Victoria Reservoir - Bickley Brook Walk (Walk #3b)

 

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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.

Victoria Reservoir, Jan. 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 :

20 kms ESE of Perth. 

Length :

10.5 field kms (or 11.4 for revised Start point). All on-track.

or 18-19 km alternative (if walk extended to include Lions Lookout-Bickley Reservoir, Walk #3c).

Degree of difficulty : EASY   (What does this mean?)

(or MEDIUM if combined with Lions Lookout-Bickley Reservoir Walk).

Amount of uphill walking : 300m (cumulative ascent)
GPS-preferred :

YES, to confidently find the correct turns at one or two track junctions or bush clearings.  But simple commonsense and/or a compass should be sufficient without GPS.

Access  :

See Google Map for start point on road map.

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

Orrong Road or Albany Hwy to Welshpool Road, then right onto Tonkin Hwy, left into Kelvin Road (about 4 kms down Tonkin Hwy), right into White Street, and left into Hardinge Road.  Follow Hardinge Road to the car park  at the road end (past Hardinge Park and Bickley Reservoir on the left) and Start at the Mason Heritage Trail sign immediately SE of the carpark. 

2008 update: Parking at the vehicle turn-round area at the end of Hardinge Road is no longer permitted. Park instead at the carpark at Hardinge Park (picnic area,  public toilets and barbecues nearby) and start the walk from there following the alternative waypoints below.

Alternative access to this circuit walk is from the east at a carpark (see waypoint 'MASONS' on map) at the first entry gate to the Victoria Dam access road, soon after the turn-off from Mason Mill Road.  To reach Mason Mill Road, follow Welshpool Road to Canning Road, turn right and then Mason Mill Rd is first on right (less than 0.5 km) along Canning Road. 

Escape route/s :

West or east along old Hardinge Road (along Bickley Valley),  Victoria Dam access road NE to Mason Mill Road, or NW on alternate dam access road along Munday Brook (to meet Hardinge Road). 

Main features

/Highlights:

This short on-track walk is a most enjoyable and scenic introduction to walking in the forests along the western edge of the Darling Range. The area falls mainly within the 'Darling Range Regional Park' system, with the eastern portion lying within the Korung National Park (named in 2008; formerly 'Pickering Brook National Park'). About 50% of the walk is on  the established Mason (& Bird) Heritage Trail / part of the  Kattamordo Heritage Trail and a short section of the Victoria Reservoir Walk trail.  The remainder is along now disused forestry vehicle tracks. - The tracks followed are shown in blue on the map.

The walk visits sites of historical significance, including the old Victoria Dam (opened 1891 and taken out of service and partly demolished 1990; This provided Perth city's first permanent water supply. See history below.) Also the Mason Heritage Trail along Bickley Valley is along  the route of a 14.5 km wooden-railed horse-drawn tramway operated between 1872 and 1882 to transport newly logged jarrah timber  from Mason's Mill to the Canning River.  (Mason's Mill was the first sawmill in the Darling Range, built in the early 1860's. Railway sleepers were exported from the colony to India.) The walk route also visits an old grave dating back to that period (1876).   

A grassed picnic area along the banks of the old Munday Brook stream course between the old and new Victoria Dams makes a good spot for a lunch interlude at about the halfway point. A viewing platform above  the east end of the new Victoria Dam wall (opened in 1991) provides good views across the  Reservoir and Munday Brook valley. There are also good views to Perth and across Bickley Valley during the hill climb near the start of the walk. Apart from this initial steady 150m climb, the terrain is not demanding, especially the second half which includes a final 3.5 kms of mainly gentle downhill walking along the Mason Heritage Trail.

Extended walk option : If you'd prefer a longer and more demanding on-track walk (18 kms), and if time and energy allows near the end of this walk, it can simply be extended by turning right down a fire control track at waypt '30' (just east of the Start point) to link into the Lions Lookout-Bickley Reservoir Walk on the northern side of Bickley Brook. The extra walk includes some large areas of open heathland on the Darling Scarp with extensive views across the Swan Coastal Plain.  - Another good place to visit in the wildflower season.

See also Ellis Brook-Bickley Brook Walk (Walk # 3a on this site) for an alternative walk route in this general area.   

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:   Kelmscott 1:50,000 Sheet 2133-4, (CALM/DOLA, 2002);

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

or Kelmscott 1:25,000 2134-IV, NW sheet (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1981; Series R811) -available on DVD.

Other background

references :

"Old & New Victoria Dams -History & Statistics"  - copies of public information panels previously at Old Victoria Dam (since removed).

"Heritage Trail - Kattamordo". 1998;  a pamphlet by the Heritage Council. - Provides an excellent  22 page overview of the interesting history along this 27 km Trail (and the Mason & Bird Heritage Trail). Note: The trail name Kattamordo replaced the Council's earlier, incorrect spelling of the trail name as Kattamorda which is still often used. Also see WalkGPS Waypoints & Tracks page for downloadable Google Earth (kmz), PCX5 and GPX files for the Kattamordo Heritage Trail.

Pickering Brook Heritage Group site - for historical notes and many photos of the early timber industry in the area.

