Granite Skywalk and Castle Rock are one of the main tourist attractions near Albany, Western Australia.
Located on top of Castle Rock, a massive granite outcrop that is over 1,100 million years old, you can find the Granite Skywalk lookout which offers a 360º panoramic view of Porongurup National Park and the Albany region.
To reach the lookout, you need to face a 670-meter peak walk, scramble between some large rocks, and climb a 7-meter ladder, all of which can turn into a pretty big adventure.
In this guide, discover everything you need to know about visiting Castle Rock Albany, an incredible location not to be missed.
QUICK ANSWERS: GRANITE SKYWALK (CASTLE ROCK)
Let’s start this guide with the essentials you should know before visiting, such as the location, how to get there, and much more.
GRANITE SKYWALK CASTLE ROCK WA STATS
- Length: 4.4km roundtrip
- Height: 670 meters
- Duration: 1.5-2 hours
- Difficulty: Challenging
- Best time to visit: September – November
- Granite Skywalk price: $15 per car or $8 per motorcycle at Porongurup National Park
WHERE IS THE GRANITE SKYWALK ALBANY?
Castle Rock Granite Skywalk lies within Porongurup National Park in Southwest Western Australia.
It’s located just 50 km north of Albany, taking approximately 1 hour by car, and 450 km southeast of Perth with a journey time of around 4.5 hours.
HOW TO GET TO THE GRANITE SKYWALK?
There are many ways to get to Castle Rock Skywalk, however, the easiest way is a short car journey from Albany.
From the main town of Albany, jump on Chester Pass Rd until you reach Porongurup Rd, where traffic signs indicate the Castle Rock WA car park.
If you are driving from Perth, you should take the Albany Highway until you reach Porongurup National Park.
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BEST TIME TO VISIT ALBANY SKYWALK?
The best time to fully enjoy the Granite Skywalk Castle Rock hike is during the Spring months (September – November) when it’s not too wet or too hot and when nature’s beautiful colors start to emerge.
However, if you decide to visit the Porongurup National Park during the Summer months (December – February) you should aim to visit before midday as it can get unbearably hot during the midday sun.
Regardless of the season to visit, I highly recommend setting your alarm early and making the hike up in the dark to enjoy a beautiful sunrise at the top.
BEST GRANITE SKYWALK TOUR
ARE DRONES ALLOWED AT GRANITE SKYWALK?
Yes, just like in other national parks in Western Australia, drones are allowed at the Albany Skywalk.
That being said, remember to be mindful of other travelers enjoying the experience.
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PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK ENTRANCE FEE?
In order to maintain and conserve Porongurup National Park, some fees apply to enter it.
There are different pass types to access the Granite Sky Walk Albany depending on your needs.
The standard fee for a motorcycle is $8, and for a private vehicle up to 12 occupants, it’s $15 per vehicle.
However, if you are walking or cycling, you don’t need to pay any fees.
All tickets can be purchased using a credit or debit card from the ticketing machine located in the parking lot. Cash isn’t an option.
Before beginning the Castle Rock hike, make sure to display your ticket on the dashboard of your vehicle, or if you’re on a motorcycle keep the tickets with you.
WHAT TO EXPECT ON THE TRAIL
It’s fair to say that reaching the Castle Rock Granite Walk summit is not for everyone.
You need to be prepared to face a medium-hard hike and a bit of a rock scramble to make it all the way to the Skywalk lookout. However, you can be sure the view is well worth the effort.
The length of the trail is a steep 4.4 km return, so you should be prepared for a 1 to 2-hour hike, depending on your preparation and the stops you make along the way, but usually, it takes about 1 hour to reach the top.
On your way to the summit, you will pass through a spectacular Karri forest. The shade these trees provide gives a mystic feel to the walk and helps to fight the hot weather, especially during summer.
It’s also interesting to know, that this amazing forest wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t because of the existence of the run-off from non-porous granite surfaces, which complements the annual rainfall of 750mm, which those trees need in order to survive.
Besides this, you can also enjoy the endemic fauna and flora of Porongurup National Park, with more than 700 different species of plants, and 78 species of birds.
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THE BALANCING ROCK
Something you don’t want to miss while visiting Castle Rock Albany is the opportunity to see the unique, and giant balancing rocks.
