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Tash McCarthy
 
10 September 2019 | Singlefile Wines Blog | Tash McCarthy

Walk and bike trails in WA's Great Southern

Albany Wind Farm image courtesy of WesternAustralia.com

Easy: Wheelchair access

Swarbrick Art Loop, Walpole

Distance: 500m | Time: Less than an hour

15 minutes north of Walpole and home to some of the state’s oldest karri trees is the Swarbrick forest. Challenge your perception of wilderness with the art works featured along this easy loop. Collectively with Mount Frankland and the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Swarbrick forms the Walpole Wilderness Discovery Centre. For more information visit: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/swarbrick-art-loop

Ocean Beach Cycleway and Footpath, Denmark

Distance: 8.5km | Time: 1-3 hours

Starting in the centre of town at the Denmark Visitor Centre, this path runs adjacent to Ocean Beach Road all the way to the Denmark Surf Life Saving Club. Popular with cyclists, strollers and joggers there is plenty to see along the way including Little River, Wilson Inlet and Prawn Rock Channel. You’ll pass the Ocean Beach lookout, a great spot to sit and watch the surf pound the bay and the path also links directly to many other trails in the area. For more information: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/ocean-beach-cycleway1

Ellen Cove to Albany Port

Distance: 6km | Time: 1-3 hours

Take in the historic town of Albany as you walk or ride along this 6km trail which is a mixture of wooden boardwalk and bitumen path. The beautiful Middleton Beach is your vista as you start along the trail at the Ellen Cove boardwalk and head around the coast. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for Southern Right whales out in the Sound during whale season (June-October). There are plenty of memorials, lookouts and interpretive signage along the way as you make your way around to the Albany Port. Learn more: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/ellen-cove-to-albany-port

Grade 1: Family friendly

Denmark to Nornalup Heritage Rail Trail

Distance: 54.5km | Time: Full day

One of the area’s longer trails, this heritage track is best explored by bike or horse-back, though the keen hiker might give it a go! Take in the history of Denmark and Nornalup and their railway past, with some of the original sidings and bridges standing to this day. The trail passes by rivers, inlets and farmland and has three distinct sections, so be sure to read the outline in full here to see which parts are suitable for different users: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/denmark-to-nornalup-heritage-rail-trail

Mokare Heritage Trail, Denmark

Distance: 3km | Time: Less than an hour

A scenic walk or cycle, the Mokare Heritage trail takes in the beauty of the Denmark River and the paperbarks, karri and bushland that line its banks. An easy loop starting in Denmark’s town centre at Berridge Park, the trail offers users the chance to spot wildflowers and birdlife along the way. Crossing the old railway bridge is a highlight for children of all ages. You can also stop for a picnic here and utilise the BBQs, gazebo and benches. For more information visit: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/mokare-heritage-trail

Lake Seppings (Tjuirtgellong), Albany

Distance: 2.9km | Time: Less than an hour

Suitable for all ages and less than 10 minutes from Albany’s town centre is a bird-watchers paradise. Lake Seppings (or Tjuirtgellong, the place of the long-necked turtle) is a natural ecosystem within the city where over 100 species of birds have been recorded. A 45-minute flat stroll will take you around the lake with lookouts, benches and interpretive signs along the way and a bird hide for enthusiasts. Learn more: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/lake-seppings-tjuirtgellong

Lake Seppings image courtesy of ABC Great Southern

Grade 2

Albany Wind Farm to Mutton Bird Island

Distance: 13.5km | Time: Full day

A full day walk that forms part of the Bibbulmun Track, this trail takes in spectacular views of the Amazing South Coast and the site of the Albany Wind Farm. 13.5km in length or 27km return, the trail head being located 12km from Albany at the Wind Farm and it stretches along the coast to Mutton Bird Beach and Shelter Island affording visitors views of the granite coastline, farmland and carpets of wildflowers. For more information visit: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/bibbulmun-track-albany-wind-farm-to-mutton-bird-island

Blowholes Trail, Albany

Distance: 1.6km | Time: Less than an hour

Take in Albany’s rugged coastline along this more challenging track featuring 78 steps and an uphill walk on your return! Whether the blowholes will be ‘blowing’ depends on the swell size and direction – the spray is the result of water being forced up a crack in the granite – and on big swell days the noise is impressive. Wear sturdy non-slip shoes for this 1.6km (return) walk, which is one of the most popular for visitors to the Torndirrup National Park. Learn more here: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/blowholes-trail

Luke Pen Walk, Albany

Distance: 14.4km | Time: Half day

A lovely mix of vegetation from large marri trees to vineyards and farming pastures can be seen along this meandering riverside walk. An easy trail with a well-marked head, it closely follows the Kalgan River and takes about 4 hours to complete. A shelter shaped like a flying kookaburra is a highlight along the way, as well as local Noongar Aboriginal fish trap relics. A great stroll for families with plenty of opportunity to spot wildlife. Visit TrailWA for more information:  http://trailswa.com.au/trails/luke-pen-walk

Grade 3

Stony Hill Track, Albany

Distance: 500m | Time: Less than an hour

Located in the Torndirrup National Park, this short, circular walk offers 360-degree views of the Albany area. Beginning at the steps on the southern side of the carpark, the path features interpretive plaques describing the thoughts of some of the first visitors to the area and affords magnificent views of King George Sound, Eclipse Island, Albany, West Cape Howe National Park and as far as the Porongurup and Stirling Range National Parks. Learn more at: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/stony-hill-track

Point Possession Heritage Trail, Albany

Distance: 5km | Time: 1-3 hours

Walk along the cliffs above Whalers Cove and on to the beaches of Vancouver Peninsula on this loop. With breathtaking views of the Albany Port, Vancouver Peninsula and King George Sound, the track was built in 1988 to mark Australia’s Bicentennial. With Brambles and Barker Bay beaches highlights along the trail, be sure to bring your bathers to make the most of your walk in summer: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/point-possession-heritage-trail

Grade 4

Mt Lindesay Trail, Denmark

Distance: 10km | Time: Half day

A half-day bushwalk 23km north of Denmark, the summit of Mount Lindesay offers views across to the Porongurup and Stirling Range National Parks as well as the Walpole Wilderness. It is a 10km return hike that crosses the Denmark River and passes through jarrah and mallee scrub with clear markers guiding you over the rocks as you reach the granite summit. Toilets and picnic area are provided. Find out more at: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/mt-lindesay-walktrail

Mount Lindesay image courtesy of Life of Py blog

Very difficult: Thrill seekers

Albany Downhill Mountain Bike Trail

Distance: 700m | Time: Less than an hour

On Mount Clarence in the centre of Albany you’ll find this purpose built track for mountain bikes. Taking in 41 technical features including jumps, wooden berms and drops, riders can take to the track at their own pace depending on experience. Just a short walk from the city centre, this is a truly unique trail. For more information visit: http://trailswa.com.au/trails/albany-downhill-mountain-bike-trail

Albany Downhill Mountain Bike Trail image courtesy of Trails WA

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