We’ve done the hard yards (and kilometres) for you and found seven of the best hikes in south Western Australia, from Margaret River to the Porongorups, for an outback adventure.
All you have to worry about is what snacks to pack, when to go and which one you’ll choose. Get those thick socks ready and hit the ground running.
Here are seven of the best hikes in WA's south west.
Stirling Range National Park
Who knew that just five hours from Perth you can chase the snow? As the third highest peak in WA, Bluff Knoll offers breathtaking views of the great southern but at a chilly cost so get rugged up! Don’t let the 6km distance fool you, this is still a toughie. Word to the wise: head here during spring to get a full appreciation of the wildflowers.
Cape To Cape Track
Whether you give Cape to Cape one hour in thongs or eight days (yep, it’s that long) with the full kit and kaboodle, you’ll still feel like you’ve replenished your mind, body and soul at the end. Starting at Cape Naturaliste and heading down toward Cape Leeuwin, this breathtaking walk showcases our WA coastline at its best (the view of the surfers doesn’t hurt either).
Meelup Reserve Trail
If wildlife is your middle name then look no further. Because you’re hiking along the coastline, it’s pretty likely you’ll spot dolphins, seals, kangaroos, birds and you know, maybe even a snake or two (we do live in 'Straya after all). Start this anywhere from the beach in Old Dunsborough and make your way to Meelup and Eagle Bay. A hike that finishes at Eagle Bay Brewery—where do we sign up?
Starting around the Cowaramup area and finishing up at Witchcliffe, this 23km hike is as flat as a pancake (it was originally the railway line) making it perfect for those who prefer to set a cracking pace, want to take the dog or pram or just set up shop for a little afternoon picnic while you marvel at the birdlife.
Don’t worry; we’re definitely not suggesting you do the whole thing from Kalamunda to Albany (that would be crazy) but instead, the (not so) little chunk of the Bibbulman Track starting at Walpole and finishing at Peaceful Bay is well worth your time. If the five or six hours that will take you isn’t enough, the overachievers can also squeeze in the Valley of The Giants. This is the bee's knees if you're mad keen on working that pedometer and it should be on every wanderer's bucket list for sure.
390km from Perth, Nancy’s Peak is the perfect adventure to see a mixed terrain along the way. For about 5.5kms, you’ll hike through karri forests, peaks of the Porongurup Ranges, the Stirling Ranges, the Southern Ocean and of course the famous ‘tree in the rock’.
Just on the other side of Nancy’s Peak is Castle Rock—another epic peak worth discovering in the Porongurup National Park. Stand at the top of the rock (670 metres high that is) on the Granite Skywalk suspension. It’s the perfect 'I’m the King of the world moment' if you feel like channelling your inner Kate and Jack from Titanic. PSA: while this is only a 1.5km hike, it's not for the faint-hearted. Remember, you’re climbing a rock, and what goes up, must come down.
Want to stay closer to home? Check out these walks and hikes in Perth.
Image credit: Louise Coghill