Feature National Park: Torndirrup National Park

Torndirrup National Park is definitely one of the most impressive and diverse national parks along the Great Southern Ocean. From towering granite cliffs to white sandy beaches, amazing views and wonderful walks, Torndirrup National Park is a ‘Must See’ while visiting the Albany area in Western Australia.

Torndirrup National Park is home to the famous ‘Natural Bridge’ and ‘The Gap’ rock formations as well as ‘The Blowholes’, which have formed over thousands of years.

The peninsula is known also for its flora, fauna and ocean life. Whale watching is popular between June and October from the lookouts along the peninsula. As the whales’ frolic in the sheltered bays to calve and mate, sometimes binoculars are not even necessary as whales can be seen from prime viewing spots around Albany’s coastline including the Albany Wind Farm Lookout, Frenchman Bay and Salmon Holes. Dolphins and seals are also regularly spotted in Albany’s sheltered waters. Incredible wildflowers can be viewed throughout the national park between October and January.

The Torndirrup Peninsula is known as Torgadirrup to the local Aboriginal community. The park covers almost four thousand hectares and the rocks along this coastline are very old, many of which were formed up to 1800 million years ago. The area is dominated by granite outcroppings, which have been slowly worn away by the Great Southern Ocean since it broke away from Antarctica when Australia was part of the supercontinent Gondwana.

Lookouts at both the Gap and Natural Bridge provide outstanding views of the Southern Ocean and the coast from Bald Head to West Cape Howe.

Visitors to the Gap can venture onto a new State-of-the-Art accessible viewing platform cantilevered 40 metres directly above the surging seas. From the gentle and mesmerising heaving of calm seas to the buffeting rush of wind and spray of winter storms the experience changes from day to day and can be viewed from the platform in all but extreme weather conditions. Visitors must stay on the designated paths and not venture out on the rocks, as they may be slippery and dangerous.

The shape and form of the viewing structures have been designed to complement the natural features of the site. Five cantilevered beams that follow the natural shape of the rock surface and extend over 10 metres from their last contact point support the lookout platform at the Gap. It is an exhilarating experience to stand on the platform above the sea.