Donnybrook to Augusta via Black Point

StartClick to Reverse the Dynamic Map and Driving NotesDonnybrook
FinishAugusta
DifficultyDifficulty 3.5/5
Suitable for4WD 
Distance294.28 km
Minimum Days2
Average Speed44.47 km/hr
Driving Time6 hrs 37 mins
Page Updated: 25 Jul 2013

Description

Starting at Donnybrook, this trek is a ramble through secondary forest roads which are all driveable via 2WD. Once the leaving the South Western Hwy the road quickly moves into Jarrah Marri forest interspersed with pine plantations.

The first destination is the campsite at old Cambray Siding which lies along one of the old timberline logging rail routes. The sleeper remnants of one of these lines adjacent to one of the sites is clearly visible. At this point, there is a DEC described walktrail to old Barrabup Mill site and on to Nannup (40km return, but shorter return stages can be selected).

Back to the highway with a number of pleasant attractions such as cheeseries at which pleasant breaks can be made. The trek then passes through picturesque Nannup and down to the Vasse Hwy to reach Gold Gully Rd. From this point the forest quickly transforms to increasingly dense and tall karri on backroads to reach Donnelly Mill townsite. Minor shop facilities are available here but the mill itself has long closed although substantial mill buildings remain as do the old workers’ huts.

The route continues through the karri to re-cross Vasse Hwy and reach Black Point Road. Once off the bitumen, the road reverts to 4WD status near the D’Entrecasteaux Park boundary, and near Black Point itself tyres should be deflated to 20psi or similar.

Black Point has two main viewing sites, both of which are spectacular. There are many DEC campsites located here under the peppermints, with fire rings supplied. Pit toilets are strategically located near the camping areas. You will need to bring your firewood from outside the Park.

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Environment

The climate of WA’s south west is cool temperate with abundant rainfall in winter but frequent morning drizzle even in summer. Summer temperatures are usually moderate but occasional short hot spells occur.

The trek lies within the Warren bioregion which is characterised by dissected (rivers and streams) undulating country supporting karri on the loams, paperbark and sedge swamps in the extensive depressions and predominantly peppermint woodland and scrub progressively near the coast.

The coastal part of the route contains huge areas of pristine or largely untouched beaches, coast structures including magnificent dune systems and long beaches, as well as the major Black Point basalt structures, providing for a large diversity of fauna and flora. The sedgelands along Black Point Rd often produce beautiful shows of red swamp beaufortia (b. sparsa) for lengthy periods between Jan-April and again between Sept-Nov.

The coastal tracks are dominated by peppermints and the usual south coastal plant communities with occasional stands of old growth marri. A particularly good stand lies opposite the T junction with the old Black Point track.

Black Point

One of the major drawcards to D'Entrecasteaux National Park is the magnificent Black Point. This massive outcrop of basalt was formed from an extensive volcanic lava flow originating from the Darling Fault around 135 million years ago. To the west of Black Point lies a smaller - albeit spectacular outcrop of basalt featuring classic ‘organ pipe’ columns.

To reach the black basalt columns that give Black Point its name, a short 1km stroll is required along the beachfront (on the northwest side of Cape Beaufort). You'll see the headland from the carpark at the beach. The sea is often pounding hard against the basalt and you may have to pick a quiet, low tide to get close enough to hear their distinctive organ-like music as the waves and wind echo through the gaps in the basalt pillars. South of the beach a rough vehicle track runs out to the southern part of the point to several fishing spots with spectacular scenery along more basalt cliffs that are constantly pounded by the Southern Ocean.

Jasper Beach

This trek also takes in Jasper Beach (further east), which is a nice secluded spot - and similar to Black Point, features camping spots on the way in. To get to Jasper Beach, you take a narrow and winding track called Wapet Track. This challenging track becomes very steep with rutted sand hills as you head towards the beach, and it's probably not a good idea to take your trailer down there.

History

Archeological evidence indicates continuing Aboriginal usage of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park area for at least 10,000 years with current custodians mainly from the Murram branch of the Noongar Nation.

Non indigenous history commences with early Dutch voyages from at least 1627. Captain Vancouver in the Chatham undertook the first hydrographic survey of the south coast in 1791. A year later French Admiral Bruny D’Entrecasteaux led a large scientific expedition which included the ships Researche and Esperance, and which named Point D’Entrecasteaux to the east of Black Point at Windy Harbour.

