Mundaring Weir
Helena River
Golden Valley Loop Trail
South Ledge Lookout

Golden Helena Valley Loop

Beelu National Park

Directions - From the centre of Kalamunda take Mundaring Weir Rd towards Mundaring Weir. Take the turnoff for South Ledge (look for clearly marked red sign) and drive all the way along the gravel road to the car park. Follow the signs down to the Golden Lookout to begin the hike.

The Hike - The Beelu National Park and Mundaring Weir area has so much potential that it almost seems a waste to have so few trails in the area given how lovely it all looks. With the two major long distance trails in WA (the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi) running right through the forests here, it's an area of major significance. Day hikes in the area are limited to return journeys on the Bibbulmun, short walks around Mundaring Weir and the popular but uninspiring Shire of Kalamunda walk, Dell to South Ledge. I've often thought there was a better loop trail in the area that showcased the best of the area into a pretty manageable distance.

After following part of the Munda Biddi near Mundaring Weir for the Kattamordo Heritage Trail I began to wonder if it was possible to link up the Munda Biddi with the Bibbulmun to create a loop that also took you over Mundaring Weir and up to the Mundaring Weir Hotel as an added bonus. I mapped it all out and the numbers came up right so I just needed a day for it. Fast forward six months and thanks to yet another cancelled trip to do North Bannister to Dwellingup (thanks to over zealous prescribed burns this time) I had a spare weekend. It was also Election Day (RIP the environment or the future under the Liberals) so there was a great chance the trails would be quiet and given I'd already voted I could head out whenever I liked. Having experienced Mundaring Weir on a misty morning two years ago for Michelle from WalkingTwoByTwo's final walk in on her E2E, I wanted to wait until autumn or winter to try and get similar conditions. With a chilly morning forecast (1-2C minimum) I made plans to check out the loop to see what it was like as a whole. Aiming to be at South Ledge for the sunrise over Mundaring Weir, I arrived bang on time to find the whole place shrouded in the fog I had wanted.

 

I absolutely love these conditions so quickly got everything together and set off via the Bibbulmun Track to capture some moody shots of the Wandoo forest and the valley to the west. Arriving at the Golden Lookout, the view was somewhat limited thanks to the fog so I admired the grey nothingness for a couple of seconds before deciding it was best to rush down to the weir before the fog rolled away. Continuing on the Bibbulmun Track through the forest and down the hill, I chose to go in an anti-clockwise direction (and encourage you to do the same) for reasons that will become a little more obvious a bit further on. This stretch on the Bibbulmun is really enjoyable with a lovely canopy overhead and the odd placement of random Wandoo trees in the middle of the 4x4 track. The pop of golden coloured trunks is very welcome against the darkness of the Jarrah trees and is something I find to be a delight here. As you reach near the bottom of the hill you turn off the 4x4 track and onto some lovely single track that comes alive in spring with an abundance of wildflowers. Winding your way through the trees, you rise over a small, whimsical mound and are presented with the tiniest of glimpses of Lake CY O'Connor (at least if there wasn't fog around).