A Guide to Bluff Knoll
Now I am sure those of you who have been to or live in Western Australia can all agree that it is an amazing place with so much to offer. From white sandy beaches, world class surfing, to deserts and coral reefs all waiting to be explored. But what you may not have known is that the great state of WA also has a tall mountain peak just a few hours drive south of Perth where if you are lucky you can even see snow on the right day in winter.
Bluff Knoll is ranked as the second highest peak in WA and the highest peak in the South West. Looming over the horizon at about 1095 meters above sea level this summit is a true sight to behold. Although it is only a 3km hike to the top don’t be fooled. This 6km return hike has a 20% gradient, and although it is manageable for anyone with an average fitness level it will most definitely have even the most fit member of your group feeling the burn as they ascend up the mountainside.
As you make your way to the carpark to start your climb be sure to stop in at the visitor center to pay the entry fee and log your name in the rangers book before starting your hike. Once at the car park make sure you pack all the essentials for the 3-4 return hike. Good hiking shoes and a rain jacket or windbreaker are always a good idea for this hike. Although it may seem like moderate weather at the car park it often changes to cold, cloudy and damp weather as you make your way towards the top. Besides that, all the normal hiking essentials such as food and water are also a good idea.
Lucky for us the trail has been recently modified to make it more accessible to the general public. This project was a huge undertaking that had to be done after the bush fires in 2019 destroyed a lot of the national park and the trail for Bluff Knoll. However thanks to the hard work of the park staff you can now enjoy a more comfortable and safe climb to one of the highest peaks in Western Australia.
This peak also has a bit of history that is quite interesting to note. It is referred to as Pualaar Miial (great many-faced hill) by the Noongar people. They believe that it is home to spirits that travel in the mist that wraps itself around the peak of the mountain on an almost daily basis. As you near the peak you will most likely see the mist rolling over the hills being carried away by the strong winds that frequent the area.
After successfully reaching the summit and taking in the stunning 360 degree views and safely returning back to the carpark there are a few more activities in the area if you are still keen for some more adventure. The Stirling Range National Park offers a variety of hikes and summits similar to Bluff Knoll so if you are up for more they are definitely worth a visit. If it is rest and relaxation you are after then consider heading to one of the restaurants or wineries that are peppered throughout the area.
Given the lack of tall mountain ranges in the state of WA, as well as the lack of snow, this summit is not only a novelty for WA residents and visiting tourists but it is also a rite of passage for many Western Australians. Once you climb to the summit and experience the stunning views of the valley below you will see why.