Location: Mt Brown, Beeliar Regional Park
Distance: 2.29km return
Grade: 2 - Easy, with some incline
Trail Marker: Aqua square with a white turtle
Duration: 45 minutes - 1 hour
Date climbed: 10th February 2018
Kml Trail File: Please click here.
'The mountains are calling and I must go" - John Muir
Last week I was sitting back looking over my life, admiring the journey and appreciating the struggles that have led me to be who and where I am today. My road has not been an easy one, forever winding with lots of ups and downs and every time I reached what I thought was the top, there was guaranteed to be another drop down into another dark valley onto the next challenge, and as I was thinking about those ups and downs, something within me screamed Mountains!
Now if you can't already tell, I am absolutely terrible at describing well, anything and everything lol. I am a more visual person, seeing does more for me then words ever could hence why our blog is more visually appealing then descriptive. So there I sit, with this calling to climb some mountains and before I know it I am googling every mountain I can find in Western Australia. so I have set myself a challenge to climb them all, if that's even possible, as I know many are remote and some I assume would be prohibited for cultural reasons, but I am going to try my best to climb as many mountains as practically possible within WA.
So far I have found 82 mountains. Now I am not about to get into an argument with anyone over what is and isn't a mountain, I can't find a really clear definition of what is and what is not and being that this is a personal challenge for myself, I get to dictate what is and isn't in my eyes, saying that, if you feel there is one I have missed let me know. I am going to add my list down the bottom of this blog.
Now I am a little hesitant on setting a time limit, realistically, as a busy mum and business owner, it could take a few years but I am putting it out there so let's just see how long it will take, no pressure, I just want it to be an enjoyable experience, each and every climb.
So with that being said, I was super keen to get started immediately but with a full on week and weekend sparing half a day was even out of the question. Thankfully we have a mountain literally 15mins away. Now straight up I am going to say that I am not even sure how this is classed as a mountain, but the fact remains that it is called Mt Brown and as I am massively OCD, I couldn't say I climbed them all unless this one was done to. So lets get the smallest mountain in Western Australia out of the way first:)
So with an hour up our sleeve and literally being out in the area, my daughter Sophie and I decided to finally go and explore Mt Brown in Beeliar Regional Park. I had planned to do this walk many times along with the Mt Brown Lake walk but just never got around to doing it, but today was all about mountains so we found the carpark off Cockburn Rd, Henderson, parked under a shady tree and made our way to the info board. The entrance was very well sign posted as was the Interpretive Information sign showing the trails in the area. Henderson Cliffs is also a nice leisurely walk, but saved that for another day. So we quickly briefed over the map, being an easy trail it didn't require a lot of planning, we walked over to the starting point which is signposted to the left, through the two boulders and made our way up the mountain.
The track itself is a hardened compact surface of mainly limestone with a gentle slope uphill, quite suitable for families with young children. It wasn't long before our eyes darted around the park as we found an array of colour in Wildflowers, Bushtucker and Natives.
The Twining Fringe Lily, Aboriginal name: Tjunguri (Noongar), is widespread through the
southern half of Western Australia. It grows from seed contained in a dry capsule and its flowers are hermaphrodite, meaning they have
both male and female components. The plant dies back to a tuber after flowering and the white edible tubers are between 20 and 50 mm in length which are commonly eaten raw or roasted and are best eaten just before or just after flowering, as it contains more energy at this time The stems and flowers are also edible.
The flower spikes of the Grass trees (aka Balga) were just beautiful, the photo's really don't do them any justice. The Grass Tree, Aboriginal name: Balga (Noongar), is native to the south-west of Western Australia and has been used by the local Noongar people for thousands of years. The plants are resistant to fire, which is known to stimulate flowering. The flower stem has many uses; Gum from flowering spikes can be made into cakes, the flowers can be used to make a sweet drink and dead flowering spikes are used to make fire, a spear shaft and make excellent hiking poles.
We also stumbled across the biggest Zamia cone we have ever seen. The Zamia Palm, Aboriginal name: Jeeriji (Noongar), is a cycad and thus has separate male and female plants. The male plant produces the pollen, while the female plant produces the seed. We will be keen to come back next month and see this baby ripen. This is really good bushtucker, with the female cone eaten by the Aboriginal people prior to settlement and probably still today however please take note, it is not fast food, the nuts are incredibly toxic and a lengthy process was required to get this up to eating standards. Early European settlers became ill after eating the seeds without proper preparation, due to the level of toxins and carcinogens.
What I loved about this walk was the abundance of Bull Banksia, Aboriginal name: Poolgarla (Noongar). Apparently there are about 173 species of banksia, 58 of those are native to the south-west of Western Australia. Yellow is one of my favorite colors, brings so much happiness with it, brightens up the trail. The leaves and flowers of the Bull Banksia are the largest of all the banksias. In 1843, Lieutenant Richard Dale witnessed ‘natives gathering the flowers and extracting a sweet juice resembling honey’ near what is now called Albany. The seed cone releases the seed and a new plant will establish from seed. However, the plant grows very slowly and can live as long as 150 years. Aboriginals would use the flower spikes to make a drink of honey-sweet mead known as ‘mangite’ or ‘mungitch’ and the nectar can also be sucked directly from the flower.
The trail was a nice gradual climb and it wasn't before long that you would turn around and see the beautiful deep blues of the Indian Ocean. To the left of the trail, looking out to the coast, you can see out to the Kwinana Industrial area and to the right you can see the Australian Marine Complex in Henderson.
The 360 degree views from the summit are absolutely beautiful, an amazing vantage point overlooking the surrounding landscape including Lake Mt Brown right out to the Darling Range as seen in the top photos, and then out to Cockburn Sound and surrounding industrial and Marine areas as seen in the bottom pics (still above this text). I wish I could give you information on the awesome sculpture art that's at the top but the only information I could find is that it is the Mt Brown viewing platform. The signage around it relates to the industrial area and natural resources in the area. If anyone has any info about the sculpture I would love to hear about it.
We loved the return part of this trail with constant coastal views. You can actually head down a trail to the right, not far from the top, that will take you down to join up with the Lake Bt Brown Trail, which is a 6km trail through the wetlands so if you have a little more time up your sleeve I recommend checking that out as well as the Henderson Cliffs walk trail.
Our first mountain experience (if you can call it that), was definitely the easiest mountain (hill) I have ever climbed haha but at least I can say it's done now and in all honesty it was quite a nice walk. Hopefully this post inspires you to visit and if so, we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.
North West Region
King Leopold Ranges
South West Region
Devils Slide, 670m
Barren Range, Fitzgerald NP
Cape Arid NP
Within a couple of hours of Perth