Location: Mount Frankland National Park
Distance: 1.2km return
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 Summit Trail was 3rd on our list of the Mount Frankland walking trails, after the Wilderness Lookout walk and Towerman's hut which is technically on the way to The Summit.
It's such a joy to walk through an absolutely stunning part of the world. Recently the south west was exposed to a few severe storms so it's no surprise that we came across a fallen karri tree. The path up to the summit is windy gradually ascending up. The start of the Caldyanup Walk Trail is marked with an interpretative sign sending walkers around Mount Frankland via Soho Lookout to the left but I would highly recommend doing the return to the summit first. Walkers can then come back down and jump on to this trail which winds back around to the lower Towermans Hut. Over 300 steps are still used today by the towerman who records the weather and reports smoke (fires) over the drier months between December and April. The final ascent climbs over the granite and up to the tower. A diary entry is on the side of the tower from Ted Middleton, the towerman in 2006 shares his findings.
The 360 degree views from The Summit are breathtaking. You can see Mt Roe, the Porongurup and Stirling Ranges and the Southern Ocean. It's hard to believe that this is just one of 7 national parks in the 363 000 hectare land that is the 'Walpole Wilderness'. Once your able to pull yourself away from beauty, walkers simply follow the same trail back the way they come. Be sure to stop, pause and take in the views on the way down. Be careful heading back down the towermans ladder. It seems a little trickier heading back. The original ladder was put in place here in 1956 and replaced in 2009.