The Powerline trek
follows the service track for the powerlines between the valleys from Mundaring to York. This is a popular trek with local driver training
operators as it contains numerous obstacles of varying degree of difficulty and is not in a National Park area, hence no permits are required. If you're looking for a secluded bush drive, this one might not be for you. Of course, this is also a great trek to undertake on your own to test out your skill and vehicle setup.
The route has a series of steep valleys and the views at the top of each crest are simply amazing. The flora changes considerably from the winter season, when things are wet, slippery, muddy and very boggy, to the summer season when things are bone dry and rutted due to serious erosion caused from the previous winter. The vegetation includes tall eucalypts, cycads and various heath scrubs and the soils vary from sands to clay with the colours changing from white to red. Local wallabies are often sited, particularly during cool and overcast days.
Each year, and throughout the year, this trek changes considerably due to the effects of weather
and the fact that the council actually put a fair bit of maintenance work into this track. None of this actually affects the trek as such, but affects the degree of difficulty, or ease, that you will experience in completing the trip.
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.
If you'd like to save this information there are a couple of ways to go about it, depending on what you're actually after:-
- Ideal solution - download the ExplorOz Traveller App from Google Play or the App Store. The app enables you to carry the ExplorOz Places, Treks, & Maps data offline in your mobile device ready for your adventures. It is a complete mapping, navigation and tracking app. For more details, read our ExplorOz Traveller page.
- 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.
Sawyers Valley and Mundaring lie in the transitional zone between the Darling Range and the wheat belt and really are the "heart of the hills". The predominant tree species are Wandoo (E. wandoo, a large white barked eucalypt), Jarrah (E. marginata) and Marri (E. calophylla), both of which are large, dark barked eucalypts. Large under storey thickets also occur frequently.
Scattered rocks in the terrain are mostly granite, but laterite cap rock occurs along some ridges, slopes and hill tops.
In summary the terrain is quite variable, mostly undulating, with deeply incised gully systems on the slopes, few tracks, some complex rock sections with the flatter areas being relatively featureless.
The Powerline Track follows an active powerline carrying electricity from Muja power station. Collie supplies much of the South of Western Australia
with electricity via Muja Power Station, which came on line 1969 and the newer Collie Power Station that commenced operations in May 1999.
Mundaring - from the Aboriginal word 'Mindah-lung', is the site of one of Australia
's greatest engineering feats - the Mundaring Weir and the Golden Pipeline, which carries water all the way to Kalgoorlie.
The first European into the Mundaring area was Ensign Robert Dale who, in 1829, traced the Helena River upstream to a point near the present site of the Mundaring Weir. The nearby town of Sawyers Valley began as a pit sawyers' settlement in the 1860's. Today, many of the original sawpits can still be seen. The first freehold land in the area wasn't granted until 1882 and it wasn't until 1889 that a sawmill opened in the area and timber cutters moved in to exploit the extensive stands of jarrah and karri. The timber trade was the mainstay of the place for many years.