Things to do in Mount Barker & Porongorups
Situated just four hours from Perth, Mount Barker is the gateway to the amazing South Coast featuring the spectacular Stirling and Porongurup National Park Ranges, award winning wineries and vineyards and wonderful wildlife. Steeped in rich heritage and ancient geology the National Parks offer unique bushland and abundant animal life to explore.
Mount Barker is a four-hour drive along Albany Highway from Perth- ad on another 30 minutes if you’re heading through Mount Barker to Porongurup. TransWA operates coach services daily to Mount Barker. The country town doesn’t offer car rentals- if you want to explore, take a coach or plane (with Virgin Australia) to Albany and hire a car from there. The journey north from Albany to Mount Barker will take a little over half an hour (50km).
The world's only collection of all 76 Banksia species.
- Suited For:Families
- Activity:Flower Farm
- Open days/Times:Appointment only
Focusing on 10 historical sites with ample opportunity for picnicking and walking, the Mount Barker Heritage Trail is perfect for those looking for a pleasant half day outing in the Great Southern area.
- Type:Sites & Trails
Mount Barker, on the doorstep of the beautiful Porongurup Ranges, is a small and friendly town surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque wineries. The history of the area is rich, and those with an interest in exploring the development of the district can do so by following the 30km Mount Barker Heritage Trail drive.
Before you start, pick up a copy of the Mount Barker Heritage Trail brochure available from the Heritage Council of WA’s website or at the Mount Barker Tourist Bureau. It provides a well-written and informative guide to the town’s historic attractions.
The trail commences at Plantagenet Wines on Albany Highway, the first winery in the area to commercially produce wines. Here, you’ll also discover the area’s only surviving apple shed. Plantagenet Wines produces a large range of fine wines, which are available for tasting at the cellar door.
The next stop on the trail is the All Saints Church, Mount Barker’s first stone church, built in 1900, and the Old Post Office located on the corner of Albany Highway and Ormond Road. Built between 1892-93 at a cost of just £933, the post office is presently occupied by the Plantagenet Arts Council and is a thriving arts and crafts centre.
Next, continue to the lookout off Barker Road. Explorer Dr TB Wilson and his party climbed this hill in 1829 to determine the route of the next stage of their exploration. Situated 404m above sea level, the views here are magnificent and are best appreciated from the observation stand or the Memorial Stone in the parking lot. On clear days you can look across the hinterland and see the Stirling and Porongurup Ranges and Wilson Inlet at Denmark. The hill is also the site of a telecommunications tower, one of the tallest free-standing structures in the Southern Hemisphere.
Heading down St Werburgh’s Road, you’ll pass the remnants of the Hay River Bridge and eventually reach St Werburgh’s Chapel. Built in 1872 on the Egerton-Warburton property to serve the pioneers of the district, it is one of the few church buildings in WA built by a landowner on his estate.
Continuing along the trail you’ll encounter the crumbling remains of the Old Bush Inn on Marmion Street. Established in 1860 by William Cooper, it was for many years the only building in Mount Barker.
The Old Railway Station, constructed in 1923, is one of the town’s most important heritage buildings. This lovingly-restored complex, which fell into disrepair after the closure of the rail services, is beautifully presented and houses the Mount Barker Tourist Bureau. Visitors are invited to view the wonderful selection of historic images housed in the old station’s original kitchen.
The trail ends at the Old Police Station Museum complex on Albany Highway. Built by convicts, the police station didn’t have a lock up – prisoners were tied to the leg of the kitchen table or to a log outside the building. Today, the station is a unique museum with rooms that carefully portray the colonial period between 1865 and 1910. The complex contains interesting artefacts, remnants from many of the town’s old buildings and several outdoor exhibits. The museum is also home to the Plantagenet Historical Society and is a key attraction in the town. Guided tours are available, entry is $5 and children under 12 are free.
- 08 9851 1163
Mount Barker (aboriginal name Pwakkenbak) rises to about 147 meters above sea level and is strikingly adorned with the Mount Barker broadcast tower, one of the tallest unsupported structures.
- Open days/Times:7 days
- Tour Price:Free
- Wheelchair Access:No
- Activity:Bush Walking
- Suited For:Families,Adults (18+),Seniors
- Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,School holidays,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Public Holidays
The Mount Barker Swimming Pool is situated on Albany Highway and is open annually from November to April.
- Activity:Sports Centre
- Suited For:Families
- Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday
Facilities include a 50m pool, baby and toddler's pool, adequate shade, a barbeque and a kiosk. The Pool caters for passive or unstructured physical activity pursuits and is also utilised for structured or organised activities including swimming lessons, swimming club, swimming carnivals and other events and bookings.
Closed Christmas Day and Easter Sunday.
Sounness Park's main entry point adjoins McDonald Avenue. The local Sounness family vested the land to the Shire, for the purpose of recreation.
- Type:Entertainment Venues
- Activity:Entertainment precinct,Sports Centre
- Suited For:Families
- Open Days:Saturday,Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday
Mr Tuck Waldron MP opened the revamped Sounness Park on 9 May 2015, marking a sporting milestone in the Shire of Plantagenet, with the provision of a high quality central sports zone walking distance from the Mount Barker town centre. This state of the art facility boasts a central clubhouse and change rooms surrounded by three playing fields being; a combined football/soccer oval, synthetic hockey field and a combined cricket/soccer oval. Stage 2 and 3 of the redevelopment was unveiled by Mr Rick Wilson MP on 11 April 2016.
Plantagenet Sporting Club Inc was formed in 2016 primarily to facilitate communication between the founding four clubs being Mt Barker Cricket Club, Mount Barker Bulls Football Club, Mt Barker Hockey Club and Mount Barker United Soccer Club, and to manage the clubhouse and change room facilities for the enjoyment of the greater community. The Mount Barker Tennis Club is located to the left of the Sounness Park entrance.
The grounds infrastructure includes:
Reticulated football/soccer oval
Reticulated cricket/soccer oval
Synthetic hockey field
Public toilets and;
Central clubhouse and change rooms available for hire
The Shire of Plantagenet is responsible for the maintenance of the grounds.
The facilities are currently utilised by:
Mt Barker Cricket Club
Mount Barker Bulls Football Club
Mt Barker Hockey Club
Mount Barker United Soccer Club
All Stages of the Sounness Park redevelopment are now complete. Please click here to see more details. Check out this drone footage, courtesy of Ken Brown at Shoot It WA, showcasing Sounness Park. Ken also kindly provided photos 2 and 5 below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuJFLejbvsQ
For all bookings of the Sounness Park clubhouse and change room facilities, please contact Facilities Coordinator Hilary Watterson on 0447 194 259, email: [email protected] or visit their website www.plantagenetsportingclub.org.au