Mount Billy area Walk (Walk #15b)
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|On this page:||
1) Walk map - Shows route and waypoint locations
3) 3D map view
7) Waypoint listing and grid references
Click on map for
In wandoo woodland in south
of Mount Billly area, Oct. 2006
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
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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.
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.
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.
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').
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!
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 : 15 June, 2013
Site authored by David Osborne. Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2013 David Osborne.