Northern John Forrest Nat. Park Walk (Walk #4a)

 

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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.

Granite tor near Toodyay Road,

Dec. 2003.

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 :

27 kms NE of Perth. 

Length :

15 field kms (30% off-track).

Degree of difficulty :

EASY - MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking :

400m (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 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').

Main features

/Highlights:

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 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).

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 - Park Guide" and "John Forrest National Park - Park Guide" by DEC (undated PDF );

"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'.

 

 

 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       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  :   15 June, 2013

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