Djidi-Djidi Ridge Trail - Chittering
Updated: Jan 23
EDIT JANUARY 2023 Chittering Road is closed for bridgeworks from 16 January to April 2023 (and possibly longer) You can still access Djidi Djidi Ridge Trail but check your preffered travel map for detours.
This is a great trail for the kids as it is short but interesting. Djidi-djidi is a Noongar name for the Willie Wagtail and whilst we didn't see any of these on our hike we could hear lots of birds in the bush around us.
Located in the Chittering Valley this short 1.5km return trail is a great add on to a day trip exploring the valley or heading further afield to Bindoon or Toodyay. In winter the valleys are lush and green and heading into spring the wildflowers and canola fields vie for your attention. The entrance to the trail is located on Chittering Road, just north of the Julimar Road turnoff. There is a large sculpture of a grass tree at the entrance, part of the Chittering Sculpture Trail. Older maps will show the reserve as Blackboy Ridge Reserve as it has been recently renamed.
There is a drop toilet and a couple of picnic benches at the reserve which has lots of informal parking available. You can also head to the rest stop on the edge of the Brockman River at Julimar Drive for a more scenic stop but there are no toilet facilities here.
EDIT: After hiking this trail in August 2021 we returned in July 2022 and discovered improvements to the signage. There is a new sign at the trail head which also shows all the fire trails which loop around the reserve. These have all been given inviting names like Pink Rainbow Strip and Blue Devils Road so why not plan a longer hike around this stunning piece of bushland. There are also interpretive signs about the flora and fauna you might find along the Djidi Djidi Ridge Trail.
The trailhead is easy to find as there is large signage at the start. Initially the trail heads up some wooden stairs before crossing a small bridge. The watercourse here would generally be dry but after our record breaking wet winter there was a little stream running beneath the bridge today. The narrow single file trail then heads up some more stairs. It is unavoidable that you will brush against the bush along this trail so if there is dew or rain on the bushes you will get a bit wet. Be sure to spray DEET or check for ticks after your hike. I would also recommend wearing long sleeves and long pants as most of the bushes are very prickly!
The trail is well marked with trail markers and is easily visible but it is not a manicured trail and there are lots of rocks, some forming a second bridge, others forming steps, as you gradually climb to the top of the ridge.
On the way you get lovely views across farmland and we could see distant canola crops just beginning to show their colour.
Although you can hear the intermittent traffic driving along Chittering Road there are long periods when all you can hear are the many different birds and the distant noise of farms: sheep, cows and sometimes tractors.
At one point you cross over a fire trail (Pink Rainbow Strip) and although heavily degraded and rough the fire trails loop around the reserve providing additional opportunities to extend your hike.
Eventually the single file Djidi Djidi Ridge Trail levels out as you near the top of the ridge.
As you crest the ridge you pass a rock cairn and a side trail, which leads to the perimeter fire trail, before arriving at the lookout which offers180 degree views across the valley.
Being a there and back trail you get the same lovely views on the return.
It took us about 20 minutes to get to the top walking at a steady pace but on the return we stopped to have a closer look at the wildflowers and took the time to search the edges of the track for orchids and smaller flowers like drosera. Although the bushes were predominantly wattles and hakeas showing the creams and yellows of Djilba, we did see some red and orange flowers, what looked like an orchid about to bloom, early kangaroo paws and some blue flowers Even though the elevation you gain is minimal (65m) it is surprising how the flora at the base of the trail in the marri-wandoo woodlands differs from the flora of the heathlands at the top of the ridge.
We really enjoyed this walk and made a point of revisiting in July 2022 when we discovered a clearer map naming all the fire trails. Once we had climbed to the ridge lookout we went on to explore the top section of the Pink Rainbow Strip, turning left along Kudjidi Way for 400m, then left again descending along Featherflower Retreat and Prickly Moses Avenue which follows the watercourse back to the carpark. There were clear trail signs at each intersection. The trails wind up and down the valley so there are some steep climbs and descents but there are also flatter sections along the ridge and the valley floor. The views are stunning from the top of the ridge!
To download the original trail brochure click on this link - Djidi-Djidi Ridge Trail With the boundary trail being 3.5km long and a variety of trails leading through the reserve you could spend a quick 30 minutes going up and back on the Dijidi Djidi Ridge Trail or take longer to explore the network of fire trails.
The Chittering Valley has plenty of attractions and things to do to keep you busy for a day out in the country or a weekend away. There are other walks you can enjoy and you can add extra fun by following a farm gate or farm produce trail and feed yourselves along the way! For a full list of trails (walking, self drive, farm gate, sculpture) visit the Shire of Chittering website.
Toodyay also offers plenty for the kids to do with the Fairytale Farm, geocaching, history and arts and crafts as well as Duidgee Playground on the Avon River. Toodyay also has lots of wildflower hotspots to visit during wildflower season - (August - October)
Bindoon is a lovely little town with several walking trails and heritage sites and a great place to eat is the famous Bindoon Bakehaus.
There is plenty to keep you busy on a day out and about in the country!
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In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
As always when hiking in the bush please help to reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback by sticking to the tracks and paths, staying out of quarantined areas and, if possible, clean your shoes before and after hiking. A spray of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water can be effective.