Three adventurous women headed into the Western Australian Wheatbelt one weekend to check out rocky outcrops and gaze at stars. With the moon in ‘toenail’ phase, and the Granite Way drive only 2.5 hours from Perth, a road trip was just what their horoscopes predicted!


We acknowledge that this adventure is located on the traditional Country of the Njakinjaki Nyoongar people who have occupied and cared for the lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them as the Traditional Custodians and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Quick Overview

The Granite Way loop drive is located approximately 200km from Perth in the Western Australian Wheatbelt. It’s a 60km circuit beginning at Kwolyin Campground on the Bruce Rock-Quairading Road.


Wallabies are also here for a slice of the action

About the Granite Way

The 60km Granite Way driving route begins at the Kwolyin Campground, but it can also be accessed from Kellerberrin or Yoting. The self-drive trail provides a link between some of the best granite outcrops in the Wheatbelt. You’ll be treated to stellar views of wildflowers, farmland, and great monoliths rising from surrounding plains. Wildlife is abundant and most points of interests have benches, shelters, and toilets.

History of the Granite Way

The 60km Granite Way loop was established in 2013 by the neighbouring Shires of Bruce Rock, Quairading, and Kellerberrin to attract more visitors to the region. The rocky granite outcrops in the area are spiritually significant to the local Njakinjaki Noongar people while the gnammas (holes and cavities in the rocks) are important water sources for local wildlife.

The campground is situated on the old townsite of Kwolyin, established in 1912 as a railway town. The town met its demise after the Goldfields water scheme came through but stopped 7km short of Kwolyin at Shackleton. It hung on for a while, but the entire town of Kwolyin was eventually bulldozed following an arson attack on the State Hotel in 1992.

An old Catholic church remains on the site. Over the years, the bush has matured, creating beautiful campsites surrounded by trees. Ironically, Kwolyin Campground is now one of WA’s few bush campsites with fresh running water and flushing toilets.


It’s named ‘The Granite Way’ for a reason. Pretty hard to miss these monoliths!

How to Get to The Granite Way

The only way to get to Kwolyin Campground and the Granite Way is by car. The 2.5-hour drive from Perth is a pleasant 202km trip through wheatfields and canola crops. The roads are mostly sealed, apart from the Granite Way road itself.

Conditions can vary on the unsealed roads so while the route is typically fine for 2WD vehicles, checking with Kellerberrin Shire Council before you leave is a good idea.

Where to Stay on The Granite Way

Kwolyin Campground is the only place to camp with direct access to The Granite Way. You can camp further away in the towns of Kellerberrin or Bruce Rock – bookings are essential for both (but not for Kwolyin).

There’s no camping permitted on or around the rocks in the region. We based ourselves at the Kwolyin Campground for two nights. With fresh water onsite and flushing toilets, it was very comfortable. There’s low light pollution in this region so a lot of people are drawn to Kwolyin campground for the great stargazing conditions too.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace


Chill camp vibes – check!

Places to Eat on The Granite Way

Apart from a coffee and snack stop in York, 97km from Perth, we took all our own food. A good coffee spot in York is Botanicalia Café on the main street.

The closest town, Kellerberrin, is 39km away from the start of the trail; however, for basic needs, Shackleton General Store is just 7km west of the campground at Kwolyin.

Things to Do on The Granite Way

  • Stargazing and astrophotography
  • Hiking and climbing the granite rocks
  • Rock climbing & abseiling – all activities must be reported to the Climbers Association of WA (CAWA)
  • Wildflower spotting
  • Picnics

Skill Level


The skill level entirely depends on whether or not you’re planning on climbing the rocks. If not – this trip is 100% suitable for beginners. If you plan on climbing the rocks where there’s easy access – hello intermediate! If you plan on climbing or abseiling the less accessible rocks, you’ll need advanced skills, and must report your climbs to CAWA.

Aside from Coarin Rock, which is within walking distance of the campground, and Kokerbin Rock, with a marked perimeter path and fresh water, the rocks have no facilities or marked paths. Phone reception is sketchy in the campground and on the trail. If you decide to summit any of the rocks, including Kokerbin, choose your own path carefully. Kokerbin Rock perimeter path is accessible by wheelchair.

Distance / Duration of The Granite Way

60km / full day

The Granite Way is a 60km loop, but allowing for stops and time to explore, a full day is an ideal amount of time to spend here.


Photos just begging to be all times (bring extra batteries!)

Essential Gear for The Granite Way

  • Camping gear – tent, sleeping bag etc.
  • Cooking gear and utensils
  • All food
  • Firewood (only when fires are permitted between April – September)
  • Water and bottles
  • Hats, sunscreen, and long-sleeved shirt
  • Mosquito repellent (they were savage)
  • First aid kit with basic supplies
  • Telescope and camera (don’t forget those extra batteries!)
  • Strong walking or hiking shoes
  • Climbing equipment – if taking on difficult climbs
  • PLB – especially if you’re planning on climbing

What It’s Like to Experience The Granite Way

The Western Australian Wheatbelt is fast becoming one of my favourite camping destinations, especially in the cooler months. It’s so unassuming from the outset but full of riches the deeper you dig.

Day 1 – Perth to Kwolyin Campground

Distance: 201km
Time: 2.5 hours

Yellow canola fields stretched as far as the eye could see, only 70km from the Perth CBD. I looked for a spot to pull over because I simply needed to take a photo of all this yellow! A farm driveway appeared and I leapt out to trudge through mud in my Birkenstocks – ugh! But it was worth it.

I didn’t stop again until I reached the historic town of York for a quick pit stop and coffee. Botanicalia Café on the main street offered a discount for using a reusable cup and made a fine coffee.

