The Heavy Hiker

Sharing Hiking Experiences in Western Australia

Monadnocks Conservation Area – Up Hill and Down Dale

With a beautiful, frosty Sunday upon us a day trip was on the agenda. The Silver Hiker and I decided to hit Sullivan’s Rock, Mt Vincent and Mt Cuthbert then follow on the Bibbulmun to the Monadnocks campsite, popping out at Randall Road. Which was a solid plan right up until I threw a spanner in the works saying I needed to start pre-dawn in order for me to have enough time.

So with the map, a rough idea of where we were going,  headlamps and 0 degrees for comfort we dropped her car at Randall Road and made our way down the highway to our starting point… or at least so we thought…


Now, let me preface this one by saying I had studied the map and I knew what the carpark looked like in the daylight but none of that matters when it’s pitch dark and 0 degrees! So, finding our “starting point” we crossed the highway and set off right into the pine plantation. Being at night, I assumed we’d missed Sullivan’s Rock by mere metres in the dark and we continued on a well-defined path which offered a false sense of security. Well about 5kms through the pine plantation proved that I was totally wrong and when we came to an access road with all too familiar tyre tracks I realised we’d completely undershot the starting point and we were back at Randall Road! I was very grateful for the walk though having come across some areas that were completely covered in ice which crunched under foot. Was truly remarkable!

At this point the Silver Hiker is doubting my navigational prowess (and who could blame her!) After many map consultations we decided to head back down the highway, past my car to the ACTUAL starting point. Now in the light of day the familiar sight of the Waugal marker came into view and so we set off again with  an extra 5kms under our belt, but thankful for daylight as we traversed the slippery and mossy Sullivan’s Rock. What a beautiful and ginormous rock she is – which begged the question how I thought we could ever miss it?!


The Bibbulmun track is well-defined and sign posted and so we continued up through some beautiful jarrah forest up to the top of Mount Vincent offering us amazing views across the scarp. Being so soon after rain the air was crisp and clear and the sights popping into view were truly something to behold. The climb is fairly steep and there are quite a few rocks throughout the trail but they’re easily navigated if you’re like me and use a walking pole for an extra point of balance. From Mt Vincent you can see Mt Cooke and on the other side Mt Cuthbert rises up from the valley below and you can see you’re in for some pain heading down and straight back up to that summit.


The walk is a challenge for the average walker but with a variety of flora and the variations in incline/decline and wet track conditions the walk passes very quickly as you focus on your foot landings and before you know it you’re taking in the magnificent views from Mt Cuthbert.


Rather than continuing down the northern side of Mt Cuthbert we doubled back and headed back up Mt Vincent before returning to the car.

This mornings adventure was nothing short of spectacular with good company, bitter cold and energizing sunshine and beautiful sights to behold I thoroughly recommend this double summit journey. All told today’s jaunt was roughly 10kms but had we found the correct starting point the first time the one way journey from Sullivan’s Rock to Randall Rd would have been roughly 9kms.

Go on, get out there. 


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