Walpole Western Australia
Walpole is an idyllic coastal town at the heart of the Walpole Wilderness region.
It was first developed as part of the 1930s Land Settlement scheme, for city families affected by the Great Depression. Surrounded by the Walpole-Nornalup National Park and Nornalup inlet system, it offers spectacular scenery whether explored by foot, four-wheel-drive or kayak.
Discover the 1911 shipwreck at Mandalay beach, marvel at the 24m circumference of the Giant Tingle Tree (this is the only place on earth where the ancient Red Tingle tree grows) and enjoy the view from 40m on the award-winning Valley of the Giants treetop walk.
Walking trails: The many options range from strolls to coastal, bush and treetop hikes. The Bibbulmun Track is 963km from the outskirts of Perth to the south coast town of Albany. It is Western Australia’s only long-distance walking trail and passes through Walpole-Nornalup National Park. For a short but steep walk, drive 29km north to Mount Frankland and climb to its summit (1km) or around its base (1.5km) for views of the karri forest and Frankland River.
Birdwatching: The spectacular ecosystem of the Walpole Wilderness is home to more than 50 species, from eagles to wrens. Prime time is spring and early summer to catch the birds in full song. The Walpole-Nornalup visitor centre has a species check list and more information. Particularly good spots include Circular Pool, Peaceful Bay and Rest Point.
Location: One and a half hours west of Albany, five hours’ drive from Perth.
Accommodation: Camp in Walpole-Nornalup NP, relax in self-contained cottages and bushland retreats, or stay on a houseboat on the Walpole-Nornalup inlets.
Food/drink: Walpole town has numerous cafes and restaurants.
Points of interest: The Valley of the Giants tree-top walk and Ancient Empire boardwalk, the Giant Tingle Tree, the Bibbulmun Track, Mandalay Beach.
Maps: Available from the visitor centre.
More info: www.walpole.com.au