Blackwood River National Park

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Cultural Recognition

We recognise and acknowledge Bibbulman and Wardandi people as the traditional owners of Blackwood River National Park. 

This photograph was taken on a walk trail in the park. The dirt path extends into the distance, and either side of the path is thick with green bush and tall trees. There is a wooden sign reading “WALK TRAIL 20 MIN RETURN”. The sky can be seen through the trees. It is mostly blue in colour with patches of white clouds.
Exploring a walk trail in Blackwood River National Park. Photo credit: Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions.

Empty headingOverview of Blackwood River National Park

Please note that bushfires are prominent in the Blackwood River National Park area during dry, hot months. Refer to our Safety section (below) for more information on bushfire safety.

Blackwood River National Park is home to some of the best opportunities to paddle, swim and fish amongst beautiful native forest only a few hours from Perth. 

Blackwood River National Park is located just under three hours south of Perth, and about 40 minutes east from Margaret River. Other nearby towns include Nannup and Bridgetown.  

The main attraction is, of course, the Blackwood River, which is WA’s longest continually flowing river! The river winds through the national park, past camp sites and day-use areas, with plenty of stops to launch a kayak or canoe, enjoy a spot of fishing or take a refreshing dip along the way. 

There are lots of small walk trails to discover in this national park. The scenic Blackwood River Walk is the only official walk trail, and is a six-kilometre loop starting in Bridgetown. This trail is relatively flat and suitable for wheelchair users who have someone to assist them. 

There are multiple driving trails to follow too, which give you a taste of the spectacular natural environment and delicious local  produce. Better yet, they’re all two-wheel-drive friendly! 

To see as much of Blackwood River National Park as possible, at all times of the day (it’s especially pretty in the early morning), we recommend staying overnight at Warner Glen or Sues Bridge campgrounds. 

You can visit any time of year, but spring is the perfect time to catch some beautiful, frosty mornings, as well as some days that are warm enough to swim! 

Entry into the park is free, though camping fees do apply. Dogs are only allowed on-lead in some areas of the park – check out our Points of Interest or visit the Explore Parks WA website for more information.

Download the Every Kid in a Park app to use the interpretive map featuring photographs and additional information about each point.

 

Points of Interest

Key amenities and points of interest include:  

  • Blackwood River Walk  
  • Chapman Pool and Warner Glen  
  • Sues Bridge  
  • Sues Bridge Campground  
  • Warner Glen Campground 

Resources

Nature Play WA is currently creating fun and interactive resources for Blackwood River National Park. Throughout January, we will be releasing these resources to assist families in planning their visit to the park.  

Five Things to Do at Blackwood River National Park

This resource is all about our five favourite things to do at Blackwood River National Park. It’s available to download as PDF or Accessible Word versions, to help you plan your visit. Download PDF version Download Accessible Word version

Every Kid in a Park Resources

Discover fun activities to do at any park!

Activity Sheet: Invent a Scent

Become a master of scents by searching for and combining the best smells of nature. Can you create the perfect perfume? This document is available to download as a PDF or Accessible Word version, to help you plan your visit. Download PDF version Download Accessible Word version

Activity Sheet: Seeing Sound

Sounds are only for our ears……. or are they? Find a quiet spot to sit and listen. What can you hear? Use this activity sheet to record and describe the sounds. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Texture Tag

Use this activity sheet to go on an adventure and explore textures around the park! Touch leaves, bark and even the ground, and describe the features. This document is available as a PDF and an Accessible Word version, to help you plan your visit.   Download PDF Download Accessible Word version

Activity Sheet: The Bravery Award

With the help of this activity sheet, you’re going to attempt to overcome a fear. That means it’s time to put on a brave face! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Barefoot Bootcamp

Explore the world through your feet with the help of this activity sheet. On your next outdoor adventure, take off your shoes and play barefoot for a new sensory experience! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: A Place of Your Own

For some people, finding a special quiet place helps them connect to nature. Use this activity sheet to find a place in nature of your own. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Plant Pose

Plants grow in all shapes and sizes; just like people! Use this activity sheet to explore the natural environment, or have someone describe it to you. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Stories in the Sky

Find a good place to sit or lay down and watch the clouds in the sky. Take notice of their colours, textures and shapes, or have someone describe these to you. Use this activity sheet to create a story in the sky! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: The Awareness Game

Being aware of your surroundings is a wonderful skill. In this activity, you will be using your senses to test your awareness of the natural environment! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Colour Wonderful

There are so many colours in the natural world. In this activity, you’ll head outdoors with a trusted person as you explore the rainbow of colours and count the shades of nature together. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Biodiversity

Blackwood River National Park is a birdwatcher’s delight, and features some of WAs best endemic plants and animals. 

