Victoria Reservoir - Bickley Brook Walk (Walk #3b)
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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.||
Victoria Reservoir, Jan. 2004.
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
|Additional Satellite Imagery|
for larger frame Google Maps image
of the walk area.
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|For Google Earth users|
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Step 2: Left Click here
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Hint: For enhanced 3D effect, set 'Elevation Exaggeration'
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20 kms ESE of Perth.
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)|
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.
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).
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.
"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).
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 : 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 : 10 March, 2013
Site authored by David Osborne. Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2013 David Osborne.