Qualen Road Walk (Walk #19)


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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.

Tall wandoo trees in south,  June 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 :

76 kms ESE of Perth.   

Length :

17 field kms (90% off-track).

Degree of difficulty :

EASY - MEDIUM   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 280m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred :

PREFERABLE (to help locate subtle turning points and features).

Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

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

Follow Brookton Highway from Albany Highway for 47 kms, then turn left into Yarra Road (first road on left after Christmas Tree well on left), then drive 12.4 kms down Yarra Road (usually good condition gravel road, but watch for pot-holes).  Then turn right into Qualen Road (dirt road) and park on the roadside about 100m from the corner with Yarra Rd.

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 :

In west and north, to Yarra Rd or Qualen Rd.  In SE, via Korner Rd and then Sullivan Rd NW to Qualen Rd, OR via Korner Rd south for 4 kms to Willies Rd, then about 4.5 kms west to Yarra Rd.

Main features


This walk is mostly through picturesque, open wandoo woodlands, with some shorter sections of open jarrah forest. The area is 12-16km east of Mount Dale and lies just south of the Upper Darkin Walk area and north of the Christmas Tree Well Walk area. The NE half of the walk (NE of Sullivan Rd and between Korner Rd in the SE and Yarra Rd in the NW) lies within the new 44,000 ha Wandoo National Park.

Meney & Brown, 1985 have previously noted, "the character and form of the widely spaced virgin wandoo creates a most unique bush atmosphere which is a delight to any bushwalker". The terrain here is mainly very gentle and allows for very easy walking, with only a few modest slopes across an eastern outcrop area and around the low, laterite-topped and forested  hills.

There are some views from the eastern outcrop, across forest, toward wheatbelt farmland. -But the main attraction is the beauty of the woodlands combined with the prolific wildflowers in late winter to spring which more than compensates for the limited variety in  the terrain.

This area is also of some significance for native fauna conservation: More than 20  numbats were released by CALM into nearby woodlands west of Yarra Road in late 1997 under a 10-year Numbat Recovery Plan (as part of the  Western Shield project). The released animals were to be radio-tracked but success to date in the region is unknown.

Future impact of bauxite mining: Unfortunately mining will eventually affect the SW half of this walk area up to the boundary of the proposed Wandoo National Park. In 2008 Worsley Alumina (86% owned by BHP Billiton) obtained environmental approval for a major 30-year expansion of bauxite mining within their extensive existing lease. This is just one impact of the inexorable spread of State-condoned bauxite mining across much of the forested area of the Darling Range near Perth.

It is testament to the miners' superb public relations skills and resources that the public and media are generally unaware and/or disinterested in the huge and growing impact of bauxite mining on our forests and environment. As Roger Underwood, a former General Manager of W.A. Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM), has said: "...there will come a time in the not-too-distant future when West Australians realise what has gone on, and the extent and cost of the ecological damage which has occurred. Then perhaps they will look back on the .... destruction of the jarrah forest by bauxite mining as one of the greatest conservation blunders in our history." (Also see WalkGPS videos "Disappearing Wandoo Woodlands", "Changing the Mount Solus Landscape". Also on WalkGPS: Worsley's future operations at Bannister Hill , 'Related Land-use Issues', and WalkGPS submission to EPA.

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 & Tracks 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:  Kelmscott & Beraking 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2133-4 & 2133-1;

or Kelmscott 1:50,000 Sheet (WA Forests Dept., 1984).

Other background references :

"Wandoo National Park - Park Guide" by DEC (undated pdf; 248KB).

"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.)  

Route notes :