Little interest followed these voyages with activity mostly restricted to sealing and whaling. However, following settlement in 1831 terrestrial and further coastal exploration accelerated with farming being established to the north of the area in the 1850s. Pastoral leases were developed in the 1880s with grazing continuing to the 1980s. These pastoralists built a number of coastal huts for summertime grazing (cattlemen huts), most of which are long gone.

The area of the route comprising forests has been continually logged since the late1800s, for both high grade jarrah and karri lumber initially but more recently also including marri as source logs for woodchipping.

Exploitation and clearing of the forests has been over three broad stages, all very controversial. Firstly in the early 1920s much prime karri was ringbarked in favour of dairy farms and was strongly opposed by foresters. This stage eventually failed because of insuperable economic problems at smallholder level and the onset of the Great Depression.

During the period between the 1930s – 1950s, Government secured much of the remaining karri on Crown land as designated State Forest. In turn this was opposed by both farming and local government interests but the opposition comprehensively failed with the great bulk of remaining karri absorbed into the State.

Subsequently, from the 1970’s to the present, environmental interests have increasingly opposed logging in the forest with major victories resulting in bans on old growth logging, establishment of significant new forest conservation reserves, and better forestry management practices. In turn these conservation efforts have been fiercely opposed by forest unions in particular.

The current situation is for periodic skirmishes between vested interests to continue to occasionally break out. Evidence of old timber industry interests is frequent, as at Cambray and Nannup on this trek.

Preparation

Preparation for the coast part of the route should be as for any other 4WD track, including carrying sufficient fuel, water, food, supplies, communications gear, safety equipment and first aid, along with emergency backup supplies.

You will encounter other vehicles in the summer months. However, you might have to wait for a day or so for assistance in the shoulder or winter months.

Be well prepared with a GPS, Epirb or HF radio or Satellite phone. We advise that you refer to the latest information and advice about outback communications in the Communications Topic.

Make sure you have adequate recovery gear and tyre repair kits. A compressor is essential as tyre pressures will need to be dropped to at least 20psi on the coastal track. Travelers should read the 4WDriving Topic for related articles and checklists for vehicle setup and driver awareness

Permits

A permit is required for entry into the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and camping fees apply at most designated campsites. Visitors can obtain information about applicable fees at self registration points found in camping areas. For park brochures and more information see the new WA Parks & Wildlife website.

The local district contact is:

DEC Walpole

Frankland District (Walpole)
Address: South Western Highway, WALPOLE, WA 6398
Phone: (08) 9840 1027
Email: walpole@dec.wa.gov.au

Fuel Supplies & Usage

Fuel Symbol Fuel supplies can be purchased from Donnybrook, Nannup, and Augusta.
DieselULPLPG
4cyl 41 litres4cyl 48 litres4cyl 59 litres
6cyl 45 litres6cyl 53 litres6cyl 52 litres
8cyl 45 litres8cyl 49 litres
Usage is averaged from recorded data (* specific to this trek) and calculated based on trek distance.

Best Time To Visit

The best time to visit the south coastal regions of Western Australia is during the warm summer months as it can get quite cold and wet in the winter months.

Closest Climatic Station

Jarrahwood
Distance from Trek Mid Point 23.01km NE
 JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Mean Max. °C29.429.827.723.720.017.216.416.818.020.623.627.0
Mean Min. °C12.513.611.58.56.85.34.85.16.07.49.511.2
Mean Rain mm14.412.918.648.0126.1161.3174.9141.8104.357.644.117.5
    Best time to travel      Ok time to travel      Travel NOT recommended

Services & Supplies

Additional supplies and facilities are available in Donnybrook, Nannup, and Augusta.

