Last Updated on April 13, 2021 by Travels with Kids
If you are planning to head to the Stirling Ranges you are in big for a big treat. These are a really special place to discover Western Australia’s remoteness. The Stirling Range National Park also encompasses Western Australia’s southwest highest mountains, Bluff Knoll at 1099m, which is most famous when it has snow on it. Nearby Toolbrunup Peak is less well known but clocks in at 1052m (ASL). Here we have provided you with a guide to the Stirling Ranges, and the nearby Bluff Knoll accommodation options for staying nearby.
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Bluff Knoll Accommodation & The Stirling Ranges
Stirling Range National Park
The Stirling Range National Park features the only major mountain range in the southern part of Western Australia. It has peaks that exceed 1000 meters above sea leave. There are magnificent views and some incredible flora. Many of the wildflowers seen in the Stirling Ranges are seen nowhere else in the world!
Within Western Australia, the Stirling Ranges, or more specifically is the highest peak, Bluff Knoll is also famous as it’s one of the few places in Western Australia where snow sometimes falls. As a Western Australian you know that if there is snow on Bluff Knoll, it is COLD.
The Aboriginal name for the Stirling, Koi Kyenunu-ruff, means ‘mist rolling around the mountains’. A frequently seen occurrence, and if you are lucky you will see these unusual cloud formations.
The Stirling Range National Park is famous as being one of Western Australia’s premier – challenging – hiking destinations. We cover them below. However, if you are not physically able, then you should definitely do the Stirling Range drive which goes through the center of the park offering stunning views of the different peaks. While the drive is on gravel (unsealed) roads, they are often graded to be suitable for 2 wheel drive. If you have a hire car check your conditions of hire carefully as often you are not allowed on gravel roads.
Bluff Knoll Hike
Famous throughout Western Australia, the Bluff Knoll hike to 1099m is famous for being quite challenging. However, when you see that it is only 3.1km to the summit you might think that it would be easy. Well, let’s just say – it is not.
It takes between 3- 5 hours to do the round trip hike depending on your fitness, how long you linger at the top, and also weather conditions at the time. This mumma did a snow-seeking hike about 20 years ago. We quite literally stayed at the top for about 1 minute. Needless to say, conditions were very windy and freezing cold, but unfortunately no snow!
If you are thinking of taking your kids hiking up Bluff Knoll, we suggest you read our helpful guide to Hiking With Kids. I hadn’t thought to do the hike up Bluff Knoll with my cherubs until my friend recently successfully went with her 5 and 7-year-olds! I guess you need to know your kids. Can they manage a 3-5 hour walk that features a lot of uphill climbing? Also, if you are traveling with a baby or toddler, make sure you can carry their weight up the hill. This is not an easy hike and again, you don’t want them to be getting fractious!
Our opinion is you should attempt something easier/flatter for about half a day. This would be a better first attempt, rather than doing Bluff Knoll straight away. Or, even consider the hike up the Castle Rock Granite Skywalk which is much easier than Bluff Knoll. It is also one of the best things to do in Mt Barker WA.
If you have older kids, and they are experienced hikers (or at least fit), then you might consider a hike up to the get the amazing views from the summit of Mt Toolbrunup. Mt Toolbrunup is the second-highest peak in the Stirling Range. This is considered harder than Bluff Knoll. As you climb non-stop to the summit as you ascend over 500 vertical meters. Also, the trail is not a series of steps leading all the way up. Instead, you tackle a fun scree field where you have to scramble up piles of rocks that have been deposited on the side of the mountain over the years.
Bluff Knoll Accommodation
Alternatively, there are two caravans park-style Bluff Knoll Camping Options, just outside the park. Look out for Stirling Range Retreat which has swimming pools and a range of amenities, or alternatively the Mt Trio Bush Camping and Caravan Park which has a range of Caravan Style camping facilities.
Bluff Knoll Camping Options
There a range of good quality accommodation Mt Barker WA options that you can read about further down the post. However, if you would like to camp locally, then the Moingup Spring is a basic bush camp amongst the trees, and in a central location in the Stirling Range National park. You need to pay National Park camping fees.
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