We’ve all heard about Uluru, but have you heard about Mount Augustus?! Despite what most believe, Uluru is not the biggest rock in the world, Mount Augustus is. It is actually two times bigger than Uluru and a lot older. The rock itself is about 8 km long and covers an area of 4795 hectares within the national park. The granite rock that lies below Mount Augustus is estimated to be 1650 million years old. That’s an old rock.
It is known as the Burringurrah to the local Wadjari Aboriginal people. It is also asked that if you do summit Mount Augustus, not to do it in the dark as it can be dangerous and is disrespectful to the traditional owners.
If you are travelling around Western Australia, I think it is definitely worth taking the detour and spending 2-3 days in this national park! It really is incredible and the sunset is equally as beautiful as the sunset at Uluru. If you have more time in this area, make sure to check out the Kennedy Ranges for a day or two. You can read my guide about the Kennedy Ranges here.
How to get there
Mount Augustus National Park is located 852 km north of Perth (roughly 14 hrs drive), 490 km by road east of Carnarvon and 390 km from Meekatharra. The national park is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia and Mount Augustus itself is the feature the national park is based around.
The roads are unsealed from Gascoyne Junction, so it is best to check the road conditions before continuing. After rainfall the roads can be shut or damaged. When I visited this Mount Augustus the roads were in very good condition and could easily be accessed by a 2WD. There are a few water crossing, which can become impassable after heavy rainfall. Again, its best to check Main Roads to find out about the road conditions.
*HOT TIP* Make sure to fuel up in Carnarvon or the Gascoyne Junction, there is limited fuel on the outback roads. Here is a guide on where to fuel up.
When to Visit
The temperature ranges from 20 degrees C in winter to 40 degrees C in summer. The nights can get quite cold during the winter, although they are warm in summer. The heaviest rainfall is from December to April, this is also the Cyclone season for this part of Western Australia.
The best time to visit Mount Augustus National Park is from May to November, when the weather is cooler. If you want to see beautiful wildflowers, I recommend visiting in spring.
The only accommodation available in the national park is at the Mt Augustus tourist park. Here you will be treated with amazing views of Mount Augustus whether you are camping or staying in accommodation. Rates are as follows (at the time of writing this post):
- Twin Room: $88 per night
- Queen self-contained $176 per night
- Family self-contained two bedroom unit $220 per night
- Powered campsites $40 per night (2 people), $20 per extra person
- Unpowered campsites $15 per person
There is a restaurant, bar, store and fuel available at the tourist park.
What to do in the National Park
Summit Mt Augustus (Beedoboondu)
This Class 5, 12.5km return trail will take you roughly 5-8 hrs to complete. This hike is an extremely difficult hike and should only be completed by people with hiking experience and a good level of fitness. Start this hike at least 30 mins after sunrise to avoid the hottest part of the day.
This hike is very steep, and take it from me, it is all uphill! So be prepared for ascending and descending through the entire hike. The last 300 metres of the hike are the steepest and require some rock scrambling. I had to have 3 points of contact through part of this section of the hike.
The whole hike took me about 6 hrs to complete. I did this hike with my 65 year old dad, who was able to complete the majority of the hike (not the last 300 metres). Although he isn’t an experienced hiker he was able to get up and down Mount Augustus with some difficulty. I was very proud of him for accomplishing this! I would not recommend doing this hike alone if you are not experienced, only reason I felt it was safe for my dad to do it is that I am experienced and I was carrying a emergency beacon.
Now, the top of this hike definitely doesn’t have the best views out of all the hikes I’ve completed. However, it does give you bragging rights that you’ve officially climbed the world’s tallest rock! So I think it’s worth it, if you like a challenge and hiking.
Flintstone Rock Trail
This short hike starts at the same car park as the summit trail, and you will follow along a rocky gully until you reach some aboriginal engravings under Flintstone Rock. This hike is 650m return and will take roughly 30mins. Some rock hopping is required.
This is class 3, 550 metre return walk is very easy and takes you past some aboriginal engravings to Edney’s Spring. This walk is worth doing to see the engravings.
A class 3, 300m return walk. This walks takes you to a cave with aboriginal engravings.
There are other trails in the park ranging from short walks to half day hikes. I didn’t have time to complete these but if you have a few extra days in the park, they would be worth doing. You can check out the Mt Augustus brochure here.
Best Sunrise and Sunset Spot
You can see quite a beautiful sunrise/sunset from the Mt Augustus Tourist Park, however, for more impressive views head to the Emu Hill lookout. I recommend heading here at least 30 minutes before sunset to watch the rock change colours and get a beautiful red glow.
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