From Start point, walk west to the nearby corner (waypoint 'CNR') of Yarra and Qualen Roads, then south down Yarra Road for about 750m (to '1A'). Then veer left to follow an old dirt vehicle track uphill SE through open wandoo woodland for about 200m (to '1B'). Then veer due south along a gentle slope, initially through open woodland and soon through dryandra shrubland (to '1C'). Then veer SE again and soon enter open mixed forest (wandoo-jarrah-marri). Cross a stream gully  and continue approx. SE onto a broad flat ridge in very sparse, open jarrah forest and low heath (and 'pea gravel'), eventually slowly descending (via '2') to a gentle side valley (at '2A'). Continue SE.  Soon re-enter wandoo woodland and cross a broad, gentle valley (to '2B').  Cross a very gentle low ridge (to '3') in jarrah forest, then head approx. ENE along another very gentle valley for about 1 km, again mainly  through wandoo woodland. Then climb gently away from the valley floor to re-enter jarrah forest and  cross Korner Road (at '3A').  Continue ENE to cross Sullivan Road (at '3B'). Then veer NE and soon re-enter  wandoo woodland along the edge of a laterite plateau surface which drops away to the east.  Continue NE to descend the slope  and cross a stream course (at approx. '4').  Then veer NNW to cross a small low granite outcrop and walk gently uphill, initially through some she-oak shrubland and then back into wandoo woodland before crossing Korner Road again (at '4A').  Continue WNW up a broad ridge (to '5') in very attractive woodland, including some very large trees. Then veer NNE along slope and soon descend to cross a stream gully (to '6'). Then head approx. due north up a rocky slope (picking an easy route through a patch of tall heath), gaining a pleasant view approx. SSE across the forested valley.  Soon reach a rocky ridge and descend to reach a NE-sloping granite outcrop (at approx. '7') with views eastward across forest to wheatbelt farmland (which lies east of the Darkin River). Head NW and gently downslope from the outcrop into shrubland (to '8'). Then veer approx. westward along slope in wandoo woodland for only about 100m (to '8A'), then turn NE to head downslope to cross a stream gully after another 100m (at '8B').  Then head NNW up the opposite slope on mainly open grass-covered or rocky surfaces (to '9').  Then veer along slope to reach a similar, but larger open area (at 'VU') with views again to the east. Then veer NE down the flank of a forested ridge to reach a granite outcrop (at 'RK') which provides local views across the small side valley. Then head approx. north for only about 150m to cross the nearby rocky ridge and reach the edge of wandoo woodland (at about '10'). Then veer approx. westward, to head steadily upslope for 600m across partly rocky ground and through low she-oak thickets.  Reach open wandoo woodland again at the top of the ridge and (at '11') veer approx. NW (partly through a short section of scratchy heath) to reach a small rocky knoll (at 'VU2') from where there are views NE.  Then veer SW for less than 100m through  heathland to get back to open woodland close to the summit area on the ridge.  Then head WNW to follow the ridge very gently downhill through open woodland, staying clear of the fairly thick dryandra bushland on the left. At '13' continue approx. WNW and soon cross Qualen Road (at '14').  Continue WNW, initially through mixed forest, then back into wandoo woodland (at about '15') on the flat valley floor.  Veer NW to follow the valley floor (via '16') and at '16A' veer WNW to climb gently uphill avoiding dryandra shrubland upslope on the left.  At '17' veer more southward,  continue approx. along slope through woodland (via '18'), then cross a gully to reach a rocky ridge (at '18A').  Veer SE to follow the narrow ridge for 200m to a group of large granite boulders.  Then veer SW to cross another gully and a narrow dryandra-covered ridge.  Continue SW downhill to soon reach Yarra Road (at '19'). Turn left to follow the road southward.  At '19A' veer southward (left) off the road to cross a small valley and reach the Start point on Qualen Road.



 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       448155  6444552  On Qualen Rd, near corner with Yarra Rd.

CNR         448003  6444568  Corner of Yarra and Qualen Roads.

1           447675  6444277  On Yarra Road.

1A          447586  6443898  On Yarra Rd. Old dirt road heads uphill on E side.

1B          447687  6443699  On old dirt road.

1C          447703  6443133  In short section of dryandra (parrot bush)?

2           448532  6442509  In very open jarrah forest and low heath.

2A          449003  6441794  In gentle side valley.

2B          449571  6441572  Near edge of open wandoo woodland.

3           449807  6441301  Near edge of open wandoo woodland.

3A          451078  6441526  Cross Korner Road (dirt road).

3B          451693  6441675  Cross Sullivan Road (dirt road).

4           452090  6442344  Near stream course and small, low granite outcrop.

4A          451968  6442731  Re-cross Korner Road (dirt road).

5           451744  6443351  In open wandoo woodland on ridge.

6           451857  6443709  On rocky slope near stream gully.

7           451861  6444025  On granite outcrop with view east.

8           451616  6444291  In shrubland, on rocky slope.

8A          451507  6444295  In wandoo woodland on slope above stream gully.

8B          451566  6444389  Cross stream gully.

9           451502  6444567  On open partly grassed granite slope.

VU          451535  6444673  On grassed granite slope. View east across valley.

RK          451847  6444825  On granite outcrop. View east.

10          451755  6444952  On edge of wandoo woodland.

11          451148  6444888  In wandoo woodland on ridge.

VU2         451014  6444978  On small rocky knoll with view to NE.

12          450959  6444938  Near summit. In wandoo woodland.

13          450235  6445284  In wandoo woodland.

14          450012  6445325  Cross Qualen Road (gravel road).

15          449612  6445399  In mixed forest. On near-flat valley floor.

16          449284  6445869  On near-flat valley floor.

16A         448973  6446071  On near-flat valley floor.

16B         448699  6446138  On gentle hillside.

17          448430  6446000  In open wandoo woodland (dryandra upslope).

18          448350  6445799  On slope, in open wandoo woodland.

18A         448337  6445582  On boulder-strewn spur ridge, in wandoo woodland.

18B         448408  6445515  On boulder-strewn spur ridge, in wandoo woodland.

19          448105  6445253  Meet Yarra Road.

19A         448202  6444871  On Yarra Road.

END         448155  6444552  Back at Start point.

Additional Waypoints on map : 

SULKNR      451366  6442309  Junction of Sullivan and Korner Roads (dirt rds).

SULVN       448862  6444310  Sullivan Road meets Qualen Road.

SMLRK       451968  6444344  Small low outcrop downslope of outcrop in E.


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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.