TORNDIRRUP NATIONAL PARK
Torndirrup National Park is definitely one of the best places to visit in Western Australia. The location is absolutely beautiful! It offers outstanding coastal views, rugged granite headlands and white sandy beaches. There is also one of my favourite walking tracks in Western Australia. The picturesque Bald Head Trail, perfect for all hiking enthusiasts. The views along the way left me literally speechless. In this blog post, I’m going to share with you some of the best things to do in Torndirrup National Park. Let’s get right into it!
HOW FAR IS TORNDIRRUP FROM PERTH?
Torndirrup National Park is located on the central south coast of Western Australia, over 400 km south-east of Perth and 10 km south of Albany. Albany is a port city, and the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle over two years. It’s also a very popular holiday destination among West Aussies. The town has heaps of supermarkets, souvenirs shops, restaurants, and petrol stations. You won’t have any issues with reception in Albany. However, mobile signal may be limited in the national park.
WHAT IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT?
Torndirrup National Park is a good place to go all year round. I went there twice, in January (Australia’s summer), and in June (Australia’s winter), and both times got super lucky with weather. Of course, in winter months, from June to August, the days are relatively short, and nights are a bit cold, but a daytime temperature average is around 15°C, which is perfect for hiking. If you are more into relaxing on the beach and swimming in the ocean, summer months, from December to February, will be definitely a better choice.
IS THERE AN ENTRY FEE?
Park visitor fees apply in Torndirrup 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 for camping in national parks in Western Australia apply regardless of having this pass.
WHERE TO SEEK INFORMATION?
There’s no Visitor Centre in Torndirrup National Park, so if you seek some information about the South Coast region and local attractions, stop for a while in Albany. The Visitor Centre is located in the town retail district, at 221 York Street. It’s opened daily, from Monday to Friday between 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, and from Saturday to Sunday between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm. Opening hours may be different on public holidays, so make sure to check it on the Internet before you go. National park maps are available at the Visitor Centre.
WHERE TO STAY OVERNIGHT?
There are no campgrounds, and camping is not permitted in Torndirrup National Park. Standard accommodation is available in Albany, which is only a 20-minute drive from the national park. You will easily find something there that suits your needs. Fancy hotels, reasonably priced guest houses and B&B, as well as budget hostels for backpackers. Keep in mind that summer in Albany is quite busy, so the last minute booking it’s rather impossible. More likely in winter though as low season means obviously less people.
WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO?
The Bald Head Trail is absolutely my number one in Torndirrup National Park. This is the most picturesque walking track in Western Australia. Of course, this is my very own, subjective opinion, but I’m pretty sure you won’t be disappointed. Don’t skip The Gap and Natural Bridge either. These places are also worth a visit. How much time do you need to explore Torndirrup National Park? I think that two days should be enough as the national park is not too big. Good news is that all park roads are suitable for 2WD vehicles.
BALD HEAD TRAIL
This is an incredibly beautiful walking track with outstanding views of rugged coastline, white beaches, and thundering ocean. The Bald Head Trail is a 12,5 km return hike of moderate difficulty with some steep sections. Good news is that the best view is not too far from the carpark. It takes only 20 minutes to get there! So if you don’t feel like doing over 12 km in a day, have a short stroll and enjoy the view. Nevertheless, I encourage you to finish the entire hike. There’s a blowhole at the end. So don’t miss out!
Bald Head Trail Carpark – Isthmus Hill – Bald Head – Isthmus Hill – Bald Head Trail Carpark
Walking track: 12,5 km, 4 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 4
Trail access: 2WD (unsealed road for last 1 km)
THE GAP & NATURAL BRIDGE
Standing on the Gap viewing platform, you already know that it’s going to be massive. Before you get to the edge, look down for a second. You will get a short preview of what will happen next. Three, two, one… spectacular waves crashing against coastal granite of Torndirrup National Park. This view is insane! Next to the Gap, there is another interesting spot. The Natural Bridge, an eye-catching rock formation, and the remains of an ancient mountain range. On your way back, visit Cable Beach with a beautiful lighthouse.
Not enough hiking? Let’s check the blowholes, another cool spot in Torndirrup National Park. The walking track leading to this impressive sight is relatively short. It has only 1,6 km (both ways), so you will make it in less than an hour. When you get there, look for a vertical joint in the underlying granite. If there is a high ocean swell, the blowhole is blowing. Be careful when getting closer to it as the blow may be very strong. Take your time to stroll around and enjoy the place. The location offers some amazing coastal views too.
Blowholes Carpark – Blowholes – Blowholes Carpark
Walking track: 1,6 km, 45 minutes (return)
Trail difficulty: class 3
Trail access: 2WD (sealed road)
PEAK HEAD TRAIL
Last, but not least, let’s talk about the Peak Head Trail. This walking track goes to the southernmost point in Torndirrup National Park. It’s a 4,3 km hike via a rugged path with some steep sections. It’s not very difficult though. Allow around 2 hours to accomplish. You will be rewarded with some beautiful coastal views, and if lucky enough, you will also spot some black cockatoos. Just look at the below photo. They were giant! If you would like to rest on a beach for a while, make sure to check nearby Misery Beach and Salmon Holes.
Peak Head Trail Carpark – Peak Head – Peak Head Trail Carpark
Walking track: 4,3 km, 2 hours (return)
Trail difficulty: class 3
Trail access: 2WD (sealed road)
- Stony Hill Heritage Trail – 450 m, 20 minutes (loop), class 3, 2WD trail access (sealed road)
- Sharp Point (viewing platform)
These are the best things to do in Torndirrup National Park. Are you going to hike the Bald Head Trail or Peak Head Trail? Let me know by leaving a comment below!
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