By the time I reached the turn-off to Kokerbin Rock, I was ready to stretch my legs. As I was early for the rendezvous with my friends I decided to check out Kokerbin – a giant rock emerging from the flat green and yellow plains. The third biggest monolith in Australia, no less. Uluru is the biggest (duh!), followed by Walga Rock in Murchison, Western Australia.

Read more: Climb This Massive Boulder in WA’s South West

I explored and climbed part of the way up before stopping to chat with a friendly ranger who was doing the rounds. I then headed to Kwolyin Campground, less than ten minutes away. I couldn’t wait to share the rock with the others!

My camping buddies had arrived, so we pitched tents for the night and got the fire raging to ward off the thirsty mosquitoes and warm ourselves. Dinner and drinks under the stars – the perfect way to start any weekend.


From the campfire, looking UP!


Day 2 – The Granite Way

Distance: 60km
Duration: 4 hours +

We decided to start our day with a big cooked breakfast in front of the fire and brewed some coffee while we waited for the morning mist to clear. It was beautiful and quite eerie.

Water bottles filled and snacks packed, we hit the unsealed road for Mount Stirling, 21km away, and one of the furthest rocks on the trail. It was Mount Stirling that first grabbed my attention when I was researching our destination.

Another bloody big rock sitting in the middle of someone’s wheat field! One sign announced its presence (TBH, it didn’t really need pointing out!), so we drove around the side in pursuit only to find a long-abandoned church as well. A walk through the thick grass and tangled branches took us to the base of the rock. Definite ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ vibes.


So big I couldn’t even fit him in the photo!


There are no marked trails or any indication of where to summit this monster. It’s a self-guided climb. Some sections of the rock are more accessible than others, and the views would be incredible from the top. We decided not to climb Mount Stirling as we had Kokerbin Rock in our sights.

We spent some time taking photos and viewing the rock from different angles. Most of Mount Stirling is on private property, so we viewed it from the road. We saw no other cars all morning.

Back in our vehicle, we did a drive-by of Mount Caroline, a further 7km away, before looping past Gundaring Rocks – both flanked by privately owned wheat fields. We spied a farmhouse tucked into the base of one of the rocks – what an amazing sight to wake up to every morning!

Kokerbin Rock was our final stop, and being the third biggest monolith in Australia, it was the one we decided to climb. Of all the sites, Kokerbin is the most visitor-friendly, with toilets and fresh drinking water. It has designated walking paths around the perimeter and access to safe climbing places.

Before long the mosquitoes came out and they were determined to suck us dry! Be sure to prepare yourself with repellent. I began to regret my choice of shorts! Movement and a swishing branch seemed to deter them somewhat.

We climbed Kokerbin Rock from the most accessible side to be rewarded with views of canola and green wheat, farmhouses, and an amazing view of the rock itself. Weather conditions were perfect – blue skies and around 22°C. We saw White Flanked wallaby scat around the water pools and gnammas but, unable to actually see any, figured they were dozing in one of the many nooks and crannies on the rock surface out of our view.


Yes, it really is that yellow. Beautiful!


It was hard to leave our perch, but the snacks had run out, and lunch was calling, so we headed back to camp to relax the afternoon away. There was a group of ‘detectorists’ camped not far from us, who’d spent the entire day wandering about with metal detectors and small spades. When we chatted with them, they said the old town site was rich with artefacts, coins, and occasionally jewellery. The small mounds of soil I thought were Woylie mounds now made sense!

About five groups camped at Kwolyin with us, and being Saturday night, there was an air of celebration. As dark fell, silhouettes could be seen huddling around fires, chatter and music filled the air, and delicious aromas mingled in the middle. I tried my hand at photographing the night sky and was excited with my results.


But seriously, can we live here?


Day 3 – Kwolyin Campground to Perth

We packed up this morning once the dew had dried from our tents. All of us could have stayed another night, but nothing delays work on Monday!

Read more: 9 Stunning Natural Wonders to Visit in South Western Australia

Tips for Visiting The Granite Way

  • Campsites are plentiful and free at Kwolyin Campground – no bookings required
  • Take your own firewood and an axe
  • Check that fires are permitted in the month you’re visiting by checking with Wheatbelt Tourism
  •  Download maps as mobile reception is not reliable
  • The temperature drops at night so take layers


A rock so big it has its own trees

FAQs The Granite Way

How long does it take to drive The Granite Way?

You can take as long as you like! We took four hours including plenty of stops for photos and exploring outside of the car.

How far away from Perth is The Granite Way?

The Granite Way drive begins approximately 200km from Perth. The scenic drive will take you about 2.5 hours.

How hard is The Granite Way?

The walking around the granite outcrops is suited to beginners. If you want to climb any of the giant rocks the difficulty is more of an intermediate to advanced scale. All climbs must be registered with the Climbers Association of WA.

How much does it cost to drive The Granite Way?

The drive is free! Petrol isn’t though (damn!). Camping at Kwolyin Campground is also free.

What’s the best time of year to experience The Granite Way?

The self-drive route is open year-round! May to November are the best months to visit for ideal weather conditions and better odds at seeing wildflowers in full bloom.

What other road trips are similar to The Granite Way?

If you’re keen to hit the road and explore Western Australia then this two-week self-drive adventure along the South West Coast is sure to pique your interest.

Where can I go for more information on The Granite Way?

You can find basic information about The Granite Way, including a tourism brochure with a basic map, on the Quairading Shire website.

This piece was brought to you by a real living human who felt the wind in their hair and described their adventure in their own words. This is because we rate authenticity and the sharing of great experiences in the natural world – it’s all part of our ethos here at We Are Explorers. You can read more about it in our Editorial Standards.