Lupton Walk overview

This walk is within Lupton Conservation Park. The Park protects one of the ‘islands’ of remnant bushland within the wheatbelt east of the Darling Range, similar to those at Boyagin and Dryandra. But this Park is not so well known and is much less visited. This is definitely not your area if you are seeking large granite outcrops, rugged terrain and views, but is an especially good area for wildflower displays in spring, with mainly easy walking through some of the most  picturesque open wandoo woodlands in the region. The walk can be shortened if preferred.

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  • Main features / Highlights

    This walk is within the Lupton Conservation Park. The Park protects an  ‘island’ of remnant bushland within the wheatbelt east of the Darling Range, similar to the nearby smaller Boyagin Nature Reserve (less than 20km east), and the  Dryandra Woodland (about 50km southeast). Unlike Boyagin and Dryandra, this Park is not well known and is much less visited. This is definitely not your area if you are seeking large granite outcrops, rugged terrain and views, but is an especially good area for wildflower displays in spring, with mainly easy walking through some of the most  picturesque open wandoo woodlands in the region, rivalling those at Dryandra. The woodlands are at their best on the lateritic slopes around the feeder gullies of  Connelly Creek in the SW and Sherlock Gully in the north. The terrain is generally very gentle: The unremarkable ‘Lupton’ hill top 2km SE of the start point is covered in shrubland. It is the highest point in the park (elevation 406m), but is just one of several similar low hill tops in the park and is not visited on the walk. The highest point reached on the walk is at 384m in the southeast.

    Thick heath/shrublands, cover some of the lateritic hilltops (including the Luptons summit area) and can be well worth visiting during the spring flowering. However they also often include dense patches of ‘Pingle’ (Dryandra squarrosa) and are mainly avoided by this walk route.

    Shorter walk option: The route can be easily adjusted to give a shortened walk of 15km, bypassing the eastern section by taking a short cut described in the Route notes.

  • Route notes

    Head south from the start point (at waypoint ‘START’) on the Park boundary road, with farmland to your right. After 1.2km, pass the junction with Perimeter Rd (at ‘1’) on the left and continue south for a further 400m to where the boundary road turns right (at ‘2’). Then veer left (SE) and off-track through initially quite open forest across a broad ridge via ‘2-1’. Skirt around the edge of tall heath/shrubland (mainly ‘Pingle’), and follow kangaroo trails to ‘3’. Veer right (SSW) and when the shrubland thickens (for about 250m), again find an easy way through by finding kangaroo trails to follow through the denser patches. Reach a stream gully in open woodland and follow it for a short distance, then at ‘3-1’ veer left (initially SW) to cross a narrow ridge. Veer southward along slope through woodland (via ‘3’) and follow a small laterite-capped spur ridge, close to Connelly Creek.  At ‘4’veer left (SSE) to descend from the ridge and follow the Connelly Creek valley floor for 500m upstream. At ‘5’ veer left (eastward) through a thicket of Rock Sheoak to cross  a side stream course. Veer right (SSE) at ‘6’ to reach a narrow ridge at ‘7’.  Follow the ridge gently uphill through attractive open woodland to ‘7-1’.  This is a pleasant spot for an early rest stop. Then veer SE-SSE around the hillside  (via ‘7-2’) to bypass the prickly Parrot Bush shrubland upslope. Pass through open woodland to cross a W-E side gully at ‘7-3’  and meet an old vehicle track east at ‘8’ on the south bank of the streeam course. Re-cross the stream course at ‘8-1’ and head eastward along the northern flank of the gully, initially through forest, and soon emerge onto near-flat, open heathland (with abundant low Scrub Sheoak).  Continue east (via ‘8-1’) and gently upslope to re-enter wandoo woodland with an understorey of balgas.  On the broad ridge top (near ‘9’) veer left (NNE) along the ridge to meet East Road (a vehicle track) at ‘9-1’. Follow East Road northward for 600m. It crosses the ridge crest and then descends very gently.  When the road  begins curving left (at ‘9-2’), veer right to head NE-ward off-track to reach a broad open valley (at ‘10’). Follow the valley floor ENE. (Or see Option below to shorten  the walk from ‘9-2’.) The initially wide valley floor soon starts to narrow into a gully. The gully veers more eastward at ‘10-1. This is about the halfway point on the walk and is a pleasant spot for a lunch break and/or rest stop. Then climb gently NE away from the gully through open, mixed jarrah-wandoo forest. Continue NE via ‘10-2’ along a gentle hillside to reach the west side of a N-S gully at ‘11’. Turn left to head northward onto a broad, gentle saddle area. Cross Perimeter Road (at ‘11-1’’).  Then continue northward into a broad valley sloping gently northward. (This  valley eventually drains into Sherlock Gully in farmland just north of the park). A well worn kangaroo trail provides an easy way through Pingle shrubland. The valley narrows (via ‘11-2’). Stay on the right hand side (east side) of the stream course and cross a small side gully. At ‘12’ cross the now narrow gully then veer WNW-NW along the hillside via ‘12-1’ through very attractive open wandoo woodland flanking the edge of a laterite breakaway upslope to the SW. At ‘13’ veer WSW and cross a shallower gully at ‘13-1’ and soon after another at ‘14’. Continue approx. westward-WNW  along slope via ‘14-1’ for about 700m to ‘14-2’, bypassing patches of denser heath or shrubland where necessary. Continue  WNW to ‘15’, then veer right (NNW) to soon cross another tributary stream of Sherlock Gully and reach a vehicle track at ‘15-1’. Cross another narrow gully immediately after the vehicle track and climb northward up a narrow ridge to ‘16’. Then veer left (initially NW) along slope via ‘17’ and ’17-1’ around the head of two small gullies. Then head SSW, gently downslope to reach a W-E vehicle track at ‘18’. Turn right to follow the track due west for 2.3km back to the start point, with farmland to the right (north) of the park boundary after ‘18-1’.