"Taking Wood to Water", an article on the early logging industry in the region, by Otto Prause, in Landscope magazine (CALM), Vol.5, No.4, 1990, pp.42-45. 

"Mason & Bird Heritage Trail" -a trail brochure is reportedly also available from the City of Gosnells Historical Society.

"Heritage Trail - Cala Munnda". 1998;  a Heritage Council pamphlet on a 42km driving circuit in the Kalamunda area. Provides a 20 page overview of the early settlement of the Kalamunda district, including brief notes on Mason's Mill site, and the nearby historic child's grave.

Weston Grave, Carmel (Register of Heritage Places, Assessment Documentation, Heritage Council of W.A.), Jan. 2009.

Provides an excellent 10-page history not only on the child's grave (which the walk on this page also visits -see route notes), but also the significance of the early logging industry in the area. (See also "A bush grave remembered", ABC Perth article and slide show following the interim heritage listing of the grave site).

"Swan Valley and Perth Hills Trails Discovery Guide", Eastern Metropolitan Regional Council ('EMRC'). 2005. - This is an excellent booklet summarising 41 mainly short on-track walks in Shires of Kalamunda and Mundaring and City of Swan. It has been withdrawn from public sale but a copy can be viewed at the State Library of WA (book Call Ref. # 919.411 SWA).

The booklet includes maps and notes for the Victoria Reservoir Walk trail (pp.14-15). Sections of the  Victoria Reservoir Walk partly overlap with the route described here.  The Lions Lookout Walk (pp.34-35) and Bickley Reservoir Walk (p.36 & 37) are largely included in the extended walk option on this page.  Be aware that parts of the 'established' trails in the area are not well marked (despite occasional "Shire of Kalamunda" signs) so it is wise to have  a good walk description with you.

"More Family Walks in Perth Outdoors", by CALM, 1994, includes mud maps and brief descriptions for the following:

'Mason & Bird Heritage Trail', pp.30-31,  8 km return on-track walk;

'New Victoria Dam Walk', pp.32-33, 13 km on-track return walk.

Route notes :

 

Old start (as on map):  At the Mason Heritage Trail sign immediately SE of the carpark at the end of Hardinge Road. Follow the Trail for only 200m and turn right/SW (at waypt '1') to follow a dirt track uphill. 

New Start (2008):  Start from the carpark at Hardinge Park picnic area (at 'ALT-ST'). Follow the bitumen foot-track around the south side of the Bickley Reservoir to cross Hardinge Road and meet a rough foot-track on the south side (at 'ALT-1'). Follow the footrack (via 'ALT2' and 'ALT3') and meet an old vehicle track (at 'ALT-4'). Follow the track uphill for about 100m and find a footrack (a 'short-cut') off to  the left (at 'FTTRK') and follow that until it rejoins the main track after about 200m(at '3').

After only another 100m take another footrack (at 'FTRK2') which again soon rejoins the main track . Continue uphill, climbing a couple of quite steep sections before the track starts to flatten off onto a broad ridge (the laterite plateau). At the track junction (at '5') turn left to follow a track approx. along the ridge for about 700m until you meet a N-S track (at '6'). Cross the N-S track to follow another track which heads approx. NE. After another 250m of flat walking the track soon starts descending a fairly steep hillside via a few quite well benched zigzags (after '7') through wandoo woodland. After reaching a stream gully (at '8') the track initially climbs eastward and then soon descends NE around a hillside to meet the Victoria Reservoir Trail (at 'INFO';  There is an old 'Information' building at this point.) Turn right to follow the Trail (via 'TRAIL') SE along the west side of Munday Brook valley to reach the Old Victoria Dam wall (at 'OLDDAM'). The interesting history of the Dam is given on the information panels on the Dam wall. Continue to the  nearby 'PICNIC' area (also toilets), then (possibly after a lunch stop) follow the bitumen path and road (via '14') to reach the top of the new Victoria Dam wall (at '15'). Climb the nearby wooden steps to the lookout platform above the eastern end of the dam (at 'VIEW') to get good views across the Dam and Reservoir. Then follow the Victoria Reservoir Trail northward from the platform for about 500m (with views across the old Victoria Dam) until you meet a sidetrack (an old forestry track) on the right (at '17'; If you reach the sealed Dam access road you have gone too far!)  Follow the sidetrack approx. ENE for about 400m (if necessary skirting around a gravel pit before meeting a still-used forestry track. Cross this track and head NE, to skirt around the northern edge of  a large previously logged and cleared and/or partly quarried site (at 'SAWPIT') which has now become largely covered in dense new growth shrubland of One-sided bottlebrush (Calothamnus sp.).  Find the initially vague track on the other side and follow it (via '19') northward on a good track for about 500m to reach the dam access road (at '20'). Turn left for less than 100m along this sealed road to find the old 1876 fenced grave of a young (2-day old) child, Francis Weston, whose parents lived at Mason's Mill (on Mason's  Mill Road)  where the father worked as a wheelwright (see Weston Grave, Carmel).  Then turn to retrace your steps along the dam access road and continue to the gate and adjacent parking area (at 'MASONS').  Locate the start of the Masons Heritage Trail which heads initially approx. NNW from the edge of the parking area as a foot-track. After 300m you reach the path of the old tramway (at '23'). Now simply follow this path westward along the south side of Bickley Brook (via waypoints '24' to '30') for about 3 kms to then get back to the Start point via Hardinge Road and the foot-track (at 'ALT-1') around the south side of Bickley Reservoir.  Along the way you will pass some old clay pits ('CLYPIT') on the left and will cross the restored tramway bridge across the Munday Brook (at 'BRIDGE'). - The bridge was built using convict and 'ticket-of-leave' labour in 1871-72 and is believed to be the oldest surviving all-timber bridge in Australia. West of  the bridge the road is now gravelled. About 300m after waypt '29' look for the rock marker (at waypt 'RCK') in bushes on  the left  to follow a short  diversion of the old tramway around a side gully and avoid a section of the gravelled road.  (At waypt '30' you pass a partly concealed fire access track on the right which descends NE to cross Bickley Brook. If you are feeling energetic you can follow that track to link into the Lions Lookout-Bickley Brook Walk and do the extended walk option. -See above).

