One of Australia's largest National Parks, an UNESCO recognized
Biosphere Reserve with an extremely diverse Flora and Fauna. The park
features mallee-heathland, beautiful bays and beaches, rugged mountain
ranges and rivers. A highlight is Point Ann, where during July to
October the Southern Right Whales come to calve in large numbers and
can easily be observed from viewing platforms. Most attractions can be
reached on 2wd gravel roads.
The park sits astride the incised valleys of four major river
systems, which flow south-east to the coast. Dominating the southern
section is a low range of rugged quartzite hills known collectively as
The Barrens, while the core of the park is an extensive undulating
The flora of the park is exceptionally rich and diverse. Although
the Park is only 0.2 per cent of Western Australia's land surface, over
20 per cent of Western Australia's plant species occur there. Many of
the plant species are endemic to the region, reflecting the tight and
varied plant/soil mosaics. Vegetation varies, from woodland on the
richer soils through to mallee and mallee heath.
There are more recorded species of birds, mammals and frogs than in
any other reserve in south-west Australia. This is partly a reflection
of the park size, but also because of the blending of wet country and
dry country species which occur in the park.
This large park is divided in two recreational areas by a central
‘wilderness core’ that is closed to all traffic to ensure
its protection. Unsealed roads from the north (Quiss Road and Hamersley
Drive) are suitable for two-wheel-drive vehicles and offer scenic views
across the heart of the park.
The southern portion of Hamersley Drive is a sealed road that winds
along a beautiful part of the coast between the park’s eastern
boundary and Hamersley Inlet. This drive will take you to all the main
recreation sites in the south-eastern corner of the park: Four Mile
Beach, Barrens Beach, Barrens Lookout, East Mount Barren, East
Mylies, Mylies Beach, Cave Point and West Beach. Pabelup Drive provides
access to sweeping coastal scenery on the west side of the park and
Point Ann, which is a prime whale watching spot between July and
Enjoy the beauty of the park’s diverse plant life and stunning
vistas on one of the many walks available. On the eastern side of the
park, climb to the summit of East Mount Barren or stroll along inland
trails at Sepulcralis Hill and No Tree Hill.
On the western side of the park delve into the region’s
heritage with a short walk around the Point Ann Heritage Trail or on
the path to St Mary Inlet. Enjoy colourful wildflowers and coastal
scenery along the walks at Mt Maxwell and West Mt Barren.
Campgrounds are located on the western side at St Mary Inlet near
Point Ann and on the eastern side of the park at Hamersley Inlet and
Four Mile Campground. Camp fees apply. Accommodation is also available
at Quaalup, where the renovated and heritage listed Quaalup Homestead
Hamersley Inlet is different from other estuaries in the park
because it lies in a deep winding valley carved through the hard schist
and quartzite rock of the coastal headlands and ranges. As a
consequence it is deeper (around 2 metres) and holds water a lot
longer, creating a favourable environment for wildlife, which flourish
in and on the water.
Hamersley Inlet camping area on the east side of Fitzgerald River
National Park is on Hamersley Inlet Rd off Hamersley Dr, 23 km west of
Hopetoun. With basic facilities in a coastal environment, it is popular
with anglers. Access in dry weather only. Bring drinking water and a
gas/fuel stove. Check with rangers about seasonal closures.
Quoin Head camping area is on Telegraph Track off Hamersley Dr, 45
km west of Hopetoun, on the east side of Fitzgerald River National
Park. It has basic facilities close to the foreshore. The steep access
track is open in dry weather only. Bring drinking water and a gas/fuel
Point Ann is easily the best and most picturesque whale-watching
site on the Fitzgerald coast. Purpose-built whale-watching platforms at
Point Ann are popular from June to the end of October when southern
right whales can be seen cavorting in the bay on most days during the
whale season. The dramatic peaks of the Barrens Range form a
spectacular backdrop to the view over the bay.
During summer, southern right whales prefer the open ocean, away
from the coast, but during early winter and spring the cows come in
close to shore. There, near the surf line in sheltered bays, they give
birth to their young, before returning to deeper waters as summer
approaches. On average, they calve once every three years. Newborn
animals are between four and a half to six metres long and weigh
approximately one and a half tonnes. Other activities include walking
the Point Ann Heritage Trail, beachcombing, swimming and fishing.
Shire Reserve camping area is within Fitzgerald River National Park
on Hamersley Inlet Rd, off Hamersley Dr, 26 km west of Hopetoun. This
secluded area has basic facilities and shady campsites on the
water’s edge, making it a nice spot for swimming and fishing.
Bring drinking water and a gas/fuel stove. No access in wet weather.