• Alex McArthur

BUSH ESCAPES EPISODE FIVE: STIRLING RANGES AND PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARKS


In the fifth episode of Bush Escapes we take a look at the Porongurup National Park and the Stirling Ranges National Park. All the places we visit throughout the series are accessible by two-wheel drive vehicles, so there's no excuses to not see these amazing sights! Below are some more details about the places we've visited throughout this episode. At the bottom of the page is a GoogleMap of this episodes journey along with all the main places we've visited and the route we travelled plotted on it.


Video Credits

writer/director/producer/editor/camera - Alex McArthur

camera - Miguel DeNobrega

executive producers - Alexkorp Films & Miguel DeNobrega

Music sourced from Artlist.io


Music Tracks

Rainy Day - Young Rich Pixies

The Scenic Route - Paul Van Der Walt

O Come Let Us Adore Him - Salt of the Sound

Breaking Through - Caleb Etheridge

Unexpected Moment - Feet On Water

PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK

ENTRY - $13(FULL), $7(CONCESSION) PER VEHICLE

THE PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK IS A SMALL PARK SPANNING 2600 HECTARES AND IS HOME TO THE PORONGURUP RANGE. THE PARK IS 400KM SOUTHEAST OF PERTH AND 25KM EAST OF THE TOWN OF MOUNT BARKER. THE SPECTACULAR PORONGURUP RANGE AND SURROUNDING FOREST ARE THE MAIN FEATURES OF THE PARK WITH SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE RANGE AND NEIGHBOURING STIRLING RANGES AVAILABLE AT THE PEAKS AND LOOKOUTS OF THE PARK. THERE ARE TWO MAIN AREAS, THE TREE IN THE ROCK PICNIC AREA TO THE WEST AND THE CASTLE ROCK PICNIC AREA TO THE EAST. BOTH PICNIC AREAS ARE GOOD STARTING PLACES TO EXPLORE EACH SIDE OF THE PARK, WITH BOTH BEING STARTING POINTS FOR MOST OF THE FANTASTIC WALKS THE PARK HAS TO OFFER. THERE ARE NO CAMPGROUNDS IN THE PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK SO ITS BEST TO PLAN ACCOMODATION ELSEWHERE IF YOU'RE PLANNING TO GO.


NEARBY TOWNS TO PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK

THE TOWN OF MOUNT BARKER IS YOUR BEST BET FOR BOTH FUEL AND SUPPLIES, AND IS 25KM WEST OF THE PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK. THE TOWN HAS A FANTASTIC AWARD WINNING BAKERY AND IS A GREAT SPOT TO GRAB A BITE TO EAT AND REFUEL.


NO FIRES IN PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK

FIRES ARE NOT PERMITTED IN PORONGORUP NATIONAL PARK


NO DOGS IN PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK

No dogs are allowed in Porongorup National Park


BARBECUES IN PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK

There are barbecues at the Tree in the Rock day use area and the Castle Rock day use area. If you intend on using the barbecues it is a good idea to take some long matches or a long handle lighter as they can be difficult to start without them.


RUBBISH BINS

There are rubbish bins at both of the picnic areas in the Porongurup National Park

PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK SIGHTS

TREE IN THE ROCK

The tree in the rock picnic area is located on the western side of Porongurup National Park and is 390km southeast of Perth and 20km east of the town of Mount Barker. The picnic area is nestled amongst a forest of towering karri trees and is the starting point for all the fantastic walks the eastern side of the park has to offer. There are picnic table, barbecue and toilet facilities at the picnic area and it is a great spot to enjoy a picnic in the forest. The hiking trails in the park are spectacular and there are many great lookouts along these walks to take in the surrounding range and nearby Stirling Ranges. For directions to Tree in the Rock click here


Nancy Peak Walk

A moderate 5.5 km, 2-3 hour Class 4 circuit walk. The trail heads up the northern side of the range and then along its spine up and over Hayward Peak, Nancy Peak and Morgan's View, then back along the Wansbrough Walk through the gully between devils slide and nancy peak. This is a great walk to take in most of the peaks on this side of the park. The path can be a little overgrown but there are markers that show you where to go.


Devil’s Slide Trail A hard 5 km Class 4 return walk. Follow Wansbrough Walk for 1.6 km, then turn to right. Magnificent views from the summit. The highest peak on this side of the park.


