Monadnocks to Mount Cooke
25th August 2018
The Hike - This is a section that I hold very dear, it was one of the first posts on the website when I came out here for the first time in 2014 to do Sullivan Rock to Monadnocks (by accident) and then again a week later to do Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke. Over the years I've been out here countless times for many adventures with many great people and I rate it as one of the best day hikes you can do around Perth. Given this is part of a series of posts as part of my sectional end to end, I thought I would change it up and write somewhat of a love letter to this section of the track, talking about various details I really like, stories about different experiences and just reminiscing about the various times I've hiked along here.
My first time at Monadnocks Campsite was the half way point of my first trip out here and apart from the starting section from Kalamunda, was my only other experience on the Bibbulmun Track to that point. Initially hoping to visit Mt Cooke, a navigation early right after Sullivan Rock saw me and my friend Philip follow the waugyls straight ahead and in foggy conditions we ended up continuing on over Mt Vincent and Mt Cuthbert to Monadnocks. We laughed at our error as we were hiking along but were blown away by how spectacular the scenery and the conditions were that it didn't matter. I still laugh now and wonder how current me would have reacted if I met 2014 me at Monadnocks that day given the thousands of kilometres of hiking I've done since. I ended up returning a week later to do the Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke section and was equally impressed as you'll no doubt read further on this post. It was great to share that first experience with Philip as we were great friends during our 20s, living together in Mount Pleasant, playing basketball (which is the only time I see him now), exercising together and hanging out a lot. As our lives changed and he got married and had kids and I started a long term relationship with subsequent fur babies, we drifted apart but hiking was always a nice way to catch up. The campsite itself is in a very nice location as I discussed in the previous post with great forest all around and some views looking out from the shelter. The Deep South configuration suits this area although the dusty floor isn't great when you are trying to get on and off the sleeping platform.
Leaving the campsite you head back on the path you came in on and cross the 4x4 track that soon appears. If you are doing a day hike in the area and don't want to deal with hiking over the two hills again, the 4x4 track is a good return route that skips the hills and takes you back to Sullivan Rock. I'm here to talk about the two hills and the lovely route the Bibbulmun takes as you heads towards the first of the two hills, Mt Cuthbert. I've always adored this section of forest leading from the campsite to Mt Cuthbert as it has this really spooky and moody vibe to it if you're lucky enough to hike it in foggy or rainy conditions. The main reason for this is the mostly She-Oak forest that you walk through that have these green needle-like leaf structures that turn brown when they are dropped and sit on the forest floor. I liken this area to the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter but without the super massive trees with their giant root structures. Mainly because I'm a big Harry Potter nerdburger but also because it gives off the creepy vibes provided it's not a sunny day. There are a few older examples of some Jarrah trees here that you have to stop and admire as you walk through along with a really nice variety of plants including Snottygobble, Kingia Australis, plenty of sundews and countless wildflowers during the winter and spring seasons.