Location: Vancouver Peninsula, Whalers Cove Carpark
Distance: 5km loop
Trail Marker: Informative trail head and directional markers
Duration: 2 - 3 hours
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 26th March 2019
Kml Map File: Please click here.
Without a doubt this is my favourite trail in Western Australia. I call it the mini version of the Bald Head Trail although I really believe it offers so much more, and, is a more family friendly trail suitable for anyone interested in getting in hiking.
It's the perfect trifecta if you ask me, offering a great balance of bush, beach and granite, a trail that I simply cannot get enough of.
The start of the trail is easy to find, parking is available at the Whalers Cover carpark with toilets available before you head off. An informative trail head sign talks a bit about the heritage associated with the trail and provides a map of the trail.
The initial part of the trail takes walkers through a beautiful section of coastal forest providing some of the most beautiful views of King George Sound and looking back to Whalers Cover and Fishermans Beach.
If timed right (Spring) the forest is a colourful playground filled with wildflowers. My wildflower pics are from my first experience on the trail in 2018 but it was quite overcast that day so I've used the pics from our March walk.
The trail opens up a little and continues on through exposed heath, over a wooden bridge that has been put in place to reduce erosion.
Emerging from the heath-land, walkers are then greeted with the best view of the whole trail as you walk along flat granite rock. The dramatic coastal escarpment is nothing short of breathtaking and puts the whole trail into perspective as shown on the trail-head sign.
The pure white sands & turquoise coastal blues of King George Sound from Outer Brambles Beach on the right, and the seaweed strewn beach with slightly murkier waters of Princess Royal Harbour from Inner Brambles Beach. The thought of descending down through the health-land, on to the beach and then up to Point Possession really added excitement to the experience and I would challenge anyone to take someone who may not be into hiking, to do this trail because I wreckon this one is good enough to convert non hikers to hikers.
A plaque on a rock talks about 'The Isthmus', also known as a tombolo which connects Point Possession to the Vancouver Peninsula, formed by wave action depositing sand between the island and headland. Additional sand has been deposited to form the steep sand-hills that cover it and these are subject to occasional heavy erosion on the eastern side.
Directional signage points walkers to continue on across the flat granite descending down to the isthmus. The loop from here can be done either way although the trailhead does say to turn right and head along Outer Brambles Beach first so that's where we go.
I have never been a beach person but The Amazing South Coast Beaches have well and truly converted me with their pure white squeaky sands and turquoise waters surrounded by granite and mountains.
and when you stop and truly immerse yourself in the experience you are blessed with an array of little gems to explore. The pics below are a mix from our latest hike and the one last year.
Australia’s waters are home to many interesting and fascinating creatures, including jellyfish, some of which can be the cause of painful stings! The bluebottle (physalia) seen below is probably the most well known jellyfish around the Australian coastline. Their blue, balloon like sail sits above the water and is attached to a long tentacle extending below it. This tentacle is covered in stinging cells called nematocysts. When this touches the skin it reacts by injecting a small amount of a toxin which causes irritation and can be quite painful so don;t go touching them.
They do make for a good photograph though.
The beach stretch ends at the granite headland which has some wonderful stark contrasts of colour bursting through. Stairs direct walkers up to the top of Point Possession.
The trail curves around the peninsula across sections of dense bush and exposed flat granite.
Another plaque can be seen on a tall rock highlighting the view of King George III Sound. Captain Vancouver entered and named the King George III Sounds in September 1791. However, he had been preceded by Pieter Nuyts and Francis Thyssen in the 'Gulden Zeepardt' in 1627.
Vancouver also names the rocky island to the east Breaksea Island, the high bushy one also to the east Michaelmas Island, Mt Gardner and Seal Island.
The trail continues right around and up to the summit, the Vancouver Cairn. It is at this point that Captain George Vancouver took possession of the land north-west of Cape Chatham in the name of King George III. During his stay Vancouver names Princess Royal Harbour to the west, Oyster Harbour to the north-east and King George III Sound to the east.
The views from Point Possession look over to the Port of Albany (below left), back to Vancouver Peninsula with Camp Quaranup out to Geake Point (below middle) and then over the Attaturk Channel to the Point King Lighthouse sitting below Mount Adelaide (below right).
The trail descends from the Vancouver Cairns back down the other side of the point and on to Inner Brambles Beach. It is quite steep so shorten your steps to reduce the risk of injury.
Inner Brambles beach is not nearly as nice as the Outer, was covered in seaweed that is a bit like quicksand. Please take note that often Inner Brambles Beach can be impassible as high tide. You will see this before you even come down from Quarantine Hill at the start of the trail. If this is the case you would simply retrace your steps back via Outer Brambles Beach.
The stretch of Inner Brambles Beach ends with a left turn on to sandy tracks and continues up to the first loop you encountered when coming down from Quarantine Hill.
From here, you simply retrace your steps back along the trail to the start.
If you have time following your walk head down the steps to Whalers Cove and Fishermans Beach. Both sections offer so much to explore but take note....I recently heard and witnessed on our Easter Egg Hike that Whalers Cove is actually a Nudist Beach.
Now is the best time to be visiting with Gooralong Brook flowing quite nicely. 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.