Slender Banksia, Banksia attenuata. West Mount Barren, Fitzgerald River National Park Credit: Gerhard Saueracker

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FITZGERALD RIVER NATIONAL PARK

The Fitzgerald River National Park was heritage listed in June 2017 and obtained international significance as UNESCO approved the park to become a Biosphere Reserve so this will ensure it is managed and cared for in a sustainable manner and with the help of the community as a whole. With its spectacular scenery and rugged diversity the park is a must to explore. The Fitzgerald River National Park has approximately 20% of WA’s plant species, 22 mammals, 41 reptiles and over 200 bird species it is home to more animal species than any other nature reserve in the South West making the Fitzgerald River National Park perfect for nature lovers and explorers alike.

Bremer Bay is the gateway to the South West area of the Fitzgerald River National Park, and a visit to Point Ann is often part of a holiday at Bremer Bay. Whales are the attraction between May and October; there are always wildflowers and some spectacular views.

Displays of the endemic Royal Hakea, (Hakea Victoria), Quaalup Bells and Pimelea physodes can be seen at the edge of the road.  The Hakea is prominent all year, but Quaalup Bells flower as early as June, and may be hard to find after October. The visit is usually via Swamp, Murray and Devil’s Creek Roads, bringing you into the park close to Mount Maxwell.

The first 5km in the park is sealed, but beyond the entrance gate and pay-station the road is gravel, and likely to be closed if there has been 10mm rain or more. Road closure signs are on the roads and there are bulletins from the Rangers at the shops, caravan parks and the VC. No caravans are permitted into the  western side of the National Park except when travelling to Quaalup Homestead Wilderness Retreat.

Within the park, the gravel roads are well maintained, but tend to develop corrugations due to summer traffic. Careful driving is advisable, especially for people unfamiliar with gravel roads.  Mobile reception is intermittent!

Point Ann facilities have been upgraded recently, and it is now the starting point to the Mamang walking track. However vehicles can no longer access the lower BBQ area without assistance from the Ranger. Please be aware that he may be away performing his ranger duties and not available to help you. There are steps from the car park but these might be difficult for a visitor with toddlers and a picnic basket! Wheel chair access is theoretically possible, but take a very fit friend with you! Really good access to the new toilet at the top of the track.

We hope that these hints will help you to experience a trouble-free visit to this fantastic corner of The Fitzgerald River National Park where you can enjoy the environment of an internationally recognised biological “Hot Spot”, go fishing, camping, or just relax on the beach.

– Anne Gadsby

WHALE WATCHING

From July to November each year Southern Right whales can be seen calving in the calm waters of the many sheltered bays around the area. Whales can be sighted from most of the coastline but especially from Bremer Beach, Point Ann and Doubtful Islands. Point Ann provides a whale watching platform and views of Mt Maxwell & West Mt Barren.

BUSH WALKING

Bush walks and beach walks offer scenic vistas of the natural beauty of the park. Please use the boot scrubbers provided at the trailhead boot cleaning stations and stay to the designated walk trails and footpaths.

Make sure you carry ample drinking water. Be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather. Bush walking is not recommended in hot or other extreme weather conditions. There are a number of bush walks within the national park to explore.

West Mount Barren – allow 1-2 hrs

Point Ann Heritage Trail – allow 1 hr

Mamang Walk Trail – 31 km return trip

NO PETS

Pets are not permitted in the park.

Please leave your dogs, cats and other domestic animals at home as there are many endemic birds and animals which are vulnerable to predation. 

Foxes and feral cats are predators to native animals, so the park is baited with 1080 poison to control the numbers of the introduced predators. Native animals are naturally resistant to 1080, but the baits will kill your pets. These are not laid near areas accessed by visitors, however ravens are known to carry them around.

Fitzgerald River National Park brochures are available at the Bremer Bay Community Resource Centre or at the gates of the National Park. If the weather is inclement check with the Resource Centre or the Park Ranger for road condition updates as often after or before a rain event the roads within the park are closed to all traffic with the exception of the access to Quaalup Homestead.