Stirling Range National Park, Bluff Knoll Camping
Bluff Knoll Camping at the famous Stirling Range National Park are considerably bigger than the nearby Porongorup Range, and even as you approach the area you get a sense of wonder. You can drive through or around the ranges, which can be enjoyed from the safety of your vehicle, but the best way to enjoy them is by doing a hike to one of the peaks and of course the Bluff Knoll Camping area .Being the highest, Bluff Knoll is the most popular peak to climb. Bluff Knoll Camping areas Facilities there are good – a paved road, large parking lot, and toilets. The trail itself is well maintained and features many steps.But there are lesser known peaks that are equally beautiful to climb, and arguably more challenging and fun. Most of these will require some driving on gravel roads to get there, but often you’ll have them completely to yourself. My favourite is Mt Toolbrunup, which involves a challenging 4hr hike that includes some scrambling over scree, and requires some fitness and agility. Mt Trio is one of the shorter climbs, but still beautiful. Mt Hassell requires some delightful scrambling in the top section, and is a lot of fun. Mt Talyuberlup requires some driving on the scenic gravel road to access, but is also a good challenge, with a natural cave type formation near the very top. And then there’s also Mt Magog to explore. Each of these will usually require up to half a day.Because of the terrain, you will need to come well prepared. A hot summer day is not a good time to be here, due to the amount of time you’ll spend in the sunshine and heat. Spring and autumn are probably the best times to enjoy this area if you like hiking.Another huge appeal that the park has is the wildflowers, which you’ll see in spring only. Many are endemic to the area. That makes it a wonderful time to visit, so I’d especially recommend coming here in September/October if you can, when the wildflowers are out, and also when it can be an ideal time for hiking.
Stirling Range National Park encloses the only major mountain range with in the southern half of Western Australia. The rugged peaks, which rise to more than 1000 metres above sea level, feature stark cliff faces, sheltered gullies, magnificent views and a rich diversity of unique and colourful wildflowers. The park is one of the world’s most important areas for flora with 1500 species, many of which grow nowhere else, packed within its boundaries.
The Stirling Range is renowned for its unusual, and sometimes spectacular cloud formations. The Aboriginal name for the range, Koi Kyenunu-ruff, means ‘mist rolling around the mountains’ – a frequently seen occurrence. The range is also one of few places in Western Australia where snow occasionally falls.
Moingup Spring is a lovely bush camp set amongst jarrah and marri trees and centrally located in the park. Camping fees apply. Stirling Range Retreat and Mt Trio Bush Camping and Caravan Park2, both on the park’s northern boundary, offer a range of accommodation and services.
The Stirling Range Drive winds through the heart of the park and offers ever-changing views of rugged peaks, each with its unique character. This 42km drive, on mostly unsealed roads graded for two-wheel drive, stretches from the Western Lookout near Red Gum Spring to the Eastern Lookout below Bluff Knoll. Take a break in the drive to enjoy sweeping vistas from Central Lookout or a picnic in shady woodlands at White Gum Flat.
Walking is an ideal way to discover the rugged beauty and enchanting wildflowers of the Stirling Range. There are established walks up Bluff Knoll, Mt Trio, Mt Toolbrunup, Mt Hassell, Talyuberlup Peak and Mt Magog. All walks are steep and have uneven surfaces. Wear boots or sturdy footwear, weatherproof clothing and sun protection. Take plenty of food and carry two to three litres of drinking water per person for half to full day walks. Several walks have a picnic area at the start.
