Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 018 Contents 204 Scoop Traveller June-December 2010
scoop.com.au Explore WA
Inland, at the top of the Great
Southern, a scattering of small, verdant,
spirited towns make great overnight
stays, with agricultural settings,
beautiful wineries and world-class
national parks. Through winter, the
forests are lush and from mid-may
to mid-August you may see snow on
top of the Stirling Range.
eNJoy... peaceful lodgings, great
walks, top wineries, challenging hikes,
farm-gate produce and tranquil lakes.
Region size: 750sqkm
Distance from Perth: 359km
• 26 cellar doors
• 20-plus picnic spots
• 100-plus species of birdlife
• 1073m is the height of Bluff Knoll
• 77 species of banksia at the
• 15-minute drive from Mt Barker
to the Porongurups.
• The Stirling Range national Park is
a biodiversity hotspot, containing
1525 species of plants, of which 87 are
found nowhere else in the world.
CliMate cool and sometimes rainy
in July, peaks at average of 14̊c in the
day; peaks at 24̊c in December.
With its verdant pastures, rolling
hills and its dense forests, the
Mt Barker-Frankland River region
thrives through the winter/spring
period. The valleys are lush and
cloaked in morning mist, and the
wildflowers are among the most
diverse in WA. Vineyards are also
leafy and green, with grapes
starting to form later in the year,
and the cherry orchards (which are
open to the public) are blooming in
November. Accommodation is
purpose-built for the cold, so you
can enjoy nights in with a bottle of
local red and the log-fire blazing.
Hikes through the Porongurup
and Stirling Range national parks
are at their best on sunny days
in winter and spring, and from
the top of the ranges, the view
of the bright-yellow canola is
phenomenal. The Southern Arts
and Craft Trail stretches through
the region from September to
October, showcasing the work of
local artists at wineries, galleries
and shops, and in October the
State’s biggest wine show comes to
Mt Barker (read on for more info).
The lake systems between the
Frankland River and Mt Barker
will also be flowing through
this time of the year, providing
travellers with some great spots
to picnic or light a campfire.
The view from Bluff
Knoll is one of Wa’s
MT BaRKeR, POROnGuRuP & FRanKlanD RiVeR
Things to do | July to December 2010.
REASONS TO GO
Like a scene from Fern Gully, the
Porongurup and Stirling Range national
parks bulge with plant life and native
animals. Have your camera handy for
their many attractions: 1500-plus plant
species, 87 of which are found nowhere
else in the world; 100-plus birds, from
the majestic wedge-tailed eagles
to pocket-sized scarlet robins; and
bandicoots, western grey kangaroos,
brush tail wallabies and reptiles aplenty.
frankland River is renowned for its
beautiful rolling hills, warm chalet
accommodation and untouched
bushland. Home to Western Australia’s
third-biggest wine producer, it’s worth
venturing out for the wine tour alone:
sample at a handful of owner-operated
cellar doors. The 400km frankland
River is a popular spot for canoeing and
kayaking, and is a haven for waterbirds
and other wildlife.
Standing 1073m tall, Bluff Knoll in the
Stirling Range National Park is the
third-highest peak in WA. It’s a hotspot
for hiking, with plenty of wildlife to check
out and spectacular views from the top.
In winter, there’s the chance you’ll see
snow at the peak (although when it’s
forecast, weather conditions on the
mountaintops are extreme). West
Australian abseiling also culminates
here, with a 250m multi-pitch decent.
JuN Jul auG sep oCt Nov
Mt Barker, Porongurup & Frankland River insider
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