Looking for somewhere to go in the ‘great outdoors’? Do you, a family member or a friend have a disability or other accessibility needs?

In recognition of the International Day of People with Disability we have selected ten parks and trails to help you access nature south of Perth.

If you need to discuss any special requirements, please contact the local Parks and Wildlife Service office or the park directly before you leave home using the contact details provided below. Please also note that mobile reception should not be relied on in our parks and that you may not meet any staff during your visit, so best be prepared.

The Gap and Natural Bridge, Torndirrup National Park

The new lookouts at The Gap and Natural Bridge provide a safe and enjoyable experience of the beautiful and dramatic coast.

Grated floor panels in the state-of-the-art viewing platform at The Gap allow a see-through view of the surging water 40 metres below, delivering a thrilling experience for everyone, including those in a wheelchair. There are designated parking bays and the maximum gradient on the concrete paths is 1:14. Park entry fees apply, with concessions.

Pro tip – Get there early or late in the day to avoid the crowds, giving you a front row view of the ocean.

The Gap and Natural Bridge is on the Getting high in nature drive trail. When in the area, you could also check out views of Salmon Holes and Bluff Knoll and call in at the Two Peoples Bay Visitor Centre.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Albany office on 08 9842 4500.

Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, Walpole-Nornalup National Park

Built over 20 years ago, the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk is a great example of how innovative design can deliver user-friendly and accessible facilities that are environmentally sustainable and is a ‘must-do’ experience.

The 600-metre structure has six 60m long spans with 1:12 gradient. It rises through the spectacular tingle trees taking you into the forest canopy 40m above the ground. There are designated parking bays and sealed paths with gradients up to 1:14. The unisex accessible toilets, shop and education centre are about 50m from the parking area. Complimentary wheelchair and stroller hire is available and admission fees apply, with concessions.

Pro tip – If you are in a wheelchair and have someone with you who can manage the chair on steps, check out The Ancient Empire for a great experience of the forest at ground level.

When in the area, you could also check out Coalmine Beach, Circular Pool and Conspicuous Cliffs lookout. The drive along Coalmine Beach Road and Knoll Drive is spectacular from the car. Coalmine Beach Holiday Park is located nearby. The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk is on the Getting high in nature drive trail.

For more information, contact the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk on 08 9840 8263 or at [email protected]. More information on AccessWA.

Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout, Mount Frankland National Park

Off the beaten track, the vast expanse of Mount Frankland National Park and the Walpole Wilderness Area can be seen from the beautiful Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout. A sealed path from the parking area leads to a lovely shelter, nestled into the forest, which provides cover from the weather and is a great place to spend some time. The lookout is a further 80 metres on a sealed path with no steps. There are unisex accessible toilets close to the parking area.

Pro tip – This site is great for families or groups with a range of access needs as it offers trails from very easy to very hard -something for everyone!

When in the area, you may like to check out the outdoor art collection at Swarbrick, and visit Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk. The lookout is on the Getting high in nature drive trail.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Walpole office on (08) 9840 0400.

Swarbrick, Mount Frankland South National Park

Swarbrick forest is home to some of the oldest karri trees in the State and was a focal point for the campaign to preserve the old growth forest. Take the 500-metre sealed loop trail through a selection of art exhibits to challenge your perception of forest and wilderness. There is a parking area and unisex accessible toilets. The loop path slopes to a maximum gradient of about 1:12 with no steps.

Pro tip – Make sure you allow time to read some of the 30 or more quotes about forests and wilderness from the past 100 years on the beautiful Wilderness Wall of Perceptions.

In the area? Check out the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout and Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Walpole office on (08) 9840 0400. More information on AccessWA.

Cape to Cape Track ‘access for more’, Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park

The Cape to Cape Track is a 125km long coastal walk trail traversing the length of Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park. Tackling the whole trail is an extreme challenge, however a 3.8km section has been designed as a more accessible experience. The sealed walk trail starts at Cape Naturaliste and undulates gently downhill through the coastal landscape to Sugarloaf Rock with a gradient up to 1:12. The trail has about 1km of timber boardwalk with seats along the way and no steps. There are designated parking bays and unisex accessible toilets at both ends of the trail. Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse has a small shop and tours of the lighthouse.

Pro tip – Look out for wildflowers, dolphins and whales from the many vantage points along the trail.

When in the area, check out Canal Rocks, Hamelin Bay, Cape Leeuwin and the lovely drive through the Boranup forest on Caves Road south of Redgate..

For more information, contact the Parks and Wildlife Service’s Busselton office on (08) 9752 5555. Information on AccessWA for Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse and Sugarloaf Rock.

Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park

Bluff Knoll is the highest peak in Stirling Range National Park and on a clear day there are outstanding 360-degree panoramas of the surrounding landscape from the parking area including great views of Bluff Knoll and the Stirling Ranges. The site provides designated parking bays, unisex accessible toilets and a shelter. Park entry fees apply, with concessions. Accessible paths and grated walkways with seats provide access around the parking area.

Pro tip – Bring a guide to help you identify the plants growing near the paths. With 1500 species in the park, many of which grow nowhere else, this is a special place for botanists and plant lovers.

When in the area, check out The Gap and Natural Bridge and Two Peoples Bay Visitor Centre.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Albany office on (08) 9842 4500. Information on AccessWA.

