AUSTRALIA,  WESTERN AUSTRALIA

STIRLING RANGE NATIONAL PARK

Let’s be honest. Australia is the flattest continent in the world, so you can’t expect extremely high mountains here. But hey! It doesn’t mean that there are no mountains at all! In fact, there are, and they quickly became my favourites. If you like hiking (and I hope you do!), check out Stirling Range National Park. This is one of the best places to visit in Western Australia, and the only major mountain range located relatively close to Perth. Here’s all you need to know about walking tracks in Stirling Range National Park.

HOW FAR IS STIRLING RANGE FROM PERTH?

Stirling Range National Park is located in Western Australia, around 450 km south-east of Perth. This is the only major mountain range within the southern half of Western Australia. The place is rugged and isolated, so you need to get yourself prepared before coming here. There are no grocery shops or petrol stations. The nearest city, Albany, is almost 100 km from the national park. That’s a bit of a drive, right? The closest petrol station is in Amelup, 15 km from the national park. Keep in mind that limited opening hours apply.

WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?

Stirling Range National Park is well-known for sudden changes in weather conditions during all seasons. You may experience here rain, fog, hail, and everything in between. The Stirling Range is also one of few places in Western Australia where snow occasionally falls. Be well-prepared for that too! Nevertheless, it’s a place to go all year round. I went there in January (Australia’s summer), and in June (Australia’s winter), and it was all good. The weather didn’t ruin my hiking plans. Just keep an eye on the forecast, and have fun!

IS THERE AN ENTRY FEE?

Park visitor fees apply in Stirling Range 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?

There is no Visitor Centre in Stirling Range National Park. The nearest one is in Albany. When it comes to reception, it’s very often poor. You may not be able to check anything on the Internet either. If you seek some information about the walking tracks, it’s best to visit one of the private campgrounds, Mt Trio Bush Camp & Caravan Park or Stirling Range Retreat. You can have a chat there with their knowledgeable staff who are always happy to help. Some paper booklets are also available for visitors at Stirling Range Retreat.

WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?

Camping is permitted at Moingup Springs campground. However, it currently remains closed due to bushfire damage. So if you want to stay overnight in Stirling Range National Park, you have no other choice than making a booking at a private campground. Mt Trio Bush Camp & Caravan Park is located on the park’s northern boundary, and has unpowered, as well as powered campsites. Stirling Range Retreat offers also cabins, and it’s located much closer to Bluff Knoll. Both places have showers, toilets, and a camping kitchen.

Mt Trio Bush Camp & Caravan Park
Mt Trio Bush Camp & Caravan Park

WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO?

Stirling Range National Park has 6 well-marked walking tracks that lead to rugged peaks, rising from 700 metres to 1100 metres above sea level. All hikes are relatively short, but the total ascent is quite decent. Bluff Knoll (1095 m) is the highest peak in Stirling Range National Park, as well as the most popular one. Looking for a challenge? If you are an experienced hiker, you may consider climbing Ellen Peak in the Stirling Range or doing The Stirling Range Ridge Walk. These are great hikes, but not recommended for beginners. All national park roads are suitable for 2WD vehicles, however, some of them are unsealed.

Stirling Range National Park map
Stirling Range National Park – map
BLUFF KNOLL

Bluff Knoll at 1095 m is the highest peak in the southern half of Western Australia, and also the most popular mountain in Stirling Range National Park. The track gets busy sometimes, and this is why it’s not my favourite hike here. Fortunately, Bluff Knoll is as beautiful as it happens to be crowded. My suggestion? Give it a go, but make sure to climb other mountains in the national park too. By the way, Bluff Knoll is often covered with a thick layer of clouds, so you need a little bit of luck to get an outstanding 360-degree view.

Bluff Knoll Carpark – Bluff Knoll – Bluff Knoll Carpark

Walking track: 6 km, 3 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access2WD (sealed road)

Stirling Range National Park Bluff Knoll
Stirling Range National Park Bluff Knoll
Bluff Knoll (1095 metres)
TOOLBRUNUP PEAK

Toolbrunup Peak is the second highest peak in Stirling Range National Park. The trail starts close to the main national park road, and in my opinion, it’s one of the best here. At the beginning, the track goes through the forest, and ascends gradually. Then it gets steeper, and steeper, with some rocky sections near the top. Be mindful that a little bit of rock climbing is required before the summit. You will be rewarded with some magnificent views though. Of course, if you get lucky with the weather as this is not always a given.

Toolbrunup Peak Carpark – Toolbrunup Peak – Toolbrunup Peak Carpark

Walking track: 4 km, 3 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 5
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Stirling Range National Park Toolbrunup Peak
Stirling Range National Park Toolbrunup Peak
Toolbrunup Peak (1052 metres)
MOUNT TRIO

Another peak in Stirling Range National Park, located not too far from the main road. You will pass by the Mount Trio trial head if you stay overnight at Mt Trio Bush Camp & Caravan Park. This walk includes three peaks linked by a plateau. The first third of the path is steep, but the remainder is nice and easy. Once you reach the summit, you will notice a stone mound that indicates the end of the track. This hike is not very difficult. Allow around 2 hours to accomplish it, and secure some time to enjoy the views from the top.

Mount Trio Carpark – Mount Trio – Mount Trio Carpark

Walking track: 3,5 km, 2 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Stirling Range National Park Mount Trio
Stirling Range National Park Mount Trio
Mount Trio (856 metres)
MOUNT HASSELL

Are you ready to get into the heart of Stirling Range National Park? The trail head of Mount Hassell is located a bit further from the main road. The track is not too difficult, it goes up gradually. There’s a short, steep section just before the summit though. Half of the track is marked with standard signs, and the last section is marked with ribbons. At the end, you will see a stone cairn. It means you made it! You’re on the top of the mountain. Mount Hassell offers excellent views of Toolbrunup Peak, and surrounding peaks too.

Mount Hassell Carpark – Mount Hassell  Mount Hassell Carpark

Walking track: 3 km, 2 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access2WD (unsealed road)

Mount Hassell
Mount Hassell
Mount Hassell (827 metres)
TALYUBERLUP PEAK

If you drive even further from the main national park road, you will get to the trial head of Talyuberlup Peak. There are some picnic tables nearby, so I’m pretty sure you won’t miss it. This hike is one of my favourites in Stirling Range National Park. The trail is diverse, and requires a little bit of rock climbing. You will cross increasingly steep terrain, and see a spectacular rocky crag close to the summit. It was bloody windy when I was hiking Talyuberlup Peak, but the visibility was great. I hope you will get some views too.

Talyuberlup Peak Carpark – Talyuberlup Peak – Talyuberlup Peak Carpark

Walking track: 2,6 km, 3 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 5
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Talyuberlup Peak
Talyuberlup Peak
Talyuberlup Peak (783 metres)
MOUNT MAGOG

A few kilometres further from Talyuberlup Peak, there is the last peak in Stirling Range National Park. Mount Magog has the longest walking track in the range. It’s of moderate difficulty with some steep sections close to the summit. The views from the top are absolutely stunning! Just be mindful that reception may be poor in this part of the national park. Honestly speaking, I caught it only once, on the top of the mountain. So be careful, and tell someone you trust where are you going, and when are you planning to return. Enjoy!

Mount Magog Carpark – Mount Magog – Mount Magog Carpark

Walking track: 7 km, 3 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 5
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road)

Mount Magog
Mount Magog
Mount Magog (856 metres)

This is all you need to know about walking tracks in Stirling Range National Park. Are you going to hike Bluff Knoll or Toolbrunup Peak? Let me know by leaving a comment below!


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