Bird watchers will find a fascinating variety of habitats to
explore in the Walpole- Nornalup area.
It is possible to visit karri and tingle forests, the shoreline and shallows of the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets, the Frankland and Deep Rivers, the Southern Ocean coastline, aeolian dunes, heathlands, granite outcrops and swamp areas.
There is a species checklist of the area available from the Walpole-Nornalup Visitor Centre.
Some of the better locations are Horseyard Hill, Peaceful Bay, Circular Pool, Coalmine Beach (Knoll Scenic Drive), Rest Point and Mount Frankland.
There are some great locations to catch a wave in the Walpole region.
The best surf beach with a 2WD access is Conspicuous Beach, turn right off the South Coast Highway, 13km east of Walpole. Mandalay Beach and Peaceful Bay are also surf locations.
For the more adventurous and in possession of a 4WD vehicle or boat there are great surf spots at the mouth of the Nornalup Inlet and at Long Point.
Walpole 4WD Tracks
There are many opportunities in this region to go off-road. Most of the tracks lead to the coast and have stretches of deep sand. Some of the more popular tracks:
Blue Holes Track - leads to Bellanger Beach and is popular with fishermen.The track is 4km long from Station Rd. and there is also opportunity to drive along the beach.
Long Point Track - this track can be found starting from the Mandalay Beach Rd. just off the S.W. highway at Crystal Springs (12km west of Walpole). This track winds its way to the coast for 9km. through different types of coastal vegetation.
Mandalay Beach Rd - There are tracks to Banksia Camp, Bottleneck Bay, Cliffy Head and Fishermens Track to Broke Inlet (closed June to December) located off Mandalay Beach Rd. A compressor is located at the Ranger Station on Mandalay Beach Rd.
From Peaceful Bay there are a range of tracks to the coastline and along the beach. These include The Gap, Rame Head and Kingi Rock. There is also an opportunity to drive along the beach to the mouth of the Irwin Inlet. A compressor is located at Peaceful Bay Caravan Park.
Like other outdoor recreationists, 4WD owners and drivers who access public lands have a responsibility or "duty of care" to help protect Western Australia's flora, fauna and natural landscapes so that future generations of users will be able to enjoy what we now take for granted.
- Keep to the laws and regulations for 4WD vehicles.
- Keep to constructed vehicle tracks. Do not drive off-road except in permitted areas.
- Keep the environment clean. Carry your own rubbish home.
- Obey restrictions on the use of public lands. Respect national parks and other conservation areas.
- Obtain permission before driving on private land.
- Keep your vehicle mechanically sound.
- Take adequate water, food, fuel and spares on trips. In remote areas, travel with another vehicle.
- Respect our wildlife. Stop and look, but never disturb or chase animals.
- Respect other recreationists rights to peace and solitude in the bush.
- Obey all fire restrictions. Extinguish your fire before leaving. Dont let your exhaust emit sparks.
- Join a 4WD club and support 4WD touring as a responsible and legitimate recreational activity.
Camping in National Parks
There are three locations around Walpole that permit camping in the National Parks.
Crystal Springs - Situated in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park 12km west of Walpole.
Amenities: toilets, tank water, BBQ ( no guaranteed supply of wood and bring own axe)
Price: $7 per adult/per night, $5 Concession Card holders/per night, $2.00 school age children under 16
Centre Road Crossing - Situated in National Park on the Deep River, 20km west of Walpole on South Western Highway.
Amenities: toilets, tank water , BBQ ( no guaranteed supply of wood and bring own axe) 1 cabin available- first come first serve, maximum stay 3 days.
Must boil Deep River water.
Price: Free of charge
Fernhook Falls - Situated 36 km north-west of Walpole on Beardmore Road, turn off South Western Highway.
Amenities: toilets, tank water, Gas BBQs, campers kitchen, 2 cabins available- first come first serve, maximum stay 3 days.
Must boil Deep River water.
Price: $7per adult/per night, $5 Concession Card holders/per night, $2.00 school age children under 16
Walpole provides visitors with many different types of bushwalking experiences.
Walks of half a day or less can be done at:
- Mt Frankland
- Mt Clare
- Mt Pingerup
- Mt Burnett
- Horseyard Hill walktrail, Pioneer Park
- Hilltop Giant Tingle Tree
- Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail
- Rest Point to Sandy Beach Trail
Longer walks are available using the Bibbulmun Track and the Nuyts Trail to Thompson Cove.
Walking through any piece of natural bushland is as close as youll get to being at one with nature. To be surrounded by the sounds, colours, smells and different types of life forms with which you share this planet is both enlightening and exhilarating.
Bushwalking is one of the most pleasurable activities Southern Forests has to offer, and whats more, its good for you. It is one of the least expensive forms of excercise and one of the most beneficial. It can ease stiffness, improve cardiovascular fitness, reduce stress, help control weight and is especially beneficial if done regularly. Walking is probably the single most important form of physical activity for many people and its enjoyable too.
Bibbulmun Track Day Walks
Following are a selection of walks on the Bibbulmun Track ranging from 11 kilometres in length to 21 km. Drop off and pick up services are available from Naturally Walpole Tours.
Walk 1. Sappers Bridge to Walpole. Distance:21km
Leave your car in Walpole and get Naturally Walpole Tours to drop you off at Sappers Bridge.
Walk 2. Conspicuous Beach to Tree Top Walk Distance:14km
Type:Coastal heathland/forest. Leave your car at the Tree Top Walk carpark and Naturally Walpole Tours will drop you off at Conspicuous Cliff.
Walk 3. Conspicuous Beach to Peaceful Bay Distance: 14km
Type: Coastal. Leave your car at Peaceful Bay and Walpole Taxi will drop you off at Conspicuous Cliff.
Walk 4. Giant Tingle Tree to Walpole. Distance: 11km
Type: Forest. Leave your car at Walpole and get Naturally Walpole Tours to drop you off at the Giant Tingle Tree.
Walk 5. Nuyts Wilderness Trailhead to Walpole. Distance:11km Type: Forest
Leave your car in Walpole and Naturally Walpole Tours will drop you at the Nuyts Trailhead.
Walk 6. Nuyts Trailhead to Thompson Cove. 14 km return
Nuyts Trailhead to Aldridge Cove. 15 km return
- Carry at least 2 litres of water per person
- Wear good walking shoes/boots
- Stick to the track
- Be aware of those long reptiles
Knoll Scenic Drive
Three kilometres east of Walpole in the Nornalup-Walpole National Park is the Knoll Scenic Drive. This 5 km drive provides panoramic views of both inlets, passes through a beautiful karri and marri forest and provides good picnic and fishing spots.
Short walks cross the Knoll and these are best done in Spring when the trails come alive with wildflowers. There are BBQ facilities, picnic and fishing spots.
These massive mammals can be seen off our coastline generally between the months of June and September. The two species of whale commonly seen are the Southern Right whale and the Humpback whale.
One of the best places to spot whales is from the viewing platform constructed at Conspicuous Cliff.