Overview: At Torndirrup National Park, the Southern Ocean has sculpted a Natural Bridge in the coastal granites and formed The Gap, where the... more »
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At Torndirrup National Park, the Southern Ocean has sculpted a Natural Bridge in the coastal granites and formed The Gap, where the... more » waves rush in and out with tremendous ferocity. The Blowholes, a crackline in the granite, 'blows' air and occasionally spray. The noise is quite impressive. Windswept coastal heaths give way to massive granite outcrops, sheer cliffs and steep sandy slopes and dunes.
The area was one of the first in the State to be gazetted as a national park, in 1918. Torndirrup was the name of the Aboriginal clan which lived on the peninsula and to the west of what is now Albany.
TAKE CARE ON THE COAST
The Torndirrup coastline has a notorious record for accidents and deaths due to people slipping or being washed into the ocean by unexpected freak waves, gusting winds or extra large swells. Please exercise extreme caution and don't risk being the next victim. If you are going fishing you are advised to wear a Personal Flotation Device or life vest. Rock fishing is extremely dangerous on this coastline and is not recommended. less «
Torndirrup National Park lies 10km south of Albany (15 minutes drive) around Princess Royal Harbour. There is well signposted road... more » access via Frenchman Bay Road. Sealed roads lead to all major features.
Walking, sightseeing, photography, fishing, rock climbing. are the most popular activities. Whales are frequently seen from the cliffs, particularly during winter. A nearby whaling museum at the old whaling station makes a fascinating visit.
There are a number of stunning lookouts and walktrails in the park. There are barbecues, tables, a shop, toilets and caravan parks nearby. A recreation camp at Quaranup is run by the Ministry of Sport and Recreation. Contact them for more information and bookings. less «
At the Gap, the waves rush in and out with tremendous ferocity. It is really something to see but the Torndirrup coastline has a notorious record for accidents and deaths due to people slipping or being washed into the ocean by unexpected freak waves, gusting winds or extra large swells. Please exercise extreme caution and don't risk being the... More next victim.
The Torndirrup Peninsula is composed of three major rock types. The oldest of these, which took its current form amid high pressures and temperatures between 1300 and 1600 million years ago, pre-dates almost all life on Earth. Despite their staggering age, these gneisses (rhymes with 'ices'), were formed in the second half of our planet's geological history, which began 4500 million years ago.
One of the best places to see these rocks is at The Gap. Gneisses can be recognised by the 'stripey' pattern within them, caused by layers of different coloured minerals. In many cases, the stripes display bends or folds caused by pressures so high that they make the rocks behave like plasticine. High temperatures and pressures are found at great depths within the Earth's crust.
When the gneisses were formed, Australia was separated from Antarctica. However, over many millions of years, the two continents moved together and began to collide, finally finishing their collision around 1160 million years ago. This process of continental drift is more correctly known as 'plate tectonics' and is still occurring today. Australia is currently moving north by as much as 10 centimetres every year.
At the time of the momentous collision, rocks at the base of the Earth's crust, between the two continents, began to melt and rise slowly. This material then cooled, forming a 'glue' between the continents. The 'glue' can still be seen today - it is the granite of Torndirrup National Park. It is easily recognised by its large crystals and by the characteristic rounded shape of the boulders, which are known as 'tors'. Granites can be seen at The Gap, where they are mixed with the much older gneisses, in a complex association formed when the rising magma, which hardened into the granite, squeezed into the older rock. This occurred at a depth of around 20 kilometres (a fact deduced from the particular minerals in the granite). The combined continents gradually rose, and the surface eroded until, finally, rocks which had been at a depth of 20km were exposed at the surface.Less
The Southern Ocean has sculpted a spectacular Natural Bridge in the coastal granites. It is an easy 300m return, 15 minute stroll from The Gap car park to the Natural Bridge.
As with elsewhere in Torndirrup, please exercise extreme caution and stay well back from coastal cliffs. Stay on the paths provided.
From the car park, at the end of Eclipse Road, you can set out on an easy 500m circuit to two lookouts to the south and west. Part of the way is suitable for people in assisted wheelchairs.
The wild and windswept Cable Beach is accessible only by a staircase that descends from the car park on to rocky boulders which continue for at least twice as long as the stairs down on to the beach.
Even on calm days, unpredictable surges rising from the Southern Ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, may sweep over the beach. Because the edge of ... Morethe continental shelf is so close to the coast at Torndirrup, the energy of these waves is not broken before they reach the shoreline. Don't risk being the next victim. Always watch the ocean, and stay well clear of the sea level.Less
The Blowholes, created by a crackline in the granite, 'blow' air and occasionally spray. Depending on the swell, size and direction of approach to the sea cliffs the Blowholes may or may not be blowing. When they do, the noise is quite impressive and this attraction should not be missed, especially on a day when the ocean swell is high. This walk ... Moreis the most popular in Torndirrup National Park, but be sure to keep away from the ocean at all times, as several lives have been lost in this vicinity.
A 1.6km return walk begins at the western end of the carpark and is well signposted. Follow the bitumen path for about 400m to the top of some steps. There are fine views of Peak Head to the south-east and Eclipse Island to the south-west. After the steps the path swings to the right then traverses an open granite area.
Signs indicate the location of the Blowholes. At the Blowholes, do not proceed any further to the ocean and do not stand over the Blowholes.Less
From the car park there is an easy 100 metre, 6 minute return walk to a lookout over this 'secret' haven.
This short 500m walk provides a scenic circuit with 360 degree views of Torndirrup National Park and the Albany area. The path is part of the Western Australian Heritage Trails network. Interpretive plaques along the trail describe some of the thoughts of the first settlers to this area. There are magnificent views of Albany, King George Sound,... More Eclipse Island, West Cape Howe National Park and the Porongurup and Stirling Range national parks.
The heritage trail begins at the steps on the southern side of the car park.
The heathland along this walk comes alive in wildflower season.Less
You can enjoy great views to the west from the wooden lookout on Stony Hill, the highest point in Torndirrup National Park.
The southernmost peak of the Torndirrup Peninsula can be reached via a rugged 4.3km return path, that is steep in sections. Allow approximately 2 hours return. Some rock scrambling is required to reach the summit. Be aware that rock climbers may be on the cliffs below.
Salmon Holes offers an easy 300m, 10 minute walk to the lookout or you can take the steep steps down to the beach. This is one of the most photographed beaches on the Torndirrup Peninsula.
Even on calm days, unpredictable surges rising from the Southern Ocean, hundreds of kilometres away, may sweep over the beach. Because the edge of the... More continental shelf is so close to the coast at Torndirrup, the energy of these waves is not broken before they reach the shoreline. Don't risk being the next victim. Always watch the ocean, and stay well clear of the sea level.
Rock fishing is extremely dangerous and is not recommended on this coastline. If you go fishing use a Personal Flotation Device or a life vest.Less