Dunns Track

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesRavensthorpe
FinishNorseman
DifficultyDifficulty 3/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance247.64 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed46.23 km/hr
Driving Time5 hrs 21 mins
Article By: Member - Phil Bianchi
Page Updated: 9 Jul 2011

Description

In 1894 Walter Dunn pioneered the track to the Dundas Goldfield. He set up a store at Cocanarup (18 kms SW of Ravensthorpe) to provide supplies to travellers from Albany to the goldfields.

Dunn’s Track is a little travelled track that traverses some very remote and rough country. This track is a twin of The Holland Track which took prospectors from Broomehill to Coolgardie in the 1890’s.

How to Use this Trek Note

Click the "Map" tab below to see the route we've provided. Icons on the map are the POIs you'll need for navigation purposes. Be sure to check the list of Nearby Places on each POI page.

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  • You can print a paper copy of the text using the print icon button shown above, near the social media buttons. For the best output it is advised to open each tab/section to load all images and artwork. You will still need to click open each Place page (listed in Where to Stay, What to See) to print off all available information.
  • If you have a Hema Navigator or use Mapping Software such as OziExplorer, or TrackRanger AND you are an ExplorOz Member, then you can click the Download Trek button at the top of this page to obtain the raw data files (eg. GPX) for this Trek.
  • If you're not a Member, or you'd like to batch download the entire Treks database you can obtain this by buying a product called EOTreks Route Files from our online shop.

Environment

Most of this trek is over dirt roads and in places which are very sandy. The terrain is a mixture of sandy track and creek crossings that are sometimes steep sided.

Vegetation tends to be scrub and heath, with thick but tall scrub at the southern end and goldfields woodlands at the northern end.

History

In 1894 Walter Dunn pioneered the track to the Dundas Goldfield; he set up a store at Cocanarup (18 kms SW of Ravensthorpe) to provide supplies to travellers from Albany to the goldfields.

Surveyor General John S. Roe whilst on his 1848 explorations in the area named Peak Charles after the then Governor, Charles Fitzgerald, he also named nearby Peak Eleanora after the Governor’s wife.

In 1910 Guy May and Arthur Hewby, also explored extensively throughout the area and followed Dunn’s Track to the north east. Hewby had a trackside swamp named after him. Hewby and May constructed the cairn on Peak Charles.

Preparation

Thoroughly plan your trip, don’t take a trip to this area lightly. You may be lulled into a false sense of security because of the seemingly lack of remoteness; however the middle section of the track is little travelled.

A wise precaution is to get hold of some updated and detailed mud maps of the area or get hold of some digital maps of the region to use on a laptop. If you decide to get some digital maps of the region, you could load these into OziExplorer (which should be installed and running on your laptop) and load the plot file for this trek from ExplorOz. Another precaution against getting lost is to use a GPS with the track back feature so you can reverse the track and follow it back out again if you do get lost.

Mobile phones will not obtain a signal and CB/UHF radios don’t have the strength of signal. For your safety ensure you have a satellite phone or HF radio. We advise that you refer to the latest information and advice about outback communications in the Communications Topic.

Punctures from stakes are almost a certainty, ensure you have quality tyre repair gear, a second spare is preferable. It is strongly suggested you travel with another vehicle and not solo. Obviously a 4WD is required and high clearance is highly recommended. Travellers should read the 4WDriving Topic for related articles and checklists for vehicle setup and driver awareness.

Some sections of the track are overgrown and vehicle scratching is a certainty so be forewarned.

Suitable areas for campsites are scarce at the Ravensthorpe end of the track, because of the thickness and closeness of the scrub. Fire wood is a scarce commodity on the track south of Peak Charles.

Permits

Access permits are not required for this trek note.

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 35 litres4cyl 40 litres4cyl 50 litres
6cyl 38 litres6cyl 45 litres6cyl 44 litres
8cyl 38 litres8cyl 41 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

The cooler months of April to October with Spring being the best months to enjoy the wildflowers.

Closest Climatic Station

Salmon Gums Res.Stn.
Distance from Trek Mid Point 66.5km E
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C30.629.627.323.719.816.916.117.420.323.426.328.9
Mean Min. °C13.914.012.69.97.15.74.64.65.77.610.112.2
Mean Rain mm26.723.226.327.134.338.036.933.031.727.226.220.1
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Food, fuel and facilities such as caravan parks, shops and mechanical services are available at Ravensthorpe or Norseman.

