Stirling Range National Park, WA
The first ship known to visit the coast was the Dutch ship “Guilden Seepaart,” in 1627. 195 years later it was English Captain Matthew Flinders on HMS “Investigator” who recorded the first sighting of the inland mountain range on January 5th 1802, calling them “Mount Rugged”. The Stirling Range National Park was named by John Septimus Roe on 4th November 1835 after Captain James Stirling, the first Governor of Western Australia.
The Stirling Range offers some of the best Mountain walking in Western Australia. The popular bush walking season is from Autumn (April) through winter and spring to summer (early December). Bluff Knoll (1096 metres) is the highest peak in the Stirling Range. Other favourites are Toolbrunup Peak, Ellen Peak, Mount Trio, Mount Magog, Mount Hassell and Talyuberlup Peak. Extended wilderness hikes are possible – contact the Ranger for the area on 9827 9230.
The park is world renowned for wildflowers with over 1520 species including 125 orchids and 9 endemic mountain bells. Spring starts with the Queen of Sheba Orchid flowering at the end of August through to November when mountain bells, above the 300 metre contour level, and blue sun orchids flower.
For best effects of light and shade on the mountains drive west along Stirling Range Drive in the morning via Chester Pass Road, Stirling Range Drive, Red Gum Pass, Salt River Road, Formby South Road and back to Chester Pass Road.
In the Afternoon travel the reverse of this route for the best effect.
According to recent research and fossil finds by the University of Western Australia, the Stirling Range formation was deposited betweeen 590-540 million years ago. It is now thought that the sedimentary beds that form the range began to rise in the deformational age within the last 100 million years. Both Red Gum Pass Road and Chester Pass Road which provide easy access to the mountains for motorists are along the courses of ancient rivers which flowed south during the early phases of the uplift.
Stirling Range has had over 160 species of birds recorded by bird watchers. Birds Australia leaders conduct dawn and dusk bird walks during spring.
The Stirlings are a popular venue for Wave Camps conducted by Gliding Clubs. Airstrips for guests are located adjacent to Stirling Range Retreat.
Abseiling and rock climbing are also available at the range.
For more information contact the National Park Office on 9827 9230.
Beginning each spring in Western Australia’s far north, a fabulous carpet of wildflowers unrolls, including types found nowhere else on earth. July to October is peak flowering season.
The display owes much to Western Australia’s geography. Separated from other parts of the world by ocean to the west and desert to the east, the south-west region of the state nurtured a widely diverse flora, retaining primitive forms and evolving new ones. Some 8,000 species have been identified, with new ones being discovered each year.
Variation in soil types and weather patterns throughout Western Australia mean the types of flowers vary enormously. Visitors enjoy a truly wondrous sight when the fields of everlastings burst forth north of Perth. During spring flowering season, you can chose between tours from Perth guided by experts, or hire a car and see the flowers yourself.
Individual travellers can take the coast road to Kalbarri National Park, 560 kilometres north of Perth, heading through heath and woodlands and passing several national parks with refreshing walks and wildflower displays.
The spectacular deep river gorges and dry sand plains of the Kalbarri National Park nurture an estimated 300 species of flowering plants, most in full bloom from July.
Return to Perth along the inland road via Mullewa and Wubin for spectacular displays of native foxgloves, blue leschenaultia, purple fire bush, and masses of yellow and white everlastings, plus, in season, flowering wattles.
Nearest Airport: Albany
Stirling Range National Park Map
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About Stirling Range National Park
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