Wooroloo Brook Walk (Walk #6a)
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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.||
View to small falls in rocky side gully
off Wooroloo Brook, September 2009.
Click on photo for larger version.
Using this map.
|Additional Satellite Imagery|
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).
40 kms NE of Perth.
12.5 field kms (15% off-track)
(or 13 kms if longer alternative to off-track uphill section).
|Degree of difficulty :||
MEDIUM (What does this mean?)
|Amount of uphill walking :||575-600m (cumulative ascent)|
YES, useful for the short off-track sections of the walk.
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, then north on Roe Hwy to Toodyay Rd. Then 14 km along Toodyay Rd to O’Brien Rd turnoff on left. Follow O’Brien Rd north for 14 km, then turn off and park on dirt track on left immediately before the bridge over Wooroloo Brook.
Alternative access via Walyunga National Park (for a modified longer walk route from near the western end of Wooroloo Brook): Great Eastern Hwy and bypass, then Roe Hwy, then 15 km north along Great Northern Highway to Walyunga Road on right (signposted to Walyunga National Park, main entry). Park entry fee is $10.00 per car. Follow the sealed road to the furthest car park, near Boongarup Pool (approx. 3.5 kms from the Hwy) which is an alternative Start point (from waypoint ‘PKG’).
|Escape route/s :||
Via various old vehicle tracks through the area (see map).
Eastward via tracks to O’Brien Rd. (The ridge track from waypoint ‘36’ eastward to O’Brien Rd can be reached from the south via the tracks from ‘18’, ‘19’ and ‘FORD1’); OR,
Westward (across the Swan-Avon River) via tracks to Walyunga National Park; OR,
Northward (via ‘26’, ‘28’ or ‘29’) less than 3 km on tracks to Ewing Rd (SE of Walyunga Lookout), north of the walk map area.
Wooroloo Brook drains a sizeable catchment area of 536 km² and during a wet winter it flows quite swiftly in its lower few kilometres, dropping about 50m overall as it passes through its narrow, quite rugged valley westward of the bridge at O’Brien Road (Gidgegannup) to its confluence with the Swan River in Walyunga National Park near the western edge of the Darling Range. The walk is centred around this lower section of the Brook.
This is a very rewarding walk route which provides plenty of variety and some small challenges for the keen walker; These include the steepish (in places gorge-like) valley sides which require some energetic uphill climbs, and also three crossings of the Brook which usually can’t be achieved without getting your boots and/or feet wet! The hill climbs also provide many excellent sweeping views across and down the valley to the Coastal Plain and along the Swan River valley. A short optional diversion involves an enjoyable scramble up a rocky side gully where small waterfalls should be on display in winter.
This walk includes only short off-track sections because much of the valley slopes and the banks of the Brook are blanketed in quite dense shrublands which can make off-track walking in the area very frustrating and difficult, though the route does include one short (600m) section as a sample! –The shrublands include Trymalium sp. (similar to Karri hazel), Calothamnus sp. (One-sided bottlebrush), and various Grevilleas, Hakeas and Melaleucas etc. These might be a challenge to the off-track bushwalker, but in spring they offer a rich and varied wildflower display. Apart from the extensive shrublands the walk route also passes through mixed jarrah, marri and wandoo forest on and around the hill tops, and through heathlands surrounding the scattered granite outcrops. Sadly, along the banks of Wooroloo Brook, as occurs along many other rivers and streams near the Darling Scarp, the invasive pink- to red-flowering weed Watsonia is gradually taking over areas previously occupied by native vegetation.
The western one-third of the walk area lies within Walyunga National Park whereas the remainder is within land reserved for parks and recreation under the Metropolitan Region Scheme. Parts of the reserved land are currently privately-owned but are not actively farmed and are ultimately destined to become Crown land. The walk bypasses the western end of Valley Farm (off O’Brien Road) which is not reserved land and is actively farmed.
