Fitzgerald River National Park
Fitzgerald River National Park is located on the south coast between Bremer Bay and Hopetoun, some 420km south east of Perth. The park features stunning coastline, rugged cliff faces, striking mountain peaks and fabulous plant life. It is recognized worldwide as a Biosphere Reserve with 15 percent of the states plant species inhabiting the area, the magnificent Royal Hakea standing out with its colourful leaves of green, yellow, orange and red. Spring is the best time to appreciate the wildflower display in the park.
Entrance into the eastern end of Fitzgerald River National Park is via Southern Ocean West Rd near Hopetoun, which is only 10km away. The road is unsealed but suitable for two-wheel drive vehicles taking it easy. As the track ascends the views of the Culham Inlet meeting the Southern Ocean are very picturesque and the surrounding vegetation is indeed attractive.
Continuing west are several coastal points to explore. Four Mile Beach is accessed easily via a descending staircase and the contrasting blue/green ocean and stark white sand is very appealing. This beach is great for walking along and East Mt Barren can be seen in the distance. Camping is permitted for a fee and toilets and gas barbeques are provided.
Barrens Beach is a short walk down and has plenty of rock suitable for fishing from, providing caution is taken with the unpredictable Southern Ocean. Always keep clear of sea level and keep an eye out for waves and swell which are potentially dangerous.
Whilst visiting Barrens Beach we came across a decomposing Humpback Whale
carcass. We learnt that many whales are left by the Department of Environment and Conservation each year to decompose on Australian beaches and most have died of natural causes. The decomposition process is estimated to take about 10 weeks and the whale’s nourishment is passed along the food chain via small sea creatures such as worms and crabs, to larger species such as fish and crayfish and in turn humans eating this seafood caught from the area. Whale carcasses should not be touched and you should keep a few metres clear due to possible bacteria and potential contamination. Swimming is prohibited at Barrens Beach due to shark presence and even more so during whale carcass decomposition as greater numbers will most likely be attracted to the area. No facilities or camping at Barrens Beach.
East Mount Barren is a striking rugged peak on the coast and for the fit and energetic there is a 4km walking trail. The ranger advises to allow 2-3 hours to complete the trek.
Mylies Beach is a sweeping stretch of sand between two rocky headlands. A 300m easy walk from the car park between white sand dunes finds you on the coast. Toilets, gas barbecues and picnic tables are provided in the parking area for your convenience. Camping is prohibited.
West Beach Point provides some stunning views of West Beach, the coastline and rocky headlands. The walk is an easy 2km and is well worth doing. Keep clear of cliff edges and consider windy conditions.
West Beach is another gorgeous piece of coastline on the eastern side of Fitzgerald River National Park and is a good fishing spot with rocky headland either side and reef present. It’s only a short easy walk to the beach. No facilities or camping at West Beach.
Many of the park’s attractions are easily accessible by two-wheel drive
however some beaches and inlets are four-wheel drive only and noticeably sign posted. Four-wheel drive areas include Quoin Head, Fitzgerald Inlet, Trigelow Beach and Whalebone Beach. These tracks are subject to closure during wet weather conditions.
The fishing is excellent along the Fitzgerald coastline and popular catches include Herring, Shark, Snapper and Salmon. Always be safety conscious when fishing the Southern Ocean as conditions can change quickly and unexpectedly. Choose your position wisely and observe the ocean at all times.
Camping is permitted within Fitzgerald River National Park for a fee at Four Mile Beach, Hamersley Inlet, Quoin Head, Fitzgerald Inlet, St Mary Inlet and Quaalup Homestead. Caravans are not permitted to travel the park roads and can be left at Quaalup Homestead accessed from the western side. Domestic animals are also prohibited from the park.
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Destinations in Western Australia
Cape Le Grand
Cape Range National Park
Eighty Mile Beach
Fitzgerald River National Park
Gibb River Road
Kalbarri National Park
Kennedy Range National Park
Porongurup National Park
Port Denison Dongara
Torndirrup National Park
Wellington National Park
William Bay National Park
Return from Fitzgerald River National Park to Western Australia