4 x 4 Australia
5HIGHS OF THE GREAT SOUTHWEST
01 FITZGERALD BIOSPHERE COAST
Taking in the towns of Hopetoun, Ravensthorpe, Munglinup and Fitzgerald River National Park, this section of the WA coastline has a wealth of natural beauty including 2500 wildflower species, ancient mountain ranges, rocky hills, rugged river valleys, estuaries and large inlets, and beautiful remote beaches. Wildflowers can be found year round and are most abundant in spring.
Go four-wheel driving or trail-bike riding through the famous Ravensthorpe Ranges that surround the namesake town, the tracks around Hopetoun’s Starvation Bay, the sand dunes at Fitzgerald NP’S Hamersley Beach, and beach runs at Duke of Orleans Bay, Cape Arid NP and Israelite Bay.
03 FITZGERALD RIVER NATIONAL PARK
Regarded as one of the most botanically significant national parks in Australia, Fitzgerald River contains almost 20 per cent of WA’S floral species, many of which occur only within its boundaries. The park features a variety of landscapes from rolling plains, rugged peaks and headlands, to stunning bays and inlets. During winter, southern right whales shelter close to shore with their newborn calves.
04 CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK
A beautiful and biodiverse area featuring coastal sand heaths, mallee and low granite hills extending inland to Mt Ragged and on to woodlands dominated by saltbush and bluebush. A near-pristine wilderness, it’s an important conservation area for 1100 plant species and more than 160 bird species. Migrating whales pass close to the headlands in late winter and spring.
05 TELEGRAPH STATION
Take Cape Arid NP’S Telegraph Track from Esperance to Israelite Bay, where you’ll find the ruins of the National Trust-classified Post Office and Telegraph Station, some graves, an old cottage and a fishing shack. The telegraph station was part of the Intercolonial Telegraph Line (South Australia to Western Australia). Originally built with wood in 1876, the station at Israelite Bay was replaced with a stone structure in 1896.