Castle Rock Granite Skywalk
Imagine walking 2.2 kilometers up a steep and difficult track. Near the top of the grade 5 track the trees begin to slowly fade away and are replaced by massive granite rock formations. Then if you find the track through a small rock scramble you will stumble upon one of the most spectacular engineering feats in Australia’s South West. Here in the middle of nowhere at the top of a steep track is a suspended walkway that takes you out along the edge of the huge granite outcrop called Castle Rock.
Just a short 45 minutes’ drive north of Albany or a 4 and half hour drive from Perth you can reach these granite giants in the Porongurup National Park. This stunning skywalk attracts over 95,000 visitors each year and it is easy to understand why. Over 1,100 million years old the striking granite outcrop of Castle Rock is now accessible and you can explore the 670 meter peak and take in the stunning views from the suspended skywalk.
You begin your adventure from the car park down below and ascend slowly up the 2.2 kilometer trail. Along the way you will pass by a wonderful array of jarrah, marri, karri trees. You may also spot an interesting assortment of other flora and fauna along the trail as the area is considered a biodiversity hotspot with over 78 species of birds and 700 flowering plants.
The incline up can be quite strenuous so don’t be surprised if you find yourself puffed after a short while. But push through the burn because the views waiting for you at the top are well worth the effort. The trail is quite basic, wide and easy to navigate most of the way up.
As you begin to near the top you will pass by the Balancing Rock which is a stunning 6 meter high granite boulder that is balancing delicately on a tiny base. A picture standing under the boulder or seemingly pushing it up the rock is quite mandatory at this point. Next up is the main attraction. To get to the Granite Skywalk you will need to complete a short scramble above and below the granite rock formations and finish off the adventure with a 6 meter upright ladder climb to the top, hence the grade 5 walking trail.
For those who are not keen on rock scrambles and ladder climbs you can alternatively catch some nice views from the Karri Lookout. From here you can view the farmlands below as well as look up at the stunning Granite Skywalk. However those who are keen, able and willing to make it over the rock scramble and ladder climb are in for a real treat.
The Skywalk is constructed out of stainless steel and is bolted directly into the granite boulder. To even consider the engineering and logistical plans that must have gone into this amazing structure is enough to make your head reel. The skywalk combined with the vertical ladder climb as well as some steel grab handles to assist with rock scrambles make this hike perfect for those who love a bit of adventure and adrenaline.
This is truly one of the most unique experiences in the South West of Australia. Although it can be a tough hike the rewarding views at the top make it well worth the effort. Visitors flow here from far and wide each year so they can work up a sweat as they scramble up to the rewarding peak of the granite giant. So the next time you are in the area be sure to add the Granite Skywalk on the list of must see attractions. We promise you will not be disappointed.