Map

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What to See

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Where to Stay

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Directions

LocationsDistanceDirection Time
Donnybrook to Newlands12.98 kmSE156° 10 min
Newlands to Kirup4.52 kmS160° 3 min
Kirup to South Western Hwy & Cundinup Kirup Rd3.19 kmSE149° 2 min
South Western Hwy & Cundinup Kirup Rd to Gundarup18.42 kmSW222° 13 min
Gundarup to Vasse Hwy & Shelley Rd14.98 kmSW226° 14 min
Vasse Hwy & Shelley Rd to Cambray5.81 kmW276° 8 min
Cambray to Cambray Camp 10.16 kmNW306° 1 min
Cambray Camp 1 to Cambray Camp 20.82 kmW284° 4 min
Cambray Camp 2 to Vasse Hwy & Shelley Rd6.65 kmE98° 9 min
Vasse Hwy & Shelley Rd to Cambray Cheeses Dairy0.65 kmE79° 1 min
Cambray Cheeses Dairy to Vasse Hwy & Shelley Rd0.65 kmW259° 1 min
Vasse Hwy & Shelley Rd to Nannup12.07 kmS162° 9 min
Nannup to Vasse Hwy & Brockman Hwy2.4 kmS190° 2 min
Vasse Hwy & Brockman Hwy to Vasse Hwy & Gold Gully Rd4.83 kmS170° 3 min
Vasse Hwy & Gold Gully Rd to Willow Springs17.53 kmE94° 20 min
Willow Springs to Donnelly Bridge9.49 kmSE138° 10 min
Donnelly Bridge to Donnelly Mills0.62 kmSW227° 2 min
Donnelly Mills to 4 Ton Bridge13.14 kmSW217° 17 min
4 Ton Bridge to Davidson Rd & Coronation Rd11.48 kmSW217° 13 min
Davidson Rd & Coronation Rd to Vasse Hwy & Coronation Rd17.27 kmSW230° 16 min
Vasse Hwy & Coronation Rd to Stewart Hwy & Black Point Rd8.05 kmW276° 6 min
Stewart Hwy & Black Point Rd to Black Point Road (End of Bitumen)9.49 kmSW233° 7 min
Black Point Road (End of Bitumen) to Black Point Rd & Woodarburrup Rd9.59 kmSW221° 19 min
Black Point Rd & Woodarburrup Rd to Black Point Rd & Wapet Tk2.67 kmSE134° 7 min
Black Point Rd & Wapet Tk to Jasper Beach (Camping Area)8.15 kmSE125° 20 min
Jasper Beach (Camping Area) to Jasper Beach0.1 kmSW212°
Jasper Beach to Jasper Beach (Camping Area)0.1 kmNE32°
Jasper Beach (Camping Area) to Black Point Rd & Wapet Tk8.15 kmNW305° 20 min
Black Point Rd & Wapet Tk to Camping Area (before Black Point)1.15 kmSW209° 3 min
Camping Area (before Black Point) to Seal Cove Campground0.58 kmW252° 1 min
Seal Cove Campground to Black Point0.24 kmSW209° 1 min
Black Point to Seal Cove Campground0.24 kmNE29° 1 min
Seal Cove Campground to Camping Area (before Black Point)0.58 kmE72° 1 min
Camping Area (before Black Point) to Black Point Rd & Wapet Tk1.15 kmNE29° 3 min
Black Point Rd & Wapet Tk to Black Point Rd & Woodarburrup Rd2.67 kmNW314° 7 min
Black Point Rd & Woodarburrup Rd to D'Entrecasteaux NP Sign1.08 kmN340° 3 min
D'Entrecasteaux NP Sign to Wobbled Well0.45 kmN340° 1 min
Wobbled Well to Gingilup Swamps8.72 kmNW293° 23 min
Gingilup Swamps to Milyeannup11.54 kmNW309° 12 min
Milyeannup to Emu Spring2.16 kmSW229° 2 min
Emu Spring to Scott River Rd & Milyeannup Coast Rd10.25 kmW290° 11 min
Scott River Rd & Milyeannup Coast Rd to Brennan Bridge2.54 kmN2 min
Brennan Bridge to Brockman Hwy & Scott River Rd11.67 kmN8 min
Brockman Hwy & Scott River Rd to Brockman Hwy & Clark Drive7.35 kmW268° 4 min
Brockman Hwy & Clark Drive to Alexandra Bridge Campground1.71 kmW255° 2 min
Alexandra Bridge Campground to Brockman Hwy & Clark Drive1.71 kmE75° 2 min
Brockman Hwy & Clark Drive to Alexandra Bridge0.52 kmSW240°
Alexandra Bridge to Karridale10.01 kmSW244° 6 min
Karridale to Augusta13.99 kmSE157° 9 min
Donnybrook to Augusta294.28 km  6 hr 37 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.

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