turn on left and follow for about 11 kms to reach Pike Road. Park about 1.5kms down Pike Road after the Metro Road turnoff, near CALM 'No Entry' signs at edge of Dieback Disease Risk area.  

Alternative access is via Brookton Highway to Metro Road on right, then about 30 kms down Metro Road to Pike Road.

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 "Canning River Catchment Area Drinking Water Source Protection Plan" of 2007.

Escape route/s :

West to Watershed Road and then Pike Road to Albany Highway (less than 11 kms from centre of walk area).

Main features


This walk is located about 11 kms east of Mount Cooke, in mixed jarrah-marri forest and wandoo woodlands in an area of granite outcrops around the main feeder stream of the Canning River. The walk includes a traverse of the main Gibbs monadnock and visits to smaller rocks to the north. The terrain is varied but slopes are mainly gentle.  There are some good unrestricted views from the outcrops to Mount Cooke (11-12 kms west), Geddes Rock (7 kms NW), Boonerring Hill (14 kms SW) and Mount Randall (20 kms NW). Expect a few short sections of scratchy heath around the outcrops and stream crossings.

The main Gibbs Rock monadnock was swept by a wild bushfire probably at the same time as the Mt Cooke fire which was started by lightning strikes in January 2003.  This hot fire temporarily destroyed much of the forest canopy on the crest and flanks of the Rock. By June 2004 the trees and shrubs were strongly regenerating from their trunks and bases, but it will be some years before the forest and even the rock cover (of lichens, sundews and Borya grass) are back to their previous state.

Controlled burns:  A burn was scheduled for Spring 2010 in the area north of Pike Road, and would have affected most of the walk route. See DEC's 6-season 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:  Jarrahdale 1:50,000 Sheet (Dept. of CALM, 1990);

or Jarrahdale & Yaganing 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2133-3 & 2133-2.

Other background references :

"Worsley Bauxite mining expansion Environmental Review and Management Programme (ERMP)" by Worsley Alumina Pty Ltd, May 2005.  Released May 2005 by the EPA.  Public submissions closed August 2005 and W.A.'s EPA gave final environmental approval of the expansion plan in February 2008. The mining area expansion within the extensive existing lease will unfortunately eventually impact on the eastern part of this walk area and it is possible that public access via Wearne and Metro Roads will be restricted.  A planned new long distance conveyor belt route is also likely to pass just east of the walk area.(Worsley is 86% owned by BHP Billiton). - For information on the future impact on walk areas see WalkGPS submission to EPA (5MB pdf). See also Related access issues on WalkGPS.

Route notes :


Head initially approx. SW through marri-jarrah forest on pebbly lateritic surface. Reach granite outcrop at waypoint 'GR1' and follow the outcrop for approx. 300m, (passing one or two rock pools in winter), then re-enter open forest and soon begin descent to small heath-covered outcrop at 'GR2' and after a further 250-300m cross the upper Canning 'River' course and fringing wandoo woodlands. Walk up a very gentle uphill gradient to reach North Road (dirt road) at 'NTHRD'. Turn right to follow North Road to meet Pike Road at 'PIKERD'. Then head west through marri-jarrah forest, climbing a ridge before descending to a granite outcrop at 'GR3'. Move uphill, partly through a stand of casuarinas (sheoaks) and back onto the outcrop at 'GR3A' (see photo of typical plant cover on the outcrop, prior to the January 2003 fire).  Follow the outcrop along slope and re-enter scrub at about 'GR3B'. Within about 200m reach another larger, sloping outcrop and a good rest point with views to Boonerring Hill to the SW from waypt 'VIEW1'.   Descend the outcrop and re-enter the (regenerating) forest, picking an easy way through patches of 'Prickly Moses' (Acacia pulchella) in the new understorey. Cross a stream gully before reaching another, larger outcrop at 'GR4'. Head northward to NNW  along this eastward-sloping outcrop until reaching its northern (and uphill) limit at 'VIEW2' where there are good views toward the south.  Re-enter the forest and cross the narrow laterite-capped ridge to reach the edge of an outcrop at 'GR5' on the northern side with good views of Mount Cooke (11 kms to WNW), Mount Randall (20km to NW) and Geddes Rock (7 kms NW). Walk ESE and uphill along the ridge to reach a large granite boulder at 'HIROCK' (which can be easily climbed). (Or see 'Alternative short-cut' below). Continue ESE (via 'GR7') through jarrah forest along the northern edge of the flat-topped ridge to 'GR7A'  and then descend NNW partly through heath and a stand of wandoo trees to reach a granite outcrop and waypt 'GR8' (This is about the halfway point on the walk and a good spot for a break, with a view WNW to Mt Cooke). Then re-trace your steps for about 150m back up the slope to 'GR9'.