Together with the Avon Valley National Park and Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary to the NE, Walyunga National Park is an important area for native fauna conservation along the Swan-Avon Valley. Animals re-introduced by DEC/AWC include the tammar wallaby and black-flanked rock wallaby.
Alternative easier walks:
To avoid off-track section - The main walk is relatively short and not difficult for a fit and experienced bushwalker, but others may prefer to avoid the steepish off-track section (between waypoints ‘9’ and ‘13’) or the gentler alternative (between '8' and 'ALT12'). Those off-track sections can be easily avoided by commencing the walk route in the reverse direction (i.e. via waypoint ‘45’, ‘44’ etc) and continuing around in that anti-clockwise direction to waypoint ‘18' or to the side gully at 'OPTN' in the south. To return, follow the good track up the hill from waypoint ‘18’ to rejoin the ridge about 100m before waypoint ‘38'. Then retrace the route from there back to the Start point.
To avoid crossing the Brook - If the Brook happens to be high and/or fast and unsafe to cross when you visit (see Caution) you can follow the alternative route above to the crossing at 'CSG3' (just before ‘23’) and instead of crossing the Brook at that point, follow the good track from there NE-ward back up the steep hillside to ’29’. From there retrace the route back to near 'RK-X’ from where you have the option of either continuing to retrace the outward route or alternatively the more energetic option of descending on the side track to ‘19’ (and to view another crossing point and small waterfall at ‘CSG2’) and then returning via the track which climbs back to the ridge from ‘18’.
Walyunga extension - If you opt to avoid the river crossings as above, you could also vary the route to link into the eastern section of the Walyunga Walk route (to Walyunga Lookout) in the NW via waypoint '26' (which is at 'JCTN' on the Walyunga walk map), or via '27' (linking to waypoints '39A' or '39B' on the Walyunga route.
Wooroloo Brook meets the Swan-Avon River almost opposite the Boongarup Pool carpark in Walyunga National Park. If you prefer to start the walk from the National Park end, start from the carpark ('PKG') and cross the Swan-Avon River at the nearby ford (at 'WAL1') and follow the dirt road via 'WAL-2' to cross the railway tracks (at 'RLWY') and continue via 'WAL-4' & 'WAL-5'. Then link into the walk route either to the NE across the Brook(via 'BDGE' and an old vehicle track up the hill from 'WAL-7' to '25'), or to the east (via 'WALALT').
Caution: Despite the tranquil image that the name ‘Brook’ suggests, Wooroloo Brook can rise quickly and flow strongly in these lower reaches after heavy winter rains. It can occasionally become too dangerous to cross. Provided there has not been recent heavy rainfall, the Brook can usually be crossed safely at the three crossing points on this walk, but cross carefully, preferably with the assistance of a walking pole and watching your footing on the often very slippery rocks. This especially applies at the second crossing point on the walk route (at 'CSG2') where walkers need to take care to stay safely upstream of the small waterfall and avoid slipping on the broad granite ledge. If you prefer to remove your boots for the few metres of shallow wading, pack suitable sandals with a good grip sole to change into for the crossing.
Current river levels and conditions: Some indication of the likely flow in the Brook can be checked before you start out from up-to-date charts of the river level downstream at Walyunga Pool (as derived by White Water Perth from DoW's automatic daily updates (from Swan River Great Northern Highway or Walyunga gauge). Non-charted flow information is also available from DoW's 'Karl's Ranch' monitoring station on Wooroloo Brook near the walk start point.
Controlled burns: See DEC's current 6-season indicative burn programme.
|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: Jumperkine 1:25,000 2134-IV, SW sheet (Dept. of Lands & Survey, 1983; Series R811) -available on DVD.
Jumperkine & Toodyay 1:50,000 DEC Conservation Operations Graphic (COG) map series (current) Sheet 2134-4 & 2134-1; or,
Avon Valley 1:50,000, National Map Ref. 2134-4 & -1 (WA Forests Dept., 1983).
|Other background references :||
WalkGPS Walyunga Walk - on this site. Also includes additional information on Walyunga National Park and its existing walk trails.
