The best bush walk in Perth? Sullivan’s Rock to Monadnocks – Bibbulmun Track

The best bush walk in Perth?  Sullivan's Rock to Monadnocks - Bibbulmun Track

Usually we are up in the Kimberley, out walking the Cape to Cape or the Bibbulmun Track, however when we are in Perth we often do day walks in the nearby National Parks.

There are some wonderful day walks around Perth. Eagle’s View at John Forrest National Park, The Numbat trail at Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary and Yanchep Ghost House trail to name a few. But, there is one walk which literally towers above the rest…

Sullivan’s Rock to the Monadnocks campsite and back on the Bibbulmun Track offers walkers awe inspiring views and great hiking. Here is the definitive guide to what is, in our opinion, the best bush walk in Perth.

How hard?

The most important question first! You will need a good level of fitness to complete this walk. It has some steep ups and downs and is 15.4 km in total. You will need to scale both Mt Vincent and Mt Cuthbert which are two of the highest points on the Swan Coastal plain at over 500m.

When we do this as a day walk we would usually start at 9:30am and aim to finish by around 4:00pm so allow plenty of time. It is possible to do the walk much faster than this however.

The walk is not a loop trail, so you will be walking over the same ground twice (which means four mountains – eep!). It is possible to make a loop (and avoid a second pass at those mountains) by taking an old vehicle track back from Monadnocks to the start. This option makes the day walk much easier but please do not attempt it unless you have current maps and are a competent map reader as it is not a marked trail.



What do I need to bring?  

– First, get yourself a Bibbulmun Track map (Map 1 – the Darling Range). The trail is very well marked, but it only takes a moment of inattention to miss a turn. Having the map and the guide book together is your best bet.

– Depending on the time of year you will need 2-3 litres of water for the return journey. There is untreated rainwater available at the Monadnocks campsite, but only use this in an emergency as overnight walkers rely on it.

– Protection from the weather. It can get cold atop those mountains so bring a rain/wind jacket and other appropriate gear for the season.

– Hiking poles are great for getting up the hills and for stability and knee-saving purposes on the down hills but certainly not essential.

– Lunch and snacks. Monadnocks campsite is a great place for lunch.

– A small day pack to put everything in.

How to get there?

The walk starts at Sullivan’s Rock which is about 35 kilometres south of Armadale and 9km south of the Jarrahdale Rd turnoff on Albany Highway. Park in the picnic area on the western side of the road and then cross the Hwy to start the walk from the eastern side of the road. The parking area is easy to miss, so don’t drive too fast!  It looks like this.

What else?

It is a beautiful walk in autumn, winter and spring; although there are areas of sloping granite which can get slippery in the wet. There are lots of wildflowers from August until late October and it is a good spot to see echidnas. The main attraction is the views and the challenging hills, so wildflowers and echidnas are bonus treats on this walk! We don’t recommend doing this walk between December and March. The trail is reasonably exposed and can get baking hot.

What are you waiting for? Get out there!

Now that you know everything you need to complete the best bush walk in Perth, it is time to do it. How about this for a plan:

1. Head over to the Bibbulmun Track Foundation’s webpage and purchase Map 1 and check the current conditions on the trail.

2. Call a friend or two to arrange a date (or give us a call and see when we’re next running a day walk here)

3. After your walk, tell us how it went in the comments below. If you’ve already been, please let us know and share your insights with other readers in the comments.

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13 Responses

  1. Marc
    Marc at |

    Completed this hike Saturday just gone. Very easy to take the wrong trail, as we did, taking the old bibbulmun vehicle track instead. Worked out in the end finding the correct trail when we got to Monadnocks. It would have been a hard hike trekking both mountains twice anyway. Great hike though I found the Numbat hike at Paruna Wildlife Reserve more enjoyable to take top spot.

  2. Kingerz
    Kingerz at |

    This walk is closed as at September 2015 for ‘aerial burning’ for an unspecified time. A sign tells you quite a way into the walk… You can take a diversion along the base of the hills to the campsite, but this is a dull tramp to what is after all just a shed with no view. If you decide to ignore the sign and risk being burnt to death from above to go on the described walk after all, it takes a couple of hours and is an easy/moderate hike for any reasonably fit walker. I found it much easier than described. The two ascents lead first to a hill with a cairn and limited views then to a granite dome with expansive views. You start at about 300m so the ascent is quite small. Be careful of the route at the beginning and end, else it’s obvious and no map needed. 3/5 rating, 4/5 if you are new to Western Australia forests.

  3. Adam
    Adam at |

    I’m probably just being a dingbat here but I couldn’t find the bloody start of it. Me and the mrs were out there on the Albany highway looking at multiple different off road chutes and eventually parked down one of them and crossed the road and began to hike for about half an hour before we realized that this couldn’t be it and it looked more like an an abandoned off road vehicle track with lots of danger of getting lost. We eventually has to pay to get into serpentine national park instead and hike the trails there which were fine but was looking forward to “the best day hike in Perth”.
    Can anyone shed some specific light on this such as a a photo of where you started or even highlighting it on google maps and posting a picture caption/print screen? I would sincerely appreciate it and I’m sure it would come in handy for future trekkers. Thanks

  4. Fred
    Fred at |
  5. Blair
    Blair at |

    Done this ripper walk 2 days ago on Saturday Arvo. Tented overnight near the monadnock hutt. Met some cool peeps at the hutt campfire. Such panoramic views from Mt Cuthbert!!!

  6. Brett Randall
    Brett Randall at |

    Just walked today from Sullivan’s Rock car park over Sullivan’s Rock you come to a gravel road cross road and follow Bibb track markers this will take you up the left side of Mt Vincent anf veer right to get you up on the summit marked by pyramid of rocks look north and you can see a great view of Mt Cuthbert your next summit steep, decend into the valley then a incline up Mt Cuthbert had lunch near the summit on a rock face looking south great view then walked back down into valley then up a steepish incline back up Mt Vincent it would be the the hardest part of the walk, back over the summit and back to car park 3 hours return, good walk

  7. Kristie
    Kristie at |

    Hi, I am keen to do this walk, which 4 mountains you mention are there? Is it possible to see all 4 in a day?

    Is there a direct map available?


  8. Cindy Truelove
    Cindy Truelove at |

    Yesterday our group of 19 fairly inexperienced hikers started at Coglin rd, and walked to Moonanocks. We were hosted by a group called TEAR and consisted of people from their early 20’s up to over 60yrs. The hut was occupied when we got there by some very nice people, we had the best night around the campfire with Olman Walley playing Didg and telling Dreamtime stories. Our new friends in the hut all joined us. We left this morning and climbed over Cuthbert and Vincent – what a spectacular hike. Some of us struggled a bit on the steep parts, but we all got there in great spirits. Would definitely recomend this to anyone. Spectacular views, and the weather was perfect, except the the flash rain storm at Moonanocks on Sat night!

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