Banksias, hakeas and acacias are plentiful in the park, as well as grevilleas. In spring, see if you can find a native orchid, like the flying duck orchid or rattle beak orchid. 

Grey fantails, red-rumped tits, striated pardalotes, kookaburras and red-winged fairy wrens are just some of the birds that flit about the jarrah, marri and sheoak trees. You might also see waterbirds like teal ducks, purple swamphens, white-faced herons and little black cormorants wading or swimming in the Blackwood River. 

A unique native mammal of the park is a vulnerable marsupial called the south-western brush-tailed phascogale. Phascogales look a bit like a small possum or mouse, with a long, black, bushy tail. They spend their days inside hollows of jarrah trees, and will eat insects, spiders and flower nectar during the night. Other marsupials include brushtail and ringtail possums. 

Reptiles include the King’s skink and south-western crevice-skink, and amphibians like yellow-bellied tree frog, quacking frog and karri frog have also been spotted. 

The Blackwood River is home to several species of fish. Within the national park area (upstream near Bridgetown and Nannup) you’ll find rainbow trout, brown trout, freshwater cobbler and redfin perch. 

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Safety

We suggest taking time before your visit to read through the safety information. We recommend visiting the Explore Parks WA website to plan when to visit Blackwood River National Park.   

Blackwood River National Park is a great place for bushwalking. Before you head out in nature, visit the Explore Parks WA website for tips on bushwalking safety. 

Swimming is a popular activity at Blackwood River National Park. Follow these precautions to ensure you stay safe around the river: 

  • Don’t enter the water if you can’t swim. Shallow water can quickly become deep, and flowing water can sweep you off your feet. 
  • Always enter the water slowly and feet first. Never jump or dive in. 
  • Always check the water depth, and look out for obstacles like logs and rocks. 
  • Check the water temperature. Even on the hottest of days, water in shaded areas or fast-flowing rivers can be icy cold. 
  • Take care on slippery, uneven, soft or unstable surfaces near the water. 
  • Supervise children at all times. 

In spring and summer, many reptiles emerge to bask in the sun. During this time you should take precautions to minimise the chance of encountering snakes:  

  • Take care in bushland and grassy areas.  
  • Walk in cleared areas only, where you can see the ground, and keep to established tracks.  
  • When bushwalking, wear long trousers and boots or other enclosed footwear that preferably cover the ankles.  
  • Keep a watchful eye on the ground about a metre ahead of where you are walking, and avoid entering areas of long grass, rushes and undergrowth.

Bushfire Safety

While Blackwood River National Park is a tranquil spot to relax and cool down in summer, bushfires are a real risk to those travelling through or staying in the area.

Here are seven tips from DFES for travelling during bushfire season, to ensure you and your family stay safe:

  • Create a bushfire plan for your travels
  • Pack an emergency kit
  • Know the bushfire warning system
  • Know the current fire danger rating for the area you’re travelling to
  • Check if there is a total fire ban in the area you are travelling to
  • Be prepared to change your travel plans
  • Know where to get the latest bushfire information

You can find more details about each of these steps in this useful DFES resource: https://publications.dfes.wa.gov.au/publications/travelling-during-bushfire-season

Check out Explore Parks WA for useful links and tips on bushfire safety: https://exploreparks.dbca.wa.gov.au/bushfires-and-prescribed-burns

Visit Emergency WA for the latest updates on current bushfires, alerts and safety advice: https://www.emergency.wa.gov.au/

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Conservation

While Blackwood River National Park has many recreational areas, it is first and foremost home to many plants and animals. Follow the tips below to assist the protection of the Blackwood River National Park environment.  

  • Only camp in designated camping areas. 
  • Leave no trace. Ensure all food is contained and out of reach of wildlife, and take all belongings with you when you leave. 
  • Campfires are usually permitted in the provided fire rings only, between April 15 and November 30, but fire restrictions may be imposed at any time and without notice. Bring your own firewood. 
  • When fire restrictions are in place, campfires must not be lit and any appliance powered by burning solid fuel must not be used. Always comply with any instructions at campgrounds and parks. 
  • Campers’ own liquid or gas fuel barbeques, stoves and heaters can be used at any time, unless a total fire ban has been declared. 

Visit Explore Parks WA website for more information about Blackwood River National Park.

Acknowledgements

Nature Play WA would like to thank the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for providing valuable information about Blackwood River National Park

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