Main features / Highlights
A 2hr (181km) drive from Perth but only 25min from Bunbury. This walk is provided in support of HikeWest’s “Adventurous Walks of the SW” project.
Crooked Brook Forest is a 20 sq km area of jarrah forest lying between the coastal plain to the west and the Ferguson region and Darling Range to the east. The area was once logged as State forest, but for the past 25 years or so (since 1994) the local community has been working with DCBCA -Parks and Wildlife to make the area accessible as a ‘a forest for all people’. The main picnic shelters and parking area are nicely located near a small picturesque dam. Plaques along the various, mainly short, well-developed trails provide info. on the Forest history and on the and flora and fauna. .
The walk route here combines part of the developed 10km Marri Walk with 9km of little-used or abandoned old forestry tracks to provide a fuller day’s walk that will appeal to self-reliant walkers keen to explore more of the Forest area. There is less than 300m of off-track walking which is easy, through open forest. An optional ‘short-cut’ in the south reduces the total walk distance to 14.5km for those who prefer a shorter walk.
The old forestry tracks, being mostly disused and often lightly overgrown, provide for pleasant bushwalking. A waterhole along a dammed stream course at waypt ‘25’ in the SW could be quite picturesque when near-filled toward the end of a good wet winter though in the past has been partly littered with dumped household rubbish.
Though the area is relatively low lying with max. elevation ~155m, there are scenic views along the Marri Walk. The walk is best done from August onward into springtime, from the earlier flowering of wattles to the peak wildflower season. The area has a great range of wildflowers and the unusual Pineapple bush (Dasypogon hookeri) grows in abundance here to about 3m tall. There are also many tall grass trees (Kingia australis). Animal life includes the Western brush wallaby, Gould’s monitor, the grey fantail and the rare red-tailed black cockatoo.
Start (waypoint ‘START’) from the carpark. Cross Forest Rd to ‘1’ to join the walk trails on the east side. After only 10m, at ‘1-1’ take care to turn right at the sign at the track fork to follow the “..via Lookout” trail. Follow the nice foot-track up the hill side through the forest. Reach a platform lookout at ‘1-2’ which provides a view toward Bunbury, 20km NW. Descend on the track NE-ward to ‘2’, where it veers left (NW); then turn right (E-ward) to walk off-track along slope through reasonably open forest to rejoin the Marri Trail at ‘3’. Turn right to follow the trail down the hillside to meet an old forestry track at ‘4’. Turn right (S-ward) to follow the track to a junction at ‘5’. Instead of veering right to stay on the Marri Trail, cross the junction onto the partly overgrown continuation of the track. Follow this old track SSE; it closely follows a nearby gully (Quinderup Brook?) which lies as close as 20-30m to the left. Turn left at ‘6’ at another junction of old tracks, to continue along the west side of the gully. At ‘7’ turn left at a T-junction and follow an old track NE-ward for 150m, crossing the stream course to meet Quinderup Rd (unsealed vehicle track) at ‘8’. Turn sharp right and follow the ‘road’ SSE-ward for 400m and locate a faint old vehicle track veering off to the right at ‘9’. Follow this old track S-ward via ‘9-1′ following a stream course up a small side valley. Meet a more distinct old vehicle track at ’10’ and veer left to follow it SSE-ward, onto a broad hill-top. After about 700m, turn right (SW) at a T-junction. After only 40m, at ’12’, the track divides. To follow the full walk route, take the left hand fork toward the SW. (Or see Option below for short-cut to shorten walk after ’12’.). Pass a sidetrack joining from the left at ’13’ and reach a track junction at ’14’. Take the track on the right (NNW). It crosses the broad ridge top and then at ’14-1′ veers left to head W-ward down a pleasant, narrow valley with a stream course on the right, with tall Grass trees becoming common in the surrounding forest. At ’15’ the track veers right to