Mount Billy area Walk (Walk #15b)

 

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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.

 

In wandoo woodland in south

 of Mount Billly area, Oct. 2006

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 :

Approx 70kms east of Perth, along Great Eastern  Highway then Great Southern Highway to Yarra Road turnoff (on right 13kms east of The Lakes), then further 8kms down Yarra Road (last 5kms is gravel surface) to junction with Ridley Road.

Length :

16 field kms (80% off-track), suggested route

or 15 field kms (85% off-track), alternative.

Degree of difficulty :

MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking :

370m (cumulative ascent),

or 330m for alternative.

GPS-preferred :

YES

Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

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

Yarra Road crosses Ridley Road just after crossing Helena River. Park near the corner of the two roads, which is the START point for the walk.  Space for a few cars. Alternatively for more concealed parking, turn left into Ridley Road (dirt road) and after about 130m locate a cleared area on the left (toward the River), also suitable for parking a few cars.

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 :

South of Helena River: Bear north (e.g. via Bumper or Bouncer Roads; dirt roads) then westward via Ridley Road (dirt road) to Yarra Road, or eastward on Ridley Road to meet Talbot Road West, about 2.5 kms east of the walk route.

North of Helena River: Ball Road (dirt road) NW-ward to Yarra Road, or in east follow walk route southward to meet Ridley Road.

Main features

/Highlights:

The SW section of this walk overlaps with the eastern section of the adjacent Mt Yetar Walk  along a 1 km ridge traverse. The two walks share some similar features, including patches of pleasant wandoo woodlands and interesting varied terrain, with laterite 'breakaways' and occasional stream gullies (usually dry),  plus good views of surrounding valleys and bushland from the hillsides and from several granite outcrops.  The walk route straddles the north and south sides of the Helena River (about 27 kms 'upstream' of Mundaring Weir) and includes an easy crossing of the River course at a shallow (or dry) ford.

There are a few medium grade slopes to climb but nothing very demanding. The route avoids areas of quite dense dryandra scrub (Parrot Bush and Pingle) which is common on some of the surrounding laterite-capped ridges.  Be prepared for short sections of low scratchy heath and scrub.

ALTERNATIVE : The main (suggested) walk route does not cross Mount Billy itself. Mount Billy stands out as a small promontory into the Helena River valley, but the nearby surrounding hills (including Mount Clifford to the NE) are actually higher, and the section of the walk NW of Yarra Road provides more interesting terrain and views.  If preferred, you can opt for the slightly shorter, easier walk route (also shown on the map) which does traverse Mount Billy and bypasses the area NW of Yarra Road.  The Route Notes below also cover the alternative route after reaching waypoint '34'.

Update :  Controlled burns were carried out in the area north of Helena River, eastward of Yarra Road in Autumn 2007 and in the area south of the River and east of Bouncer Road in Autumn 2006. 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:  Mundaring 1:50,000 Sheet (Dept. of CALM, 1990);

or Mundaring & Chidlow 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2134-3 & 2134-2.

Other background references : ____
Route notes :

 

Head E/SE along Ridley Road for about 500m from the start point (at 'PARK').  At waypoint '2' leave the road to head off-track and more southward to soon pass through a thicket of sheoaks and reach a small rounded granite outcrop after about 400m (at 'RKNU'). Cross the top of the outcrop and veer SW to climb initially very gently through mixed open forest. The route crosses a small gully and the slope steepens to reach a ridge after about 1 km from 'RKNU'.  Veer southward (at '4') to walk upslope close to the crest of the ridge, veering slightly downslope to the west (to '5') to bypass small granite outcrops and boulders. Then continue very gently upslope SSE (just west of the ridge crest) mainly through open thickets of sheoak (which mostly block the otherwise good potential views of Mt Yetar to the west!). After about 300m cross the ridge crest and descend the NE flank for a very short distance to a small granite ledge (at 'NURK1') which provides an excellent view  to the summit area of Mt. Billy, less than 2 kms NE. Then return to the ridge (backtracking a little to bypass a dense patch of shrubs) and continue SSE.  After waypt '6' the sheoak thickets give way to open wandoo woodland near the summit of this unnamed hill (which with elevation of 340m is almost 50m higher than Mt Billy). Continue SSE (to '7') and bypass the small laterite-capped actual summit area upslope to the west. Veer SW (to '8') to cross the head of a deep gully which plunges eastward from below the hilltop. Then follow the ridge ESE for about 500m, gently downhill (via '9') to '10'.

[Option: After '9', as an alternative to the next 0.5 kms of the main route, you can choose to head steeply downslope to cross a stream gully and explore the small, but interesting 'Sentinel Rock' outcrop (WalkGPS informal name), at 'STL-RK'. Then head SE to rejoin the main route at '11'.] 