Short Wooroloo Brook walks further upstream:
F.R. Berry Reserve Walk Trail (see Gidgegannup Community site): 2.7 km walk; Located 8.5 km up Reen Rd from Toodyay Rd and about 4km east of the walk on this page (see Google Map for Reserve entry). This is a worthwhile short walk which includes a visit to a waterfall on Wooroloo Brook. The 214 ha reserve is included in DEC’s ‘Land for Wildlife’ scheme.
Noble Falls Walk Trail (see City of Swan walk trail brochure or Gidgegannup Community site): 3.5 km walk; Located opposite Noble Falls Tavern, off Toodyay Rd, about 5km NE of Gidgegannup and about 15 km ESE of the walk on this page (see Google Map).
Route notes :
Head south from the Start point along the rough vehicle track along the eastern bank of Wooroloo Brook. The track soon climbs to meet O’Brien Rd (at waypoint ‘2’). Continue southward on O’Brien Rd to ‘3’ then turn right (west) to leave the road and walk off-track down the roadside embankment and through a short section of forest and light scrub to reach a track and DoW’s ‘Karl’s Ranch’ river level monitoring station (at ‘GGE') on the bank of the Brook.
Alternative 1: Instead of heading off-track at ‘3’, continue uphill along O’Brien Rd until ‘ALT03’ and follow the track from there to ‘GGE’.
From 'GGE' head a short distance west (to ‘CSG-PT’) for a view of the Brook from a potential crossing point, just downstream of the river level monitoring station. (Note: If you don’t mind getting your feet or boots wet early in the walk, this point can also alternatively be reached more directly by heading west along O’Brien Rd from the Start point to cross Wooroloo bridge, then turn left at ‘ALT02’ to follow an old vehicle track southward via 'ALT02S' for about 300m, then briefly eastward, to reach the north side of the Brook and cross it at ‘CSG-PT’. -Don't take the earlier eastward sidetrack.)
Return past the monitoring station and follow the track SE-ward to a T-junction (at ‘5’). Follow the left fork track (which parallels the nearby O’Brien Rd) due south through shrubland flanking a stream gully for about 400m to a track junction at ‘6’. Turn right at the track junction and head NW gently uphill on the track to a ridge and clearing in the forest (at ‘PICNIC’) which is the site of a former picnic area (with table and BBQ). Follow the track SW from the clearing to reach a W-E track (or initially parallel tracks; at ‘8’). Follow the track quite steeply downhill (or see "Alternative 2" below, for a gentler off-track climb as an alternative to the steepish off-track climb via '9'). The track crosses a stream course and passes a side track on the right (at ‘TRN’. That side track meets Wooroloo Brook 100m NW at a ford). Continue a short distance further west to ‘9’ (gaining views across the main valley), then veer left to head off-track, taking it slowly to locate animal tracks and to pick the easiest way through an initial quite dense 50m-wide zone of shrubland of One-sided Bottlebrush (Calothamnus quadrifidus). Continue uphill via '10' and ‘11’, entering more open forest and then ascending more steeply onto a rocky slope. (Divert via ‘BLF2’ if the most direct route up the slope to ‘11’ appears difficult.) Continue up the steep slope, gaining good panoramic views across and down the valley, entering another patch of quite dense shrubland before reaching another open rocky area (at ‘SMLSLB’). Then continue uphill through further shrubland onto the crest of the narrowing ridge (at ‘12’). Initially follow the crest of the ridge SW-ward, then cross the NW slope and reach an old dirt road/track (at ‘13’).
