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5 Family-Friendly Walks in the Great Southern

If you’re looking for some family-friendly adventure dust off your walking boots and plan a trip to the Great Southern. This region is home to a diverse mix of scenery, from the karri forests of Denmark, to the beautiful beaches of Albany, to the high peaks of the Stirling Range and the rugged coast of Torndirrup National Park.

Even better, it’s got plenty of short walk trails that make it easy to explore these natural wonders. To help plan your itinerary, here are our five favourite walks that the whole family can enjoy.

 

1. Luke Pen Walk, Albany

Time: Half day

Length: 9 km

Difficulty: Grade 2

One of our Top Trails, The Luke Pen Walk is a wonderful half-day adventure for all ages. Adults will enjoy the peace and quiet and the ever-changing views of the Kalgan River, vineyards, pastures and eucalypt bushland. Kids will enjoy exploring the rivers’ edge and the relics of Noongar fish traps. And both young and old are sure to love the giant kingfisher shaped shelter that lives on trail. The Luke Pen Walk is relatively easy and takes about 4 hours to complete, however there are plenty of shady picnic spots along the way, so you might find yourself staying the entire day. 

Kalgan River on the Luke Pen Walk

 

2. Ellen Cove to Albany Port

Time: 1-3hours

Length: 6 km

Difficulty: Grade 1

If you’re visiting Albany, you’ll want to check out the trail from Ellen Cove to Albany Port.

A mix of bitumen and boardwalk, this dual-use trail has loads of natural and man-made scenery to discover, like beautiful Middleton Beach and spectacular views of King George Sound and Princess Harbour. If you’re a history fan, there are memorials and historical buildings to visit, including the lighthouse and bunkers where Australian troops departed from to travel to Gallipoli. From June to October, this walk trail is one of the region’s best places to spot migrating southern right whales and rare blue whales.

 Middleton Beach. Photo from Amazing Albany website 

3. The Blowholes, Torndirrup NP

Time: Less than 1 hour
Length: 1.6 km
Difficulty:  Grade 2

 

The Blowholes trail is the firm favourite of the Torndirrup National Park. This 1.6km return walk leads you to the Blowholes, where air and seawater rushes up through cracks in granite, creating impressive bursts of spray and loud whooshing sounds. For the best experience, visit on a windy day when the Blowholes are at their biggest and loudest. However be warned; the trail also includes 78 steps that you’ll need to climb on the way back. But if you keep your eyes on the magnificent coastal views, you’ll barely notice the steps…hopefully. 

Blowholes by Linda Daniels

 

4. Mokare Heritage Trail, Denmark

Time: Less than 1 hour
Length: 3 km (loop)
Difficulty:  Grade 2

 

The Mokare Trail is our favourite way to explore the Denmark River. This leafy 3km loop starts at the Denmark town centre and follows the riverbank, providing excellent views, bird watching and wildflower spotting along the way. The Mokare Trail forms part of an old railway, which means it’s nice and flat, making it an easy walk for big and little explorers. The trail also links with the Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail – another beautiful walk that promises peaceful water views and plenty of black swans and pelicans.

 Explore Denmark River on the Mokare Trail by Helen Heydenrych

5.  Stony Hill Heritage Trail, Torndirrup NP

Time: Less than 1 hour
Length:0. 5 km (loop)
Difficulty:  Grade 3

 

The Stony Hill Heritage Trail will leave you feeling on top of the world – literally. This easy 500m trail is the highest point in Torndirrup National Park and offers 360 degree views of Albany, King George Sound, Eclipse Island, West Cape Howe National Park and the Porongurup and Stirling Range National Parks.  During wildflower season, the heathland that edges the trail bursts into colour, attracting flocks of lively black cockatoos. The trail forms part of the WA heritage trail network, so you’ll also find informative signage about the first settlers of the area along the path.

Stony Hill by Parks and Wildlife

 

If you walk any of these trails, please rate and review them on trailswa.com.au.  You can also download the App here.  Only available for iPhone at the moment but the Android version is in the pipeline.

Hashtag your trail photos #trailswa and we'll share them on Instagram and/or Facebook.  You can also upload a blog and photos to Trailtalk.com.au.  

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