Geddes Rock Walk overview

The remote Geddes Rock monadnock lies NE of Mount Cooke. There are some excellent views to Mount Cooke and other high points in the Darling Range including distant Mount Dale.The forest is mainly jarrah with some marri and occasional patches of  wandoo. The terrain is mainly gentle. A future expansion of bauxite strip-mining operations will eventually impact on an area to the east and may affect vehicle access to the start point.

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  • Main features / Highlights

    This walk features a visit to the remote Geddes Rock monadnock (elevation approx. 450m) located 6.5km NE of Mount Cooke (elevation 582m).  There are some excellent views  from Geddes Rock of Mount Cooke and other high points in the Darling Range including distant Mount Dale (29km to NNW; elevation 546m), and also views of Geddes Rock monadnock itself from other vantage points on granite outcrops to the east. The forest is mainly jarrah with some marri and occasional patches of  wandoo. The terrain is mainly gentle. Expect a few short sections of scratchy heath around the outcrops.

  • Route notes

    From the start point (at waypoint ‘START’) head 100m southward along Watershed Road to ‘1’ then veer right the head SSW off-track off-track for 200m through the forest to the edge of a granite outcrop (at ‘1-1’). Continue SSW across the outcrop via ‘1-2’ (views to Geddes Rock) and at ‘2’  veer sharp right (NW) to descend gently along the outcrop to ‘2-1’ which provides an easy way around a rock ledge. Then veer westward, to descend partly through shrubland to ‘3’ and then southward to ‘3-1’. Cross a small gully at the edge of small sloping outcrop to re-enter forest. Head SSW to ‘4’ then veer right (westward) into an initially narrow valley which drains westward. Cross the stream course at ‘4-1’  and continue west in mainly very open forest and into a broad, open valley which drains NNW (a tributary of the Canning River). Cross the stream course at ‘4-2’  and reach a vehicle track  junction (at ‘5’).  Follow the vehicle track  which heads gently uphill initially toward the SW.  The track steepens westward  to cross a ridge at ‘5-1’ and then descends to a T-junction (at ‘6’). Turn left to follow the track southward for about 250m, then veer right (SSW) to climb uphill and off-track to reach a ridge from where the southern granite slopes of Geddes Rock come into view (at about ‘8’). Descend a short steepish slope to ‘9’ to reach the outcrop and head westward up the rock slope to ‘10’ near the top of the outcrop and the edge of the forested summit ridge. Then veer NW to follow the upper edge of the outcrop to ‘11’ gaining good views across the Darling Range, including to distant Mount Dale (546m), 29km NNW  (The actual summit of Geddes Rock, elevation approx. 448m, is less than 100m upslope at this point, but is forested and offers less views.) Then veer more westward to climb gently through partly forested and rocky terrain across and along the Geddes Rock ridge for 500m via ‘11-1’ and ‘11-2’ to ‘12’ from where there are views through wandoo trees and shrubs to Mount Cooke (582m) about 6.5km to the SW. Veer northward for about 100m (to ‘13’) and then NNW for about 400m via ‘13-1’, staying close to the rocky and forested ridge. Then emerge onto an extensive granite outcrop at the northern end of the ridge (at ‘13-2’). There are nearby excellent views across the Darling Range, and especially to Mount Cooke and the more distant (11km) Mount Cuthbert (elevation 500m). Large pools of water collect on the rock in the wetter months and wedge-tailed eagles often soar overhead (Note: I have counted up to 11 at one time, grouping to investigate the potential passing prey. Eagles are afraid of humans, but have been known to attack and kill animals as large as adult kangaroos!; See also ‘Fact Sheet’ .  Head northward down the outcrop and into a narrow belt of light forest and heath to ‘14’.  Then veer NNW  to descend again onto outcrop (at ‘15’).  Then veer sharp left (westward) to cross a band of heath on the ridge and reach (at ‘16’) another extensive area of granite outcrop on the west flank of Geddes Rock, again with good views to Mount Cooke etc. Head north along the outcrop for a short distance (to ‘17’), then turn sharp right (eastward) to head down the steepening northeastern granite slope through patches of shrubs (Calothamnus sp.) for about 200m to ‘18’. Then turn sharp left (north) for a short distance to near the foot of the granite slope (at ‘19’) where a small stream flows (in winter) down the granite slope then disappears into a gully beneath the forest.  Re-enter the forest nearby at ‘19-1’ and head ENE across the gentle hillside via ‘19-2’. Reach a narrow gully at ‘20’ where (after good rain) a stream flows over a ledge of lateritic duricrust and creates a small waterfall. Continue NE-ward, crossing  a gully and then a nearby vehicle track at ‘20-1’. Continue NE, initially climbing quite steeply through a local patch of wandoo woodland to cross a narrow ridge and meet a vehicle track at ‘21’. Follow the track northward  up a steep hillside to ‘23’.  Then veer right (eastward) off-track to cross a granite outcrop via ‘24’. The outcrop provides a good view back to Geddes Rock, less than 2km SW. Continue SE back into open jarrah forest via ‘24-1’ and cross the nearby crest of a ridge. Begin descending the eastern flank and soon meet an old vehicle track (at ‘24-2’). Follow the track down the hillside for only about 100m , then veer right to continue directly down the hillside. Cross another old track at ‘25-1’ and meet another vehicle track within 250m at ‘26’. Turn right to follow the track for less than 100m SE-ward. At ‘27’ turn left to head ENE off-track across the broad valley floor.  Re-cross a stream course at ‘27-1’ (previously crossed upstream earlier in the walk at ‘4-2’). Continue ENE gently uphill to ‘28’, then veer right (eastward) along the hillside via ‘29’. Cross a small stream course through heath onto a low outcrop at ‘30’. Then turn sharp left (northward) along the outcrop and upon re-entering forest reach a small gully at ‘31’ where a small waterfall flows over a rock ledge after good winter rains.  After crossing the stream course head NNE gently upslope via ‘31-1’ and meet a vehicle track at ‘31-2’. Follow the track uphill for about 200m and then tuen right (eastward) off-track through shrubs and heathland to reach the upper slope of a granite outcrop at ‘33’. Follow the outcrop southward, mainly along slope, via ‘34’ and ‘34-1’, passing through occasional patches of shrubland and gaining views back to the summit ridges of Geddes Rock and Mount Cooke (though the lower slopes are concealed by the intervening ridge). At ‘34-2’ pass a curious large boulder containing an eroded cavern. At the southern end of the outcrop, at ‘35’, veer left (ESE) re-enter shrubland then forest.  Cross low outcrops at ‘36’ and ‘36-1’ then continue eastward, gently upslope to return to the start point.

