Spotlight on Yalgorup National Park
Just south of Mandurah, stretching to north of Myalup lies Yalgorup National Park. The park covers 12,888 hectares and is located next to Forrest Highway. This national park, the largest on the Swan Coastal Plain, offers peaceful settings of forest and woodland as well as sweeping views of its chain of ten lakes and the local beaches.
Of great interest and importance is the rare thrombolite reef at the edge of Lake Clifton. These rock-like accretionary structures, close cousins to stromatolites, are ancient forms of microbial communities. They are formed in shallow water by the trapping, binding and cementation of sedimentary grains by micro-organisms.
The park is also recognised as a wetland of international significance for seasonally migrating water birds, with 130 species identified.
Yalgorup (name derived from two Nyoongar Aboriginal words; yalgor, meaning ‘a swamp or lake’) is highly valued by birdwatchers. Native waterbirds are present in large numbers along with those that migrate annually from the Northern Hemisphere. The latter include waders such as the red knot, which breeds around the Arctic Circle, the bar-tailed godwit, red-necked stint, greenshank, whimbrel and three species of sandpipers.
Other waterbirds include the musk duck, Paciﬁc black duck, banded and black-winged stilts hooded and red-capped plovers and the red-necked avocet. A bird hide has been constructed on the edges of Lake Pollard.
How to get there:
- Yalgorup National Park lies on the western edge of the Swan Coastal Plain just south of the Dawesville Channel, near Mandurah.
- Situated only 80 minutes’ drive south of Perth or 45 minutes north of Bunbury
When should you visit?
Spring and autumn are particularly good times to explore. There are nature walks suitable for most ages and fitness levels at Lake Preston, Lake Clifton, Heathlands, Martins Tank Campground and Lake Pollard. Camping is also available at Martins Tank Campground.