Top 10 things to do in the Stirlings

Bluff Knoll by Bosso Photography

Special Thanks to Maggie

Written by Maggie van Santen, from HideAway Haven, a hosted accommodation in Albany. "Becki and I have the opportunity to send people to our favourite places, which are pooled together on Albany Region, a photographic and visitor information site". Above image, Bluff Knoll by Bosso Photography.

Maggie & Becki with cuddly Sammie Jo

One of Western Australia’s few mountain wildernesses; the Stirling Range National Park is a place of contrasts.

Blessed with rugged mountain peaks rising to 1095 metres above sea level at Bluff Knoll (the highest peak in south-western Australia), and fragile wildflowers, the Stirling Ranges span 65 kilometres from east to west.

A wildflower and plant reserve of international significance, the Stirling’s springtime wildflower display (August to November) is justifiably renowned. With over 1500 plant species, rare orchids, mountain bells and banksias, 148 bird species of which 90 breed in the park - and 19 species of native mammals call the park home. Image: Bosso Photography.

Stirling Range by Bosso Photography

#1 Toolbrunup Park

Approximate elevation 1052m. This is a popular hike which involves some loose rock, scrambling conditions in places and is considered steep and challenging for the average person. The approximate return time is 3 hours.  It is recommended to follow the marker posts and not to stray on side tracks.  This is a beautiful spot for an early morning hike to watch the sun rise. Image: SKYPRINTS.

Sun Rise at Toolbrunup Park by SKYPRINTS  

#2 Mount Hassell

Approximate elevation 847m. A relatively short and easy hike with stunning views and a return time of about 2 ½  hours. The trail is clear but be alert as it is easy to stray on dead-end tracks. Image: view from Mt Hassel of Mt Toolbrunup and the Western Stirlings by Sue Coulstock.

View from Mt Hassel by Sue Coulstock

#3 Bluff Knoll

Approximate elevation 1095 metres. Bnoll is the most popular trail in the Stirling Range with 360 degree views, enjoyed from the highest peak in the South West. Climbing Bluff Knoll is a round trip of about 6 kilometres taking three to four hours, which can be achieved by anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.  It is important to be well prepared for the trek, especially in the colder months as many people have been exposed to the cold weather during climbs.

Listed as one of Australia's 25 best hikes, Bluff Knoll provides an admirable and rewarding challenge for bushwalkers, rock climbers and abseilers of all levels. Image: Bluff Knoll in the clouds by Gan Eden Photography.

Bluff Knoll in the clouds Gan Eden Photography

View of Bluff Knoll from Mt Trio by Sue Coulstock

View from Mt Trio of Ellen Peak on left, Yungermere Peak on right and Bluff Knoll in the centre looking like a Dali-esque face in profile. Image by Sue Coulstock.

Bluff Knoll by Bosso Photography

The walk starts from the Bluff Knoll car park and picnic area which well worth a stop in, even if you don't have time to do the 3-4 hour return hike. Image by Bosso Photography.

#4 Talyuberlup Peak

Approximate elevation 783m. Rugged in appearance but popular, with a return time of about 21/2 hours. Closer to the summit there are a few option tracks available and some scrambling is required. Picture of the last obstacle to the summit of Talyuberlup by Adam Brice.

Summit of Talyuberlup by Adam Brice

#5 Mount Trio

Mount Trio has three separate peaks linked together by a plateau. The first 300m is extremely steep with some steps but once you get past this it levels out before reaching the summit. Enjoy sweeping views from the top and the colourful display of wildflowers.  It’s about a 2 ½ walk.  Enjoy a picnic at the end of the walk under the shady trees. Image, Mt Trio by Steve K Photography.

Mt Trio by Steve K Photography

#6 Mount Magog

Approximate elevation 856m. Considered a longer walk with the trail not distinct in places.  The approximate return time is 5 ½  hours. The hike entails a north and south peak. Image Mt Magog and Talyuberlup Peak overlooking yellow canola fields by Steve K Photography.

Canola Fields and The Stirling Ranges by Steve K Photography

#7 Stone Ground Spelt Flour and Windmill Tours

The Lily - The Lily Windmill is an authentic 16th Century design brick "ground-sail" mill.  The five story full size Dutch Windmill, with its 22 Ton cap and a sail length of 24.6 meters, is one of the largest traditional windmills ever built in Australia.

The Lily Windmill is the only operational flour producing windmill on mainland Australia.
Adjacent to the windmill is a 16th Century replica Dutch House and a restaurant, situated in the original relocated and reconstructed 1924 Federation style Railway Station from Gnowangerup.  The latest addition is a DAKOTA C47 converted into accommodation. Image: The Lily by Steve K Photography.

The Lily by Steve K Photography

#8 Guided Wildflower Walks

A 1 1/2 hour return walk graded ‘easy’. Explore the surrounding bushland and see some of the magnificent orchids found in the Stirling Ranges. Over 50 species of Orchids have been discovered over the last few years. Book in advance or ph. 0419 751 801.
Spider Orchid by Dan Sharp

Spider Orchid by Dan Sharp

Queen of Sheba Orchid Judy Walker Photography

Queen of Sheba by Judy Walker Photography

Spider Orchids by Dan Sharp

Spider Orchids by Dan Sharp

Queen of Sheba by Judy Walker Photography

Queen of Sheba by Judy Walker Photography

#9 Hidden Treasures Dawn and Dusk Bird Walks

From the last Saturday in August through to the last Saturday in October, the one and a half hour, Hidden Treasures Bird Walks depart from Stirling Range Retreat's office daily at 8am and 3pm. 

More than 100 bird species have been recorded, including the rare Crested Shrike-tit and Carnaby's Black-cockatoo. Bush birds show off their stunning breeding plumage in spring, and the conserved environment in both the Retreat and the adjacent Stirling Range National Park provide habitat and nesting sites for a large variety of species. Bookings: +61 8 9827 9229 Images by Terry Dunham.

Splendid Fairy-wren by Terry Dunham
Bluff Knoll by Terry Dunham
Crested Shrike-tit by Terry Dunham
Owlet-nightjar by Terry Dunham

#10 Stirling Ridge Walk

For a true cross-country adventure, tackle the three-day 19km gruelling Stirling Ridge Walk to Ellen Peak, a popular rock-climbing spot. The Stirling Ridge Walk is one of Australia's most challenging wilderness hikes, and Western Australia's only alpine walk, and you must register with park rangers to do it. See the Parks WA website for more detailed precautions. Image by Timothy Sargent Photography.

Stirling Range - Timothy Sargent Photography

Take Care

Subject to unpredictable weather changes – the Stirling Ranges are WA’s only site of intermittent snow falls - the mountains should be respected when exploring the diverse terrain. Please take appropriate clothing, wear sunscreen and a hat and take sufficient water. It is recommended that hikers leave details in the book provided at the Ranger’s Station at the corner of Bluff Knoll/Chester Pass Road or at Moingup Spring. Visit DPAW before undertaking hikes. Image: Scramble up Toolbrunup Park by SKYPRINTS and misty Stirling Ranges by Paul Pichugin.

Scramble up Toolbrunup Park by SKYPRINTS

Stirling Ranges by Paul Pichugin

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