Wednesday, August 23, 2017



It's been cold and wet in Perth, year 12 final exams are looming for our eldest, so we decided to make a tree change for a long weekend and visit the Porongrups. Located 360km southeast of Perth, 40km from Albany and 15kms from Mount Barker, the trip from Perth took us approximately five hours down the Albany Highway (with a couple of stops along the way).

We booked an AirBNB - Woodlands Retreat - for the weekend. It was everything we could have asked for; a cosy two bedroom with ensuites, laundry, kitchen, fireplace, and a fabulous spa room with glorious views of the huge granite formations which make up the Porongrup Range. An entirely unique property.

The Porongrup Range was formed with Gondwana and is recognised in the National Heritage List. Giant karri trees and open jarrah forests cloak the granite mountain range, which houses a magnitude of fauna and flora.

Taking advantage of the breakthrough fine weather we headed out to Balancing Rock and Granite Skywalk.

The level 5, 1.5km walk takes a good hour or so return, so make sure you wear appropriate footwear/ clothing. Hiking up through the bush and then climbing a steel ladder, you reach the Granite Skywalk; a suspended walkway that hugs around Castle Rock. The views from the top are breathtaking. From here you can see all the way to the ocean off Albany over the fields of canola in full bloom.

Day two, the weather didn't look particularly inviting so we headed down to Albany.

Albany was the first European settlement established in Western Australia and signs of the town's history can still be found in the Heritage precinct.

Middleton Beach Boardwalk is a 5km walk from Ellen Cove to Stirling Terrace in the city. The dual pathway offers stunning views of coast and Frenchmans Bay.

Ellen Cove & Middleton Beach Boardwalk
One experience not to be missed when touring Albany is a visit to the National Anzac Centre.
Located in the Princess Royal Fortress, the interactive museum overlooks the harbour where over 40,000 Anzacs departed for the Great War.

Day three and the weather had fined up enough for us to take on the challenging three peaks. Starting at the Tree-in-the-Rock carpark we followed Nancy Peak Walk (3.7km), taking us past Hayward Peak, Nancy Peak and Morgan's View.

The walk isn't for the faint hearted, however the views from Hayward Peak across to the Stirling Ranges and then from Nancy Peak towards Albany are well worth the effort. With all the wet weather we have had, parts of the walk were slippery and slow going, so again make sure you wear good walking shoes.

Nancy Peak Walk
Nancy Peak Walk

Views from Hayward Peak

Devil's Slide is a side trip from where Nancy Peak Walk meets Wansbrough Walk. The 730m walk zig-zags through the bush and over rocks until it opens up onto the rock slide. It's a more challenging walk (especially in the wet) than the Nancy Peak Walk.

Devil's Slide Walk

All up Nancy Peak Walk with a side trip up Devil's Slide and returning to the carpark via Wansbrough Walk and walking at a relatively fast pace took us just over 2 hours.

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