From the Start point (waypoint ‘START’) on Cole Rd follow the forestry vehicle track past the vehicle barrier and initially southward down a gully to waypoint ‘1’, then follow the left road branch across a stream and uphill to meet Firewood Road at ‘2’. Head SE off-track (partly on traces of an old, overgrown forestry track) gently uphill through marri-jarrah forest (via ‘3’). Reach an old N-S forestry track (at ‘4’) after less than 1 km. Turn right to follow the track southward for about 600m to reach North Rushy Rd (at ‘5’). Veer left to follow the road SE for 500m to where it bends E-ward (at ‘6’). Leave the road to continue SE through heath and forest to soon reach a small outcrop and a small stream (at ‘7’) which is a tributary that feeds into the main Manns Gully downstream. Follow the stream course via ‘8’ upstream over and around some nice granite outcrops and boulders, with abundant Sea Urchin Hakea (Hakea petiolaris) flowering in winter. At ‘8-1’ head uphill to follow a prominent granite outcrop southward and deviate via ‘8-2’ and ‘8-3’ to visit two large granite boulders before crossing Rushy Road (at ‘9’) and continuing southward along slope through open forest. Pass through more cluster of large boulders (via ‘10’ and ‘10-1’) before reaching an old forestry vehicle track (Considine Rd; at ’11’). Cross the road and head SW across a hillside (via ‘11A’) before descending to a gully. Pick a route through tall heath to cross the stream at about ’12’ and then veer left to head SE along the valley slope, passing through some local stands of wandoo. You can deviate a little to the stream bank near a large wandoo tree at ’13’ which is a nice spot for rest stop. Cross Watson Road at ’14’ and follow the bank of the small stream gently upstream (via ’15’, ‘15-1’, ‘15-2’). After ’15-2′ cross the gully to continue SE, uphill to meet Considine Rd again (at ’16’). Follow the forestry track SE to its T-junction with Scott Road (at ’17’). Continue straight ahead, E-ward off-track and in less than 150m meet an old forestry track at ’18’ (North Gorge Rd), which follows the northern rim of Chinaman Gully). Follow the track NE-ward quite steeply uphill. Reach the crest of the ridge after about 500m (at ’19’), then head ESE downhill to cross (via ’20’) an outcrop in a small gully and descend to a partly shrub-covered outcrop (at ’21’) which extends along slope for about 250m and provides an excellent view SE-ward down Chinaman Gully and across the Helena River valley (now partly containing Lake CY O’Connor/Helena Reservoir). Stay on the upper slopes of the outcrop area and pick an easy route via ’21-1’ toward ’22’ across the outcrop and around the denser shrubby patches. After leaving the outcrop, re-enter the forest and cross a deep side-gully at ‘22’ before climbing steeply to a ridge (at ’23’). The ridge here is dominated by picturesque open wandoo woodland and abundant zamia palms. Head S-ward via ’24’ & ’25’ down the ridge which narrows at one point and drops quite abruptly across an interesting rocky laterite escarpment which offers the opportunity for an easy rock scramble descent (or alternatively it can be bypassed via the adjacent less rocky slope to the right of the ridge crest). At ‘26’ veer right (WSW) toward ‘26-1’ to reach the main stream course of Chinaman Gully. Cross the stream to a large granite outcrop at ‘27’. After winter rain a small waterfall is usually flowing. Then veer W-ward to cross a low, heath-covered ridge to meet another stream course at ‘28’ where there is often another very small waterfall flowing. Turn right to follow this tributary stream course upstream. Veer WSW-ward at ‘29’ to soon cross the stream bed to the northern side of the gully, passing through some very open wandoo woodland on the lower slopes and then some low heath and scrub on rockier slopes (at ’30’). After ’31’, veer SW to reach a rocky ledge at ’32’ where a small waterfall occasionally flows after good rainfall. Continue SW up the partly heath-covered outcrop to a nice rest spot on a large granite slab at ’33’ with good views eastward down the valley to the opposite rim of Chinaman Gully, which you descended not long before. Then head initially WNW-ward along-slope to pass through a large boulder cluster (after ’34’). Then veer NW to cross a gully and climb to a broad flat ridge at ‘34-1’. Continue NW-ward through the open jarrah-marri forest (and abundant wattles in late winter) on the ridge for about 1.25km via ’35’, ‘36’, ‘37’ (crossing Scott Rd at ’36’) and meet Watson Rd at ‘37-1’ near a Y-junction with Burnt Bridge Rd (at ’38’). Follow Burnt Bridge Rd for about 600m NW. At ’39’ veer north off-track to pass through a nice patch of wandoo woodland and then descend a granite slab (at ’40’). Cross the small stream at the foot of the outcrop and follow the opposite slope N-ward along the gully (via ’41’) for about 500m. At ’42’ in wandoo woodland, veer W-ward to re-cross the stream course and soon rejoin Burnt Bridge Rd (at ’43’). Follow the road for about 500m WNW to the junction with Rushy Rd at ’44’. Turn right onto Rushy Rd and, immediately after crossing a stream course (within 70m; this same stream was also crossed earlier on the route upstream at ‘12’), veer left of-track and walk NNW along slope to ‘46’, then veer NE to descend to the bank of the Manns Gully stream. Cross the shallow (if not dry!) stream to the western side at the granite outcrop and small rapids at ’47’. A rock pool lies immediately upstream. Then head NW to meet a forestry track at ’48’. Follow the track northward, mostly very gently uphill. After 1.3km at a Y-junction at ‘49’, follow the right-hand fork northward to a T-junction at ‘50’. Cross the track and continue NNW off-track to meet Firewood Road at ‘51’. Turn right to follow the road across Manns Gully, then veer left (NNE) off-track and mostly along-slope through a very open eucalypt tree plantation to reach a vehicle track at ’53’. Turn left to follow the track back across the stream which was also crossed on the outbound part of the walk. Then return N-ward up the road to ‘54’ back at the Start point.
Reduced off-track walking option: If preferred the off-track walking can be reduced by ~2km by diverting from waypoint ‘28’ to Chinaman Gully Road (at ‘RD-ALT1’) and then following the road via ‘RD-ALT2’ and ‘RD-ALT3’ before rejoining the route off-track between ‘37’ and ‘38’. Also by following Considine Road from ‘11’ to ‘16’ and Burnt Bridge Road from ‘39’ to ‘43’ to bypass off-track sections you would would reduce the off-track walking by a further ~2km. If these options are all taken off-track walking will be reduced to about 35% of the total walk.