The West Australian central west coast is home to some of our best untouched bush land. Just 250 kilometres - or about three hours - north of Perth is the epicentre of WAs bush tourism in the towns of Jurien Bay and Cervantes. From these small fishing villages you can literally head in any direction to find one of our great natural wonders.
Stockyard Gully national park is one such natural beauty. Situated just a few minutes from Enneaba, it's a DEC protected national park with many outstanding features such as lakes, wildflowers, giant Eucalyptus trees and cave systems.
The main attraction is the caves. The caves are self guided walks with the largest reaching 300m end to end in pitch black. The sandy bottom caves are a result of a dried up creek bed carving its way through the cliffs in the area. This can be a little unnerving when you consider what happens to creek beds during flash floods.
Despite this all you need is a torch and a little courage to walk into the pitch black underworld, there are openings on the other sides, although you can't see some of them until the last few metres which can unsettle you a little.
Inside the caves there are plenty of interesting rock structures as well as resident colonies of bats and small birds which set the caves alive with songs. And after walking through you can officially say you've walked through a cave unguided - how cool does that sound!
Lake Indoon is the other main feature of the park. The 130ha freshwater lake is a popular spot for water based activities including swimming, kayaking and water skiing. For $5 a night you can camp here with BBQs, drinking water, toilets and hot showers all provided.
Aside from these you can also walk through the photogenic park and capture the abundance of wildflowers, large eucalyptus trees and striking cliff faces. There is a large population of grey Kangaroos as well as bats and a wide variety of birds.
Exit of the main cave. Not visible until you reach it!
Getting there is simple. Indian Ocean drive will take you right up to Jurien Bay. From here you can take the unsealed cockleshell gully road almost all the way to the caves. To get right up to the entrance you will need a 4wd as the sand track can get soft and bumpy due to limestone outcrops. Lake Indoon is conveniently located just of the sealed Coolimba-Enneaba road.
Stockyard national park is great for all year round day or weekend trips. Lake Indoon springs to life in the warmer months while the fauna and flora come out to play when the days get cooler. Walking through the bushland gives you a great insight into what WA once was before the age of human settlement.