An oasis of stunning Karri Forest, wildflowers, fungi and some breathtaking views of Denmark and the Southern Ocean, Mount Hallowell is a hidden gem in the South West that nature lovers will adore.
What Is It?
An impressive granite hill rising up from the ocean, Mount Hallowell is a landmark around Denmark that isn’t entirely obvious as you drive along South Coast Highway. Surprisingly tall thanks to the Karri Forest that hides the views looking up very well, this is a rewarding challenge to hike up with some very cool views from different vantage points.
Where Is It?
Located a five-minute drive from the centre of Denmark, take Ocean Beach Road from South Coast Highway until you reach the intersection of Cotswald Drive. This is the first of two access points to the walk trail with a small gravel car park. The other one closer to Monkey Rock is along Lights Road, about 3km from when you turn off Ocean Beach Road. Look for the bright red Sheila Hill Memorial Track signs at either end. A car swap will be necessary to complete the walk trail unless you plan on turning around and doing it twice.
What to Do?
The only way to get to the summit of Mount Hallowell is via the Sheila Hill Memorial Track, a 5.5km one-way trail that follows the Bibbulmun Track and takes you up and over the peak. Starting out in a mix of Karri and She-Oak forest, the climbing starts at a gentle pace (if you start from the Cotswald Drive end) with plenty to admire all throughout the walk. Moss covered rocks, hidden fungi and wildflowers from late winter through to early summer will keep your eyes busy scanning the undergrowth. There are some gigantic granite boulders up here and the trails takes you past some of the more impressive examples that rise up to 30m in the air.
Emerging from the forest at certain spots, you get some clear views of the Wilson Inlet, Nullaki Peninsula, Southern Ocean and Mount Lindesay from the granite platforms. Heading back into the forest, the climbing continues until you reach the fallen sign alerting you to the side trail that takes you to the summit. More stunning views await you there looking back towards Peaceful Bay and then it’s all downhill to the second car park near Monkey Rock. A favourite with rock climbers, Monkey Rock is a fun spot with similar views to the summit of Mount Hallowell and being closer to the road, a good option if you don’t want to do the full 5.5km up and over trail.
What Not to Do:
Mount Hallowell is a really special spot and like many natural areas of WA, is susceptible to the spread of dieback. This fungal disease has been found in the surrounding areas so please use the two dieback spray/scrub stations located either side of the summit (you can’t miss them) to protect the flora that thrives here.
Denmark is a really cool coastal town with wineries, restaurants, beaches and tourist activities within reach of the centre of town. You could easily spend a couple of weeks here exploring the area and having a great time. For suggestions on what to do check out this guide on the best things to do in Denmark.
About the author:
Mark (The Life of Py) is a Perth based outdoor enthusiast that loves exploring the trails of Western Australia in his free time. When he isn’t out taking photos he is busy planning the next adventure. See more of his content HERE.