Hopetoun Birding Sites

Key Species : Malleefowl (excellent chance), Chestnut Teal, Spotted Harrier, Hooded Plover (chance), Rock Parrot (good chance), Blue-breasted Fairy-wren, Southern Emu-wren, Little Wattlebird, Tawny-crowned Honeyeater, Western Spinebill, Southern Scrub-robin, Western Whipbird (chance).  Mammals : Australian Sea-lion (Neophoca cinerea).

The Fitzgerald River National Park is 330,000 hectares.  It was created because of the extremely diverse flora but it also a good area for a wide variety of birds with about 210 species being recorded in the area.  The park stretches from near Bremer Bay in the west to Hopetoun in the east and close to Ravensthorpe and Jerramungup in the north.

Hopetoun (Post Office S33 56 59" E120 07 35") is a good place to stay to explore the south eastern part of the national park and other nearby areas.  It is about 600km south east of Perth by road.

Also see the Birds Australia WA series of bird guide brochures including Fitzgerald River.

 

1. Culham Inlet (Car Park S33 55 26" E120 07 50")

To be written.

 

2. Four Mile Beach Campground (Toilet Block S33 55 22" E120 02 18")

To be written.

 

3. Fitzgerald River National Park

A good way to see many of the different habitats in the park is to follow the loop from Ravensthorpe south along the Moir Track to Hamersley Drive, then along Hamersley Drive to Old Ongerup Road, and along Old Ongerup Road back to the South Coast Highway to return to Ravensthorpe.  The distance for the round trip is approximately 110km.

Moir Track - From Ravensthorpe, head south along Scott Road.  This soon becomes Moir Road which is unsealed, and then it becomes Moir Track.  Moir Track is designated as a 4WD track, but most vehicles should be able to negotiate it fairly easily if you take it slowly.  The track is very likely to be closed if there has been rain.  There is an extensive area of good mallee along Moir Road, followed by some farmland before the start of Moir Track.  The Moir Track starts by following a small river with a few permanent pools, then it passes through some eucalypt woodland before climbing up to a large area of mallee heath.  Some birds to look for along the Moir Track include Chestnut Teal, Southern Scrub-robin, Western Whipbird and a good range of honeyeaters.

Hamersley Drive - Hamersley Drive is the main road through the eastern half of the Fitzgerald River National Park.  I haven't birded along this road, but there are a good range of habitats, so stop anywhere that looks interesting, or where there is obvious bird activity.  The alternative is to turn left and return to Ravensthorpe via East Mount Barren and Hopetoun.

Old Ongerup Road - The Old Ongerup Road varies from good areas of mallee and heath, to narrow corridors left between the road and the cleared farmland.  There are a couple of areas of granite and a couple of river crossings.  Be very careful when travelling along this road at night, and there are many Western Grey Kangaroos, Western Brush Wallabies and maybe a Tammar WallabySpotted Nightjar is also a good chance at night.  The western part of Old Ongerup Road from West River Road / Hamersley Drive to Fitzgerald Road is also worth trying.

 

4. Hopetoun to Starvation Bay

To be written.

 

5. Springdale Road

To be written.

 

6. Hopetoun Boat Launch Ramp (S33 57 41" E120 07 50")

The groyne in front of town is worth a quick look.  You should find Pacific Gull, plus there are usually Australian Sea-lions on the rock a hundred metres or more off the groyne.

CALM National Park Office, East Mount Barren, Hopetoun 6348 (08 9838 3060)

Hopetoun Caravan Park, Spence Street, Hopetoun 6348 (Phone : 08 9838 3096 Fax : 08 9838 3124)

 

Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2004 Visits Last Modified 10th May 2004