cross the stream course and soon after reaches a Y-junction which is near the corner of private land. Take the right-hand fork NW-ward; cross a stream course after 400m and then veer right. Pass a side-track at ’17’ and head NE-ward up the valley. The distinctive Pineapple bush (Dasypogon hookeri) is especially abundant here. After about 500m. veer left onto a sidetrack which heads NW-ward up a gentle gully to meet Forest Rd. Turn left and follow the road (unsealed) SW for 200m and locate an old track veering W-ward off the road at ’20’. Cross an informal mountain bike track at ’21’ and continue off-track W-ward down a gentle valley. Rejoin an old vehicle track at about ’22’ and reach a track junction at ’23’. Veer left to follow the track S-ward to ’24’; then veer right onto a side track to reach a small waterhole at ’25’ surrounded by peppermint trees. (The waterhole may be near-filled toward the end of a good wet winter, but dries out during summer and has been littered in the past with household rubbish.) Retrace your steps via ’24’, and head N-ward following the track up the valley via ’25-1′ and ’25-2′. After about 800m, meet a T-junction at ’26’; turn sharp right to continue up the valley. A sidetrack joins from the left at ’27’. Turn sharp left here (NW) onto the Marri Trail and follow it NW-ward. Cross a gentle ridge crest after 600m (elevation ~152m). At ’27-1′ the track veers right (NNW) and descends the hillside. Cross a track junction at ’27-2′ and continue on the Marri Trail which partly follows the Forest boundary and then turns ENE-ward at ’28’. At a Y-junction at ’29’ (which is within 150m of Crooked Brook Rd to the north), veer right (SE) to stay on Marri Trail. Reach the edge of a pine plantation at ’30’ and follow it south up the narrow valley for about 700m, with a stream course on the left. Follow the Marri Trail via ’31’ and ’32’ to cross (E-ward) the dam wall. The small ‘billabong’ upstream of the dam wall is quite picturesque after good winter rain, but tends to dry out during summer. Continue past the picnic shelters, barbecues and toilets to return to the Start point.
Shorter walk option (14.5km): At waypoint ‘12’ in SE instead of continuing SW-ward to ’13’, veer right toward ‘13-ALT’ along another old forestry track which heads WNW down a narrowing valley, with a stream course on the right. At a Y-junction at ’13-ALT’ veer left (W-ward) to stay on the left side of the stream course. When the track divides again at ’14-ALT’, take the right-hand fork to cross the stream course and meet another track at ’15-17-ALT’. Then veer left (SW) to rejoin the described route at waypoint ’18’. This ‘short-cut’ reduces the total walk distance by about 1.5km.
Access / Directions
181km south of Perth (approx. 1 hour 50 min. drive); or 25km (25 min. from Bunbury).
Follow Kwinana Freeway -Forrest Highway south, bypassing Australind. Then take Hynes Road on left, then right onto South Western Highway and after 300m turn first left Martin-Pelusey Rd.; follow to junction and turn left onto Boyanup-Picton Rd. Pass by Dardaunp town and turn left into Crooked Brook Rd and follow for 3.7km. Turn right into Forest Rd (unsealed; previously known as Boyanup-Ferguson Rd). Turn into parking and picnic area on right after 1.1 km.
No camping, but the facilities near the main Crooked Brook Forest carpark include toilets, picnic shelters, barbecues and seating.
In north: Follow walk trails or forestry tracks to Forest Road, and/or north to Crooked Brook Road. Or in the east, head east to Quinderup Road and follow northward to meet Crooked Brook Road.
In south: Follow forestry tracks to Forest Road, and/or south to Joshua Creek Road. Or in the SE, head SE to Crooked Brook Road.
Crooked Brook Forest, “A Forest for all People”, Crooked Brook Forest Community Group.
Ecowalks – Nature Trails of Bunbury and Surrounds, South West Development Commission brochure.
Forest Path, Crooked Brook Forest, Trails WA.
Marri Trail, Crooked Brook Forest, Trails WA.
Other map availability
“South West WA 25K Scale Topo Maps”, Greg Harewood & Landgate, 2015. – Digital raster; ECW format on 16GB USB. See tile #136-2031-II-SW for relevant map coverage.