Fitzgerald River National Park Mamang Trail
AUSTRALIA,  WESTERN AUSTRALIA

FITZGERALD RIVER NATIONAL PARK

Fitzgerald River National Park is a calm place with immensely beautiful beaches, rugged sea cliffs, diverse flora, extensive plains and sheer river valleys ending in inlets. I travelled here in peak season, and had a feeling that there’s no one except me. Maybe it was a delusion as the national park covers an area of more than 300,000 hectares. Either way, Fitzgerald River National Park is not a popular travel destination, but it’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Western Australia. In this blog post, I’m going to tell you why.

HOW FAR IS FITZGERALD RIVER FROM PERTH?

Fitzgerald River National Park is located on the central south coast of Western Australia, over 500 kilometres south-east of Perth. This place is giant! Over 300,000 hectares of pristine nature spanning between the towns of Bremer Bay and Hopetoun. You can access the national park from the west (Devils Creek Road), the north-west (Quiss Road & Pabelup Drive), the noth-east (Hamersley Drive), and the east (from Hopetoun). The majority of roads in the national park are unsealed, however suitable for 2WD cars.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

The best time to visit Fitzgerald River National Park is definitely Australia’s spring and summer. Enjoy warm, sunny days from September throughout March. Go to the beach, swim in the ocean, and sleep under the stars. All this with hardly no tourists, even in high season. Avoid visiting Fitzgerald River National Park in Australia’s autumn and winter. It may be cold and windy, especially between June and August. Nevertheless, it’s up to you, and depends on your personal preferences and plans. Fingers crossed for a nice weather!

IS THERE AN ENTRY FEE?

Park visitor fees apply in Fitzgerald River National Park. A day entry fee is AUD 15 for a vehicle and needs to be paid at the entrance station. If you want to avoid paying entry fees for accessing national parks in Western Australia, a purchase of periodic pass is a smart choice. It will help you save some money if there are other national parks on your itinerary. Make sure to print the pass and keep it displayed on your dashboard at all times. Separate fees apply for camping in national parks regardless of having this pass.

WHERE TO SEEK INFORMATION?

Fitzgerald River National Park has no Visitor Centre. It’s an isolated region with very limited reception and Internet. Don’t expect to stay connected, especially in the west section of the national park. The closest towns are Bremer Bay and Hopetoun. They have everything you may need, grocery shops, and petrol stations. You can also fill your tank up in Jerramungup and Ravensthorpe. As there is almost no infrastructure in the national park, make sure to carry a sufficient supply of water, food and petrol with you.

WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?

Fitzgerald River National Park offers several basic, but beautifully situated campgrounds. Stay overnight at St Mary Inlet campground, in the west section of the national park. It’s located very close to a pristine beach. The east section of the national park has two other campgrounds, Four Mile Beach and Hamersley Inlet. All of them can be accessed by car, and the camping fee is AUD 11 per night for an adult. Standard accommodation is available only outside Fitzgerald River National Park, in Bremer Bay and Hopetoun.

St Mary Inlet campground
St Mary Inlet campground

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO?

Fitzgerald River National Park is immensely beautiful. Take your time to explore rocky hills, river valleys, vast plains, large inlets and pristine beaches. It’s also one of the most botanically significant national parks in Australia with a large number of endemic species. Fitzgerald River National is huge, and there are no shortcuts between its west and east section. You have to get back to the main road to change the location. Almost all roads within the national park are unsealed and bumpy, however suitable for 2WD cars.

Fitzgerald River National Park map
Fitzgerald River National Park – map
EAST MOUNT BARREN

This is my favourite mountain in Fitzgerald River National Park. The walking track to East Mount Barren is relatively short (only 2,6 km both ways), but it also has some steep sections close to the summit. The hike is very rewarding, it features amazing views over the coast and nearby beaches. Take your time to admire the magnificent scenery and unique flora too. 75 plant species of Fitzgerald River National Park are found nowhere else in the world. That’s impressive! Make sure to also visit a nearby viewpoint called Cave Point.

East Mount Barren Carpark – East Mount Barren – East Mount Barren Carpark

Walking track: 2,6 km, 2 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access: 2WD (sealed road)

Fitzgerald River National Park East Mount Barren
Fitzgerald River National Park East Mount Barren
East Mount Barren
MAMANG TRAIL

Mamang Trail is for real hiking enthusiasts! It’s a 31 km return walk along the coast of Fitzgerald River National Park, between Point Ann, and Point Charles. It includes some sandy sections, and goes gradually up to the breathtaking viewpoints. It’s generally considered an overnight hike. You are more than welcome to spend the night at Fitzgerald Inlet campground, a few kilometres from Point Charles. If you feel like a 30 km walk is not a challenge at all, leave your tent in a car, and go for a day hike along the beautiful coast.

Point Ann – Cheadanup Lookout – Nuytsia Lookout – Lake Nameless Lookout – Royal Hakea Lookout – Fitzgerald Valley Lookout – Point Charles  Fitzgerald Valley Lookout  Royal Hakea Lookout  Lake Nameless Lookout  Nuytsia Lookout  Cheadanup Lookout  Point Ann

Walking track: 31 km, 15 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Fitzgerald River National Park Mamang Trail
Fitzgerald River National Park Mamang Trail
Mamang Trail
WEST MOUNT BARREN

West Mount Barren is another mountain well-worth hiking. This one though is located in the west section of Fitzgerald River National Park. The trail is relatively short, it has less than 2 km both ways. Allow one hour to get to the summit and back to the carpark. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for Royal Hakea, a plant species endemic to Western Australia, notable for its ornamental foliage. It’s also a symbol of Fitzgerald River National Park. The walking track is not difficult at all. It’s suitable even for not very experienced hikers.

West Mount Barren Carpark – West Mount Barren – West Mount Barren Carpark

Walking track: 1,7 km, 1 hour (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
POINT ANN

Point Ann is the most picturesque whale watching site in Fitzgerald River National Park. Make sure to go there if you happen to visit the west section of the national park, especially between June and October. This is the time Southern Right Whales can be spotted calving in the bay. In off-season, enjoy the views of a rugged coast which is also beautiful, but slightly less exciting. There are also two walking tracks, Point Ann and Point Ann Heritage Trail. They are both easy. Take your time to stroll around and soak up the views.

St Mary Inlet – Point Ann – St Mary Inlet

Walking track: 1,6 km, 1 hour (return)
Trail difficulty: class 3
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Point Ann – Point Ann Heritage Trail  Point Ann

Walking track: 1,5 km, 1 hour (loop)
Trail difficulty: class 3
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Point Ann
Point Ann
Point Ann
OTHER PLACES
  • Hakea Trail – 23 km, 10 hours (one way), class 4, 2WD trail access (sealed road)
  • No Tree Hill – 6 km, 2 hours (return), class 2, 2WD trail access (unsealed road)
  • Sepulcralis Hill – 600 m, 20 minutes (return), class 2, 2WD trail access (unsealed road)
  • Mount Maxwell – 200 m, 10 minutes (return), class 2, 2WD trail access (unsealed road)

These are the best things to do in Fitzgerald River National Park. Are you going to hike East Mount Barren or West Mount Barren? Let me know by leaving a comment below!