The next stop was to climb Mount Frankland, the mountain is the crowning glory of the southwest forest corner and you can see for many miles from the summit. The climb to the granite capped summit is a good walk, it’s only about 600m from the car park to the top, but it’s also about 200-300m upwards.Although the walk is rated a difficult being 4 out of 5, it’s still reasonably straight forward and so long as you take your time almost anyone will be able to reach the peak.
Start with the easy walk off to the left of the car park, it’s flat and simple leading you to a north facing viewing platform on the edge of a huge granite outcrop, a nice view in preparation for the views you’ll see from the top of the mountain. Then onto the walk up the mountain, you’ll learn to hate steps during this walk, there are lots of them. It starts as a fairly steep bitumen path and pretty quickly turns into concrete steps.
The top of the mountain is an enormous granite cap, lots of interesting mosses and lichens in many places and some plaques providing information about the formations.
These guys were sitting right beside the path, hardly bothered by me walking up the path, eventually they moved off into the bush but I spotted them again on the way back down. Very rough and rugged country for them to be bouncing around in, I was surprised to see such large animals in this mountainous terrain.
I took a lot of photos from the summit but they are all much of a muchness, you can see for miles and miles in all directions, almost all forest with a few small areas of farming here and there in the distance. There’s a small brick building on the summit and a large aerial, I believe that they use this as a fire watch point as it’s the highest peak in hundreds of kilometres.
If you’re feeling keen after this climb, there’s a trail around the summit, circling it for about 1.5km.
It starts with a rickety old wooden walkway that’s actually falling apart in a few places, looking at this picture you may be saying “so what”, but when you look down it’s a bit of a different story.
A long slippery slide down the huge granite cap, but don’t let that put you off, I far preferred this walk around the summit to the walk up the top of the summit. The summit walk is all bitumen paths, concrete step, aluminium ladders and handrails. The trail around the summit is a rambling walk over boulders and through the forest, always with the giant granite peak on one side and often with majestic drop offs into the karri forest on the other side.
I really can’t stress strongly enough how much I loved the walk around the peak compared with the walk up to the summit, the whole way around I kept stopping thinking “wow, look at that” a very impressive walk and scenery, lush moss rocks, ferns, trickles of water running down off the giant peak, and enormous karri trees. Where as the summit walk is just, well, sort of boring in a way.
Anyway, on the way back through Walpole I stopped by the side of the road to give you a rough idea of how big the karri trees are, this one was right beside the road.
Using a Land cruiser for size comparison and Land cruisers aren’t exactly small cars. It’s an absolute joy to be driving on these roads, though you have to be mindful that you don’t get distracted by the views. On the way back home I stopped at Conspicuous Cliffs just out of Walpole, once again another lovely spot, seems hard to find a place that isn’t spectacular down here.
See the small waves way out in the ocean on the photo above? There are some rocks out there in the water making the waves break. Speaking to a local he told me they are about 1.2km off shore, I thought I saw whales out there behind them and he set me straight. Surfers…! Well, you could hardly see the surfers as such, but rather the big jet skis that they use getting out there. If you check out the next picture (at my full zoom) you can just make out the jet skis, you can even see 2 people sitting on one of them. Evidently they travel about 10 kilometers on the jet skis from the boat ramp to get to here, usually with three people per vehicle, one driver and two surfers.