Northern John Forrest Nat. Park Walk (Walk #4a)
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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 large version.||
Granite tor near Toodyay Road,
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
|Additional Satellite Imagery|
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.
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For fly-in to 3D view
of the walk area.
Or Right Click to
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Hint: For enhanced 3D effect, set 'Elevation Exaggeration'
in Google Earth to "3" (via 'Tools' menu, 'Options' & 'View' tab).
27 kms NE of Perth.
15 field kms (30% off-track).
|Degree of difficulty :||
EASY - MEDIUM (What does this mean?)
|Amount of uphill walking :||
400m (cumulative ascent)
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 to Roe Hwy, then north, right into Toodyay Road and follow it for 7 kms up the steep hill to the top of the Darling Scarp (Red Hill). Park down a short track off the right hand side of the road just after it straightens toward the NE (and less than 50m past an alternative marked parking area, also on the right). The Start point is marked by a secondary entrance gate (and fallen fence!) and vehicle track into John Forrest National Park.
Good alternative access to this circuit walk and to the central area of John Forrest National Park is from the Taaffe Rd entrance: Turn right off Roe Hwy into Morrison Road (at first traffic lights after crossing Great Eastern Hwy), then after 3 km turn left into Pechey Road, then right into Taaffe Rd (part dirt) which is now blocked by a white barrier gate after 100m (near the private entry to the Swan View Equestrian Lodge on the left). Park in the limited roadside area near the gate or further back down Taaffe Rd or on Pechey Rd. Then walk to the end of Taaffe Rd (150m beyond the white gate) to waypoint 'ALT-ST' at the secondary park entrance. Turn left (north) to cross a stream course (to waypt '59'), then after 20m turn right (east) along the old vehicle track/bridle trail to waypt '58' and then either north on the marked Eagle's View Trail to link into the walk route at 'EAG-TR', or continue east along the vehicle track and soon climb quite steeply uphill for about 300m to reach waypt '80' near the crest of a ridge. Then turn left to head approx. NW off-track through heathland to '81' on the northern flank of the ridge. Then head NW downslope to soon meet Eagle's View Trail at about waypt '15' and turn right to follow the described walk route eastward.
If starting at Taaffe Road you can bypass northern waypoints '45' to '48' and '1' to '3' to avoid the section close to Toodyay Road: See route notes below.
|Escape route/s :||
In north, follow dirt vehicle tracks to Toodyay Road. In west, follow tracks to waypoints '58' and '59' and exit to Taaffe Road (near Swan View Equestrian Lodge). In south, follow Eagle's View trail and/or vehicle tracks to Jane Brook and main carpark (waypt '61').
This circuit walk is within the northern area of John Forrest National Park which also forms part of the Darling Range Regional Park system. It includes sections of overlap with the Eagle's View Trail (Walk # 4 on this site), which total to about one-third of the walk, but also includes some off-track heathland and forest walking. It also offers some additional views along the Darling Scarp and across the Swan Coastal Plain to Perth City, and visits some interesting natural sculptures in the form of granite tors. The walk also includes two easy off-track crossings of Christmas Tree Creek which usually flows well by late winter-early spring and includes small rapids at one of the crossing points.
As on the Eagle's View Trail, the route passes through varied vegetation types, including extensive heathlands, wandoo woodlands and mixed jarrah-marri-wandoo forest. The broad areas of heathland make this walk especially worthwhile in the wildflower season.
Note that several of the old vehicle tracks/park maintenance tracks also double as Bridle Trails for horse-riding.
Bushfire impact: A fire on 3 Nov. 2010 burned 567 ha of forest within a 15km perimeter in the northern area of the National Park and affected much of this walk area (see map). An earlier 'controlled burn' covering 157 ha was carried out in the eastern area of the Park in May 2010 - that burn didn't affect the walk area but likely helped limit the spread of the later wildfire. See DEC's current 6-season indicative burn program.
|Additional maps :||
WalkGPS walk map
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).