Wansbrough Walk An easy 4 km (one way) Class 4 walk through karri forest along a gully between Nancy Peak and Devils Slide. Continues to the park's southern boundary and becomes a road that connects with Millinup Road.


CASTLE ROCK AND GRANITE SKYWALK

The Castle Rock picnic area is located on the eastern side of Porongurup National Park and is 390km southeast of Perth and 30km east of the town of Mount Barker. The picnic area is the starting point for the Castle Rock walk trail, which leads to the Granite Skywalk.There are picnic table, barbecue and toilet facilities at the picnic area and it is a great spot to enjoy a bite before setting off on the trek to Castle Rock. On the walk to Castle Rock you pass by Balancing Rock, a massive 6m high granite boulder balancing on a base of only 1.21 square metres! Along the 4.4km trail there are many stopping points just off the track which offer great views of the surrounds (just look for the little tracks that run off the main one). Once you reach castle rock there are a couple of viewpoints to look at the rock and the surrounds. The Karri Lookout is at the base of castle rock and gives you a great vantage to look up at the rock and out at the surrounds. For the more adventurous there is the Granite Skywalk, a manmade walkway that starts on top of the rock and swings out from the rock. It offers spectacular views of the Porongurup Range and the nearby surrounds and ranges, just don't look down! To get up to the granite skywalk requires some athleticism to scramble up and over some rocks and boulders, then a 6m climb up a ladder. The journey is definitely worth it for the spectacular views! For directions to the Castle Rock picnic area click here


Castle Rock Walk Trail

A moderate 4.4km, class 5 return walk that takes 1-3 hours. The path heads up the hill towards Castle Rock, once at the rock you can climb to the granite skywalk which requires scrambling over and under boulders and rocks, then a 6m climb up a ladder. The path to Castle Rock is clear and easy to follow.


Walitj Meil Walk Trail

An easy 1km, class 3 circuit that take half an hour.The Trail is a loop walk which follows the edge of the forest to a scenic view across to the Stirling Range. The return to the picnic area passes through karri forest with information about local plants and animals, colonial history and local Noongar culture.  




STIRLING RANGES NATIONAL PARK

ENTRY - $13(FULL), $7(CONCESSION) PER VEHICLE

The Stirling Range National Park is home to the only major mountain range within the southern half of Western Australia. The park is located 400km southeast of Perth and 60km northeast of the town of Mount Barker. Some of the peaks in the park rise over 1000 metres above sea level and feature stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies, stunning views and colourful wildflowers.  The park is one of the world’s most important areas for flora with 1500 species, many of which grow nowhere else, packed within its boundaries. There are six main peaks in the Stirling Ranges, all with fantastic hike trails that lead to their summits and there is one campground (Moingup Spring) located within the parks boundary. No Bookings can be made for the Moingup Spring campground.


NEARBY TOWNS TO THE STIRLING RANGES NATIONAL PARK

The town of mount barker is your best bet for fuel and supplies, and is 60km southwest of the Moingup Spring campground. If you're coming from the north then the closest town is Kojonup. Kojonup is 130km northwest of the Moingup Spring campground and has you covered for fuel and supplies.


NO FIRES IN STIRLING RANGES NATIONAL PARK

Fires are not permitted in the Stirling Ranges National Park at any time


NO DOGS IN STIRLING RANGES NATIONAL PARK

No dogs are allowed in the campgrounds or any of the major landmarks within the park. DPAW conducts baiting with 1080 poison as part of its Western Shield animal conservation program in Stirling Ranges National Park. 1080 poison is lethal to dogs, so its probably best to leave the pooch at home if you're going to this park . To see all the locations of the Western Shield Animal Conservation program click here


BARBECUES IN BLACKWOOD RIVER NATIONAL PARK

There is a barbecue at the Moingup Spring campground. If you intend on using the barbecue it is a good idea to take some long matches or a long handle lighter as it can be difficult to start without them.


NO RUBBISH BINS

There are no bins in the Stirling Ranges National Park so be prepared to take your rubbish with you.



