#ourwapark of the week: Fitzgerald River National Park

Photo: Fitzgerald Coast

Fitzgerald River National Park covers an area of 297,244ha on the central south coast of Western Australia, between the towns of Bremer Bay and Hopetoun, 420km south-east of Perth.

The pristine wilderness of Fitzgerald River National Park is perfect for anyone with a love of nature and a thirst for adventure. Here you can go bushwalking, camping, canoeing, fishing and whale watching.

Fitzgerald River National Park is made up of coastal hills collectively known as the Barrens, as well as interesting spongelite cliffs. These cliffs are made of soft rock formed millions of years ago and featuring the fossils of sea sponges. From cliffs of Point Ann you can see southern right and humpback whales migrating along the coast in winter.

How to get there:

  • Fitzgerald River National Park is about a five and a half hour drive from Perth along Albany Highway, or a two-hour drive north east of Albany.
  • Much of the rugged scenery and pristine coastline is accessible via 2WD.

What you may not know about the park:

  • Fitzgerald River National Park has many excellent fishing beaches.
  • The park is one of the most flora and fauna rich conservation areas in Western Australia, recognized globally for the natural diversity.
  • So far, 1883 plant species have been identified, 75 of which are found nowhere else.
  • The park also has more than 200 bird species including rare species such as the western ground parrot, the western bristle bird and the western whipbird.
  • In recognition of the importance of protecting and conserving the region’s unique flora and fauna, the central area of the park is a wilderness management zone, and is not accessible by vehicles.
  • Wildflowers in the park are a year-round feature of the park’s exceptionally diverse floral landscape, but are truly spectacular and abundant in the spring months, September – November. In spring, the landscape is dotted with colourful wildflowers including banksias, hakeas, bottlebrush, feather flowers, Quaalup bell and many others.
  • Dieback threatens many of the park’s plant species. It is therefore sometimes necessary to close roads and tracks. Bush walkers can help by cleaning mud and soil from their boots before entering a park or reserve, or at the boot-cleaning stations provided at trailhead sites in the park.
  • A series of podcasts about the Fitzgerald River National Park and the different walks can be downloaded prior to visiting the park from the Parks and Wildlife Services website.