Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents 192 Scoop Traveller January - June 2012
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FRANKLAND RIVER, MOUNT
his region starts 344km
south of Perth via Albany
framed by the majestic
Porongurup and Stirling Ranges.
A 30-minute drive from both
Denmark and the historic town of
Albany, the town is a perfect base
to explore the Great Southern.
Margaret River is only 100km closer
to Perth, offering award-winning
vineyards and produce.
The region is famed, both
nationally and internationally, for
its riesling and shiraz. The climate
provides excellent fruit-ripening
conditions, while the cool nights
enhance and retain acidity. A
few wineries, in town and on the
outskirts, offer cellar-door sales
and gourmet restaurants, most
with views of the mountains.
But it is the spectacular
mountains and bushwalks that
make the region unique. The
Stirling Range National Park and
Porongurups offer the walker the
highest peaks in WA, rare birdlife
and an internationally recognised
There are many well-equipped
bush camps and caravan parks
in the region, not to mention
the luxury B&Bs and retreats
where one can soak away a day’s
climbing pain in a spa.
The region also has significant
cultural value, especially Bluff
Knoll, a challenging three-to-four-
hour climb. Don’t forget to climb
Castle Rock’s new tourist walkway
for more brilliant views.
The locals love horse-racing,
and the Frost Park Racecourse, off
McDonald Avenue, hosts meets
throughout the year including the
Mount Barker Grapes and Gallops
in January. The speedway also puts
on a show, with regular meets
once a month.
under 100) is worth a stop, as are
Kojonup’s awarded visitor centre
and Cranbrook, for its hospitality.
“Mount Barker is the perfect base from
which to explore mountain walks,
wineries and the nearby coastline”
The Tree-in-the-Rock Walk | In
the Porongurup National Park,
50km north of Albany or 22km
east of Mount Barker, this starts
from the Tree-in-the-Rock picnic
area at the end of Bolganup Road
(off Chester Pass Road). The short
600m loop takes you through
beautiful karri forest, past a large
tree growing out of a granite
boulder, hence the name.
Devil’s Slide | A more difficult
5km walk, this starts from the
Tree-in-the-Rock and follows
Wansbrough Walk for 1.6km
through dense karri forests before
heading up a granite slope. There
are magnificent views from the top
and locals suggest taking a packed
lunch. Come prepared with sun
protection and water.
Stirling Range National
Park | About 100km north-east of
Albany along Chester Pass Road or
off the Great Southern Highway
from Cranbrook, there are dozens
of walks in this national park.
Locals recommend the Red Gum
Springs walk if you’re after an easy
day with historic interest (the site
was once a watering point for the
area’s early pioneers). The springs
are on the western side of the park
off Red Gum Pass Road, which
is accessible from Stirling Range
Road or via Kendenup.
Bluff Knoll Climb | This 5km return
walk starts from the Bluff Knoll
car park, off Chester Pass Road,
and takes you to the top of the
third-highest and one of the most
spectacular peaks in WA. The climb
is moderate and will take three to
four hours but make sure you take
sun protection and plenty of water.
Other walks | Also accessible
from Stirling Range Road, Mount
Highlander cows in Porongurup
(Photography Heike Weber).
Castle Rock’s new lookout
(Photography Heike Weber).
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