Location: Mount Martin Botanical Reserve
Distance: 12.3km circuit
Trail Marker: Occasional signage, easy to follow
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: Yes, at start/finish
Dog Friendly: No
Date Hiked: 5th June 2020
The Mount Martin Walk is a challenging but beautiful walk through low coastal heath and woodlands with magic views of King George Sound, Oyster Harbour, Albany and Gull Rock National Park. One I had attempted to start once before but realised quite quickly I was not adequately prepared clothing wise on what was a hot day so turned around early on into the hike. This time it was an impromptu hike, choosing to head out today rather than another peak weekend on the trails. The mind was a little more than eager.....and the body did pay for it the next day as I powered through a couple of steep inclines that got the heart racing but all in all an amazing experience. This particular trail is one of Amazing Albany's 10 Great Walks. It is not on the Trails WA website at this stage but info available here.
This walk is set in Gull Rock National Park in a beautiful coastal setting and offers outstanding views with good whale watching opportunities during the season. The walk has several short, steep hills with steps. At its furthest point Voyager Park directly opposite Emu Point provides a good picnic spot. There is an extensive range of plant life including orchids, Banksia, Dryandra. Kingia and more.
What I love about this particular trail is that it's almost in a couple of figure eight loops meaning it can be shortened to suit your liking or time restraints. It can also be done any which way you choose. I chose to start the first loop anti-clockwise and then the second clockwise, for me it worked well with the ascents, descents and views that went with those sections. It had been awhile since I'd done a 12km hike, you'll soon realise that many of Albany's trails are well under 10km but I would rate it right up there as one of the best. Watch our for snakes, yes even in Winter. I come very close to stepping on a Tiger Snake, thankfully for me he moved and I realised in enough time. A PLB would be handy on this walk, with signal sketchy and given the high risk associated with this trail I felt at ease knowing I had one with me.