Guide to Albany – Exploring Torndirrup National Park

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When visiting Albany, one of the beautiful cities in Western Australia’s Rainbow Coast, there’s a few things you must do. One of those is a visit to Torndirrup National Park.

Located about 20 minutes outside of the main Albany centre, this park has something to suit everyone’s needs. If you love nature and adventure this is a must visit.

Personally I’m not the biggest fan of the Albany town centre, it’s known to be a little dodgy and at night there can be some undesirable characters around. But don’t let that put you off visiting. Just be aware and do what my friends and I do. We either camp or book accommodation outside of the main part of Albany.

** If you’re ever looking for somewhere to stay check out my post on where we stayed on our most recent trip.**

And we spend our days exploring the beautiful surroundings. This includes lots of national parks.

And Torndirrup National Park is one of the best in the area.

This park is a haven for nature lovers and has something to suit everyone. If you love beaches, these are some of the best. If you love rugged coastlines and cliffs, you’ve got it. Walking trails, rock formations, epic views, different plants and animal species… this park has it all.

The rocks on this coastline were actually once connected to Antarctica when Australia was part of the supercontinent Gondawana. It’s an amazing place to really see what nature is capable of with some of the rocks here being over 1800 million years old.

If you’re going to visit be sure to allow a full day to take everything in. Like most national parks in Australia, it costs $13 for a car to enter and the price is the same whether you stay an hour or 10. So you may as well make the most of it and stay as long as you can.

If you’re planning to stay for the day be sure to go in with supplies. It’s a national park so don’t expect to find fast food outlets or even little food stalls around. The area is fully natural and protected so don’t ruin your day by going in unprepared.

Now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s get to the good bit. What can you actually expect to see inside Torndirrup National Park?

The Gap

An impressive rugged granite channel carved by the waves of the Great Southern Ocean crashing against the granite coastline forming a spectacular sheer drop of almost 25 metres. You can stand right above the gap and watch the waves crashing like a swirling washing machine. And admire just how blue the water is. It can get very windy so be careful holding phones and cameras over the edge.

Natural Bridge

Walk a few metres along the dedicated path and you’ll find yourself at the Natural Bridge. Another rock formation caused by the gradual wearing away of the granite rock by the Great Southern Ocean. This ‘bridge’ is a reminder of how powerful the ocean is, and when you’re here you’ll understand just how rough the sea can be. I remember visiting this park as kids and being able to actually walk out onto the bridge, which didn’t sit too well with my mum haha. Thankfully it’s all blocked off now, so you can look but not touch. Enjoy the views but listen to the warnings and stay on the paths. You don’t want to ruin your trip by having someone fall into the treacherous waters below.

The Blowholes

The Blowholes are exactly what the name suggests. Large holes in the granite rock which go all the way down to sea level. When the tide is rough enough the waves cause the holes to blow air and water up the channel and out the top creating a burst of spray and a loud whooshing sound. Sadly the two most recent times we’ve been, we didn’t see them blowing. But I do remember it as a child and it was very impressive. Whilst it’s not ideal to go to Albany in cooler months, it seems if you want to see the Blowholes in full action this might be when you have to go. To get to the Blowholes it’s a short drive on from where the Gap and Natural Bridge are. But be prepared for a little walk as the carpark is set quite a bit away from the actual spot. Even if the Blowholes aren’t in full force, the views along the walk are spectacular so it’s still worth checking out.

Stony Hill

As the name suggests, this is a hill formed from the large granite stones that are very prominent in this area. Drive a little further down the road and you will find it. There’s a gorgeous little walking trail (not strenuous at all) around the rock formations. From the top you can see breathtaking views of Albany and the surrounding oceans. If you enjoy 360 views and climbing on big boulders then this is definitely the spot for you.

Salmon Holes

As the name would suggest, this is a section of beach that becomes home to many salmon when they’re in season. So it’s a great place to come if you like a spot of fishing. But aside from that, it’s actually a really beautiful stretch of beach with turquoise water and white sand. From the staircase above you get incredible views of the stunning water surrounded by cliffs to form a small cove.

Misery Beach

Ok, we’ve definitely saved the best til last. And contrary to what the name suggests, this is actually one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. I have a feeling it was given this name to stop so many people from wanting to go there. We almost didn’t go for that reason haha. But thankfully we decided to check it out, the road to this beach isn’t sealed like the rest but a normal car should still be fine to drive along the gravel. If you love the beach then you are definitely going to want to pack a picnic lunch and come stocked up with supplies so you can sit here and enjoy the beauty for as long as possible. The water is so blue, and so clear. When you’re swimming you can pretty much see everything around you. It’s also a great spot for snorkelling and spear fishing.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about exploring Torndirrup National Park. Now I have only mentioned my favourite aspects of this park, there’s still plenty more to do so you could even spend a few days exploring if you wanted to. Everything is well signed and easy to find. If you just follow the road you’ll find lots of great spots to stop. For more information on getting around the park, check out this dedicated site.

As usual, if you like what you’ve read feel free to like, comment, or share this post with friends.

I love sharing the beauty of Western Australia and would love for many more people to come and experience all that this incredible coast has to offer.

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