Location: Mount Frankland National Park
Distance: 1.6km loop
Trail Marker: Unmarked trail, easy to follow
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: Yes, at start/finish
Dog Friendly: No
Date Hiked: 7th March 2020
Dominated by an impressive granite peak, Mount Frankland National Park covers approximately 31000 hectares of karri, jarrah and tingle forest as well as expanses of treeless heathland. It is just one of 7 national parks in the 363 000 hectare land that is the 'Walpole Wilderness'. It's also one of 3 major sites that form the 'Walpole Wilderness Discovery Centre'. Dr J Wilson named Mount Frankland after climbing Mount Lindesay during his explorations north and west of Albany in 1829. He named Mount Frankland after the then Surveyor-General of Tasmania. The Aboriginal name for Mount Frankland is Caldyanup.
The Caldyanup Trail begins just below the summit. Interpretative signage explains to walkers where the trail takes you so it is quite easy to find. The first section of the trail lead us out to Soho lookout across man-made infrastructure which provided the most amazing views of the Walpole Wilderness. The area features a vast, natural and wild landscape which embraces old, majestic jarrah, tingle and karri forests, imposing granite peaks, peaceful rivers and wetlands and sheer coastal cliffs that overlook the Southern Ocean.
Continuing on across the boardwalk and into the lush green forest curving around the base of the summit winding up, down and around sections of granite. Recent light rain enhanced the lush green foliage, the leaves below our feet cushioning our walk whilst we admired the tall grand karri trees along the way. Rock hopping over the granite boulders added to the thrill of the adventure of being in such a pristine part of the wild. The damp forest conditions, a prime hot-spot for flourishing fungi, encouraging walkers to scourer the under-storey of the Karri Forest. The trail continues to wind around the base, at times taking walkers right up to the granite slopes, other times taking walkers deep down into the forest before ending up back to the Towermans Hut and picnic area, a great place to rest and have some lunch before continuing on with your day.