Arrivals & Departures Off-the-beaten trail: WA’s overlooked hikes

Photo of Angie Tomlinson

Discover some of Western Australia’s lesser-known trails.

Sure, most people know the Bibbulmun Track and the Cape to Cape but there is plenty more beauty on offer when hiking this State’s lesser-known trails.

Trails WA executive officer Linda Daniels reveals those treks often overlooked.

1. Fitzgerald River National Park

Its distance (about 500km south-east of Perth) and size (2972sqkm) means Fitzgerald River National Park's trails can be enjoyed often in absolute seclusion.

The Park offers plenty of options, from the 200m Mt Maxwell trail in the west, to the 31km-return Mamang Trail from Point Ann to Point Charles and on to the mouth of the Fitzgerald River.

A personal favourite of mine is the 1.7km West Mt Barren trail. A climb to the summit is rewarded with views across the national park and to the coastline.

In the east of the park is the 23km Hakea Walk Trail – a must for budding botanists.

2. Coastal Trail, Cape Le Grand National Park

Heading further east is the 17km Coastal Trail which Ms Daniels says offers a similar experience to the Cape to Cape. It's not for the faint-hearted but although challenging, this trail has plenty of rewards - aqua waters inhabited by dolphins and kangaroos basking on white sand beaches.

3. Mt Frankland, Walpole

Beautiful views are a given for this 1.5km-loop. Located in the Mount Frankland National Park the short but steep walk puts you at the peak of the mountain with views over the karri forest and Frankland River.

4. Warren River Loop, Pemberton

If you love the forest then the Warren River Loop will leave you breathless – and not from the hiking. Starting at the Bicentennial Tree, the 10.5km-hike meanders between tall karri trees and along the Warren River. If you are a bit hot you can take a dip in the river before taking in the views from the Warren lookout.

5. Forest Path, Crooked Brook, Dardanup

An easy 600m-walk and with bench seats for those with limited mobility. The path takes in the natural bushland of the area with interpretive signage about the flora and fauna.

Within the forest is the harder Marri Trail. The 10km-trail takes walkers through jarrah and marri forest with lookouts offering views over Bunbury and the Ferguson Valley.

6. Dryandra Woodland

For the fauna spotters the Dryandra Woodland offers nocturnal walks for a chance to see woylies, tammar wallabies, brushtail possums, tawny frog-mouths and owls among the wandoo trees and heath vegetation. The 1km Wandoo Night Walk has markers that reflect torchlight so you can find your way.

7. Gorge Rim Walk, Dales Gorge, Karijini National Park

This walk follows the rim of Dales Gorge with views of Circular Pool Lookout and to the beginning of the Fortescue Falls track. It is only one of a large number of amazing walks through Karijini covering high ground (Mt Bruce), and pools (Weano Gorge), as well as Pilbara landscapes (Camel Trail) in the relatively nearby Chichester Ranges.

8. Yardie Creek Walk Trail, Cape Range National Park 

This 2km trail overlooks the Yardie Creek gorge with views of red limestone cliff faces, river and sea. Keep your eye out for the birds and wildlife, including the black-footed wallaby, euros and red kangaroos.

For full trail details see Trails WA

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