#2 Castle Rock and Granite Skywalk
Elevation 500m; Moderate hike, not for the faint hearted. 1.5km allow 2-3 hours.
Start at picnic area at eastern end of ranges. Hiking up the misty mountain, amongst the stunning scenery, karri trees and breathtaking beauty of Porongurup, is a perfect way to enjoy an early morning. You see things in the mist you never see in the light of the sun. Mist can make familiar landscapes seem strange and unreal. Arriving at the top everything is enveloped in cloud, but as the sun comes up and the mist lifts, the views are amazing. This is a hike well worth the effort with stunning views of the landscape, especially from the Granite Skywalk suspended from Castle Rock.
Castle Rock by Mike Thorn
Misty Morning by Shaver Graphics
Castle Rock trail by stayinalbany (IG)
Castle Rock by marsha_lui (IG)
#3 Porongurup Scenic Drive
Enjoy impressive views of the entire Porongurup Range on a 23km scenic drive. The drive includes sections on Bolganup Road, Angwin Park Road, Woodlands Road, Millinup Road, Chester Pass Road and Mount Barker-Porongurup Road. The drive comprises of mostly sealed roads (Angwin Park Road and Millinup Road are unsealed) with some steep sections.
A shorter 5km option along Angwin Park Road (between Bolganup Road and Woodlands) provides views over the granite outcrops and Stirling Range to the north. It passes through karri, jarrah and marri forests while offering visitors views of the mighty Gibraltar Rock and the Sleeping Beauty among the Stirling Range peaks on the northern horizon.
There are over 78 species of birdlife including majestic wedgetail eagles and the electric blue plumage of the splendid wrens.
Porongurup forest by Jessica Downer
4. Hikes and Walks through the National Park
There's many beautiful walks to choose from. Leaflet guides are available to purchase from the Pporongurup general store for a small fee, or visit the Parks and Wildlife website.
The Pass - Easy walk from the Tree in the Rock car park. 2km return, allow 1 hour.
Hayward Peak - Medium difficulty. 3km return, allow 2 hours.
Devils Slide - Elevation 600 - 650m, medium difficulty, slippery in wet weather. 2km return - allow 2 hrs. This is a side trail from tree in the rock circuit, with intriguing rock faces, huge granite formations, and splendid views - a marvellous place to have a picnic lunch.
Marmabup Rock - via Devils slide, this is for experienced walkers only. 5km return - allow 5 hours.
Tree in the Rock Circuit - Elevation 600 - 650m, medium dificulty. Allow 2-3 hrs. Here there are spectacular views, a picnic area and barbeque facilities. It takes in views of Hayward Peak, Nancy Peak and Morgan's. Start at the Tree in a Rock picnic area at end of Bolganup Rd.
Wansborough Walk - Hard difficulty. 4km - allow 2-4 hours. From Millinup Road turn onto Wansborough Walk and when the road divides, turn left to picnic area. This delightful walk goes through karri forest along a gully between Nancy Peak and Devils Slide.
Nancy’s Peak - Medium difficulty. 5.5km circuit walk. Nancy’s Peak traverses the main peak of the Porongurup Range. It's a beautiful area of moss-covered granite rocks and lush forest. The views are magnificent, with the Stirling Range visible to the north and on a clear day, you can see the Southern Ocean.
Tree in a Rock picnic area Joanne Mcleod
View from Devils Slide summit
Forest near Tree in a Rock by Joanne Mcleod
Tree in a Rock by Jessica Downer
#5 Porongurup Food and Wine Festival
The annual Porongurup Wine Festival is held on the Sunday of the March long weekend, at varying venues in the region. The event brings together 10 local wineries, offering tasting of their premium cool climate wines. They are accompanied by a selection of outstanding small businesses with a variety of produce and local foods. Enjoy guided wine and cheese tastings, live music all-day, entertainment and lots of fun activities for the whole family. There are two major activities, the One Wok Wonder showcasing the skills of local cooks and Grape Stomping competitions. Follow the event on facebook.
Judging of the One Wok Wonder competition
Grape Stomp competition. Who can make the most grape juice?
Me celebrating my Wok Off win in 2015
Many wines to taste
#6 Bamboo, Tree Arboretum and Highland Cattle
The Hillside Bamboo Nursery, Australian Tree Arboretum & Highland Cattle all come together at 1416 Porongurup Road.
There is an organic nursery with 2 acres of Bamboo Garden, as well as palms, exotic plants & cacti. Visitors are welcome to take a look at the 260 species of bamboo, set as a forest, hedges, and garden. They have bamboo for your garden, edible shoots, ornamental and rare bamboos for collectors.
The Australian tree arboretum is set on on 2 acres, with more than 50 species and Highland Cattle among the setting. Visit website.
#7 Lothlorien Studio
Lothlorien Studio is a rendered strawbale studio displaying the work of awarded artist, blacksmith and woodworker Dave Taylor. Dave uses traditional forging and woodworking techniques to create furniture, gates, railings, award-winning sculpture, and works for home adornment. Find the studio at 150 Pettit Rise, Takalarup (just east of Porongurup).
There are over 10 wineries, most are small, family-owned wineries, where you can meet the people who grow the grapes. The area is cool climate and in particular produces spectacular Riesling. Here's my favourite wineries:
Ironwood Estate Wines - The cellar has a café with great lunches to complement the wines, plus coffees, cakes and local honey. The alfresco patio area provides a panoramic view to the Stirling Range. Visit website
Zarephath Wines - Founded in 1994, by a Monastic Community, Zarephath is now a small family run vineyard and cafe adopting organic practices and gentle farming techniques. Visit website.
Castle Rock Estate - Robert Diletti has been part of the family run Castle Rock Estate since its inception in 1981. He can still remember helping plant the first vines as a six year old in 1983.
Rob has received many awards for his wines as well as many personal accolades including receiving an award for the Young Winemaker Leading Light Award in 2006, finalist in Gourmet Traveller Winemaker of the Year Awards in 2012 and recently named the inaugural Wine Maker of the Year in James Halliday’s 2015 Wine Companion! Visit website.
Ironwood Estate Wines
Castle Rock Estate
Winemaker Rob Dilletti
#9 Twin Creeks Reserve
Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve is known for being ablaze with spectacular wildflowers from September to November and the bird-life is prolific all year round. The Porongurup region coommunity manage the National Trust Property. Banded together they preserve the beloved stretch of bushland.
At over 500 hectares, Twin Creeks Conservation Reserve now protects around 1,000 species of plants including the endangered late hammer orchid, and is living proof that small communities can achieve big dreams. Some plants are nationally endangered and many of the plants here are found only in this region. Pick up walking guides for a small fee from the Porongurup general store.
#10 Maleeyas Thai Café
Maleeya cooks her authentic Thai dishes with Asian herbs fresh from her own organic vegetable garden and a lot of organic and free range produce. The Café has been featured for the past 6 years in the Australian Gourmet Traveller Guide. The Cafe is also located at the Bamboo Nursery. Visit website.
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