STIRLING RANGES NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUND

MOINGUP SPRING

The Moingup Springs campground is nestled in a pocket of native marri trees just off chester pass road close to the foot of Toolbrunup Peak. The campground is located towards the middle of the park, 400km south of Perth and 60km northeast of the town of Mount Barker. It is the only campground located within the parks boundaries and is an ideal place to camp when tackling some of the many great hikes the park has to offer. The campground is pretty open with a large section of grass to camp on with a few picnic tables and a barbecue dotted around. There are also several bays in the carpark dedicated to larger vehicles and campervans. The campground is pretty quiet during the week, but on nice weekends is a bit more popular. As long as you have a small set-up you can usually squeeze in somewhere at the campground due to its open nature. There are no booking facilities for Moingup Spring.

-Open campground with a few bays for larger vehicles

-No Fires permitted in the Stirling Ranges

-$8(Adults), $6(Concession), $3(Children) PER NIGHT

-No bookings for the Moingup Spring campground

-For directions to the campground click HERE

AMENITIES:






STIRLING RANGES NATIONAL PARK SIGHTS

MOUNT MAGOG

A hard, 7km class 5 return walk that takes 3-4 hours. Starting from a picnic area, the track follows a four wheel drive track for about two kilometres, with only a gentle incline. Once the track reaches the base of the peak, the climb is quite steep and the path can be overgrown. The track leads to a saddle from where it is a short and steep climb, involving some rock scrambling, to ascend to the top of Mt Magog. The peak is 856 metres above sea level. For directions to Mount Magog click here.


TALYUBERLUP

A hard, 2.6km class 5 return walk that takes 1-3 hours. The trail initially winds through an area of shaded woodland before rising steeply up a gully. The path then heads for the base of the cliffs and along the cliff line. The path leads to a spectacular large cave that passes underneath the summit and out onto the peak of Talyuberlup. The peak is 783 metres above sea level and caution should be taken as the path can be dangerous when wet. For directions to Talyuberlup click here.


TOOLBRUNUP

A hard, 4km class 5 return walk that takes 3-4 hours. The trail leaves the carpark and leads through the shaded woodland, mostly following the bank of a creek and becoming progressively steeper. Once you clear the woodland the path becomes more exposed to the sun and starts to rise steeply over large boulders, loose rocks and steep scree to a saddle near the top. From here its a short but steep scramble to the summit. The peak is the trickiest in the Stirling Ranges and should only be attempted if you are fit, agile and willing to scramble up some steep rock sections. Toolbrunup is the highest peak on the western side of the park and offers spectacular views of the surrounding range. For directions to Toolbrunup click here.


MOUNT HASSELL

A moderate/Hard, 3km class 4 return walk that takes 3-4 hours. The trail from the carpark starts slowly, with a gentle incline that progressively gets steeper as you climb. At around 700m up there is a large section of flat rock that leads to a final scramble up some rocks to reach the summit. The path is exposed to the sun for pretty much the entire journey, so take plenty of water if its hot. The 847 metre high summit gives you a truly amazing view of the nearby Toolbrunup peak and great views of the surrounding range. For directions to Mount Hassell click here.


MOUNT TRIO

A moderate, 3.5km class 4 walk that takes 2-3 hours.The trail leads from the carpark, where you begin your ascent almost immediately. You climb up the the side of the western plateau, where the path is somewhat shaded by canopy, before reaching the saddle and cutting across to the central plateau. The path flattens out across the saddle walk before the final ascent to the peak of the central plateau. The peak is 856 metres above sea level and offers amazing view of the surrounding range. For directions to Mount Trio click here.


BLUFF KNOLL

Formed more than 1 billion years ago, Bluff knoll is the centrepiece of the Stirling Ranges National Park and a must see for all visitors. Bluff Knoll is located on the eastern side of the park and the walk trail to the summit is a moderate, 6km class 4 return walk that take 2-4 hours. The route to the summit is very clear with paths and stairs that guide you the whole way up. The first section of the walk is quite flat with a slight, steady incline. There is a natural waterfall about 1.5km in that starts the steeper section of the hike, where stairs take you up over the first saddle through to the ridge walk. The walk flattens out a bit across the ridge walk before the final ascent to the summit. The path to the summit never gets particularly steep but some of the stairs are about 2 feet tall so it wouldn't be the easiest climb if you have bad knees (seems worse on the knees going down). The views from the summit are spectacular, with fantastic views of the salt lakes off the back of the Stirling Ranges. The view of the central peaks is also spectacular and as bluff knoll is the highest peak in the Stirling Ranges, you have an unimpeded view of the entire park. For directions to Bluff Knoll click here.



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