Alternative 2 (route from '8' to '13'): Instead of heading westward from '8', head eastward along the dirt track to 'ALT08' near the crest of the ridge, then head southward off-track up the ridge (via 'ALT09', 'ALT10', ALT11') through some initial patches of shrubland around small outcrops, then mainly open woodland, gaining some good views NW-ward across the main valley. Then join a good track at 'ALT12'. Turn right to follow the track westward along the hill top for about 700m to reach '13' (passing a side track on the left at 'T-JCN').
From '13' follow the track generally westward as it zigzags (via ‘14’ and ‘15’) down the steepish hillside, gaining good views down the Wooroloo valley. The track flattens near the Brook and then reaches a boulder-filled side gully where the track has been washed away (at ‘OPTN’). At this point, for a very worthwhile optional diversion, head southward off-track to boulder hop and scramble up the side gully for about 250m or more, passing large ‘sentinel’ rocks (at ‘SENTL’) and a small pool (‘PL’), to reach the foot of a 10-15m high waterfall/cascade (at 'FALS2'). (This would likely be more impressive in winter if some of the water flow was not blocked by several large dams in farmland further upstream. –See Google Earth satellite imagery to understand the impact.) After exploring the area around and possibly above the waterfall, return back down the gully and follow (via ‘OPTN’ and ‘16’) the partly overgrown remnants of the track on the west side of the gully to find a shallow crossing point across the Brook (at ‘CRSG’). After crossing the brook, pick an easy way through the few metres of shrubland on the north side to find the continuation of the track. (As a very short diversion, visit the nearby granite outcrop which almost crosses the Brook from the north side and provides a very pleasant spot to sit and put your boots back on after the crossing.) Follow the track generally NW-ward (via ‘17’; and along the way consider a brief off-track diversion to the Brook, to visit another granite outcrop at ‘RK1’ and small waterfall). Pass side tracks (at ‘18’ and ‘19’) which head northward uphill. Reach Wooroloo Brook and cross via the shallow ford over a (very slippery!) smooth granite slab. (Note: Keep back from the lip of the small waterfall which drops over the edge of the slab and wear either your boots or change into suitable sandals with a good grip sole for the short crossing. A walking pole is also a useful aid to steady yourself against the water flow.) Follow the track around the southern side of the river for about 1.5 kms (via ‘21’, ‘22’, ‘23’) passing into Walyunga National Park at a gate in the Park boundary fence (at ‘PRKBDY’; Note: The old 'CALM’ sign on the gate, warning of feral animal shooters in the area “today”, appears to have been left in place and forgotten for a long period. The sign is presumably no longer applicable but unfortunately may confuse visitors. You must use your own judgment whether it is safe to proceed). On reaching ‘23’, turn right to follow the track down to the Brook to another crossing point (at ‘CSG3’) which is at about the halfway point on the walk. After the crossing, head northward up the quite steep hillside, climbing almost 230m (taking the left fork in the track at ‘24’ and then the right fork at ‘25’) to reach ‘26’ where the track again forks. The hill climb provides some excellent views, initially back up the Wooroloo valley, and then (after ‘25’) down to the pools (and railway) along the Swan-Avon River which cuts through Walyunga National Park. (For better views along the valley between ‘25’ and ‘26’, veer left off the track for a short distance through open wandoo woodland to heathland and a granite outcrop.) At ‘26’ take the right fork to head eastward across the forested laterite surface of the hill top. Pass a side track at ‘27’. The track bends northward just before reaching ‘28’. At that point try to locate and follow the traces of an old track that leaves the current track and heads ESE through quite open jarrah forest and then descends to meet (at ‘29’) another old dirt road/track. Continue ESE on this track down the steep hillside (via ‘29A’) through wandoo