Skip to Content Skip to Navigation Show Trail Map Show About the Trail Show Important Trail Details Read Trail Reviews
Support Our Trails

Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke, Darling Range Trails WA Top Trail Icon

  • Full day
  • 16.5 km
    • Bush Walk Grade 4

This 18.4km return walk on the Bibbulmun Track takes you to the highest point in the Darling Range, Mt Cooke.  A campsite (for walkers only - no vehicle access) is at the base of Mt Cooke so this is also a good option for an overnight walk.

Time stands still while enjoying beautiful views like this on the trail.
Earn 3 Points Overnight Hike

Trail Start

Get directions

Sullivan Rock, South East of Perth, 68.6 km, 1 hour and 3 minutes’ drive (Albany Hwy)

Trail End

Get directions

Southern Side of Mount Cooke

Park on the western side of Albany Highway, 9km south of Jarrahdale Road. The walk up Sullivan Rock starts on the opposite side of the road. Please take extra care when crossing the road as this is a major highway. Follow the signs to the Bibbulmun Track (about 750m from the highway).

Sullivan Rock is a spectacular granite outcrop that supports numerous rock pools containing unusual water plants. The prolific birdlife here includes ravens, grey currawongs, scarlet robins and fairy-wrens. Follow the cairns (navigational rock pile) eastwards to the junction with the Bibbulmun Track.

The kit bridge used on this crossing is one of many used to be more robust from destruction during a wildfire.

On this day walk you may encounter the species listed below. Zamia palm (Zamia reidlei): A trunkless shrub with large palm-like leaves endemic to Western Australia. The nuts from the palm have been successfully utilised as food by indigenous Australians, however eaten raw by European explorers incurred poisoning Bull banksia (Banksia grandis) is a common tree of the jarrah forest understorey. It has handsome dark green, shiny foliage radiating around its huge golden yellow flower cones, which appear from December to March. The enormous leathery leaves are deeply divided into numerous large triangular lobes. The flowers were known as mangyt, pulgarla or bool-gal-la by indigenous people and were steeped in water or sucked to obtain nectar. Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) is the most common tree of the northern Bibbulmun Track. It is best recognised by the bark, which has deep, vertical grooves and the gumnuts, which are 1cm across. Jarrah usually forms forest or woodland on gravelly soils, but sometimes also on sand or loam. The balga or grass tree (Xanthorrhoea preissii) has a green tuft of long spiky leaves, sometimes with a short trunk. Small, creamy white flowers are borne on a long spike. The Nyoongar people used the resin as a glue and the spike for fish spears. Bardi grubs were collected from the trunks of dying trees, and they could tell whether they were present in large numbers by looking at the tree and reading the signs of decay. Purple flag (Patersonia occidentalis) is a tall, flowering grass species with smooth, strappy green leaves to 40cm long and purple flowers between September and January. Cowslip orchid (Caladenia flava) has up to four flowers between July and December. The single, long, broad leaf is green on top and purple-tinged beneath. Purple enamel orchid (Elythranthera brunonis) has up to three shiny purple flowers, spotted reddish-purple underneath, which often fade to pink with age, with an approximate size of 3-4cm. The flowers appear between August and October. Common donkey orchid (Diuris longifolia ) is a robust orchid with large yellow and brown flowers and tapered leaves 15 - 20 cm long. It flowers between July and November. Blue lady orchid (Thelymitra crinita) has two to 15 pale to brilliant blue flowers along a central stalk and a broad oval leaf. It flowers between September and November

This campsite is designed for group use. There is a water tank, toilet and an undercover area but no sleeping shelter. The group campsite is around 700 metres north of the original Mt Cooke campsite and is visible from the Track.

The original shelter at Mount Cooke was built in autumn 1997 by volunteers from Dames and Moore Group, with funding from a Regional Development Grant, but was destroyed in the 2003 Mt Cooke fire along with Nerang campsite to the south. The new shelter was built by volunteers from the WA Rogaining Association in 2004 at the new location. Remains of the water tank that was attached to the original shelter can still be seen at the old location some 50m away from the new shelter toward Mt Cooke. The design is 'Deep South' and sleeps 12-15 people

Boot cleaning stations are provided to ensure that when leaving diseased areas bushwalkers do not carry the Dieback pathogen into uninfested areas. PLEASE BE SURE TO CLEAN YOUR BOOTS AND WALKING STICKS. Dieback and Disease Risk Areas Dieback is a plant disease caused by the root rot pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi, which thrives in moist soil water. The fungus attacks the roots of plants, and they die because they can no longer effectively absorb water. Without disturbance the fungus can spread only slowly. If transported in mud or soil clinging to vehicles, horses' hooves, bike wheels or the boots of bushwalkers it can spread relatively rapidly. Due to constant impact on the ground and contact with twigs, leaves, rocks and roots walkers' boots remain relatively clean, so the risk of spread is dramatically diminished.

