Regardless of which climb you’ve chosen to do for the day, on the drive south, you’ll see most of the options laid out before you as the Stirling Range fills your windscreen. By numbers alone, these mountains aren’t that impressive. At 1100 meters above sea level, Bluff Knoll, the highest peak, isn’t even Western Australia’s highest mountain. But numbers can be deceiving, and it’s the topographic prominence of over 800 metres that gives this range its towering presence. Bluff Knoll looks over the surrounding country like an impassive grey sentinel with a dark green cloak pulled around its shoulders. The Goreng Noongars of the plains, who wore kangaroo skin cloaks around their shoulders in the winter months, called it Bular Mial, which means “many eyes”: an ancestral being, watching over all.
Today’s drive is intended to get you to the trailhead of whichever peak you decide to explore and leave you as much time as possible to enjoy your climb and be back at the Premier Mill Hotel for dinner. Perhaps, after your meal, you’ll share a tale of adventure or two at the Cordial Bar, where the trails get longer and steeper as the night goes on. Today, you’ll drive south of Broomehill, head east through Gnowangerup, and then south on Formby Road, to the mountains.