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.
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.
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.