Bald Head Walk Trail
Torndirrup National Park
Directions - From the centre of Albany take Frenchman Bay Rd into Torndirrup National Park until you reach Salmon Hole Rd. Take a right here and then take a left onto Murray Rd. The trail starts at the top of a gravel road that comes off Murray Rd (it is well signposted), where you'll find a small car park.
2022 Update - The trail is undergoing some upgrades to combat the erosion so will be closed from Feb-Aug 2022 (see here for more details). There are plenty of amazing trails in the Albany region, select your alternate hike by visiting this page.
The Hike - One of the best day hikes in Western Australia, Bald Head is a trail that I first hiked way back in 2015 when it was only known to locals and the only information you could find online was a short write up with a couple of photos. Fast forward to late 2020 and thanks to the rise of Instagram, an increase in popularity of hiking and a travel ban forcing many people to explore their own backyards, Bald Head is a mainstay on a lot of the WA tourism accounts. Over the years my original page for this hike has received a bit of traffic as it's well searched for online but as with most of my early posts, it didn't have a lot of depth and the photos really only showcased the first half of the hike.
With that in mind, it was always my plan to completely re-do the page and hike this one again on my Spring 2020 Road Trip. With many other hikes planned for my Albany leg of the trip, I moved this one to my last full day here because I wanted the best day of weather put aside for my trip to Two Peoples Bay and Mount Martin. Coincidently this also meant that I would repeat the same experience that I had on my first trip here where I would spend the morning at my accommodation enjoying a cooked breakfast and Game One of the NBA Finals. Due to the madness of 2020, the dates were a little bit different with the NBA season being postponed and then finally completed in October instead of mid-June. This year it was the Miami Heat facing the LeBron led Lakers and after a pretty entertaining start it all fizzled out when Goran Dragić and Bam Adebayo left the game with injuries and the Lakers won comfortably. With a full belly, a few coffees under my belt and the game finished, I packed up my gear and drove out to Torndirrup National Park to tackle what has been a favourite hike of mine since I first visited way back in 2015. I was last here in 2019 after finishing my sectional end to end of the Bibbulmun Track but only walked a short section before deciding to visit the nearby Peak Head Walk Trail as I could do that one in its entirety before sunset (and what a good decision that was).
Reaching the car park I was a little bemused that it was very busy and in the end I had to park about halfway down the entry road due to the lack of space. As I said before, it's not surprising given the popularity of Bald Head these days and it was during the September school holidays so understandable that it was busy. The weather for my visit was not ideal thanks to the onset of some cold, windy and wet conditions that would last the duration of my trip along the south coast. While it wasn't raining, the grey conditions posed some issues with dull lighting and the fierce wind didn't help when photographing the wildflowers. Nevertheless, I did say in my old post that I thought this would still be a great experience if the weather was terrible so today I would be testing that theory out to a certain degree. The trail head was a little busy with a couple of groups getting in the way of a clear photo (first photo above is from the finish) and I really hoped that I would get some clear stretches to enjoy the trail to myself. Starting the uphill slog, it's a pretty brutal way to begin the trail but is a good indication of what to expect for the whole 12.4km return trip. Enjoying the Peppermint lined undergrowth, this spot is really good for wildflowers and orchids with a few good finds straight away thanks to some Cowslip Orchids and Milk Maids.