Mundaring 1:25,000 2134-III, NW & SW sheets (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1983; Series R811) -available on DVD.
Note: Mundaring & Chidlow 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2134-3 & 2134-2, is too 'busy' across the Park area to be useful for this walk.
|Other background references :||
"John Forrest National Park: A Place of Beauty" article by George Duxbury, in Landscope magazine (CALM), Vol.11, No.4, Winter 1996, pp.16-21.
"Travellers guide to the Parks & Reserves of Western Australia" by Simon Nevill, 2001, pp.44-45 (Simon Nevill Publications), also includes a summary of the Park.
"John Forrest National Park Management Plan" by former Dept. of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), Aug.1994. -This also includes summaries of the flora & fauna, geology, history, future park plans, etc.
Route notes :
From the Start point off Toodyay Road follow the rough vehicle track uphill to waypt '2' where the track branches. Follow the right hand branch south along a ridge to waypt '4'. Then veer off-track toward the SW to approximately follow the ridge downhill walking initially across open heathland and then through mixed forest and heathland. Meet a minor vehicle track at 'TRK' and follow it SW for a short distance before continuing off-track along animal trails and across small rock outcrops with views across the Coastal Plain to Perth. Then reach some open 'kangaroo pasture-land' and turn left (SE) at '6' and descend the fairly steep hillside through heath and open wandoo woodland (following clear animal trails through the heath). - Good view south along the Darling Scarp and across the Park. Meet a vehicle track at '7' just past a stream gully. Walk SE along the track to '8', then turn right (SSW) to continue off-track and steeply downhill over a rocky, mainly heath-covered slope to reach a stream gully. Cross the gully and reach a nearby track at '9'. Turn left (SE) to follow the track uphill to '10' where the track branches. Take the branch which heads south down the hill (to the left hand side of an old fence). After less than 50m (at '11') follow another track which branches off to the left (east) and uphill. At waypt '12' turn SSW off-track to cross an outcrop and descend quickly across rocky ground to Christmas Tree Creek. Cross the creek (by a very short boulder-hop if it is flowing) and find a clear animal track up the steep southern bank near waypt '13'. Then follow animal trails through fairly thick heath and past granite outcrops to meet the Eagle's View Trail at 'EAG-TR'. Follow the Trail eastward (via '15' to '18'). (Alternatively, if you started the walk from the Taaffe Rd entrance, turn right onto the Trail at 'EAG-TR' to soon follow it southward for about 500m, descending back to '58', then turn right again to follow the old vehicle track/bridle trail back to the 'ALT-ST' start point.)
As you walk eastward there are good views back across Christmas Tree Gully. The Trail merges with a vehicle track after '17'. After the track turns northward, it soon crosses a bridge over Christmas Tree Creek. Continue to waypt 'RAPIDS' and find a minor foot-track off to the right and cross the Creek at a suitable safe point near the small rapids. (This should be a simple 'step-across' crossing unless the creek is flowing unusually strongly. -In that case a safe option is to retreat to waypt '18' and head directly uphill to '20', bypassing the bridge and creek crossing). After the crossing find an animal track through the heath and then climb steeply SE over and around granite outcrops and 'tors' to reach a broad area of open heathlands (waypt '20'). From about this point there are good sweeping views westward across the Swan Coastal Plain. From '20' veer ENE to head up the ridge (or see recommended 'Alternative' below), soon entering a narrow belt of wandoo trees along the edge of a laterite plateau. Cross the laterite 'breakaway' and into open jarrah forest. Meet a vehicle track at about '20A' near the crest of the ridge. Follow the track NE and then eastward to '23' for just over 1 km in total, then veer NE off-track, soon following the sloping edge of the laterite plateau/valley rim and crossing two vehicle tracks. Meet Eagle's View Trail again at '24' and turn left (NW) to follow it through picturesque wandoo woodlands and across the lateritic surface (see Eagle's View walk photos).
At '27' there are good views across the valley and Scarp toward Perth.
