Start Point: Top of Murray Rd, Albany
Distance: 12.5 kms
Duration: 4 – 5 hours
The Bald Head Trail in Torndirrup National Park is a ruggedly spectacular 12.5km hike and is exceptionally scenic! The trail traverses along the ridge-line of Flinders Peninsula and offers fantastic views of the Southern Ocean and King George Sound.
The trail is made up of a combination of boardwalks, limestone paths, sandy walk ways and hard granite sections. You will require a relatively good level of fitness to undertake this trail, despite only being 12.5kms long it will take you about 4-5hrs to complete – and I wouldn’t rush it because it sure is an experience to relish!
The trail kicks off with an uphill climb to the top of Isthmus Hill. The trail is made of rickety boardwalks and lined with peppermint trees which offer a familiar scent. Before long you will reach a large granite outcrop – follow the rock cairns to the left leading out to the limestone ridge line. Progressing along more boardwalks you will soon be greeted with the impressive and awe-inspiring views of Flinders Peninsula, the rugged trail that awaits you and in the distance Bald Head!
As the boardwalks cease, the trail morphs into a hardened limestone track with some man-made steps that certainly assist the climb. As you navigate the trail you get to enjoy the picturesque turquoise waters of the bay on one side and the rough waves crashing in to the rocks on the other. There is no place like it! Ruggedly spectacular!
The trail transforms again as it leads you in coastal shrubbery sheltered by peppermint trees. As you negotiate the undulating sandy trail you will come to some small sand dunes that reveal a giant granite formation, again following the rock cairns to guide you up and across the impressive grey/pink rock structure. One thing that is so unique about the Bald Head trail is the presence of granite and limestone rocks within such short distances. Coincidentally, further up the trail you will reach a steep sandy section surrounded by jagged limestone coastal cliffs.
As you leave the limestone lined dunes, you are greeted with an exposed section of pink/orange/grey granite rocks. There is so much to discover here and although there is an ‘unofficial’ route to navigate across, be creative and explore whilst you do some fun rock hopping! You might think you are close to the end of the trail but think again! As you leave the rocks the scenery changes again to some thick shrub and sand tracks. You are now faced with an awfully steep 80m descent down the sand dune ready for you to conquer! Despite being a little tricky, it is a whole lot of fun and will definitely get the blood pumping on your return hike (180bpm for me)! From here the trail leads through some Melaleuca trees before a short stint beside some coastal shrub and up to a giant rock cairn – signifying you have reached Bald Head.
Bald Head is certainly not for the faint hearted! I’d recommend some previous bush-walking experience and a reasonable level of fitness when tackling this challenging day hike. This trail had been on the list for quite some time and did not disappoint! With such varied scenery, tricky terrain and picturesque views it is easy to see why this trail is so highly regarded. Bald Head was a fantastic adventure that definitely left me with a sense of achievement, inspired and a whole lot of happy!