Mount Lindesay National Park
Directions - From the centre of Walpole find Horsley Rd and take this north until the roundabout. Turn right onto Scotsdale Rd and follow this all the way to the right turn for Mount Lindesay Road. Continue along Mount Lindesay Road for 11.5km until you see the sign pointing you off towards the car park. Zig zag along farmland for 2km until you reach the car park and the trail head will be located on the eastern side of the parking area.
The Hike - Mount Lindesay is a bit of an outlier on the South Coast between Northcliffe and Denmark as it's the only decent length hike in the area that isn't a section of the Bibbulmun Track despite all the excellent scenery around. This is a hike I had previously completed over the Christmas holidays in 2016 but in an unfortunate series of events I had deleted the raw images of that trip. It was also very late in the day so was very rushed and I really only had time to take a few photos in the forested section before making it to the summit for sunset.
Coming back in prime wildflower season as part of a long South West road trip, I was going to be savouring the trail this time and really trying to capture it in the best light possible. After a lovely warm-up walking the short trail through Harewood Forest, I made my way along Mount Lindesay Road towards the big one for the day before heading into Albany for the next leg of the trip. You get a good view of the hill rising up from the surrounding farmland and after a wiggle around various roads, I arrived at the car park ready to re-explore Mount Lindesay on a perfect spring day. It had been almost fours years since my visit and given I was almost running up to the summit in the shadows, my memory of this place wasn't as good as it could have been. There were a few cars there when I arrived including a dad and two boys that were still getting ready as I departed down the trail towards the Denmark River. I stopped at the large information boards and studied the flora I could expect on this hike, with the Leaping Spider Orchid catching my eye as something I would really love to see.
Some of the other rare orchids I believe were out of season so I would concentrate my gaze on finding the spider orchids, something that was getting easier after spending pretty much every day hiking in the last two weeks. Recognising shapes and colours from the undergrowth is now second nature and it doesn't take long for me to identify the new flowers from ones I've already spotted. On the jaunt down to the Denmark River crossing I was stopping so often to shoot new flowers or the excellent Kingias scattered throughout the forest that I was soon caught by the dad and two boys. I let them pass as I wouldn't be averaging a good pace with all the wildflowers and turned my focus back to admiring every new flower that I came across. Even on the 300m stretch down to the bridge there were a dozen or so varieties ranging from Coconut Ice, Silky Blue Orchids, Hooded Lilys, Flame Peas to large White Banjine.
Stopping on the bridge crossing the Denmark River, I was enjoying how lush this part of the hike was. On my previous visit I didn't spend much time here on the way up because I was in a hurry and it was already dark on the way back. Now I had some time I could appreciate the beauty of this spot and what a special place it really is. I've walked along the Denmark River much further downstream on the Mokare Heritage Trail as it empties into the Wilson Inlet and I enjoy both locations for different reasons. Even as you're heading up the hill on the other side, there is a cool little switchback where you get one last look at the river with some granite boulders in the foreground just to complete the scene. From here you're on a gentle incline ranging from a couple of percent gradient up to double digits but it never feels like a slog. The reason for this is you are surrounded by excellent forest and if walked between late winter through to early summer, wildflowers as far as the eye can see.
I've tried to balance out the photos to include some shots of the trail where possible but I took so many photos of the various wildflowers that it was hard not to put them all in the galleries. It's unfortunate that this area around Mount Lindesay has been hard hit by dieback because it would be the perfect place to have more trails through the lovely Jarrah and Marri forests north of Denmark. If this is the level of beauty you would get then sign me up for any walk taking in this type of scenery. Through here I saw plenty of colour with some sweet smelling Hakea, Native Iris, a Purple Enamel Orchids hidden away, lots of flowering drosera vines, some Southern Cross, Grevilleas and Cowslip Orchids. To say it was a great pleasure to be here in this moment, especially in 2020, was an understatement. To me this felt like a brand new trail as I was here in a different season with enough time to explore the trail properly and I have to say that a slower pace definitely agrees with me.