Alternative short-cut (from 'GR5' to 'GR9'): This optional short-cut reduces the walk distance by 1.3 kms (to around 17 kms total):  Walk northward from 'GR5' for about 100m to cross the outcrop, then cross a small, rocky ridge to 'GR5-N1' on the north side. Then veer eastward onto the upper slope of a large north-sloping outcrop. After about 200m descend the outcrop slope NE-ward to cross a small stream course at 'GR5-N2' before re-entering forest. Continue NE to cross a gentle ridge and flat outcrop, before descending through a short section of shrubland to 'GR9'. 

From'GR9' veer approx. eastward, initially through heath/shrubland, to soon descend a nearby NE-sloping outcrop. Cross a small stream course and re-enter forest (partly wandoo), to reach 'GR10'. Then veer due north, soon crossing the stream, and continue very gently downhill and re-cross the upper Canning 'River' course at 'GR11'. Continue due north to cross a gentle ridge, then a small stream at 'GR12'. At 'GR17' veer NNE and soon reach the lower slope of a granite outcrop.  Head upslope on the outcrop,  veering due east at 'GR19'.  At 'GR19A' veer approx ESE along the slope of the outcrop to near its SE edge, at about 'GR20'. (Alternatively at 'GR19A':  For a worthwhile small diversion: head NE for about 200m up the hillside to visit an interesting area of large scattered granite boulders at 'RCK2' on the ridge. Then veer SE and downhill to rejoin the route at 'GR20'.)  Then veer SSE initially through heathland, to re-enter forest before reaching another outcrop at 'GR21'. Follow this outcrop, partly through intervening scrubby sections, via 'ROCKS', 'GR22', 'GR22A' and 'GR23', then re-enter the forest and cross a stream gully at 'GR24'. Then head approx. SSE and initially very gently upslope, passing through a patch of wandoo woodland flanking the stream. Continue SSE along slope through open jarrah-dominated  forest to reach a small ridge at 'WDOO', where there is a patch of wandoo. Then veer eastward  for a short distance (to 'GR25') and then approx. SE across often rocky lateritic ground and past some large granite boulders to reach Pike Road at 'GR26'.  Then follow Pike Road for less than 1 km 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       450403  6409069   Leave car here. Head approx. SW off-track.

GR1         449916  6408683   Reach granite outcrop.

GR1A        449424  6408440   On laterite ridge. Veer westward.

GR2         448810  6408501   Heath-covered outcrop. Veer WSW.

NTHRD       447817  6408027   Reach North Road (forestry road).

PIKERD      447672  6408070   North Road meets Pike Road.

GR3         446702  6408049   On low-lying area of granite outcrop.

GR3A        446658  6408167   Higher on granite outcrop.

GR3B        446445  6408340   Leave outcrop.

VIEW1       446103  6408441   On another sloping outcrop. Good views to SW.

GR4         445669  6408618   On larger outcrop rising to west and NW.  

VIEW2       445346  6409381   Good views from top of outcrop.

GR5         445491  6409673   Rock outcrop,N side of ridge. View to Geddes Rock.   

HIROCK      445684  6409595   Large granite boulder/tor on forested ridge.

GR7         446054  6409438   On forested ridge.

GR7A        446250  6409489   Still on north side of ridge. Begin descending.

GR8         445934  6410209   On NW-sloping outcrop. View to Mount Cooke.

GR9         446041  6410108   Near top of outcrop sloping NE.

GR10        446479  6410203   In forest, near stream gully.

GR11        446495  6411059   Cross upper Canning 'River'(stream course). 

GR12        446491  6411628   Cross small stream gully. 

GR17        446493  6412035   In forest.

GR19        446581  6412277   On W-sloping granite outcrop.

GR19A       446883  6412274   On W-sloping granite outcrop.

GR20        447216  6412071   Near SE edge of outcrop.

GR21        447426  6411556   Edge of another fairly flat outcrop.

ROCKS       447332  6411253   Granite boulders on outcrop.       

GR22        447597  6411175   On granite outcrop, sloping SE.

GR22A       447762  6411301   On granite outcrop, sloping SE.

GR23        448039  6411204   At approx. lower, SE edge of outcrop.

GR24        448121  6411120   Cross stream gully.

WDOO        448555  6409795   Large wandoo tree in mixed forest on local ridge.

GR25        448730  6409803   On pebbly, lateritic surface, in open forest.

GR26        449705  6409072   Meet Pike Road, near heath-covered outcrop. 

END         450403  6409069   Back at Start point.

Additional waypoints on map :

METRO       452072  6409013   Junction of Metro Road and Pike Road.

GR5-N1      445503  6409805   Near upper edge of north-sloping outcrop. 

GR5-N2      445894  6409951   Small stream course at bottom of outcrop. 

RCK2        447055  6412389   Granite boulders, near summit of northern outcrop.

GR-S1       450141  6408129   Small granite outcrop SE of walk route.  

GR-S2       449927  6407658   Granite outcrop SE of walk route.


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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.