At '10'   veer slightly more eastward to descend the eastern slope of the ridge, through a very short section of possible scratchy heath, to cross the stream gully.  Then head approx. eastward (via '11')  through open forest and across gently undulating country for about 800m to cross Bumper Road (dirt road at 'BPR-RD').  Continue eastward through wandoo woodland across the broad valley floor, then onto a broad ridge which rises gently. After crossing a narrow stream gully, veer NW-ward at '13' and continue gently uphill along the NW edge of the spur ridge top, soon gaining a view back to the hill to the west which you just traversed. At '14', at the head of a gully which plunges NW, veer eastward again and climb more steeply uphill to '15'.  Then veer NW again and after about 200m of further climbing, reach the hill-top.  Continue NW across the hilltop and pass through a narrow belt of sheoaks to reach the top of a granite slab (at 'SLAB'). Follow the slab downslope to the ENE for about 200m.  Near the foot of the slab (at '17') veer left (north) to soon follow the east bank of a small stream gully.  After about 200m (at '18'), veer NW to soon reach another granite slab (at 'SLAB2') which has a good view to Mt Billy to the NW.  Follow the slab eastward across a low ridge and soon re-enter open wandoo woodland and cross Bouncer Road (dirt road at 'BCR-RD'). Then immediately cross a deep gully (which parallels the N-S road) and continue across another gully then gently upslope.  At '21' veer NE to skirt a laterite breakaway and bypass the dryandra (pingle)-covered uplands. Veer east  on a small ridge (at '22') to reach a granite slab (at 'SLAB3') in a small valley.  Veer north to cross the slab and climb through heath and low shrubland to quickly reach a small ridge (at '24'). Head approx. NE, mainly along slope, but diverging upslope where necessary to bypass denser shrubland. Then begin descending,  soon cross a smaller granite slab (at 'SLAB4') and reach Ridley Road (at 'RID-RD'). Follow Ridley Road gently downhill to the NE until the road veers due eastward after 300m (at '27'). Then leave the road to head north, off-track across the sandy valley floor for 250m, picking your way easily through a shrubland of swamp tea-tree to reach another dirt road (at '28').  Turn left to follow the road initially NW and then westward as it curves to follow the nearby Helena River course. Ignore the side road at '29' (an alternate river crossing) then turn right at '30' to follow another side road northward, firstly crossing Helena River by a ford.  The River course is likely to have water in it (even during an unusually dry spring) but by detouring through the sedges slightly to the left of the ford it is usually possible to step across without getting wet boots. Continue north along the dirt road, crossing Ball Road (dirt road at '31'), and soon the road approximately follows the fenceline of the adjacent farmland to the east.  The road starts climbing more steeply uphill and veers slightly NW away from the fenceline. Then leave the road (at 'LV-RD') to head approx. westward and gently upslope across a generally rocky area, with patches of  mixed forest (mainly sheoak) and small granite-floored clearings. On leaving the denser forest, cross a small gully which becomes more deeply incised upstream. Continue WNW for about 250m along the SW bank of the gully, climbing through open wandoo woodland.  At '33' turn left to head SW along slope near the edge of a laterite plateau surface. At '34' veer WNW again to climb onto the near-flat hill-top area.

[Alternatively if you wish to follow the shorter 15 kms route across Mt Billy itself, after  waypoint '34' follow '35-ALT'...'38-ALT' etc approx. SW to reach the summit of Mt Billy ('MTBILY'). Then head NNW (via '42-ALT' etc to reach Yarra Road. Then follow Yarra Road SW for 700m back to the Start point.]

At '35' continue approx. WNW, veering slightly to the left to soon follow a gentle gully downhill through glades of sheoak and across small outcrops. Veer NNW at '36' then cross a small gully at about '37'.  Continue NNW through open woodland to cross Yarra Road and follow the dirt road on the western side of the road (at 'TRK'). Follow the dirt road initially WNW through a low-lying area of heath. At '39' the track veers NW and climbs rapidly though jarrah forest. When the track veers sharply to the right (at 'LVTR1'), as a short-cut you can continue NW and off-track  through heathland to rejoin the track again after only 50m (at 'TRKRJN'). The track then crosses a deep gully and climbs westward up the other bank. At 'LVTR2', leave the track to continue approx. westward initially crossing a small south-sloping spur ridge, then crossing a stream gully. Follow animal tracks through a very short section of possible scratchy shrubland (stay upslope to avoid the denser areas), then reach a granite slab ('SLAB5') at the head of a small valley which opens to the SE, with good views 4.5 kms across forest to the low hills SE of the Helena River valley, previously visited along this walk route. (From higher on this hillside, off the walk route there are also views to Mt Dale, 26 kms SW). Continue approx. westward from the granite slab, initially through quite dense shrubland for less than 75m, crossing a small stream gully, then climbing to open ground (at '44'). Then turn left to head SW along slope to a ridge at '46'. Then continue WSW across the slope, gaining a view (at 'VU1') through the trees to Mt Yetar, 4.5 kms to the SW. Continue WSW/SW down a ridge (via '48', '49') then along the southern side of a deep gully (via '50').  At '51' turn left to head ESE across the hillside. Cross a stream course after about 300m then continue across open grassy slopes at the head of a gully which deepens to the south. At '52' turn right to head south along the eastern side of the gully. Reach a small granite outcrop (at 'VU2') with another view to Mt Yetar. Then continue SSE along the eastern side of the gully (to '54'), then down the crest of the SE-sloping ridge to meet Yarra Road (at '55').  Turn right to follow Yarra Road across the nearby Helena River to return to the Start point ('END').

