Upper Dale River Walk (Walk #27)


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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.

Typical open wandoo woodland,

upper Dale River area.  

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 :

65 kms SE of Perth,  along Brookton Hwy to Metro Road on right,  then further 14.5 kms down Metro Road.

Length :

18kms (99% off-track)

Degree of difficulty :

EASY   (What does this mean?)

Amount of uphill walking : 280m (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.)

To reach parking spot at Start point (see map), follow Brookton Highway and turn right into Metro Road (first road on right after Christmas Tree well on left), then drive 14.5 km down Metro Road (dirt) to park at intersection with McCallum Road.

Escape route/s :

Reach Metro Road and then north to Brookton Hwy.

Main features


This walk is mostly through picturesque, open wandoo woodlands between small granite outcrops. Although it is almost entirely off-track it includes some easy walking over reasonably gentle terrain, with only a few modest slopes onto the outcrops and across a few, usually dry stream gullies (including upper Dale River).  There are some pleasant views from the outcrops. Expect a few short sections of scratchy heath around the outcrops, though a 'controlled burn' in the area in about early 2004 temporarily removed some of the thicker patches.

Note: Trail-bike activity - Parts of this area and other wandoo woodland areas have become increasingly popular with trail-bike riders, with many informal illegal trails criss-crossing the woodlands. Riding in this particular  area is supposedly legal only if bikes are registered and remain on 'formed' trails. (Metro Road is within State Forest and outside the Jarrah Dieback Disease Risk area.) The State Trail Bike Strategy of Dec. 2007 identified the area as "having potential for development as an Off Road Vehicle area for motorcycles and quads", but the riders' uncontrolled off-road activities are causing considerable environmental damage throughout the woodlands including across granite outcrops. In August 2010 the State Government announced it will be assisting trail-bike riders to design and build an "environmentally-sustainable" pilot trail-bike trail in the Flint forest block, near this walk area. Hopefully, this will be a positive step toward rider education and regulation that may at least slow and help contain the wider damage being done across the woodlands.  Meanwhile you may prefer to walk in this area only on week days, when there is usually less trail-bike activity and your walking will be less disturbed by incessant bike noise. 

Controlled burns:  A burn is currently scheduled for Autumn 2009 in an area in the NNE bounded by Metro and McCallum Roads.  This will only impact on a short section of the walk route between waypoints '14B' & 'POOL'. See DEC's 6-season indicative burn programme.

Future impact of bauxite mining: The presence of lateritic caprock and pods of bauxite ore across the southern part of this walk area (see image below) has made it (like Bannister Hill further south) the firm target for future bauxite strip mining which is destined to prevent bushwalker access and destroy the intrinsic recreational and landscape values of this area. Ironically the conservation value of the area was recognised with its designation for some time as the proposed future Gibbs Conservation Park of around 5929 ha to be managed identically to a national park. However, subsequent political 'pragmatism' (i.e. the attraction to this State of mining royalties) prevailed and the "Regional Forest Agreement for the SW Forest Region of W.A." (Cwth. & W.A. State Governments; 1999) withdrew the "Proposed Conservation Park" status. Under the later Forest Management Plans (including the draft 2013-2023 Plan of August 2012) a smaller 2280ha area to the north is now proposed  ("reinstated") as the future Gibbs Conservation Park while most of the area has remained as State Forest to ensure it is available for the bauxite miners who in 2008 gained environmental approval for their future extensive mining expansion into the area. The potential for a future effective 'biolink' to the otherwise isolated Boyagarring Conservation Park has also been lost.

The State's environmental approval processes (through the EPA) have failed to ensure bona fide “close consultation" with the community that the mining proponents have claimed. In place of consultation there has been continuing slick public relations 'spin' by bauxite miners, conveying an impression to the public that "world's best" environmental rehabilitation programs (including "re-landscaping") can restore (even improve!) the intrinsic values of a landscape that has been essentially destroyed by mining. Hopefully, growing public awareness, scepticism and concern will lead to better outcomes for the community and especially for future generations. 

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:   Jarrahdale 1:50,000 Sheet (Dept. of CALM, 1990);

or Jarrahdale & Yaganing 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2133-3 & 2133-2.

Other background references : "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. The mining area expansion within the extensive existing lease will unfortunately eventually impinge on the southern side of this walk area. It is possible that public access via Metro Road will also eventually be restricted due to future mining operations .  A planned new long distance conveyor belt route is also likely to pass N-S through the centre of the walk area. (Worsley is 86% owned by BHP Billiton).- For information on the future impact on walk areas see WalkGPS submission to EPA (5MB pdf). See also Related access issues on WalkGPS.

Proposed Conservation Park: The eastern half of this walk (east of the N-S stream course that passes close to waypoint 'SMLROK') lies within a proposed small Conservation Park at the eastern margin of the current State Forest area (see CALM Operations Graphics series maps for location).