  • Access / Directions

    69km SE of Perth. Follow Brookton Highway from Albany Highway for 47km, then turn right into Metro Road (first road on right after Christmas Tree well and Yarra Road on left); drive 14.5km down Metro Road (gravel road, usually mostly in good condition, but may be large local pot holes in first 3km due intense trail bike activity); turn right into McCallum Road (at waypoint ‘Jcn-1’; good vehicle track); follow McCallum Road (and part Watershed Rd) for 4km. Turn left at the junction of Watershed and Randall Roads (at ‘Jcn-3’) to follow Watershed Road southward for a further 1.8km to the start point where the vehicle track reaches the crest of a broad ridge. (Note: Randall Road is marked by a white gate and a DPaW ‘No Entry’ Notice signifying the boundary of the Die-back Disease Risk/Quarantine area).

    Access off Albany Highway?:  There is potential summer access  into the area (approx. 16 km) off Albany Highway (turnoff on left just past Sullivan Rock), but entry via this route is through the Die-back Disease Risk (Quarantine) Area and requires a special vehicle access permit from DPAW which is difficult to obtain and in any event won’t be granted for the wetter months (approx. May-November) which precludes the best walking period).  Also Millars Log Road is really a bush-track and best suited to 4WD vehicles.

    Google Map

  • Nearest campsite/s

    N/A.

  • Escape route/s

    In east, head east back to Watershed Road and then north to Start point. In SW, head south to Millars Log Road (dirt road), and follow eastward to Watershed Road. In northern area of Geddes Rock, head NW to meet Millars Road, then NE to meet Randall road and follow east back to Start point.

  • Other Info.

    Bauxite mining – WalkGPS page.

    “Future impact of bauxite mining” under ‘Alerts / Issues’ on this page.

    Other map availability

    South West WA 25K Scale Topo Maps”, Greg Harewood & Landgate,  2015.  – Digital raster; ECW format on 16GB USB. See tiles #305-2133-II-NE, #306-2133-II-NW, #307-2133-II-SE, and #308-2133-II-SW  for relevant map coverage.

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