woodland and turn right (southward) at ‘30’ at a track junction and follow the track downhill to the corner of the adjacent farmland boundary fenceline (at ‘FCECNR’). Veer SW, briefly off-track through open forest to cross a gully. Locate an old, very overgrown track on the other side and reach ‘32’. Follow the track southward through low shrubland. (Despite the encroaching shrublands it is not too difficult to pick out the track and to find an easy way through.) It descends quite steeply in places and then veers left (eastward) at ‘33’ into open forest flanking a gully. Cross the gully and follow an animal track to another corner of the fenceline (at ‘BDYCNR’) bounding the adjacent farmland. Turn right (southward) to locate and follow an animal track which crosses another gully (stream usually flowing) through dense shrubland to meet another old and very overgrown track at ‘34’. Follow the track westward, gaining a good view to interesting weathered granite outcrops on the steep hillside across the narrow side valley. Turn left at ‘35’ to follow the old track uphill to a T-junction at ‘36’. Turn right (westward) and follow the track to its end on a heath-covered hill-top. Follow an animal track to reach a granite slab at ‘RK-X’ from where there are wide views, including westward down the lower part of the Wooroloo valley and also SE-ward across the valley to the rocky side gully and falls explored earlier in the walk. Return to the track, then if time and energy allows take a short off-track diversion to visit some large granite boulders (at 'BLDRS') less than 50m north of the track. Then rejoin the track and head eastward (via ‘36’) to follow it as it climbs slowly along the ridge, initially mainly through wandoo woodlands. At ‘38’ either stay on the track, or for an optional diversion to an outcrop and view, veer left (more NE-ward) off-track and soon pick a way through a narrow belt of shrubland to reach a large granite slab (‘BIGSLB’) which slopes off to the NW and provides views across farmland and the side valley, toward part of the route already covered. Cross the top of the outcrop and re-enter forest. Veer eastward at an open rocky clearing (at ‘RKY’) to rejoin the track at ‘39’. Follow the track NE-ward, taking a right fork at ‘40’. Pass a side track on the right at ‘41’. The track then descends NE-ward via ‘42’ where it meets the farmland boundary and descends more steeply. It then veers SE-ward at ‘43’ and meets a track junction at ‘44’. Turn left to reach O’Brien Rd at ‘45’ and follow the road back to the Start point just past the bridge across Wooroloo Brook.
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 : Australian Geodetic 1966 Zone : 50
Waypt name Easting Northing Comments
START 416116 6488929 Start point off O'Brien Rd, immediately south of bridge.
02 416219 6488782 Dirt track meets O'Brien Rd.
03 416226 6488533 On O'Brien Rd.
GGE 416142 6488561 Wooroloo Brook river monitoring station ('Karl's Ranch').
CSG-PT 416111 6488555 Optional Brook crossing pt (route via ALT02).
GGE 416142 6488561 River monitoring station ('Karl's Ranch'), Wooroloo Brook.
05 416179 6488488 Dirt track T-junction.
PICNIC 416036 6488184 Abandoned picnic area in clearing.
06 416177 6488099 Dirt track T-junction.
08 415983 6488051 On W-E dirt track, descending due west.
TRN 415699 6488052 Side track leaves N-side of W-E track.
09 415655 6488048 On W-E dirt track.
10 415628 6487983 In fairly dense shrubland.
11 415621 6487874 Below steep rocky slope.
SMLSLB 415618 6487765 On small rocky slab.
12 415543 6487693 In shrubland, on crest of narrow ridge.
13 415414 6487538 On dirt road, descending NW-ward.
14 415189 6487431 At sharp bend on dirt road.
15 415133 6487826 Near sharp bend on dirt road.
OPTN 414809 6487664 Side gully cuts dirt track.
SENTL 414851 6487593 'Sentinel' rocks flanking small gully.
PL 414878 6487497 Near small rocky pool in side gully.
FALS2 414919 6487426 Near foot of 10-15m waterfall/cascade.
OPTN 414809 6487664 Side gully cuts dirt track.
16 414769 6487653 Near shallow brook crossing pt.
CRSG 414748 6487674 Wooroloo Brook crossing point.
17 414686 6487759 On bend in dirt track.
18 414432 6487972 T-junction, side track heads N-ward uphill.
