Mount Richmond National Park
Mount Richmond is an extinct volcano surrounded by low, flat land. The volcano is covered with a layer of sand blown inland long ago from Discovery Bay. Forest, open heath and scattered swamps cover the park, which is noted for its flora and fauna.
Things to Do
The park is ideal for a picnic lunch. Use of private gas barbecues is encouraged, as is removal of any rubbish. There are also a variety of walks including:
Benwerrin Nature Walk - 1 hour.
Noels Walk - 1 hour (the last section is fairly steep).
West Walk - 1 hour (may be wet in places in winter and spring).
Ocean View Walk - 1 hour (views of Cape Bridgewater and Discovery Bay).
Wood barbecues and picnic tables are provided in the picnic grounds.
A look-out tower at the summit gives spectacular views of Discovery Bay and the surrounding countryside.
Camping is not permitted in the park. Sites are available in Nelson, Portland and nearby Swan Lake.
The mountain itself consists not of basalt but of tuff, a porous rock formed when volcanic ash gradually hardened after the eruption ceased over two million years ago.
Mount Richmond was named after Richmond Henty, one of the first European children born in the Portland area. The national park was established in 1960, as a result of the dedication of local naturalists such as Noel Learmonth and Cliff Beauglehole.
The park's varied habitats support a wide range of wildlife. Eastern Grey Kangaroos graze near the picnic areas and Koalas may be seen in the nearby eucalypts in drier months. Red-necked Wallabies occur throughout the park and Echidnas can often be seen foraging for ants. Copperhead and Tiger Snakes are sometimes seen sunning themselves on a warm day.
Mount Richmond is an important habitat for the uncommon Southern Potoroo; a small member of the kangaroo family, it is seldom seen as it lives in thick undergrowth and is only active at night.
There are no creeks on Mt Richmond - rainwater fills depressions to form swamps and wet heathlands which are favorable habitats for many birds and other animals. Birds include the Emu, Crimson Rosella, Gang-gang Cockatoo and Currawong. Smaller birds frequently seen include honeyeaters, thornbills, wattlebirds, Silver-eyes, robins, finches and tree creepers. Among the less common bird species are the Southern Emu-Wren, Beautiful Firetail, King Quail and Rufous Bristlebird.
Vegetation gradually became established on Mt Richmond and many hardy native plants now grow successfully on the infertile sandy soil.About 450 species of plants have been recorded in the park, including 50 orchid species. Correas, heaths, wattles and Bush Peas provide spectacular colours in spring, but there are plants flowering in Mt Richmond at almost any time of the year.
The well-drained soils near the summit support a forest dominated by Brown Stringbark with small pockets of Manna Gum. Further down the slopes, the main eucalypts are Shiny-leaf Peppermint and Swamp Gum (common in the picnic area) with an under-storey of grass trees, heath and many colourful annual and perennial plants. The wet heathlands are dominated by Swamp Paperbark.
Salt-laden winds have a marked effect on the vegetation in exposed areas, as you will discover on the Benwerrin Nature Walk.
Looking After the Park
All plants and animals in the park are protected.
No pets or firearms are permitted in the park.
Take your litter home with you.
Be careful of copperhead and tiger snakes in the warm sunny spots.
How to Get There
Mount Richmond is an easy 20 minutes drive from Portland
Discovery Bay Coastal Park
Lower Glenelg National Park
Mount Eccles National Park
Mount Napier State Park
1. Bicycle Touring
3. Canoeing / Kayaking
4. Coach/Bus Tours
5. Four Wheel Drive Tours
6. Horse Riding
7. Horse-Drawn Wagon Tours
8. Spotlight Tours / Nightwalks