    Option, for shortened walk (15km):   The route can be easily adjusted to reduce the walk distance by taking a short cut north along East Rd (dirt road) directly from waypoint ‘9-2’ to ‘14-1’ which bypasses the eastern section. This reduces the walk disatnce by 2km to give a total walk distance of 15km.

  • Access / Directions

    105km SE of Perth. Follow Brookton Highway for 87km from Albany Hwy, then turn off at Gartrell Rd (gravel road on right, about 10km past Beverley Westdale Rd turnoff), continuing on Strange Rd (dirt road), then Simmons Rd (on left, dirt road). -Total of 10.5km of gravel/dirt road from Brookton Hwy to Start point. Follow Simmons Rd to reach the NW corner of the Park which is indicated by a sign on the left at the start of the bushland.  Park here, at Start point. (No facilities.)

    Google Map

  • Nearest campsite/s

    N/A.

  • Escape route/s

    Perimeter Rd (dirt road) runs approx. west-east through the centre of the walk area and connects to Simmons Rd in west by 1.2km of dirt road along the park boundary.  East Rd (dirt road) runs approx. north-south through the walk area, intersecting with Perimeter Rd and meeting Youngs Rd (dirt road) in the south.

  • Other Info.

    “Exploring Wheatbelt Woodlands”, Mike Bamford, 1995 (CALM publication; ISBN 0 7309 6495 7). – Provides a good introduction to the flora and fauna of remnant woodlands in the region.

    “Exploring Wheatbelt Woodlands – Teaching Activities for Upper Primary Schools”, Lyn Chadwick et al, 1994 (CALM publication; ISBN 0 7309 6320 9).  – A valuable aid for anyone interested in introducing children to the flora and fauna of remnant woodlands in the region and helping them understand and value the remaining woodlands.

    Other map availability

    South West WA 25K Scale Topo Maps”, Greg Harewood & Landgate, 2015. – Digital raster; ECW format on 16GB USB. See tiles #454-2233-III-SE and #455-2233-III-SW for relevant map coverage.

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