CAPE ARID NATIONAL PARK

 

Quenda
Southern brown bandicoot (Quenda) (c) DEC / Tricia Sprigg

 

GPS 33 56 15 S 123 15 25 E

 

 

 

Entry fee and / or camping fee charged Toilets available Tables and / or seats and / or shelters provided Tent camping sites Caravan access possible Pets prohibited Swimming allowed Fishing allowed (some sites may require a freshwater license.) Sight seeing area Walk trails Site may flood or be inaccessible during rain Unpowered water craft allowed 4 wheel drive access only

 

 

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Park size: 279,832 Ha.

 

The park was named 'Cap Arride' by French explorer D'Entrecasteaux in 1792. Mathew Flinders anglicised the name in 1892.

The park features some of the most beautiful coastal scenery you will ever see. There are over 160 bird species known to inhabit the park. Of the 18 species of honeyeater in southern W.A., 16 species are found in this area. It is a very important conservation zone.

Camping is permitted in five designated areas, Thomas River, Thomas Fishery, Seal Creek, Jorndee Creek and Mount Ragged. Special scenic areas include Yokinup Bay and Little Tagon Bay.

In 1931 amateur naturalists discovered an unusual colony of ants in this area and when specimens were sent for identification it was discovered that they were in fact Nothomyrmecia Macrops, which to most of us doesn't mean much but to those 'in the know' it was like finding a living dinosaur. These insects were from a time when some ants had begun to evolve into wasps.

A follow up expedition was organised to try and relocate the colony but it was never found. 50 years later yet another expedition was en-route to the area when just by chance they discovered another colony of these strange insects in South Australia. The second colony was discovered purely by accident when one of the expedition vehicles broke down and the party made an unplanned stop for the night.

The park is located 125 km east of Esperance. To the east of the park Nuytsland Nature Reserve stretches all the way to the South Australian border.

Photography, 4 wheel driving, fishing, camping, walking and finding wildflowers (in season) are all popular activities in the park.

Near to Thomas Fishery and Pine Hill there are some ruined buildings that are all that remains of the pioneer's homesteads from the 1870s.

For mor information see the park finder page.

Walk trails

Len Otte Nature Trail. A 2.7 km loop that takes about 90 minutes to complete. There are views across coastal heathland to Thomas River and Yokinup Bay.

Tagon coastal walk. A 15 km trail rated moderate that takes around 5-6 hours to complete. The trail is ideal for whale watching in late winter and early spring.

Boolenup. 4 kilometres.

Mount Ragged. 3 kilometres. This is a difficult 3 hour walk which involves a 500 metre climb to the top of Mt Ragged. The DPAW website comments: "The Mt Ragged Walk Trail also offers good opportunities for spotting birds. Mt Ragged and its surrounds feature mallee scrub and woodlands, home to mallee fowls, mulga parrots, chestnut quail thrushes, shy heath wrens, purple-gaped honeyeaters, yellow-plumed honeyeaters and crested bellbirds."

Campsites

Bring gas stoves for cooking and also plenty of water as there is none available in the park. Condingup is the closest place to pick up supplies of fuel etc. It is about 55 km from the Thomas River campsite.

 

Thomas River Campsite.
Fisheries Road / Merivale Road / Thomas River Road. 4x4 access.
33 51' 00" S 123 00' 36" E

Seal Creek Campsite.
Fisheries Road / Merivale Road / Poison Creek Road. 4x4 access.
No big rigs. Access may be badly corrugated.

Jorndee Creek.
Fisheries Road. / Merivale Road. / Poison Creek Road. 4x4 access.

Thomas Fishery.
Fisheries Road. / Merivale Road. / Poison Creek Road.

Mt. Ragged.
Fisheries Road / Balladonia Road. 4x4 access.
33 26' 57" S 123 26' 59" E

Nuytsland Nature Researve
Shire campsite - Israelite Bay Recreation Reserve. 4x4 access.

NPW Website for more information

 

 

Best time to visit:

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

 

 

 

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