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Set against the backdrop of Western Australia's only mountain range, Cranbrook is your gateway to the beautiful biodiversity of Stirling Range National Park and the vineyards of Frankland Wine Region. Three hours south east of Perth, or just over an hour north of Albany, Cranbrook is located in the Great Southern Region, in the heart of a rich agricultural farming area. Just 10 kilometres from the Stirling Range National Park, it's an excellent base for exploring this scenic, which is home to some of Australia's most unique flora and fauna, including over 100 species of birds, more than 1,500 varieties of plants and many dazzling and delicate orchids. Look out for wedge tail eagles, kangaroos, wallabies and, if you're visiting in spring, 350 species of vivid wildflowers, many unique to the area. The jagged peaks of the Stirling Range stretch for 65 kilometres from east to west, with Bluff Knoll the highest peak at 1,095 metres. Challenge yourself to the six kilometre return climb, or choose from the many mountain hiking and bushwalking trails that crisscross the national park. You'll find plenty of picturesque picnic and barbeque spots when you're in need of some refreshment. To the west, the cool-climate grape and olive-growing region of Frankland invites wine lovers to tour the cellar doors, while 45 minutes to the north lies Kojonup and the Kodja Place - a focal point for local Indigenous peoples. Here, you can learn the secrets and stories of one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth by the campfire or at the Visitor and Interpretive Centre. From nearby Surkey's Hill lookout, drink in sweeping panoramas of rural farmland, the Stirling Range and the area's lakes. Or head to the lakes for a refreshing dip and lazy picnic, or to test your water-skiing skills. At the end of a day exploring, retreat to Cranbrook where you'll find a range of accommodation options, including historic hotels, caravan and camping accommodation, authentic farmstays and the less-traditional option of a converted railway carriage.
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