 

 

 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 : Geocentric Datum Australia 1994     Zone :  50

Waypt name        Easting       Northing       Comments

START       409340  6455849  Start at Mason Heritage Trail sign.

1           409502  6455718  Track branches south (right) off Mason Trail.   

FTTRK       409357  6455463  Foot-track branches left off main track.

3           409499  6455334  Foot-track rejoins main track.

FTRK2       409542  6455239  Foot-track branches left off main track.

5           409950  6454630  Track junction.

6           410516  6454404  Track junction.

7           410808  6454621  Top of descending zig-zag track.

8           411142  6454670  Track crosses stream gully.

9           411396  6454666

INFO        411616  6454897  Meet Victoria Reservoir Walktrail (near old bldg.)

TRAIL       411667  6454875  On Victoria Reservoir Walktrail.

OLDDAM      411857  6454726  At Old Victoria Dam wall.

PICNIC      411911  6454647  Grassed picnic area between old & new Dam walls.

14          411933  6454758  On sealed road up to Victoria Dam.

15          412067  6454529  At top of Victoria Dam wall (eastern end).

VIEW        412101  6454542  Viewing Platform up steps at east end of Dam.

17          412005  6455003  Old forestry track branches off to right.

SAWPIT      412411  6455107  Track junction adjacent to old logged clearing.

19          412518  6455285  On foot-track in jarrah forest.

20          412511  6455773  Track meets sealed Victoria Dam access road.

GRAVE       412474  6455717  Child's grave site (1876).

MASONS      412579  6455879  Parking area adjacent to access road gate.

23          412372  6456098  Meet old tramway route (Masons Heritage Trail).

24          411641  6455896

CLYPIT      411592  6455908  Old claypit on left. (One of several.)

26          411155  6455920

27          411082  6455775

BRIDGE      410528  6455599  Old tramway bridge across Munday Brook.

29          410262  6455564  On gravel road.

RCK         409921  6455642  Old tramway route branches left off gravel road.

30          409409  6455793  Optional turnoff on right to Lions Lookout Walk.

END         409340  6455849  Back at Start point at end of Hardinge Road.

Additional waypoints on map: 

ALT-ST      4088858 6455906  New start point at Hardinge Park carpark.

ALT-1       409078  6455755  Track crosses Hardinge Road.

ALT-2       409215  6455791  Bend in rough foot-track, above Harding Road.

ALT-3       409317  6455572  Fork in track.

ALT-4       409359  6455559  Rough foot-track meets old vehicle track.

GATE        411946  6455046  Approx. location of second gate on Dam access road.

31          409418  6455870  Kattamordo Trail sign near corner of Camp fence.

32          409383  6455958  Near northern corner of Camp fence.

33          409416  6455966  Approx. location of bridge across Bickley Brook.

34          409496  6455898  On foot-track through heathland.

35          409648  6455903  Meet vehicle track.

36          409699  6455983  Track branches.

37          409742  6456250  Approx. top of steepest section of vehicle track.

38          409655  6456394  Track junction on ridge.

39          409526  6456692  Track veers westward.(Also jcn with foot-track.)

TN          409215  6456768  Track branches approx. NW after turning north.

41          408834  6456932  Track curves to SW.

42          408440  6456589  On ridge, track curves to NW.

43          408303  6456877  Track junction near stream gully.

44          408696  6457220  Track branches. Sidetrack heads SE.

45          409218  6456974  Track passes sidetrack which heads south.

CAMP        409429  6456992  Pass Paxwold Girl Guides Camp. Gilchrist Road soon.

47          409741  6456974  Unmarked foot-track, south side of Gilchrist Road.

50          409381  6456521  Track veers SW to follow stream gully.

51          409148  6456288  Track curves approx. to SE.

54          409485  6455824  Vehicle track meets extension of Hardinge Road.

ALT         408595  6457612  On alternate access track from north (off Welshpool Rd.)

WSHPL       408787  6457814  Alternate access off Welshpool Rd.

 

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This page was last updated  :   23 March, 2017

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