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Isuzu Club Open Day

Julimar State Forest - Sunday 21st November 2021

Article written by Jeff Trewick

Sunday 21st of November marked the first club event after the Perth 4wd & Adventure Show on 5th, 6th & 7th of November 2021. The Isuzu 4x4 Club of WA Inc. had massive success at the show with 14 on the spot sign ups and another 6 new memberships that have joined up from the show since.

At the Perth 4wd & Adventure Show we advertised Julimar Forest as our Open Day two weeks after the show. We are happy to report that we had quite a few guests attend our open day. We had a total of 19 vehicles attend the Open Day Trip to Julimar State Forrest.

The Isuzu 4x4 Club of WA Inc. met up at the infamous Bindoon Bakehaus at 0800hrs for breakfast / morning tea before holding our Convoy - Safety / Trip Briefing at 0900hrs. Isuzu 4x4 Club of WA Inc. always likes to put a safety first approach at our events.

As the weather was warming up snake safety discussion was also brought up at the briefing and good thing as one of our members spotted a snake on the footpath basking in the sun. So with a now safety focused group we were ready to hit the tracks and enjoy the day's offering's.

Luckily the snake wasn't interested in hanging around and went it's own way.

Remember if you want to get a photo keep at a safe distance and use the zoom function on your camera. If it starts heading your way move! don't try to get the perfect shot, you don't want to be a sucker and get bitten trying to get a good photo.

It was now convoy time and the Isuzu 4x4 Club of WA Inc. was headed North to enter Julimar Forest via the Northern Boundary Fence Road, from there club continued into the Forest going along the Western Boundary Fence Road and in and along Heine Road & off into other various tracks.

If you haven't been to Julimar Forest it's definitely recommended to put on your to do list. We recommend that unless your 4wd is well equipped and you have plenty of experience not to try the tracks in Julimar without other accompanying vehicles and experience. Whilst there are some easy tracks out here, there are many that require experience.

Julimar State Forest is found just 100 kilometers north-east of Perth. It consists of approximately 28,000 hectares of upland woodlands sporting a mixture of Jarrah , Marri, Parrot Bush, Wandoo, Powder bark. It also plays host to a lot of wildlife especially the endangered Western Quoll (Chuditch).

We always recommend starting your adventure from the Bindoon Bakehaus where you can get some fantastic bakery goodies. The Pies are especially good. From the Bakehaus the two closest entry points are the Western Boundary Fence Road via Flat Rock Road heading back towards Perth on the left a few kilometers down the road. Or you can enter via the Northern Boundary Fence Road off Stevens Road a few kilometers up the road on the right. They are only two of the main entry points near Bindoon but there are plenty of other entries about the place.

It's worth noting that a majority of the Western Boundary Fence is either in dire need of repair, completely down or non existent in a lot of sections so you will need to keep an eager eye out for stray cattle on or around the tracks in that area.

The tracks of Julimar Forest wind around with plenty of hills consisting of mild to step accents & descents. Some parts of the Forest are very twisty and wind inbetween some narrow sections of tracks. You'll need to keep a good eye on your panels in some parts as they can be a tight squeeze. Depending on what you drive, you may find it best to kick a passenger out and have them spot you through many of the obstacles that can be found on some of the other tracks throughout the Forest.

The tracks in the Forest are mostly red clay & pee gravel. We always recommend that before you jump out of your vehicle to look where you're placing your feet first. It can help prevent an embarrassing moment in front of your mates slipping over and landing squarely on your butt. Or worse yet twisting an ankle. The pee gravel can be really slippery and combined with ruts and uneven surfaces its bound to catch you out sooner or later if you don't pay attention!

We reached a big hill along the Western Boundary Fence one of our favorite spots in Julimar Forest. As we had quite a few members & guests new to 4wdriving it was time to do a quick training session on low range and how to pick the right line going down a step hill. We recommend letting your tires down to 26psi this will help look after the tracks. It will also help prevent undue wear and tear on your rig & prevent your fillings from falling out when you hit a patch of corrugations. There are also some rocky sections on the tracks, having pressures lower will help prevent damage to your tires and give you more traction.

It also worth noting that during the dry season the tracks get particularly dusty so it is best to always keep a safe distance between other vehicles so you can keep an eager eye on the track conditions ahead.

We also recommend that you always have your headlights on even in the bush. It helps make you more visual and might just be the thing that prevents a head on collision on the tracks, especially in dusty conditions. When it rains the place puddles up and it gets slippery real quick on the hills. There's some real deep puddles out here so unless you drive an amphibious vehicle make sure to check the depth first before you commit to a possible drowning of your pride and joy.

Some decent rain this year saw an adjoining farmlands dam overflow across one of the main tracks resembling more a lake than a dam.

A quick check of the depth and we were turning the convoy around to go down a different track. It was pretty deep and not worth the risk of trying.

Beautiful view at the top of a big hill. Oh the serenity!

This photo doesn't give the hill justice it is far stepper than it looks in this photograph.

From this point we stopped along the tracks into a nice open area off from the main track where we stopped for bite to eat. After a good lunch break it was wheels up and time to continue the track to make our way to the Heine Road Track.

The track continued on making its way through more hills wind through the scenic valleys.

After Heine Road we headed up a step up hill climb to a magic spot that puts you up high looking over the majority of the forest.

Amazing views!

Julimar Forrest is definitely one of our favorite places to visit, but unfortunately it may not be accessible for much longer or it will be greatly less useable to the 4wdriving and hiking community due to the exploration & discovery of the " Gonneville polymetallic deposit" by Chalice Gold Mines Ltd. Julimar State Forest has a high-graded exploration prospect " Julimar Complex" which is a 26km long & 7km wide stretching from the south of the Forest to the northeast of the Forest.

Chalice has defined a tier-1 scale maiden mineral resource estimate for Gonneville, now the largest nickel sulphide discovery worldwide by contained nickel resources since 2000 (>20 years), and the largest PGE discovery in Australian history.

At the moment their focus is in initial mining development at Gonneville on private farmland while they continue their investigations.

So with this in mind we will make sure to keep Julimar Forrest high on our to do list on a regular basis incase access to this amazing area is taken away.

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