A big walk up a big hill for a big view.
Distance: About 12 km
Where: Monadocks National Reserve. About a 1-hour drive from Perth.
Time: 5-6 hours.
Difficulty: Moderate to difficult. Lengthy with a few steep bits.
Stuff you’ll need: Hat, sunscreen, snacks, water (2L minimum), sturdy enclosed shoes.
Why Do This
Walking up Mount Cooke is an opportunity to do a real hike. You know, the Boy Scout kind where you wear hiking boots, follow a map, and eat trail mix. Just kidding, there’s never a reason to eat trail mix.
Seriously though, this hike does take a least half a day to complete and will put your hill-climbing ability to the test. Don’t let that deter you though, because when you reach the top you’ll be rewarded with a truly impressive 360-degree view of the Darling Ranges and beyond.
Map & Directions
If you’re driving from Perth take Albany Highway to the Sullivan Rock picnic area (9km south of the Jarrahdale Rd turnoff). It’s actually quite tricky to find, as the nearby roads on google maps aren’t visible from the highway. So keep an eye out for the red Bibbulmum Track sign on the left and a bushy picnic area on the right side of the road.
- Ok, now cross the road (it’s on a bend so be careful) and follow the Bibbibulmun track sign. You’ll reach Sullivan’s Rock, a large rock home to many a lizard sunbaking.
- Walk up the rock and head to the left. You’ll see a thin path entering the bush.
- This is the track. From now on keep following the little yellow snake markers nailed to trees.
- You’ll walk for about 1.5 hours through flat scrubby bush. (This is kind of boring but…. deal with it!)
- You’ll notice the surrounding bush will start changing to thicker and greener trees. This means you’re almost at the Mt Cooke campsite. Here you can take a break, eat a muesli bar and sign your name in the Bibbulmun track guest book inside that blue box.
- Now the uphill climb begins. Keep an eye out for the Monadocks – the giant pink and white circular boulders that the area is named after.
- You’ve reached the top! Ok, ok, so it’s not an obvious pointy mountaintop but there’s still awesome views. Take those photos and congratulate yourself for being a nature hero.
- Now walk back to the start, enjoying the fact that the downhill is so much easier.