This walk is within the Julimar Conservation Park, a large ‘island’ of remnant forest surrounded by farmland, located about 10km NE of Avon Valley National Park and east of Bindoon township. Almost half the park was farmed early last century, but the farms were mainly abandoned in the Depression of the 1930s and later became State forest. The area was then logged for timber until about 1970. The Park is now an important reserve for native fauna conservation. Animals re-introduced to Julimar by CALM (now DBCA) under the Western Shield programme since 1992 include the chuditch (western quoll), quenda (southern brown bandicoot), woylies (bettongs), and tammar wallaby.
Despite the Park’s history, there are still extensive well-established, picturesque wandoo woodlands (often with balgas as an understorey) in the valleys and on the slopes around Julimar Brook, and mixed jarrah-wandoo forest (and dryandra) on the surrounding laterite plateaus. Sadly however, despite the Park’s important role today in native fauna conservation, it is now also the target for a likely future mining proposal after a rare metals ore discovery just to the south in early 2020. The miner’s ~160 sq km exploration lease covers more than 40% of the park area, and extends across Julimar Brook and most of this walk route.
The walk route crosses Julimar Brook (twice) and a few other side gullies, and also skirts the upper slopes around the edges of the bordering laterite plateaus, mainly avoiding the highest ground where, prior to the Jan. 2007 fire, there were frequent thickets of prickly dryandra. The slopes along the route are generally not steep (except locally at a few gully crossings) but they are often pebbly (beware sprained ankles!). There are some views of surrounding forest from the slopes above Julimar Brook, including from ‘The Crag’ (informal name). The small laterite-capped butte (here called the ‘Julimar Anthill’; informal name), almost hidden by the surrounding forest (until the fires of early 2007), appears as a pleasantly surprising visual anomaly as you approach.
The forest is mainly very open and allows for easy walking. There are some very short sections of scratchy heath but animal tracks usually provide easy paths through. But also see note below on the impact of the 2007 wildfire upon the walk route.
Option to reduce off-track walking to 50%: The ‘Route notes’ include an option to bypass the off-track walking over the second half of the walk by following vehicle tracks back to the start point.
Impact of 2007 Wildfire: A wildfire in late January 2007 severely impacted on this area. It may be years before the walking experience here is once again as enjoyable as it was for most walkers pre-2007. See ‘Alerts / Issues’ for more info.
Possible future impact of mining?: Julimar Conservation Park has become the target for a likely future mining proposal after a nickel ore discovery just to the south in early 2020. See HikeWest News item.