If you are considering undertaking the Stirling Range Ridge Walk, also known as the Eastern Peaks Ridge Route, or other cross country walks, you are advised to contact the Stirling Range National Park rangers or the Albany District Office to obtain more detailed information. (Stirling Range National Park office – 9827 9230; Albany District office – 9842 4500)
The Ridge Walk is approximately 26km one way from the north east corner of the park boundary via Ellen Peak to the Bluff Knoll Car park. This is a difficult and challenging, unmarked, cross country bushwalk with no designated trail through a Wilderness Zone. It takes two to three days to complete hiking in rugged terrain. This bushwalk is not a managed route and natural hazards exist. Walkers are responsible for their personal safety and will need to ensure they are well planned, prepared and exercise appropriate caution. To undertake the Ridge Walk bushwalkers require previous experience in the outdoors and a high level of specialised skills and equipment including navigation skills, a map and navigation equipment to complete the walk. Bushwalkers need to be self-reliant, particularly in regard to emergency first aid and be prepared for unforseen weather conditions which may be extreme. Storms and severe weather may affect navigation and safety. Walkers undertaking this route are strongly advised to carry their own Personal Locator Beacon and mobile communication devices in case of emergencies.
The peaks of the Stirling Range are subject to rapid, unpredictable changes in the weather. Hikers should be prepared for sudden cold changes that cause the temperature to drop and rain or hail to set in. All visitors are strongly advised not to enter the bush or use footpaths on days of extreme fire danger. If you are planning to hike off marked trails, abseil or rock climb, please register your details at the shelter in the picnic area across the road from Bluff Knoll Road entry station. If you plan to hike on an established walk, no registration is required.
We recommend that you read the information about planning your trip and staying safe in the Other Essentials section.
Fees apply for vehicle entry to a number of parks and reserves in Western Australia.
No fee is payable if a park is entered on foot or bicycle.
- Day entry passes can be purchased at all parks where entry fees apply.
- If camping in a park, a day entry pass for the day of arrival is valid for the duration of the stay. Camping fees apply in addition to park entry fees and are paid per person per night.
- Private vehicles with up to 12 legally seated occupants including the driver, may enter more than one park with entry fees on the same day with a single day entry pass.
- Private vehicles with more than 12 occupants including the driver such as a hired bus, that are not on a commercial tour, may enter more than one park with entry fees on the same day with a single day entry pass. This is except when entering both Yanchep and Nambung national parks when another entry fee is payable at the second of these parks to be entered.
|Standard fee||Concession fee|
|Motorcycle||$6 per vehicle||no concession|
|Vehicle with up to 12 occupants||$12 per vehicle||$6 per vehicle|
|Vehicle with more than 12 occupants but not on a commercial tour||$5.50 per occupant 6 years or older||$1.70 per occupant|
Information about fees for commercial operators conducting or proposing to conduct a commercial operation such as sightseeing or activity tours can be found in ‘For business‘.
Extended period passes are valid for one vehicle with up to 12 occupants.
|Valid for||Standard fee||Concession fee|
|Holiday Pass||Four weeks||$44||no concession|
|Annual All Parks Pass||One year||$88||$55|
|Goldstar Pass*||One year||$110||$77|
*Goldstar Pass includes one year subscription to LANDSCOPE Magazine
Extended period passes may be purchased from our shop, at Department of Parks and Wildlife offices and selected retail outlets (download Park pass outlets below for the latest list of locations).
If you are an RAC member, you can obtain a discount on the Holiday Pass, the Annual All Parks Pass and the Concession Annual All Parks Pass when you purchase them from the RAC member benefits website; go to: www.rac.com.au/parkpasses.
Annual local park passes are available to residents of selected local government areas for nearby parks only. Contact us for more information.
Separate fees, payable at the park, apply for entry to Monkey Mia Reserve – day entry passes purchased at other parks and extended period passes are not valid. No fee is payable for children 5 years and younger
|Adult (16 years and older)||Adult concession||Child (6-15 years)||Family (2 adults, 2 children)|
Camping fees are charged per person per night. For parks where an entry fee applies, this is additional to camping fees.
Camping fees do not apply for children aged 5 years and younger.
For campgrounds that can be booked in advance, payment must be made in full at the time of booking. For other campgrounds, camping fees can be paid at the park.
(16 years and older)
|With no facilities or basic facilities||$7.50||$5.50||$2.20|
|With facilities such as ablutions or showers, camp kitchens or picnic shelters||$10||$6.60||$2.20|
|In King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park, Purnululu and Windjana Gorge national parks||$12||$8.80||$2.20|
|In Dirk Hartog Island National Park||$19||$13.50||$2|