- The iconic Bluff Knoll is well known, but less people know about what the other mountains in the Stirling Range has to offer and what else you can do in the area
- A new website that can be downloaded to an app on your phone shows interactive walking and driving maps linked to GPS points, photos, travel and accommodation
- Also pinpoints where you are on the trail and has a range of graded trails from gentle walks through to advanced hikes
337 kilometres south-east of Perth lies one of the richest biogeographic areas on the planet.
Those that do venture to the Stirling Range national park region of Western Australia may have popped up Bluff Knoll in a day, for that irresistible mist-rolling mountainous Instagram view, but there’s much more to the area.
And now, thanks to the resourcefulness of some locals, there’s an app that allows you to explore this wonderful region, and make the most of your visit.
We’re talking about more than 1,000 square kilometres of pristine, rugged peaks, gullies, views and wildflowers, formed by millions of years of weathering and erosion.
A hiker’s dream, with so many mountains to climb, wildflowers to see and scenic drives to take, and the beginnings of bike trails.
Welcome to the Stirling Range, beyond the south-west. One of the few places in the state where snow can fall.
Eighteen months ago, bush fires tore through the park. After the devastation, a local tourist group won a grant to build an app to promote the Stirling Range and lead an economic revival.
With border closures, the area has seen a resurgence of visitors, with the newly launched app guiding them to the best stays, walks and scenery.
“There’s always been a lack of information about what to do down here, apart from climbing Bluff Knoll,” said Margot Byrne, owner of the Mt Trio Bush Camp and Caravan Park.
“The app lets people know about our seven mountains – all fantastic mountains to climb – as well as three drives.
“You don’t need to be a hiker to go on a trail. The app has all the different grades, so anyone can find the level they want.”
The Stirling Range Trails App
Simply Google ‘Stirling Range Trails’ and it will take you to the Stirling Range Trails app page where you can download it. (Or follow the link here.)
Key features of the new app include interactive walking and driving maps linked to GPS points, photos and travel and accommodation information to make a trip to the region easy and safer.
Beyond Bluff Knoll, the App also provides walk trails for Mt Trio, Mt Hassell, Mt Talyuberlup, Mt Toolbrunup and Mt Magog.
The app also shows you where the best wildflower tours are, where you can pick up fuel, accommodation and supplies. It’s a handbook to the region, and works well offline (meaning you don’t need WiFi or amazing internet coverage to run it.)
“People have been downloading it and using it during the recent school holidays,” said Mrs Byrne, “It’s easy to navigate, concise and to the point.”
“Long weekends used to be the only times Perth people visited,” she said. “But now they’re coming during normal weekends and staying longer. Younger people – in their 20s and 30s – are coming for the night, to climb the mountains.”
Previously, these same people may have zipped off to Bali, South-East Asia or over east. With borders closed, they are looking for new and exciting local experiences, and climbing mountains, bushwalking and camping fits the bill.
As well as wonderful wildflowers, there’s the famous Tawny Frogmouth owl – which is incredible to look at – along with Boobook Owl, Wedge-tailed Eagles, Honey Possum, Brush-tailed Wallabies and the Yellow-rumped Thornbills, emus and kangaroos.
“We’re seeing lots of first-time campers, people of all demographics really”, said Ms Byrne.
“We’ve got a small local population of around 3,500. But we can accommodate many people, and have plenty of pristine space,” she said.
“Families are loving it. It gets the whole family and kids out in the great outdoors. And they love their devices, so they can use the app to find out what to do.”
The area has also had an amazing recovery since those bushfires of 2019/20, regenerating the area with flowers not seen in decades.
Download the ‘Stirling Range Trails’ app from Apple or Android stores, and discover an area of Australia you did not know existed. And perhaps, go climb a mountain or two.
With WA borders closed for a good while yet, this could be the new place for locals to visit over the summer.
DOWNLOAD the APP: https://www.stirlingrangetrails.com.au/download-app
iPhone users: go to stirlingrangetrails.com.au > Tap the download icon > and select ‘Add to Home Screen’.
Android users: open stirlingrangetrails.com.au > Follow the prompts to install,
OR tap the three-dotted menu in the top right corner > and select ‘Install App”.
All images – Cam Bostock
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