Lace up! 10 of the greatest walks in South West WA

Published Friday, October 15, 2021 in Lifestyle & Inspiration

Invigorate your mind and body with these iconic walks in the South West

There are few moments in life that will make your heart sing as much as when you round a corner, and the most magnificent natural scene appears before your very eyes.

 

In our corner of the globe, we have more treasures than you can poke a stick at. The South Western region of Western Australia (looking at it ecologically, this is roughly a big triangle from Shark Bay to Esperance) is a biodiversity hotspot with thousands of flora and fauna species not found anywhere else in the world. This means a stroll in nature has that extra little something special to appreciate.

 

There are so many different walking trails to choose from in WA, the state of rugged beauty, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to these ten for your next outdoor adventure.

 

The king of all trails: the Bibbulmun Track

From Kalamunda in Perth’s east to Albany 1000km away, this is an epic overland journey through hugely varying landscapes and terrains. 80,000 hikers every year enjoy close-up views of stunning old growth forests, lakes, wildflowers, and rocky outcrops. Take a day walk, strap up for one of the nine sections, or even attempt the whole trail if you’re feeling bold (it’ll take you six to eight weeks though!). Read more about the Bibbulmun Track on our blog or the official website.

 

Best walks in the South West

1.      Cape to Cape Track: Smiths Beach to Injidup Natural Spa

It’s difficult to choose a favourite section of the popular 123km Cape to Cape, positively brimming with heart-stopping beauty, but we do love the segment that contains Smith Beach, Canal Rocks, and Injidup. It’s full of craggy clifftops, soft as silk beaches, secret coves, and dramatic sunsets bouncing off ancient granite rocks. Plus you can head down for a swim or snorkel in the local’s favourite spot, The Aquarium.

2.      Cape to Cape Track: Redgate Beach to Boranup Forest

Can’t decide whether you’d like to experience a sunny coastal track or a fairy tale woodland journey? Choose this section of the Cape to Cape, where the forest meets the beach. Enjoy the view of shallow water shipwrecks and white sandy beaches without a single footprint in the sand … and then feel your jaw drop as this scenery gives way to soaring karri forests. Feel oh-so insignificant, listen to birdsong and the gentle rustle of the gigantic trees as you roam in complete awe.

3.      Meelup Reserve Trail

The 7km Meelup Reserve Trail is a coastal meander that should suit most people. Starting near Hurford Street in Old Dunsborough, wander the sandy limestone path through native bushland and wildflowers, with generous views of the ocean a fingertip away. You’ll officially finish at Eagle Bay, but you can continue on to Bunker Bay if you like, via a slightly rougher track. Pack a picnic for a picturesque bite to eat by the seashore.

Meelup Beach. Image by Salty Wings

Meelup Beach. Image by Salty Wings

 

Best walks in the Great Southern

1.      Bluff Knoll

This rugged 1000m high peak, just over an hour’s drive from Albany, is one of the only places in Western Australia that receives snowfall. When you get to the top of the 1.2 billion-year-old Bluff Knoll (its Indigenous name is Bular Mial meaning ‘many eyes’), it’s like the ancient landscape is speaking to you, whispering secrets of millennia gone by. This is a very rewarding 6.8km hike with 360 degree views, but you’ll need pretty good fitness as this is a Grade 4 trail and the last section is very steep.

2.      Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk

If you want utterly spectacular scenery but in a perhaps more controlled and safer environment, you’re going to love the treetop walk. Family-friendly with plenty of railings and signposts, the walk takes you on a 600m stroll amongst the towering forests of the Walpole region. These colossal eucalypt trees are hundreds of years old and are amongst the tallest gracing the earth. This is an admissions-only trail.

Valley of the Giants, Walpole.

Valley of the Giants, Walpole.

3.      Bald Head Walk Trail

We love the deep Great Southern coast for its hauntingly wild and windswept beauty, lush foliage, and the fact that this is home to an abundance of ocean and land wildlife. This Grade 4 trail is a challenging one. At 12.5km, the elevated peninsula walk has steep and difficult sections, but the endless views away from heaving humanity are yours to treasure.

Bald Head. Image @cambostock

Bald Head, Albany. Image @cambostock

Best walks in Mandurah/Peel

1.      Lane Poole Reserve

There are several pleasant trails of varying grades around Lane Poole Reserve near Dwellingup, but we like the 18km King Jarrah Trail loop, suitable for the more advanced due to the length. It’ll take around five hours all up, and you’ll have one steep section at the beginning/end (depending on your starting direction), with a visit to the mighty ‘King Jarrah’ tree. Wildflowers, a river rushing nearby, leafy bushland, and plenty of flat track – this hike is a winner.

Lane Poole Reserve. Image @scroat77

Lane Poole Reserve. Image @scroat77

2.      Halls Head Coastal Trail

There’s no rule that a great walk can’t include a little urban life. This easy, paved, 12km trail will transport you along the coast with non-stop views of the sparkling azure ocean (keep an eye out for whales, dolphins, and seals cruising the waters). This is very family-friendly, and you can cut the length at any time. There are also coffee shops and beach stops along the way, for an idyllic day in the sunshine.

3.      Serpentine Falls Trail

North-east of Mandurah, this short family-friendly trail features lookout points, open bushland with low shrubbery, and the much-loved Serpentine Falls. Enjoy the small ever-changing colourful waterfall, and escape the heat with a dip in the swimming hole. Afterwards, lay in peace on the warm rusty-red rocks, letting water evaporate off your skin, before eating lunch beneath the trees as curious kangaroos hop nearby.

Serpentine Falls. Image @

Serpentine Falls. Image @naturebynathan

Plan your walking trail adventure in Western Australia’s South West, Peel, and Great Southern. Browse our portfolio of luxury holiday homes today.

 

You might also like:

5 best walks on the Cape to Cape

Staying safe while bushwalking in Australia’s South West

Discover the Bibbulmun Track

Where to go birdwatching in the Margaret River region

Spring’s beauty: wildflower season