Today we said goodbye to the kangaroos and emu and drove less than 100km from Quinninup to Walpole which is our next stop for three nights and our last stop in the Southern Forests of West Australia. We arrived at Coalmine Beach Caravan Park before lunch and had a quiet afternoon. We have had a little set back with a problem with one of our battery packs and Glenn spent some time calling the company and working on it. He had found a connection has come apart and we are hoping that an auto electrician might be able to fix it but the closest is in Denmark about 65km away. Otherwise a quiet afternoon but very windy and then rain in the evening.
We waited until the rain had subsided before venturing out on a drive through some of the forest area. Following the self drive route in one of the tourist booklets we entered Walpole-Nornalup National Park and first stopped at Hilltop Lookout. Unfortunately it decided to rain again so we only saw the view from inside the car and continued into the forest to the Giant Tingle Tree. The rain had stopped again so we were able to do the short walk to the tree and take some photos. Whilst this tree is more than 300 years old there are many, many more just like it all around. The story boards told us of the changes over millions of years and one explained that the granite here is the same as in Antarctica.
There is simply no way to get all of this tree in one photo but I tried.
Back in the car we headed for Circular Pool which is formed within the Frankland River. This is a mighty river starting about 400km inland and finding it’s way to the ocean via the Nornalup Inlet at Walpole. The tannins in the water are created by the flow in winter and create the froth like cappuccino on the water. I took a video to show the ferocity of the water and then photos to show the stillness in the Circular Pool.
We made our way back to town via unsealed roads and with farms on one side and forest on the other. We were hoping to go back to the lookout but realised the road was one way and instead headed for the Valley of the Giants.
Western Australia’s red tingle trees can have a circumference of up to 20 metres which makes it the largest buttressing eucalypt in the world, and can only be seen in the Walpole Wilderness between Denmark and Walpole. The Tree Top Walk soars 40 metres into the forest canopy and allows you to walk amongst the height of the trees. There was another shower on our arrival so we wandered the gift shop and waited for it to pass before heading out on the walk which is 660 metres along a series of walkways. It wasn’t until we were part way along the first walkway that I realised it was a suspended walkway and moved with the footsteps of others and then later with the wind. Not a good place for me but I continued, made it to the highest point and got Glenn to take the photo and then slowly headed around the remainder. We were lucky that it was not busy and I could wait until no one else was on the walkway.
There is also the Ancient Empire Walk which is a lower walk amongst the base of the trees and a Discovery Centre which we viewed. We were disappointed that there was no café here when the brochure said refreshments available. That turned out to be a drink machine or ice cream. We headed out of the forest area and decided to drive the 50km to Denmark for lunch and to visit the auto electrician. We took a tourist drive there and that will be a separate post.