Recommended alternative (from '20' to '27'): This offers more off-track walking and also more variety in terrain and scenery: After '20' head NE-ward through wandoo woodland along the westward-sloping hillside via '82' to '82', gaining some good views across the valley and crossing a gully at '84'. Cross an old vehicle track at '84A' plus another track (the old W-E park boundary road) after a further 100m. Veer northward across a west-sloping spur-ridge to '85', then turn eastward to reach a large granite slab (at 'BIGRK') which provides good views across a side valley. Continue eastward along slope up the valley. Cross a gully at '87' and reach a cluster of large granite boulders near '88'. Then veer due north to soon rejoin Eagle's View Trail (near '89') and the described route. Follow the Trail WNW-ward to link up with the route again at '27'
After '27' the Trail soon descends quite steeply northward to meet a vehicle track and cross a sidestream at '29'. The Trail then follows a vehicle track to a bridge crossing of Christmas Tree Creek at '30'. Continue along the track northward and then eastward up the hillside (via '31' to '34'). At '34' turn left (south) off the vehicle track to continue on the Trail around the edge of the dissected laterite plateau. There are some excellent views across this secluded northern valley. At '39' veer right (SW) off-track to leave the Trail. Cross a vehicle track at '40'. (That track provides a good potential escape route north back to Toodyay Road, via '50', 52', '44' and '2'.) Continue off-track through mixed forest and heath to '41' to bypass old revegetated pits, once quarried for road gravel). Then veer NW to follow the slope around the edge of the plateau, finding and following animal tracks through mainly open heathlands. -Good views across the valley and Coastal Plain. After '42', veer NNW and re-enter wandoo woodlands along the hillside. Soon after '43', climb steadily up on to the plateau (avoiding thickets of dryandra/parrot-bush) to meet a N-S vehicle track at '44'.
Follow the track north for a short distance along an old fenceline to '45' (don't follow the track branching off to the right ). Then veer NW off-track and downhill initially through wandoo woodland and then across open heathland, interrupted by scattered granite tors. Again there are views across the Darling Scarp and Coastal Plain. Toodyay Road will soon be within sight. After '47' veer left (west) and cross a stream gully. At approx. '48' meet a vehicle track which follows the SE side of Toodyay Road, inside the park fence. Follow the track SW back to the Start point.
Alternatively, if you started the walk from the Taaffe Road entrance you can bypass northern waypoints '44' to '48' and '1' to '3' to avoid the section close to Toodyay Road. Instead go from waypt '43' to '90' and follow the mountain bike trail, initially westward downhill to '91' and then southward along a gentle saddle which gives good views across the valley and to part of the route already walked. At '92' turn right and head off-track through heath, across the crest of a gentle hilltop, to soon reach a vehicle track. Turn left to follow the track southward to link back into the described walk route at '4'.
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 411557 6475922 At secondary park entrance off Toodyay Road.
1 411754 6475751 On vehicle track.
2 412110 6475848 On vehicle track.
3 412110 6475462 On vehicle track.
4 411953 6475095 On vehicle track. Begin an off-track section.
TRK 411751 6474965 Meet old vehicle track.
6 411495 6474760 Off-track. On open grassed ridge.
7 411778 6474522 Meet vehicle track near stream gully.
8 411945 6474443 On vehicle track. Begin an off-track section.
9 411849 6474273 Meet vehicle track.
10 411939 6474201 Vehicle track junction.
11 411939 6474163 Vehicle track/bridle trail junction.
12 412097 6474156 On vehicle track. Begin an off-track section.
13 412031 6473982 Near off-track crossing of Christmas Tree Creek.
EAG-TR 412126 6473813 Meet Eagle's View Trail.
15 412387 6473702 On Eagle's View Trail.
16 412553 6473674 On Eagle's View Trail.
17 412657 6473467 On Eagle's View Trail (and vehicle track).
18 412891 6473487 On Eagle's View Trail (and vehicle track).
RAPIDS 412924 6473598 Near Creek crossing (adjacent Eagle's View Trail).
