Location: Torndirrup National Park, near Stony Hill carpark
Distance: 4.8km return
Trail Marker: Trail-head sign only but easy to navigate
Duration: 2- 3 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 5th February 2019
Kml Map File: Please click here.
At the southernmost peak of the Torndirrup Peninsula is Peak Head, a bluff of rounded cliffs with fantastic views over the Southern Ocean that make the effort worthwhile.
The trail begins just off the Stony Hill carpark, very easy to find, just follow the Stony Hill sign off Frenchman Bay Rd. Drive uphill and turn left just before the Stony Hill carpark where you will come to the Peak Head trail sign. There is a small carpark, room for a couple of cars.
A die back station is provided at the start so make sure you clean your boots/shoes to prevent dieback from spreading. From there the trail heads off on a wide sandy trail amongst coastal scrub lined with Peppermint trees. As the start of the walk is already quite high it doesn't take long for the stunning coastal views and the granite peak head to come in to view.
I am really enjoying these coastal trails, feeling quite torn between a good mountain hike or a coastal trail like this. The Amazing South Coast has definitely transformed my idea of a good hike these days.
Apparently the area was affected by a bushfire quite a few years ago evident by the bare tops of the coastal heath but it seems to be recovering quite nicely. The trail to the peak is noticeable almost the entire way and we continued on downhill, trying not to think too much about the fact that we would have to walk back up the steep descent.
On this particular day we had quite a bit of cloud cover but also saw the grey clouds rolling in so tried to make our way down fairly quickly.
As you get deeper into the scrub the trail closes in, lined with Peppermint trees before making a right hand turn and walking along the coast to the start of the ascent up the granite peak.
Torndirrup National Park is definitely one of the most impressive and diverse national parks in The Amazing South Coast as windswept coastal heaths give way to massive granite outcrops, sheer cliffs and steep sandy slopes and dunes.
Making our ascent up to the peak, we were faced with quite a bit or erosion, so much that at times we had to question if it was actually still the trail. One particular section had us having to place one foot right in front of the other as it was a badly eroded section of dune.
Once we had passed through the eroded dune the trail widens again and we approached the granite ready to scramble up the peak.
It was a little bit tricky navigating through here as there are a few ways to go but honestly I don't think it matters as long as you stick to obvious trails.
W#e came across what appeared to be a large circular rock cairn however it was more of a spread out mess, possibly a result of human damage? Who knows. It doesn't signify the summit anyway so we continued on.
I chose to walk right along to the bottom of the granite, closer to the coastline. Because the weather had suddenly changed with threatening rain I didn't want to take any chances by climbing any steeps sections. It made sense to walk up the granite gradually and I think provided nicer views.
The scramble to the peak is quite tricky but the colours in the granite and scrub were absolutely beautiful.
and then you arrive at Peak Head, quite a large somewhat flattened section of granite.
Bit bummed the grey skies meant our photos came out quite dark. I'll have to head back another time when the sun is shining to get those picture perfect coastal colours.
Views of the Torndirrup coastline highlighted the nearby Blowholes and Jimmy Newells Beach, with the Gap and Natural Bridge further on and to the east walkers are blessed with views of Bald Head and the Flinders Peninsula.
We spent a short amount of time checking out the little ecosystems on the granite. The moss and shrubs creating a lookalike river system running down the granite.
The patterns, textures and contrast further down on the granite almost made us feel like we were looking at some sort of rock painting.
It was then that the sky started opening up so we hurried off the granite, worried it would become quite slippery and risk being injured.
The descent providing the opportunity to take in some new vies of the coastline and the track we have to walk back up.
Some interesting limestone cave systems stood out as we walked back down along the coastal edge before ascending once again back up to the start of the trail. I let Dave and Sophie walk on a fair way so I could take a few pics of them from a distance.
Pretty spectacular scenery, I tell ya.
Of course now that we were off the granite the blue skies returned although still with heavy cloud cover.
and then before you know it your faced with the bottom of the steps ready to make your way up again.
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 first nations 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.