Set high above the treetops of the Walpole forest, the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout is every nature enthusiast’s dream.
Article by Aimee Glossop.
Offering uninterrupted views of the expansive Mount Frankland National Park, this easily accessible lookout is guaranteed to leave you feeling on top of the world.
What is the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout?
Mount Frankland itself is an impressive sight, with the granite peak looming over 400m above the forest floor. Atop the mountain, the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout is a viewing platform that offers the perfect vantage point to take in panoramic views of the forest below. The lookout is just a short 600m return walk from the car park, made easy by a metal boardwalk that ensures the trail is friendly for all ages and abilities (including wheelchair users).
The safe and well-maintained path means the lookout is accessible year-round, rain or shine. With the Mount Frankland National Park home to approximately 31,000 hectares of karri, tingle and jarrah forests, the area is the ideal place to become well-acquainted with the unique native plant life of the South West.
For the more seasoned hiker, you may like to tackle either of the two trails to the summit of Mount Frankland while you’re there. While these walks aren’t for the faint-hearted, the breathtaking view from the summit is sure to make up for the steep climb.
Where is the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout?
Walpole, known as one of the South West’s most stunning wilderness areas, is located 435km south-southwest of Perth. While Walpole won’t make your list of day trip destinations, it’s well worth spending a few nights to take in all the area has to offer.
The Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout is nestled within the Mount Frankland National Park, just a 30-minute drive north of the Walpole township. To reach the Wilderness Lookout, simply head to Mount Frankland Road and follow the signs to the car park. There, you’ll be greeted by an information shelter and can follow the signposted boardwalk to the lookout.
What to do at the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout:
Aside from taking in the view, there are plenty of ways to keep yourself entertained at Mount Frankland. In addition to the Wilderness Lookout, there are two official bushwalking trails you can tackle. The Caldyanup Trail is a 1.6km return trail that winds around the base of Mount Frankland, immersing you in the lush native flora of the National Park.
Alternatively, the Summit Trail takes you to new heights with a 1.2km return walk to the peak of the granite dome. While shorter in length, this walk will get your heart rate up with over 300 steep steps and a short ladder climb. Keep a keen eye out for the locals on your climb, as you may be able to spot some unique wildlife and birds.
If hiking isn’t your speed, take things slower with a relaxing picnic or barbecue at the Towerman’s Hut. Built in 1956, the hut is a glimpse into the past when towermen would live in the hut and climb the summit several times a day to watch for signs of fire. Thankfully, today’s facilities are much more modern, with a picnic area and public toilet on offer.
What not to do at the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout:
If you’re planning to visit Mount Frankland, make sure to leave your furry friends at home. Like all national parks in Western Australia, pets are not permitted within Mount Frankland National Park, nor are fires or camping. For those eager to pitch a tent or roast some marshmallows after a day of hiking, head 20km west to the nearest campground at Fernhook Falls.
To make the most out of your escape to the great outdoors, ensure you come properly equipped for your visit. This means making sure you have plenty of water, weather-appropriate clothing, and comfortable enclosed shoes – especially if you’re going to conquer the Summit Trail. Take extra care when hiking on granite surfaces, as these can be slippery during the wet season. As with all visits to our natural spaces, adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles by ensuring you stick to the trails, show respect for natural flora and fauna, and dispose of any waste from your picnic responsibly.
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