Lucky Bay, Cape le Grand National Park

Voted as one of the best beaches in the world, Lucky Bay is a must-see and a great place to enjoy water-based activities. Visitors to this iconic beach with its white sand, sheltered bay and turquoise water can now enjoy a new parking area with designated bays, unisex accessible toilets and picnic shelters. It is possible to drive on the beach in the right conditions, but be aware that it can look innocent but it is notoriously treacherous. Ask the ranger about surface conditions and tides. Park entry fees apply, with concessions.

Pro tip – Look out for the local kangaroos that regularly come down to the beach.

When in the area, check out the view from Frenchman Peak and Thistle Cove parking areas.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Esperance office on (08) 9083 2100.

Fitzgerald River National Park

This large park is one of the most botanically significant national parks in Australia. The central core of Fitzgerald River National Park is designated as ‘wilderness’ and closed to vehicles for its protection. Each end of the park however provides plentiful opportunities to experience the remote and vast coastal landscape. The south-eastern end of the park is accessed through Hopetoun, providing a stunning sealed drive past accessible recreation sites of Four Mile Beach, Barrens Beach, Barrens Lookout, East Mount Barren and West Beach culminating at Hamersley Inlet. Cave Point has an amazing new lookout accessible by a sloping sealed path. Leaving Bremer Bay, drive along the gravel Pabellup Drive at the south-western end of the park to Point Ann. All these sites were redeveloped in the past few years providing designated parking, unisex accessible toilets and sealed paths to lookouts and picnic areas. Park entry fees apply, with concessions.

Pro tip – In winter, look out for southern right whales close to shore with their newborn calves.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Albany office on (08) 9842 4500.

Barna Mia Nocturnal Wildlife Experience, Dryandra Woodland

Who wouldn’t love to see our native marsupials coming back from the brink of extinction? Barna Mia is an animal sanctuary with a difference, where you can see native animals such as bilby, woylie, quenda and boodie in a natural landscape using specially placed lights. The site has parking, gravel paths throughout the site, an accessible centre and toilets. Tours operate several times per week beginning after sunset. There is a tour fee, with concessions.

Pro tip – Keep an eye out for the gentle bilby with soft, blue-grey fur, long ears and black and white tail. Surely our version of the Easter bunny!

When in the area, drive the wonderful Darwinia Drive Trail and check out the new Gnaala Mia campground.

For more information, contact Parks and Wildlife Service’s Narrogin office on (08) 9881 9200.

Trails

Western Australia is blessed with many trails to explore and experience our wonderful natural areas. Depending on your preferred mode of movement, there are many ways you can travel these trails, be it in a car, on a walk trail, by bicycle, horse, paddling or snorkelling.

Here some ideas down south –

  • Crooked Brook Forest Path, near Dardanup is a hidden jewel, featuring interpretive signs about flora and fauna on a 600m loop trail.
  • Big Brook Dam, near Pemberton, is on the Karri Forest Explorer and provides a 4km sealed trail following the shores of the dam. There are accessible fishing platforms along the way. Information on AccessWA.
  • Pupalong Loop Trail at Point D’Entrecastreaux, south of Northcliffe in D’Entrecasteaux National Park, is a 400m loop trail showcasing the spectacular cliffs of this rugged coastline with interpretive information about how important country is to the Noongar custodians of the South West. Park entry fees apply, with concessions. Information on AccessWA.
  • Beedalup Falls lookout, in Greater Beedelup National Park near Pemberton, is accessible on a 300m walk trail overlooking the Beedalup Brook. Park entry fees apply, with concessions. Information on AccessWA.
  • Karri Forest Explorer drive trail winds through some of the south west’s most magnificent karri forest around Pemberton. You can explore the forest at your own pace and stop at many places along the way. Big Brook Dam, Beedalup Falls and Cascades have accessible facilities. Park entry fees apply, with concessions.
  • Heartbreak Drive Trail in Warren National Park is a one-way gravel road that loops 12km through the Warren River valley in beautiful karri forest. It is very steep in places and can become slippery when wet and not suitable for buses or caravans. Park entry fees apply, with concessions.
  • Darwinia Drive Trail takes you into the heart of the Dryandra woodlands near Narrogin. This 23km drive has 5 interpretive stops. Take a picnic lunch and search for orchids as you go.

Extra notes

You will find some helpful tips on planning your activity including park closures on this website.

Park entry fees apply, with concessions, at some of these sites and funds go directly to conservation programs and developing and managing facilities. If you plan to visit a number of parks or over an extended period, park passes offer value for money and convenience. The Annual All Parks Pass and Goldstar Pass are also available at a concession rate. Contact us to see if there is an Annual Local Park Pass available for your area. You can purchase these from our online shop, at Parks and Wildlife offices and selected retail outlets.

Organised outings for groups with disability, aged and infirm groups accompanied by carers may be eligible for an entry fee waiver. Contact us if you would like to apply for a fee waiver.

For many years now, Western Australian national parks and attractions have been designed with you in mind. You may not know, but most of our major attractions are suitable for people with a range of accessibility requirements.

Parks and Wildlife design all new recreation sites and renovate existing sites to provide access for people with disability wherever possible. We plan and manage for a range of experiences and access levels from highly developed and accessible, to remote areas with minimal visitor facilities and access modifications.

Our designers and land managers weigh up the level of accessibility against protection of the area and provide as much accessibility as possible without compromising the experience of the place or its natural or cultural values.

We hope you enjoy your experience in nature. 

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05 January 2016

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