Twin Creeks Conservation reserve
Directions - Located north of the Porongurups, from Albany take Chester Pass Road until you see the turn-off for Porongurup Road. Turn left and follow this past the café until you reach Knight Road. Turn right and keep going until you see the sign for Twin Creeks. Open and close the gate then drive to the end of the vehicle track where you will find the car park.
The Hike - Twin Creeks is not on many people's hiking radar and I only found about this one by chance a few years ago when I was passing through the area. Having completed the Nancy Peak/Devil's Slide hike, I was having a Devonshire Tea at the Porongurups Tearooms and noticed an old school binder filled with information about this place called Twin Creeks. It peaked my interest as it seemed to have a variety of different flora types so I put it on my list for a future visit.
Fast forward a few years and with a big road trip taking me to the Albany area, I pencilled in a visit to Twin Creeks to see what it was all about. Given I had hiked all the marked day hikes in the Stirling Range and Porongurups, this was the last area to explore. Deciding to pack as much adventure into the day as I could, I started with an absolutely stunning sunrise at Bluff Knoll. With that experience providing a buzz, I tried to sort out some breakfast but the Bluff Knoll Café was shut (in the middle of school holidays!!!) and the Porongurups Tea Room wasn't big on the vegetarian options so I just grabbed a coffee and kept moving. Locating the reserve, I drove through the gate (and closed it properly on my way in) and was pleasantly surprised to find a newish toilet block donated by Elders and an empty car park. A bit of history on Twin Creeks - the land was purchased in 2002 by a passionate community group through grants, fundraising and personal donations and has since been turned into a conservation reserve. There are plants located here that only exist here and it's an amazing effort that this small 511ha pocket of the Porongurups has been preserved given the massive amount of clearing that has occurred around the Stirling Range and Porongurups (check out a satellite image on Google to see what I mean).
The reserve is open to the public and they've made a solid effort to map out some walking trails throughout the reserve to showcase the stunning variety of flora. I had a rough plan based on the maps but was going to be pretty fluid with my walk based off what I saw on the ground. There is an information area showing you all the different plant species that have been documented on each walk and a little undercover area with water tank and BBQ. All up I think there is probably over 20km of tracks you could walk so it's a full day out here if you want to experience it all. While I didn't have anything planned for the afternoon, I was wary that I was up at 3:30am and had a big day planned for tomorrow that I wanted to be fresh as a daisy for. Deciding that the northern part of the reserve looked more interesting thanks to water courses running through it, I headed in that direction following the yellow markers. It was still very grey and a bit windy so the terrain didn't look terribly interesting as I made my way along the vehicle track but the joy here is looking for the diversity of wildflowers. I've switched up the format a little for this post due to the sheer quantity of wildflowers I found so each gallery has 20 photos instead of the typical 10 or 15. Apologies for the OCD among you looking at this on your mobile and seeing a blank space at the end of the galleries.