Great Walks showcases five top day walks in Western Australia.
Bald Head Walk Trail (Torndirrup National Park) 12.5km return, Class 4
The Bald Head Walk Trail was often referred to as ‘probably’ the best day walk in Western Australia before 2022, but once the Parks and Wildlife Service of DBCA finished the long planned $1 million upgrade in December 2022 there’s now no ‘probably’ about it!
Deep sand gullies created by wind and footfall have been repaired with stairs, boardwalks and erosion control and the views are still unbelievable. The challenging 12.5km return walk will test even fit walkers with many climbs and steps. Make sure you take lots of water (minimum 2 litres per person) and be prepared for instant weather changes off the Southern Ocean.
With the ‘calmer’ waters of Albany’s King George Sound on one side of the Flinders Peninsula and the powerful, turbulent, wind-swept Southern Ocean on the other, the trail follows the high ridge to afford some truly stunning views. There are many other great trails in the great southern region of WA, so why not spend a few days in Albany or Denmark so you can take in all the inspiring and challenging trails in a truly unique part of the world.
Le Grand Coastal Trail (Cape le Grand National Park) 20km, Class 5
Donovan de Souza from ‘The Long Ways Better’ describes the Le Grand Coastal walk as “one of Western Australia’s greatest day walks” and he won’t find many people who disagree with him.
Nowhere else in the world has beaches this white, combined with rugged, granite headlands that sees the trail traverse the most beautiful beaches anywhere.
Starting at Rossiter Bay the trail crosses many headlands and drops down to follow the white, sandy beaches with names like Hellfire Bay, Lucky Bay, Thistle Cove and le Grand Beach with views over the ocean to the islands of the Recherche Archipelago. Once you’ve finished this 20km (one way), 6 or 7-hour walk, a climb of the nearby Frenchman’s Peak is a great walk to add on to your Cape Le Grande National Park experience.
Mount Toolbrunup (Stirling Range National Park) 4km return, Class 5
Toolbrunup is the second tallest peak in the Stirling Range National Park and is often overshadowed by the more famous Bluff Knoll. It is more difficult to climb than Bluff Knoll with its almost continuous steps that need care and attention by walkers. The trail up Mt Toolbrunup is a much wilder adventure requiring walkers to clamber up boulder fields and scramble up the steep route to the summit. With its classic mountain peak shape and sweeping 360 degree views combined with the more intrepid feel of the walk, it’s an underrated gem.
Castle Rock Trail and the Granite Skywalk (Porongurup National Park) 9.5km return, Class 5
Some argue that Nancy’s Peak might be overshadowed by the Castle Rock trail and Granite Skywalk built at the eastern end of the park. The Castle Rock trail starts at a carpark just off Porongurup Road and meanders through the unique karri forest, an island population separated from the main karri forests for 5,000 years. It slopes upward before popping out on the granite peak near Castle Rock.
Walk past the amazing balancing rock and on to the Granite Skywalk. While the trail to the Granite Skywalk is relatively easy, the Class 5 section starts with a rock scramble and climb to the Skywalk.
The Granite skywalk is a suspended walkway high up on Castle Rock. The Skywalk has two lookouts and provides spectacular views across park with a patchwork of fields of farmland, remnant forests, the Stirling Ranges and the Southern Ocean in the distance.
William Bay Circuit (William Bay National Park) 11km Grade 2
In previous articles and blogs, trail writers, including Donovan de Souza from ‘The Long Ways Better,’ have lamented the absence of a trail along the spectacular coastline from Greens Pool to Waterfall Beach in the William Bay National Park.
Lament no more bloggers and trail enthusiasts! The Parks and Wildlife Service has heard you and built a new shared use trail that also serves as a section of the Munda Biddi bike trail. This new trail traverses a spectacular section of the coastline that allows you to complete this approximately 11km loop by incorporating a section of the Bibbulmun Track to create the William Bay Circuit.
Marvel at the pristine and protected turquoise waters of Greens Pool, look down on the massive boulders of the Elephant Rocks, walk along the hardened surface trail that follows a coastline that locals are desperate to keep secret and then on into the secluded bush traversed by the Bibbulmun. This is truly a unique and varied walk.
For info on all these walks and more use the QR code below.
Photos_Donovan De Souza from 'The Long Ways Better’ blog.