Map

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What to See

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Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
The trek begins in earnest when crossing through a gate in the Vermin Fence. Please ensure you shut the gate again after you pass through.

On the eastern side of the gate through the fence and to the north are two water tanks and an old Rabbit Proof Fence boundary rider’s camp. The camp is a dilapidated corrugated iron three sided structure with an earth floor, its well worth a look.

The country quickly changes to rolling hills and gullies and the scrub is low and almost impenetrable.

At around the 35 kilometre mark, on the eastside of that creek, leave the vehicle and follow the creek bed south to the remains of a small dam and rock cairn. North of the track at the same point are some stone footings of a building.

At around the 58 kilometre mark on the north side of the track there is a low lying granite outcrop. Here you will find a number of gnamma holes; these may hold water depending on the season. These should not be relied on and the water quality would be dubious at best.

Peak Charles (651 metres) and the nearby Peak Eleanora stand out of the plain and can be seen up to 40 kilometres away.

There is a walk trail to the top of Peak Charles, however it is not for the faint hearted, those taking the walk will have the most fantastic 360° views of the surrounding countryside. There is a 2 metre high rock cairn at the top.

The vegetation changes to the typical goldfields woodland as you approach Peak Charles. The main access to Peak Charles is from the north east via the well formed but gravel Peak Charles-Norseman Road that leads to the park from the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway. Two wheel drive vehicles can access Peak Charles via this access way.

The upright stone walls around Moir Rock were constructed to funnel water into a tank on the southern side of the rock. W. Moir took out a lease on the area that included this rock in the late 1880’s; the rock was subsequently named after him.

Stennet Rock also has a rock wall to harvest rain water, however at this rock the water is fed into a well constructed turkey nest dam. The rock is named after Thomas Stennet who prospected this area with Moir in 1892.

Next stop is Dundas, an abandoned goldmining town 22 kilometres south of Norseman. Although all buildings have gone, the layout of the streets can be seen and occasional signs provide detail on the town.

A well prepared vehicle will take you to a pristine environment that has its own natural beauty; this area has seen little changes since the first explorers visited the area.

Showing 3 Places

Where to Stay

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Save time and download all digital map data for this trek (all places are included in the trek download).
This list may not be complete for the entire region. Places listed here are directly located along the plot file associated with this Trek Note. You can locate other nearby Places by browsing the map or searching Places.
No Places To Stay available for this trek

Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Ravensthorpe to South Coast Hwy & Carlingup Rd5.87 kmE75° N/A
South Coast Hwy & Carlingup Rd to Getenmellup9.42 kmNE52° N/A
Getenmellup to Carlingup Rd & Nindilbillup Rd4.11 kmNE44° N/A
Carlingup Rd & Nindilbillup Rd to Nindilbillup Rd & Vermin Proof Fence9.84 kmN355° N/A
Nindilbillup Rd & Vermin Proof Fence to Dam and Cairn6.71 kmNE47° 4 min
Dam and Cairn to Cascades Rd & Dunn's Track26.28 kmNE49° 17 min
Cascades Rd & Dunn's Track to Dunn's Track & Dog Rock Access65.1 kmNE62° 2 hr 38 min
Dunn's Track & Dog Rock Access to Peak Charles Rd & Fields Rd6.26 kmNE66° 15 min
Peak Charles Rd & Fields Rd to Annes Pass8.18 kmNE57° 19 min
Annes Pass to Moir Rock37.64 kmNE40° 1 hr 31 min
Moir Rock to Lake King Norseman Rd & Coolgardie Esperance Hwy12.77 kmE74° 31 min
Lake King Norseman Rd & Coolgardie Esperance Hwy to Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Dundas Access33.9 kmNE38° 1 hr 22 min
Coolgardie Esperance Hwy & Dundas Access to Lake Kirk11.49 kmNN/A
Lake Kirk to Norseman10.08 kmN7 min
Ravensthorpe to Norseman247.64 km  5 hr 21 min
Distance is GPS recorded driving distance (not straight line), Direction is straight line from start to end, Time is calculated from actual GPS driving data.

Related

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