West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren
West Mount Barren

West Mount Barren

Fitzgerald River National Park

Directions - West Mount Barren can be accessed by taking the turnoff at Jerramungup off South Coast Rd, following this until you reach Devil's Creek Rd. Continue along Devil's Creek Rd as it becomes a gravel road. Take the turnoff for West Mount Barren all the way to the car park.

The Hike - With a fantastic introduction to the Fitzgerald River National Park the day before with a hike along the Point Ann Heritage Trail and a stay at St Mary's Inlet, we enjoyed a lovely sunrise on an empty beach before packing up the car ready for our adventures on day two. On the menu today was a hike up West Mount Barren (or Queelup in the local language) before moving on to the eastern side of the park for another couple of hikes. Having realised the error of my ways when it came to navigating into the park, we would be leaving the correct way today (via Pabelup Drive and Devils Creek Rd), which was the route to take anyway coming from Point Ann to the entry road into West Mount Barren.

Another slightly corrugated gravel road greeted us as we made our way to the end of the road leading to West Mount Barren (road is marked and a dead end). With gloomy skies above and a slight chill to the air I filled up the water bottles before we cleaned our boots in the dieback station provided and embarked on hike numero uno for the day. West Mount Barren is nicely profiled as you start on the boardwalk section and as a fun bonus there was a Royal Hakea in perfect position to be included in frame. The Royal Hakea is only found in the Fitzgerald River National Park and became a favourite of ours during our time there. It was eventually given the nickname "Traffic Light Bush Kale" after Caris remarked how much it looked like ornamental kale you get in flower arrangements and some of the colours on individual examples we saw reminded us of traffic lights.

 

The "Barrens" of Fitzgerald River National Park remind me a lot of the Stirling Range with peaks just rising out of a predominantly flat landscape and the style of hiking is very similar in both length and terrain. The reason for the Barrens being left here when everything else has disappeared is they are made up of quartzite that has a +5 resistance rating to the effects of time, weather and natural forces compared to the rest of the landscape. The result is spectacular and unlike the Stirling Range these hills/mountains are found right on the coast, allowing for some epic views over the Southern Ocean and off towards the other Barrens. The main view you will be focused on as you start the climbing is the hill to the east, the weirdly named Mt Bland (or Poorijungup as it's also known), that looks a little bit like Mt Doom from The Lord of the Rings except without the lava and ash strewn landscape surrounding it. We got a small taste of the plant life around the base of the walk and while there were some wildflowers, I imagine this area would be a treat when the famous spring colour explosion occurs in September to November.