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January - June 2012 Scoop Traveller 193
Hassell has breathtaking views
from the top, while Toolbrunup
Peak has spectacular 360 degree
views and Talyuberlup is a good
picnic spot. Because Phytopthora
dieback is a major problem in the
national park, it is recommended
you stay on designated trails, avoid
walking in wet soil conditions,
abide by management signs and do
not enter restricted areas.
A large variety of birds inhabit the
region and as the habitat changes
so do bird varieties. Some of the
top spots locals suggest include:
Mount Barker Hill (1km off Mount
Barker Road) | For splendid fairy
wren, new holland honeyeaters
and wedge-tailed eagles.
Government Dam (off McDonald
Avenue) | Sit and watch water birds
such as waders, ducks, western
rosella and red-capped parrot.
Local parks | In and around Mount
Barker, find a quiet spot to see
the western rosella, red-capped
parrot, splendid fairy wren,
magpie lark, magpies and ravens.
Open farmland | Head out of
town to see wedge-tailed eagles,
black shouldered kites, and other
birds of prey.
Stirling Range | Nearly 150 bird
species have been sighted in the
park including the western rosella
and red-capped parrot.
Porongurup Range | Locals say
birds throughout the park are
very friendly and there should
be no problems seeing them.
Within the range, eighty species
of birds have been identified
including the Carnaby’s cockatoo
and the rufous tree-creeper.
The more experienced climber
can find great climbs in both the
Stirling Ranges and Porongurups.
In the Porongurups | Gibraltar
Rock and Marmabup Rock. Castle
Rock is another site that offers
a variety, with some hard face
and arête climbing. While the
climbs may appear fairly mild,
the route is difficult and suitable
for intermediate to experienced
In the Stirling Ranges | Most
famous is the face of Bluff Knoll,
for experienced climbers only.
There are no tours available at
this point in the region, so careful
consideration and expert training
must be taken before attempting
any of these climbs.
You wouldn’t know it, being home
to two mountain ranges, but the
Mount Barker and Frankland River
regions are home to two lakes.
The first is Lake Poorrarecup, an
enormous freshwater lake just
north of Mount Barker. Locals
suggest either a swim in its calm
waters in summer, or a sunbathe
on the soft sandy beach. The Shire
of Cranbrook has also recently
constructed a 125m boat ramp
allowing people to launch their
crafts with ease. Alternatively join
many of the locals and water-
ski or canoe on the lake. Change
rooms, toilets and barbecue
facilities are all available.
The second is Lake Nunijup, about
20km from Tenterden, which
is used for water-skiing and
swimming. Barbecue facilities are
ocated just 359km south
of Perth along the Albany
Highway, Mount Barker
is home to many artists
and photographers displaying their
works throughout the region. Take
a stroll down the main street lined
with historic buildings, including
two character pubs pushing 100
years each. There is plenty of fresh
Recreation | Up Lowood Road from Muir Street is Sounness Park, home
of the Mount Barker Bulls football team, the town’s tennis court and,
across the road, the town’s swimming pool. Frost Park racecourse hosts
country racing carnivals. The Wilson Park skatepark is also on Lowood.
Food | Along Lowood Road are cafes and restaurants where good coffee
can be found. Along this road, as well as along Albany Highway, you
have a choice of four cafes and restaurants plus two roadhouses. There
are two bakeries in town, one of which is a specialty German baker.
Heritage | St. Werburgh’s Chapel on St Werburgh’s Road was built in
1873, the only religious building to St. Werburgh in Australia. The Old
Police Station on Albany Highway was built by convict labour in 1868.
TOWER | The tallest free-standing
tower in the southern hemisphere
• Taste Great Southern March
1-31 Various venues
• Porongurup Wine Festival
March 4 Castle Rock Estate
• Wine Summer Festival March 4
• Graze Mount Barker March 4-7,
• Mount Barker Cup March 18
• Cranbrook Show March 31
• Art in the Park April 7-11,
Porongurup National Park
fruit and vegetables, especially
strawberries and cherries that are in
season during the first few months
of the year. Olives are available
from May to June, and keep a look
out for the farm-fresh produce
including chicken and pork. Buy at
the indoor and outdoor markets,
including monthly markets at the
back of the Anglican Church.
Photography Tourism WA.
The road to Bluff Knoll.
Mount Barker (Photography Shire of Plantagenet).
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