These rocks are defying gravity in a way that is hard to even imagine, so make sure you don’t miss this experience to observe them and take some pictures at this amazing natural feature spot.
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If the remarkable views of the forest and granite outcrops are enough for you, and you are not feeling like hiking and climbing all the way to the top, you can head to the Karri lookout instead, and enjoy an outstanding view of the rural landscape and southern coastline.
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CASTLE ROCK SUMMIT
If you are excited to get to the Granite Skywalk lookout, the upper platform is where all the fun begins.
To reach the Castle Rock Granite Skywalk summit, firstly you need to climb and scramble between the cracks of giant granite rocks with the help of steel handles that are mounted to the rocks.
Then, there is only a 7-meter ladder separating you from an outstanding view. This can be a bit of a challenge, but when you manage to get to the top, the sensation will be every bit rewarding.
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Boasting a suspended metal walkway, you’ll be able to enjoy 360º views over the entire Albany region, and the magnificent Stirling Range can also be spotted off in the distance.
It’s the perfect scenario for some truly unique photographs.
You could easily spend a good hour up here on the Skywalk before making the 1-hour hike back down again to the parking lot which will conclude this epic adventure!
OTHER ACTIVITIES IN PORONGURUP NATIONAL PARK
There are other things to check out while you’re in the region, and here below I’ll go through some other activities to enjoy when in Porongurup National Park.
GO WINE TASTING
Other than Castle Rock Albany, this area is popular for its excellent wines, and I highly recommend you stop and taste them for yourself.
The best wineries around are:
While it’s a must-do while around Castle Rock Skywalk, make sure to come after the hike, and don’t drink and drive!
HIKE NANCY’S PEAK
While the Castle Rock hike is the best hike around, another one worth checking out is Nancy’s Peak.
Nancy’s Peak is 5.5 km long and it takes around 2 hours to complete, which is a nice addition to Granite Skywalk WA if you have more time available.
That being said, I recommend taking water and some snacks with you as some parts of the trail are challenging and not always very easy to follow.
However, it’s all worth it for the views on top!
RESTAURANTS NEAR GRANITE SKYWALK WA
The nearest restaurant to Castle Rock Skywalk is Maleeya’s Thai Café, and you’ll be spoilt for choice if you like Asian food!
WHERE TO STAY NEAR CASTLE ROCK SKYWALK
If you’re looking for a place to stay before and after the Castle Rock hike in Western Australia, the Porongurup Range Tourist Park is family-owned and a great option to consider.
Located just 10 minute’s drive from the trailhead, this tourist park is as close as it gets so you won’t miss time commuting, especially if you aim to do this hike at sunrise.
Porongurup Range Tourist Park is the perfect escape to enjoy some great days relaxing, listening to birds, and appreciating the natural beauty and uniqueness of the region.
The owners are very friendly and welcoming, making the stay even more comfortable.
There are plenty of accommodation options available to suit all needs. If you are camping or caravanning, you can choose between a powered site, which costs $38 per night for two people, or a non-powered site, which costs $32 for two people.
However, if you are fancying staying in a Chalet the rate is $160 per night for a maximum of four people, where the minimum stay is two nights.
Other facilities include a camp kitchen, a toilet, and a shower block.
Click here to visit their website and book online in advance.
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WHERE TO STAY IN ALBANY
There are dozens of accommodation options to choose from in Albany so I have narrowed it down to a few of the best places to stay to fit the needs of budget backpackers, luxury travelers, and everyone in between.
See below for a list of Albany accommodations that I personally recommend:
LUXURY: BEST WESTERN ALBANY
MID RANGE: SIX DEGREES BOUTIQUE HOTEL
BUDGET: 1849 BACKPACKERS ALBANY
FOR ALL OTHER PLACES TO STAY IN ALBANY, SEARCH ON BOOKING.COM
WHAT TO PACK FOR WESTERN AUSTRALIA
When visiting WA, here is a list of items I highly recommend bringing with you:
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FINAL THOUGHTS – CASTLE ROCK SKYWALK WA
So there you have it, a complete guide of what to expect when hiking to Castle Rock summit.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article and if you have any questions, please leave a comment below this post and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
For a quicker response, be sure to join Jonny Melon’s Travel Tribe on Facebook and post your questions or recommendations to our awesome community.
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THANKS FOR READING
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