Upper Dale Walk overview

This walk is mostly through picturesque, open wandoo woodlands between small granite outcrops. The eastern part lies within the proposed Gibbs Conservation Park. The walk is almost entirely off-track but  includes some easy walking over reasonably gentle terrain. There are some pleasant views from the outcrops.

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  • Main features / Highlights

    This walk is mostly through picturesque, open wandoo woodlands between small granite outcrops. Although it is almost entirely off-track it includes some easy walking over reasonably gentle terrain, with only a few modest slopes onto the outcrops and across a few, usually dry stream gullies (including upper Dale River).  There are some pleasant views from the outcrops. Expect a few short sections of scratchy heath around the outcrops.

    The eastern part of the walk area lies within the proposed Gibbs Conservation Park, but approved expansions of bauxite mining across much of the Darling Range will likely eventually impinge on the southern part of the walk area.It is possible that public access via Metro Road will also eventually be restricted due to future mining operations. A planned new long distance conveyor belt route will likely pass N-S through the centre of the walk area under Worsley Alumina’s current 30-year expansion plan.

  • Route notes

    From the start point (at waypoint ‘START’) head initially westward for 100m along McCallum Road to ‘1’. Then veer right to head initially NW-ward off-track mainly through open woodland. Veer left (westward) at ‘2’ and  cross small patchy outcrops between  ‘3’ and ‘5’. Cross a small gully and veer  NW-ward again to soon descend gently through wandoo and balgas to cross two stream courses, veering right (northward) at ‘6’ at the first crossing.  Then reach the foot of a larger granite outcrop at ‘6-1’.  Climb the outcrop northward to ‘6-2’ then pass through short sections of scratchy shrubland and small rock outcrops flanking a broad ridge; Veer right (NNE) on a south-sloping outcrop at ‘7’ and then right again (eastward) on a north-sloping outcrop at ‘8’.  Veer SE-ward at ‘9’ to reach the lower edge of a larger, NE-sloping outcrop. Climb southward across the outcrop via ‘10-1’ gaining a good view NE-ward across a gentle tributary valley which drains ESE into the Dale River valley. Then walk uphill via ‘11’ through a short section of scratchy Parrot Bush and continue southward to cross the crest of the ridge into open wandoo woodland. Veer left (SE) at ‘12’ to follow the ridge downhill, passing through two thickets of young casuarina (sheoak), via ‘12-1’.  Veer left (eastward) along a small spur ridge and descend gently to then follow the north flank of a valley eastward, crossing two small side gullies at ‘13-1’ and ‘13-2’. Cross Metro Road at ‘14’ and continue approx. ESE through open woodland to cross McCallum Road, passing a large granite boulder on the SE side of the road. Soon after reach a (possibly dried out) pool at ‘15-1’ on the upper Dale River. Then continue ESE across a gentle ridge and meet a vehicle track at ‘15-2’. Turn right to follow the track SSE for just 100m to ‘15-3’, then veer ESE, off-track again across the quite broad flat valley floor cross a small side stream course to reach a small granite outcrop at ‘16’. Turn sharp left to initially climb very gently ENE mainly through open woodlands to ‘16-1’. Cross a vehicle track at ‘16-2’. Continue ENE, soon crossing a narrow gully and then two narrow Parrot Bush-covered ridges at ‘16-3’ and ‘16-4’. Descend across a short section of rocky ground and through a sheoak thicket to reach a low granite outcrop at ‘17’ and then veer right (ESE) to another outcrop at ‘17-1’; another good spot for a rest stop. Veer SE again and reach via ’17-2’ another small granite outcrop at ‘18’, where there is an interesting boulder arrangement and a small sharpened post (probably an old surveying point). Veer left (ENE) east to bypass a small hill top and soon descend to a larger granite outcrop at ‘19’. Turn sharp right (SSE) to cross the floor of a small valley and then cross an E-W dirt road at ‘19-1’. Climb gently southward around a hillside through picturesque open woodland via ‘19-2’ and descend a little to reach an eastward-sloping granite outcrop at ‘19-3’. Follow the outcrop generally southward along slope, with views to east, via ‘20’ and ‘21’ passing through a couple of brief scratchy sections and sheoak thickets. Re-enter forest at ‘21-1’ and continue southward to ‘22’. Cross a vehicle track at ‘22-1’ and climb gently mainly through jarrah forest and reach a small ridge at ‘23’. Veer SW-ward along slope to reach and ascend an eastward-sloping granite outcrop via ‘23-1’;  a good spot for a lunch stop,  with views across the surrounding forest toward the distant farms of the wheatbelt. Then head SSW upslope through partly scratchy scrub via ‘23-2’ and  reach a small stand of wandoo trees near ‘23-3’ on a local hill top on the ridge. Continue SSW, gently downhill on the west flank of the ridge to another granite outcrop (at ‘23-4’). Veer right (SW) to ‘24’ and then further right (WNW) to cross a narrow gully at ‘24-1’. Then head NNW along the hillside through open jarrah forest.  Veer NW on a small outcrop at ‘25’ and cross a vehicle track at ‘25-1’. Continue NW, to cross a gentle valley and then climb through some scratchy shrubland to ‘26’ toward the crest of a ridge. Veer left (initially westward) along the ridge via ‘27’ and pass through a brief scratchy section to reach at ‘28’ a granite outcrop on the SW flank; This provides a nice view to the west across the valley to another outcrop which is the next point on the route. Descend the outcrop  and head westward to WSW to cross the valley via ‘28-1’, ‘29’ and ‘29-1’, initially through partly scratchy scrub and across a vehicle track (at ‘29-1’). Reach the foot of an outcrop at ‘30’ and veer right (NE) to and follow the outcrop along slope, NNW via ‘31’ and ‘31-1’.  Veer left (NW) at ‘31-2’ to cross a further, larger outcrop. Descend the outcrop westward via ‘32’ to cross a small gully and re-enter woodland at ‘32-1’. Veer right (NW) at ‘33’ and continue NW-ward to return to the start point via ‘33-1’, ‘33-2’, and ‘33-3’, including the re-crossing of Dale River course, and then a final gentle uphill climb through woodland.

  • Access / Directions

    65km SE of Perth. Follow Brookton Highway and turn right into Metro Road (first road on right after Christmas Tree well on left), then 14.5km along Metro Road (dirt) to park at intersection with McCallum Road.

    Google Map

  • Nearest campsite/s

    N/A.

  • Escape route/s

    Reach Metro Road and then north to Brookton Hwy.

  • Other Info.

    Bauxite mining – WalkGPS page

    “Forest Management Plan 2014-2023”,  Conservation Commission of W.A. – Appendix 1, p.138 of the Plan identifies a 2280ha area currently proposed for the future Gibbs Conservation Park. This is less than 40% of the proposed 5929ha area in early (pre-1999) plans for the Park which recognised the conservation value of the area and covered most of the Upper Dale walk area. Much of the originally proposed park area is now proposed to remain as State Forest, ensuring it (and most of this walk area)  is accessible for future bauxite mining planned by Worsley Alumina. (A conservation park is to be managed identically to a national park which would have precluded mining.) The proposed park still offers a future effective ‘biolink’ to the otherwise isolated Boyagarring Conservation Park to the east.

    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 and #453-2233-III-NW for relevant map coverage.

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