Route notes :


Head initially NW mainly through open woodland, cross small patchy outcrop at waypoints ‘3’ and ‘4’ (see map) then descend through wandoo and balgas (grass trees) to cross two dry creek beds (route veers N-ward). Then reach larger granite outcrop after waypoint ‘6’.  After moving uphill across the outcrop pass through short sections of scratchy scrub and a series of small rock outcrops to reach another larger outcrop at waypoint ‘VUROK’ (first rest stop). Then walk uphill through short section of scratchy dryandra to reach ridge and open wandoo woodland after waypoint ‘11’. Follow ridge downhill initially S-ward and then SE-ward passing through two thickets of young casuarina (sheoak) before crossing a stream gully to reach waypoint ‘14’.  Then veer eastward, re-cross the stream bed, and cross a gentle ridge through wandoo to regain Metro Road at waypoint ‘14B’.  Cross the road and continue approx ESE through open woodland to cross McCallum Road, pass large granite boulder on other side of road, and soon after reach a (dried out) pool on the upper Dale River. Then keep heading ESE across gentle ridge, to cross a quite broad flat valley and a small stream gully before reaching a small granite outcrop at ‘SMLROK’. Then veer approx NE through mainly open woodlands, cross a narrow dryandra-covered ridge and descend across a short section of rocky ground and through sheoak forest to reach low granite outcrops at ‘ROK 1’ and ‘16’ (second rest stop).  Veer SE again and reach another small granite outcrop at ‘TRIG’ waypoint, where there is an interesting old man-made boulder arrangement and small sharpened post (probably an old surveying point). Veer east to descend to a larger granite outcrop at waypoint ‘NURK2’. Veer SSE to follow the outcrop uphill, then cross an E-W dirt road (marked on map) and climb gently through very picturesque open woodland to reach point ‘17’. After ‘17’, walk south and soon descend to a granite outcrop at ‘18’.  Follow the outcrop southward along slope (with views to east), passing through a couple of brief scratchy sections. Then climb gently through mainly jarrah forest to a ridge at waypoint ‘19’. Veer SW-ward to ascend a granite outcrop with a good lunch spot at ’19-A’  with views of surrounding forest and distant wheatbelt farmland.  Then walk SSW through partly scratchy scrub to reach a small stand of wandoo trees (‘WANDOO’ on map) and continue SW (gently downhill) to another granite outcrop (at ‘CRNROK’ on map). Veer due west, initially through low scratchy scrub, cross stream gully and walk through open jarrah forest to reach waypoint ‘20’.  Veer NW, eventually cross a gentle valley and then climb through some scratchy scrub to reach waypoint ’20’ on a more open ridge. Then veer SW along the ridge and pass through a brief scratchy section to reach a granite outcrop at ‘VURK2’ with nice views to the west across the valley to another outcrop which is the next point on the route. Descend down the rock from ‘VURK2’ and head WSW to cross the valley,  initially through partly scratchy scrub, across an unmarked road, then a dry stream bed and then a gentle climb to reach waypoint ‘22’ on the other outcrop. Head NNW along the outcrop and after about 400m veer NW to leave it and descend through open woodland to cross the upper Dale River bed at waypoint ‘24’. Then it’s a gentle uphill climb through woodland back to the Start point



 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        448558  6420185    Park car. Head west 100m on McCallum Road.

2            448457  6420176    Veer NW off road into the forest.

WANDU2       447946  6420574    Large wandoo tree. Veer west.

3            447606  6420612    Reach patchy rocky outcrop.

4            447550  6420675    Still on outcrop.  

4A           447423  6420705    Into wandoo woodlands.

5            447155  6421043    Cross stream bed.

6            447205  6421391    Close to base of granite outcrop.

7            447280  6421675    Top of granite outcrop. 

8            447268  6421836    Another outcrop.

9            447446  6421997    Smaller outcrop.  

10           447782  6421941    Outcrop.

VUROK        447842  6421794    Good views of bushland across gentle valley.

11           447863  6421658    Close to ridge and open wandoo woodland.

12           447843  6421425    On ridge. Wandoo trees to west, jarrah to east. 

13           448175  6421082    Enter thicket of casuarina pines about here.

14           448358  6420802    Just after crossing dry stream channel.

14A          448715  6420879    In wandoo woodland.

14B          448991  6420816    Cross Metro Road.

POOL         449693  6420588    Small pool along Dale River gully.

SMLROK       450471  6420244    Small granite outcrop.

ROK1         451737  6421024    Low granite outcrop surrounded by sheoak.

16           451886  6420973    Leave patchy granite outcrop.

16A          452183  6420703   

TRIG         452277  6420673    Small outcrop with small post ?survey marker.

NURK2        452578  6420744    Another outcrop, rising to the south.

17           452856  6420046    In wandoo woodlands.

17A          452823  6419830   

18           452874  6419788    Reach granite outcrop with views to east.

18-A         452771  6419711    Continuing along outcrop.

18-B         452760  6419169    In jarrah forest.

19           452858  6418674    On ridge.

19-A         452634  6418423    Near top of sloping granite outcrop. Good views.

WANDOO       452621  6418327    Small stand of wandoo trees on ridge.

CRNROK       452519  6418149    Outcrop sloping to west with small cairn marker.

20           452332  6418060    In jarrah forest.

20-A         451442  6419038

21           451141  6418999    On ridge in wandoo woodland.

VURK2        450988  6418821    Top of granite outcrop. Views west across valley.

21-A         450885  6418864    Base of outcrop.

22           450103  6418694    On another granite outcrop.

22-A         450006  6418788    Views east.

23           449950  6418974    Continuing along outcrop.

ENDROK       449878  6419066    Leave outcrop about here.

23A          449784  6419046    Back into wandoo woodland.

24           449159  6419659    Re-cross Dale River channel.

END          448558  6420185    End walk back at car.

Additional waypoints on map :

BOLDRS       447306  6421945    Granite boulders close to route in NW.

RD-CNR       451215  6420279    Bend in dirt road, east of 'SMLROK'.

ROK23        449873  6419347    Near base of granite outcrop, north of 'ENDROK'.


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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.