19 414340 6488015 T-junction, side track heads N-ward uphill.
CSG2 414204 6487967 Shallow ford across granite slab.
PRKBDY 414070 6487824 Gate at Walyunga National Park boundary.
21 413895 6487719 On dirt track.
22 413621 6487759 On dirt track. Side track heads SW up hill.
23 413391 6488374 Near junction of dirt tracks.
CSG3 413394 6488415 Shallow crossing of Wooroloo Brook.
24 413378 6489121 T-junction, side track rises uphill to NE.
25 413248 6489185 T-junction.
26 413316 6489384 T-junction.
27 413780 6489422 T-junction.
28 413868 6489385 On dirt track.
29 414087 6489290 Dirt track.
29A 414152 6489243 T-junction.
30 414262 6489226 T-junction in wandoo woodland.
FCECNR 414279 6489131 Dirt track meets corner of farmland fences.
32 414170 6489005 On old, very overgrown dirt track.
33 414127 6488697 On old overgrown track, near stream gully.
BDYCNR 414203 6488662 At corner of farmland fences.
34 414192 6488601 On old overgrown track in shrubland.
35 414097 6488587 On old overgrown track.
36 414179 6488404 T-junction.
RK-X 413991 6488310 On rock slab, surrounded by heathland.
36 414179 6488404 T-junction.
38 414868 6488429 On dirt track near ridge crest, open forest.
BIGSLB 414952 6488528 On NW-sloping granite slab.
RKY 415028 6488579 Open rocky area.
39 415086 6488563 On dirt track, in open forest.
40 415314 6488828 At T-junction, near Valley Farm.
41 415461 6488798 T-junction.
42 415682 6489014 Dirt road meets farm boundary.
43 415760 6489039 On dirt road, near farm boundary.
44 415980 6488887 T-junction of dirt tracks.
45 415979 6488921 Track meets O'Brien Rd.
END 416116 6488929 Back at Start point off O'Brien Rd.
Additional waypoints on map:
ALT02 416045 6488911 Dirt track leaves O'Brien Rd (to ‘CSG-PT’).
ALTO2S 416025 6488597 Dirt track bends eastward.
ALT03 416203 6488458 Dirt track leaves O'Brien Rd.
ALT 416156 6488048 On dirt track climbing due west.
ALT08 416054 6488035 On west-east dirt track near ridge crest.
ALT09 416137 6487563 In wandoo woodland near crest of ridge.
ALT10 416097 6487433 On rocky laterite surface, N-ward view.
ALT11 416035 6487426 On laterite surface, view N-ward.
ALT12 416002 6487341 On dirt track, rising gently westward.
T-JCN 415899 6487323 Side track to farmland (off map edge) to sth.
FCE 415345 6486935 Farmland fence to south(off map edge) 800m upstream of 'FALS2'.
FORD1 415634 6488147 Ford crossing of Wooroloo Brook.
RKSLB 415598 6487906 North sloping partly grassed rock slab.
BLF2 415679 6487834 Close to foot of small rocky bluff.
BLF 415424 6488018 Small rocky bluff.
RK1 414697 6487670 Rock slab near small falls.
BLDRS 414082 6488394 Large granite boulders in forest on ridge.
PKG 412205 6488742 Carpark, near picnic area, Walyunga National Park.
WAL1 412218 6488667 Ford across Swan-Avon River.
WAL-2 412298 6488391 On track between railway and ford.
RLWY 412094 6488196 Railway crossing point.
WAL-4 412177 6488124 Side road to railway crossing.
WAL-5 412309 6488214 Side track (not shown on map) meets railway service road.
BDGE 412418 6488317 Bridge over lower Wooroloo Brook.
WAL-7 412465 6488480 Side track leaves railway service road.
WALALT 412817 6488206 T-junction of dirt tracks.
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This page was last updated : 07 February, 2013
Site authored by David Osborne. Photographs and text are copyright © 2003-2013 David Osborne.