Ascend through rocks and butter gums with views north-west and south-west. You will soon reach the Mt Cooke ridge featuring massive jumbles of granite boulders.

At 582m above sea level, Mt Cooke summit is the highest point of the Darling Range. The granite is over four billion years old, making the area one of the oldest exposed granite surfaces in the world. The massive rock boulders are evidence of India tearing away from Australia about 100 million years ago. There is no view from the summit.

The ornate crevice dragon (Ctenophorus ornatus) can be seen head-bobbing and arm-waving on exposed granite slabs. Males are dark brown to black and the females grey to pale brown. Males also have a black chest plate that they flash to attract females when head bobbing.

This cave has been used by walkers past, use it at your own risk.

The southern face of Mt Cooke is both elevated and at the mercy of wind erosion. The plants that inhabit this area have evolved to take advantage of the small pockets of soil, whether they be around boulder jumbles or cracks in the granite slab. Please don't disturb the soil or remove any rocks. Please remember to Leave No Trace.
Logo for Leave no Trace Initiative

Trails WA supports the seven principles recommended by Leave No Trace Australia for minimising your impacts when using the trails.

Learn more

This is one of many short walks possible on the Bibbulmun Track which stretches 1000km from Kalamunda on the outskirts of Perth, to the historic town of Albany on the south coast.

This walk starts at Sullivan Rock, just over an hour's drive south of Perth. The Track leading toward Mt Cooke is generally relatively flat. It crosses a broad and interesting creek system and passes through stands of sheoak, banksia and jarrah.

After reaching Mt Cooke campsite the Track ascends 2km to the summit of Mt Cooke, the highest point in the Darling Range, at 582 metres. The view here isn't the best - so continue on past the summit to the southern side of the peak and be rewarded with spectacular views.

If you've decided to stay overnight you can of course set up your tent and leave your pack at the campsite before heading up to the peak.  This is a good overnighter for families with children 8 years and over.  You can find other family hike suggestions on the Bibbulmun Track website.

Sullivan Rock carpark to Mt Cooke Campsite and back (13.4km return) or to Mt Cooke summit and back (18.4km return)

Vehicle access
Sullivan Rock Picnic Area, Albany Hwy

Take Albany Hwy from Armadale to Sullivan Rock picnic area (9km south of the Jarrahdale Rd turnoff). Watch for the hiker warning traffic signs as well as an orange Bibbulmun Track sign on the left with the picnic area opposite on the right.

Track notes

0.0   From the Sullivan Rock picnic site carpark off the Albany Hwy a clearly signed walk trail goes across the highway and over the rock to the Bibbulmun Track. Follow the rock cairns over the rock.

0.8   Turn right on to the Track and descend steeply.

0.9   At gravel road (Millars Log Rd (no vehicle access permitted) turn left. 50m further on turn right onto old vehicle track and descend to cross creek.

2.3   Pass reference tree BW74/3. Almost immediately pass a well preserved log landing made of jarrah logs on the right. The landings were used to roll logs onto the railway carriages.

2.5   Trail turns left on old vehicle track to cross creek on substantial foot bridge.WA Christmas trees here have brilliant orange flowers in summer.

2.7   Turn right off old vehicle track onto old railway formation. Watch for evidence of logging railways and timber operations.

2.9   Pass reference tree BW74/2. The incision on the tree is on the far side.

3.0   Cross creek on substantial footbridge. Continue through broad, swampy area on old formation. Pass stands of WA Christmas tree and kingia often confused with the balga grass tree.

3.5   Cross old vehicle track. Soon after, leave old formation veering to the left onto walking trail.

3.6   Trail turns left off old rail formation by rocky creek.

3.8   Turn left again off old formation. Then soon after cross old vehicle track on an angle. Wander through a fabulous stand of sheoaks.

5.5   Veer left off old formation ascending slightly.

5.6   Turn left off track onto walk trail.

5.8   Cross gravel road (Cooke Rd – no vehicle access) and continue straight ahead on old vehicle track, again passing through fine stands of sheoak.

