Trips out of Ravensthorpe – Hopetoun and Fitzgerald River National Park

Hopetoun – pronounced Hopetown (I think) – and is named after a place of the same name in Scotland. It is just under 50 km (half hour drive) to the coast from Ravensthorpe. It is a small seaside town originally built to service the mining industry of the area with a port and lies right next to the Fitzgerald River National Park.

Driving around Australia you quickly get used to the yellow kangaroo signs at the side of the roads. Then there are the (less common) wombat and even koala signs. Around this part of Australia there were a few new ones (for us). These on the road down to Hopetoun…

Watch out for camels…
…and low flying white tailed black cockatoos!
We never saw the cockatoos but we did see some camels…

Hopetoun was established in 1900 as the port servicing the Phillips River goldfield and was gazetted on 9 February 1901. The port jetty was a terminus of a railway line between Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe that operated from 1909 to 1935. The port closed in 1937 and the jetty was destroyed in 1983. More recently it has been a site of accommodation for the nickel mine, east of the town of Ravensthorpe (the mine has closed and reopened several times).

What remains is a quiet and attractive seaside village which attracts holiday makers to the nearby beaches and Fitzgerald River National Park.

Port Hotel and beaches at Hopetoun
Old raiwlay station and other buildings in Hopetoun

This is definitely an area and stretch of coast where I would like to spend more time. The national park close to Hopetoun is spectacular…

Fitzgerald River National Park

Yet another national park that we have visited. This one is known for its rugged and spectacular scenery.  The Fitzgerald River National Park is one of the larger national parks in Western Australia with some 330,000 hectares of natural wonderland and a magnificent stretch of coast.

As always on the coast of this vast country the beaches are spectacular and practically deserted. A few of the beaches we strolled along we had to ourselves. Remember this was during school summer holidays and in an area where all accommodation was full !!

Beaches in the Fitzgerald River National Park

Like many places in Australia this national park has some fantastic beaches. I wonder which stretch of coastline is ranked the highest in this vast country? I must look it up… It’s exactly the type of thing someone will have written about online.

As usual, we barely scratched the surface of this vast unspoiled wilderness. To really see this park properly would require a week at least spent either camping in the park or staying in and around Hopetoun. Easier said than done during school holidays of course…

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