20 413092 6473421 Off-track. Views across Coastal Plain.
20A 413408 6473548 Meet vehicle track.
21 413652 6473775 On vehicle track.
22 414139 6473806 On vehicle track.
23 414359 6473906 On vehicle track. Begin an off-track section.
24 414714 6474443 Meet Eagle's View Trail.
27 413795 6474882 On Eagle's View Trail.
28 413796 6475137 On Eagle's View Trail.
29 414027 6475360 On Eagle's View Trail.
30 413898 6475524 On Eagle's View Trail.
31 413952 6475922 On Eagle's View Trail.
32 413719 6475865 On Eagle's View Trail.
33 413468 6475905 On Eagle's View Trail.
34 413242 6476008 On Eagle's View Trail.
35 413194 6475783 On Eagle's View Trail.
36 413059 6475654 On Eagle's View Trail.
37 413101 6475392 On Eagle's View Trail.
38 413225 6475271 On Eagle's View Trail.
39 413208 6475008 On Eagle's View Trail. Begin an off-track section.
40 413085 6474938 Cross approx. N-S vehicle track.
41 413051 6474925 Off-track.
42 412846 6475029 Off-track.
43 412749 6475367 Off-track.
44 412519 6475737 Meet N-S vehicle track.
45 412514 6475823 On vehicle track. Begin an off-track section.
46 412294 6476096 Off-track. Near granite tor.
47 412258 6476235 Off-track.
48 411930 6476231 Meet rough vehicle track approx. here.
END 411557 6475922 Back at Start point.
Additional waypoints on map:
50 413086 6475176 On same vehicle track as waypts '40','51' & '72'.
51 412867 6475445 On same vehicle track as waypts '40','50' & '72'.
52 412811 6475847 Vehicle track from waypt'40' meets another track.
53 412204 6474415 On same vehicle track/bridle trail as waypt '4'.
54 415094 6473897 Track through waypt '23' meets Eagle's View Trail.
55 414090 6476076 On vehicle track to meet Toodyay Rd at '56'.
56 412483 6476950 Another vehicle track entry point off Toodyay Rd.
57 412258 6476574 Possible alternate entry point off Toodyay Rd.
ALT-ST 411623 6473384 Good alternate Park entry point. End of Taaffe Rd.
58 411996 6473358 Taaffe Rd track intersects Eagle's View Trail.
59 411626 6473397 Track entry 13m north of 'ALT-ST'.
60 411417 6472454 Alternate Park access (off Pechey Rd). Rocky Pool.
61 411688 6472486 Rocky Pool location on Jane Brook.
62 414026 6471999 Main carpark for Eagle's View Trail.
70 412266 6474192 On same vehicle track as waypt '12'.
71 412602 6474208 On same vehicle track as waypt '12' and '70'.
72 412937 6474204 Vehicle track junction. Connects to waypt '40'
73 413031 6474200 Old Park boundary track meets Eagle's View Trail.
80 412394 6473541 On vehicle track, near crest of ridge.
81 412316 6473651 Off-track in heathland on NNE-sloping flank of ridge.
82 413239 6473550 Off-track, on west-sloping hillside.
83 413464 6473867 Off-track, on spur ridge.
84 413641 6474013 Stream gully.
84A 413699 6474132 Old vehicle track.
85 413648 6474453 Off-track, on gently north-sloping hillside.
BIGRK 413783 6474489 On large granite slab with forest views across valley.
87 414214 6474362 Stream gully.
88 414345 6474402 Off-track, near group of large granite boulders.
89 414373 6474559 On Eagle's View Trail.
90 412516 6475666 On N-S vehicle track, minor (mountain bike) trail crosses E-W.
91 412262 6475638 On mountain bike/walk trail.
92 412197 6475328 On mountain bike/walk trail.
93 412074 6475326 On vehicle track trail.
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This page was last updated : 07 February, 2013
Site authored by David Osborne. Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2013 David Osborne.