6.0   Reach spur trail for Mt Cooke Group campsite on right.

6.7   Descend to reach Mt Cooke campsite. Just beyond campsite, near the boot cleaning station, is the original location of Mt Cooke campsite, burnt in a bushfire in 2003. The old water tank remains and interpretive signage explains the extent of the fire. Retrace your steps to your vehicle.

Continue for a longer walk option

7.1   Cross creek on substantial foot bridge. Soon after skirt small perched wetland with paperbarks and other swamp species.

7.3   Cross another wandoo-lined creek on a smaller footbridge.

8.0   After skirting above a natural amphitheatre lined with mature butter gums (Darling Range ghost gums), cross watercourse.

8.9   After ascending through rocks and butter gum with views northwest and southwest, reach the Mt Cooke ridge featuring massive jumbles of granite boulders. Pass alongside a granite slab with views to Mts Vincent, Cuthbert, Randall and Dale toward the horizon.

9.2   Reach the trig point on the summit of Mt Cooke. Soon after traverse long granite ridge. The best views are from this ridge further south along the trail, between 100 and 500m. From the summit, retrace your steps to your vehicle.

The Bibbulmun Track offers a wide range of experiences, from a gentle stroll to enjoy the peace and beauty of the natural environment, to an epic eight week adventure camping out at the 49 campsites and enjoying the hospitality of nine communities along the way. Those that walk every step of the way can be registered as end-to-enders.

Other Links

Be trail ready for Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke, Darling Range

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

up to 8 hours return

Length

16.5km return

What To Pack

Group B (Bushwalks and/or longer trails) required.

Trail Start

Sullivan Rock, South East of Perth, 68.6 km, 1 hour and 3 minutes’ drive (Albany Hwy)

Get directions

Trail End

Southern Side of Mount Cooke

Get directions

Bush Walk

Grade 4

Bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may be long, rough and very steep. Directional signage may be limited.

Difficulty Notes

The hardest part of this walk is going up to the top of Mt Cooke. It is also the most rewarding part!

Facilities

You can find a group campsite which offers a water tank, toilet and an undercover area but no sleeping shelter, If you need a sleeping shelter, you are welcome to use the Mt Cooke Campsite, which offers a sleeping place for 12-15 people and a water tank. Always take a tent as space is not guaranteed. Groups of 8 or more need to submit a Notice of Intent with the Bibbulmun Track Foundation.
  • Camping
  • Car Park
  • Public Toilet
  • Shaded Area
  • Sheltered Area
  • Water Access Points

Best time of year

April to December

Fees

Trail Access

Road

Prohibited Items

No pets or bikes
Edge shaped like mountain horizon
topography pattern

Complete Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke, Darling Range to earn badges and points!

Earn points and badges and become a "TrailsWA Expert" by completing trails and leaving reviews.

Earn 3 Points

Earn 3 points towards
your TrailsWA level

Overnight Hike

Earn the Overnight Hike badge when you complete this trail

Edge shaped like mountain horizon
Alt text

3 trail goers have rated Sullivan Rock to Mt Cooke, Darling Range as 4.33 out of 5!

We love to hear from people who've been on our Western Australian trails, so it would be most appreciated it if you wanted to leave a review.

Brett Peters

Reviewed 16 Sep 2019, 10:23pm

This is a long hike, and the mid section is rather dull, the reward comes after you pass the over night camp area. As you ascend you can see the scenery becoming rather spectacular. This section is a real work out, so take you time, your reward is the summit. Beautiful rock formations and amazing views. Do go past the high point a bit further, and be rewarded with excellent views. It's a pity this walk is so long, near on 20 kms is a solid hike, explains probably why not many people go here. Next time I might take a tent and overnight it.
Fayley Arthur

Reviewed 17 Feb 2019, 5:43pm

If long views and nice rock formations are your thing then you will enjoy this. The bushland doesn't have any old growth left due to controlled burns and a corresponding scarcity of wildlife so that is a bit disappointing .
Andrea Bertram

Reviewed 19 Dec 2017, 8:20pm

This hike took us about 4.5 hours to complete including a 30 minute lunch stop. Nice views of surrounding bushland and plenty of interesting rock formations. Definitely recommend!

Like this trail? Explore others nearby

More around Perth & Surrounds

Supported by great organisations

Trails are free and bring so many benefits to our community by providing opportunities to have fun, get fit, socialise, explore and challenge yourself. But they also have to be managed and maintained which only is made possible through terrific sponsors, donations and/or volunteering.

topography pattern