Key Species : Long-billed Black-Cockatoo, Purple-crowned Lorikeet, Western Rosella, Red-capped Parrot, Elegant Parrot, Rufous Treecreeper, Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin, Red-eared Firetail. Mammals : Western Grey Kangaroo.
The Porongorup National Park is located approximately 40km mid way between Albany and the Stirling Range, and between Albany Highway at Mount Barker and Chester Pass Road. The best access is along the Mount Barker Porongorup Road. I usually visit the area when staying in Albany or in the Stirling Range but good accommodation is available close by.
The Porongorup Range is spectacular with a number of challenging walks. It is dominated by karri forest. Karri forest is a very good habitat to find many of the south west endemic species including Long-billed Black-Cockatoo, Western Rosella, Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin and Red-eared Firetail. If you visit the south west, then you must visit at least one area of karri forest to experience the habitat and the tall trees. The best areas of karri are at the Porongorups, Manjimup and Pemberton, plus Boranup State Forest just north of Augusta.
Look out for the CALM brochure Stirling Range and Porongorup National Parks available at many of the fee paying stations and information centres.
I haven't explored the Porongorup National Park extensively. The following sites have been good birding when I have passed through. Any time of the year is usually good except for very hot or very windy days.
1. Bolganup Road / Tree In The Rock
Just east of the Porongorup village, turn south and follow Bolganup Road for 3km to the car park. There is a CALM fee paying station on the way. Look around the car park for Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin and Red-eared Firetail. The start of the walk to the Tree In The Rock near the toilets is a good place to find Red-eared Firetail.
From the car park, walk along the wide Wansborough Walk for 100 metres or so until you get to a small trail on the right. This trail leads for 500 metres or so in a loop back to the car park. Take the side track on the left along the trail. Look for Red-winged Fairy-wren, White-breasted Robin and Red-eared Firetail. Western Rosella is also fairly common, and Western Thornbill is a chance near the end of the trail. Allow 30 minutes to walk around the loop slowly.
2. Wansborough Walk etc
There are a variety of other walks leading from the car park at the end of Bolganup Road. The walk to the Tree In The Rock is very short. there are longer walks to Hayward Peak, Nancy Peak, Morgans View, Devil's Slide and Marmabup Rock that take 3 to 4 hours. They lead to spectacular scenery, rocks and different wildflowers that grow in the higher altitudes. You probably won't see many birds that are different to the car park, but there are some reptiles that inhabit the rocks and higher altitudes.
3. Castle Rock
From Porongorup, head east for 5km along the Mt Barker Porongorup Road. Just past Spring Road on the left (north) turn right (south) on Castle Rock Road and follow it for 800 metres to the car park. Look around the car park for birds including the Rufous Treecreeper that sometimes hops around your car and the tables. The walk to Castle Rock takes 2 to 3 hours.
4. Mt Barker Porongorup Road
The Mt Barker Porongorup Road connects Mt Barker at the western end to the Chester Pass Road at the eastern end. It is worth driving along at a moderate pace to look for birds such as Long-billed Black-Cockatoo, Elegant Parrot, etc and at night time for Southern Boobook and Tawny Frogmouth.
CALM Porongorup National Park Office, Bolganup Road, Porongorup 6324 (08 9853 1095)
Porongorup Chalets, Bolganup and Porongorup Roads, Porongorup 6324 (08 9853 1034)
Porongorup Range Tourist Park, Porongorup Road, Porongorup 6324 (08 9853 1057)
|© Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2003||Visits||Last Modified 11th September 2003|