 

 

 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     446713  6465646  Start point at corner of Yarra and Ridley Roads.

1         446996  6465499  On Ridley Road.

2         447101  6465245  On Ridley Road.

RKNU      447029  6464856  On small dome-like granite outcrop.

4         446378  6464110  On ridge.

5         446369  6463760  Just west of crest of ridge.

NURK1     446595  6463440  Small granite ledge with good view to Mt. Billy.

6         446634  6463304  On crest of ridge.

7         446681  6463110  Near hill-top, just SE of laterite capping.

8         446643  6463033  Near crest of ridge, south of hill-top.

9         446870  6462907  Just NE of crest of ridge.

10        447018  6462709  On crest of narrow, rocky ridge.

11        447267  6462608  On gentle south flank of broad ridge.

BPR-RD    447917  6462513  Bumper Road.

13        448436  6462536  On broad ridge, rising very gently to NE.

14        448571  6462764  At head of gully which plunges to NW.

15        448685  6462777  On broad ridge, rising to NE.

SLAB      448888  6463103  On 200m-long granite slab which extends ENE downslope.

17        449061  6463171  Near downslope end of granite slab.

18        449062  6463341  On east bank of stream gully.

SLAB2     449222  6463443  On granite slab.

BCR-RD    449429  6463468  Bouncer Road.

21        449830  6463533  On NW-sloping hillside below laterite breakaway.

22        449957  6463711  On NW-sloping ridge. 

SLAB3     450109  6463728  On granite slab in NW-sloping valley.

24        450122  6463897  On westward-sloping ridge. 

SLAB4     450253  6464096  On small granite slab on north-sloping ridge.

RID-RD    450388  6464257  Ridley Road.

27        450574  6464520  Ridley Road.

28        450574  6464879  Unnamed dirt road.

29        450288  6465077  Dirt road T-junction near Helena River course. 

30        450237  6465052  Dirt road T-junction near Helena River course.

31        450153  6465275  Unnmamed N-S road intersects Ball Rd (both dirt roads).

LV-RD     450162  6465728  On minor dirt road.

33        449571  6465903  On south bank of narrow gully.

34        449436  6465797  Near southern edge of laterite-capped hill top. 

35        449183  6465957  On laterite-capped hill-top. 

36        448820  6466070  Near small granite slabs on gentle WNW-sloping hillside.

37        448786  6466298  On gentle WNW-sloping hillside.

TRK       448601  6466704  On Yarra Road. Entrance to minor dirt road on NW-side.

39        448192  6466804  On unnamed dirt road.

LVTR1     447972  6467141  On unnamed dirt road. 

TRKRJN    447935  6467179  On unnamed dirt road.

LVTR2     447825  6467191  On unnamed dirt road.

SLAB5     447539  6467183  On southward-sloping granite slab in small valley.

44        447466  6467203  On east-sloping hillside, near edge of shrubland.

46        447365  6467097  On south-sloping ridge. 

VU1       447255  6467068  On south-sloping hillside. View to Mt Yetar.

48        447078  6467029  On SW-sloping ridge.

49        446968  6466889  On SW-sloping ridge.

50        446769  6466867  On southern bank of SW-plunging gully.

51        446702  6466791  On southern bank of SW-plunging gully. 

52        447145  6466602  On SW-sloping hillside.

VU2       447132  6466455  On small granite slab with view to Mt Yetar.

54        447047  6466297  On east bank of SW-plunging gully.

55        446831  6465743  On Yarra Road.

END       446713  6465646  Back at Start point.      

Additional waypoints on map :

STL-RK    447078  6462867  'Sentinel Rock'(WalkGPS informal name)

35-ALT    449064  6465851  On small granite slab on SW-sloping hillside.

36-ALT    448895  6465698  On south-sloping hillside. 

37-ALT    448461  6465765  Ball Road (dirt road). 

38-ALT    448186  6465548  Just NW of crest of ridge rising to SW.

39-ALT    447987  6465078  Just west of small saddle along ridge of Mt Billy. 

40-ALT    448076  6464943  Near top of eastern flank of Mt Billy.

MTBILY    447970  6464783  Approx. summit of Mt Billy.

42-ALT    447447  6465246  In westward-sloping gully (on western slope of Mt Billy).

43-ALT    447460  6465601 

44-ALT    447309  6465952  Yarra Road.

ALT-ST    446838  6465614  At side of Ridley Road. (For alternate, more concealed parking.)

LAT       449952  6463537  Breakaway at edge of laterite plateau.

MTCLIF    450095  6466881  Approx. summit of Mt Clifford.

 

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This page was last updated  :   23 March, 2017

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