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A Rocky Pool Walk, Perth, Australia

8th of May 2016

A leisurely Sunday stroll around the Rocky Pool Walk in Kalamunda National Park.

  • Location: Kalamunda National Park, Western Australia, Australia
  • Start or End: Loop Walk. Best public transport access via the Kalamunda Bus Station. End of Spring Road Kalamunda if you have a car.
  • Length: 8.4km (5.2mi)
  • Grade: Medium to Hard. All gravel trails with both low and high gradient slopes. Some sections very steep and rocky.

It's a cold Sunday morning in Perth. A minimum of 5°C this morning in the city. Better get out of the house and warm up with a hike in the Perth Hills. Once again I gain walking inspiration from Kalamunda.wa.gov.au and The Life of Py. I decide to try out the Rocky Pool Walk in Kalamunda National Park, which is only a short walk from the Kalamunda Town Centre.

From Elizabeth Quay Bus Station, I take bus 299 at 9am and arrive at the Kalamunda Bus Station at approximately 9:50am. Walking east down Mead Street I reach may first point of interest in about 5 minutes. The Northern Terminus of the Bibbulmun Track.

I'm glad to have finally seen the Northern Terminus of the Bibbulmun Track. Last time I was in the area I walked from Mundaring to Kalamunda via the Bibbulmun Track but took a wrong turn at the end, missed the end of the trail and ended up further along Railway Road. I could have turned back to take a look, it was only a few hundred meters away, but by that time I was absolutely stuffed and couldn't be bothered.

I continue down Spring Road for about 1km until I hit a dead end and enter the Kalamunda National Park, the start of the Rocky Pool Walk. It is also the end of the Rocky Pool Walk as the walk is a loop, making it easy to return home by the same bus.

As suggested by the Rocky Pool Walk pdf document provided by Kalamunda.wa.gov.au, I walk in a clockwise direction around the loop. The trail is rocky, a little eroded and uphill.

After a little puffing and panting the path soon flattens out (though still a little rocky in places), making way for a pleasant bushwalk along a hillside with great views to the east over Kalamunda National Park.

The walk was very relaxing and I did not see another person until I met a group of walkers just before the path deviates to the east along Schipp Road. There were a number of walkers on Schipp Road, but definitely no cars. Not sure you would want to be driving along this ...

Not the sort of road you would want to take your lowered Nissan Skyline for a drive around. I'm not really sure why it is designated as a road at all. The Schipp Road does turn into the Schipp Road Walking Trail further along and then meets a car worthy road at Hummerstone Road. Must have been a road used back in the old days. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any historical information.

Anyway, I follow the Schipp Road and take in the views while also carefully watching where I step. The road if very rocky and sometimes steep. If this is how rocky the path is I can't image how rocky the pool must be. I'm just glad I bought my walking poles today, much easier to traverse with four feet. It is all downhill for me, I did my upward climb earlier in the walk.

I slowly walk the wide rocky path to the bottom of the hill, then all of a sudden a blue trail marker (which I have hardly had to use as the path is so clear) sends me off the obvious path and into the bush.

I find another trail marker in the bush with no obvious path so this must be the way. After a short period in the bush I find myself at another clear path. Looking at Google Maps I could have just continued along the wide obvious path without the diversion into the bush at all. What is going on with these markers? Consulting the Rocky Pool Walk pdf document provided by Kalamunda.wa.gov.au I find the diversion into the bush is correct as the clear path ahead can be flooded by winter rains.

Back on a clear track I walk under the high tension power lines and then head south.

Soon enough I am at Rocky Pool, the namesake of today's hike.

As the name and the photos above suggest, Rocky Pool is indeed rocky and contains a pool, well actually many pools. Probably should be called Rocky Pools. Rocky Pools was a popular swimming hole in the 1930's (according to the signage at the entrance to the pools) but has become less so with the construction of public swimming pools in Kalamunda and Mundaring. To be perfectly honest the pools don't really look that inviting. Sure the cold doesn't help, but the water is a little murky and there is some garbage around. Probably much better after the winter and spring rains have washed it out a bit and the heat of the summer beats down. I'll stick to air-conditioning and gin and tonics though thanks.

Shortly after leaving Rocky Pools the track really starts to look familiar. Getting some serious Déjà vu here. That's right, I'm on the same piece of the Bibbulmun Track I walked a couple of weeks back. Luckily this time it is not so hot and I have plenty of water.

After a short walk on the combined Rocky Pool Walk/Bibbulmun Track a blue trail marker diverts over a dry watercourse and shortly after I am back at Spring Road. Loop complete. Now it is time to walk back up Spring Road and to the Kalamunda Bus Stop.

All in all, a good walk. The walk from Kalamunda Bus Stop and back was 8.4km in length and took me about 2.5 hours. The actual Rocky Pool Walk is 5kms and would take approximately 2 hours to complete. Obviously, walking along Spring Road etc. is much quicker than negotiating the rocky paths of the Rocky Pool Walk. Not sure how good this walk would be in the summer (probably absolutely horrible in the midday sun) but it was fine in early May once the temperatures decreased. I would personally love to come back in the late winter and spring after some rain has filled the watercourses and the wildflowers are out.

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