Most of the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia was cleared for agriculture between the 1890s and the 1950s, with awkward areas of land like Fitzgerald River NP, Stirling Range NP and many other smaller areas being too difficult to exploit. As a result, the national parks of the region were not planned, but happened because the exploitation was either not easy or not possible.
Flora and fauna
The most botanically important regions in the state with 1,800 known plant species in the park and 62 found only in the park.
Fees and permits
A fee of $11 per car is collected at each entrance gates
The roads are graded gravel easily traversed without a 4WD. Some minor roads to remote areas are 4WD only. Occasionally roads may be closed if they have become flooded after wet weather.
- Whales - The bay at Point Ann is where migrating southern right whales calve around Jun-Oct. A viewing platform up on the point is will give you the best vantage point.
- Barren Range - The dominant feature in the landscape stretches along the coast for the length of the park. The range is not continuous and has three distinct peaks aptly named West, Mid and East Mt Barren. The unflattering name was given by Edward Eyre in 1841 on his near fateful journey from South Australia to Albany where he described it in journal as "wretched arid looking country". The range is composed of granite, gneiss and some volcanic rock forced upwards by the earth movements.
- West Mt Barren - The highest peak on the range at 372 m is reached by a road off Pabellup Dve. A track start at the carpark for a 2-hr return easy hike to the top that allows unrivaled views.
- Mid Mt Barren - Not so easy to get to.
- East Mt Barren - Easy to get to
- Boating - You can launch at the boat ramp at Point Ann.
There are no places to eat in the park, and you will need to bring your own food.
Drinking water is not available anywhere in the park
There are prescribed camp sites in the park. Only Point Ann and Four Mile Beach are accessible with a 2WD The campsites are only large enough to be suitable for tents or very small caravans.
- St Mary’s Inlet. Flat sites sheltered from the wind by the bushes. Gas BBQ and toilet. $9 per adult, per night.
- Hamersley Inlet.
- Fitzgerald Inlet.
- Quoin Head.
While it might be tempting to drop your tent on the beach, camping rough outside of the prescribed camp sites or in parking lots is not permitted.
Fitzgerald River NP has had some very serious bushfires in the last few decades. Make sure you keep your possessions with you, and an easy escape route available if you are there in the bushfire season - take care if you see smoke, and always check any details about fires or other things to do with weather conditions and fire conditions before setting up camp.
- Albany - An ex-whaling port now makes its fortune from taking people to look at them alive.
- Esperance - Arguably some of the best beaches in Australia.
- Stokes National Park - Next park along the coast.
- Hyden - A wave of a different sort.