Absolutely quiet night – the only noise we heard was the sound of frogs croaking nearby. Lovely.
We had a busy day today. First on our list was a walk through the bush right here at our Van Park. This walk went all around the small inlet on which this Park sits. The water was just a few metres away all the time and the view was fantastic.
There were bell birds singing and at one stage we were screeched at by six white-tailed black cockatoos (never even knew they existed until today). They sure were rowdy. At one stage I almost stood on a small snake – about 2ft long. It was a brown snake. I do not know who got the bigger fright – but I think it was me! At the end of this walk we then did a short walk along a road which led to a ‘saw pit’. This saw pit is exactly that – a large pit in which one man stood while another stood above and between them was a huge log – the 2 men would then saw this log in half/quarters etc. A most physically demanding job that’s for sure. Very interesting. While on this walk we saw a large darkish coloured kangaroo bound by. Lovely.
We then walked back to the Park and had a quick lunch before heading off to a self-drive tour of all the interesting tourist venues here in this area.
First was a drive to Coalmine Beach (no coal- an early settler found some coal on the banks of the Nornalup Inlet but it was not suitable for mining). There is a lovely safe beach/swimming area here. Next was the Knoll Scenic Drive – There were 2 lookouts on this circular drive which gave lovely views of both inlets and forest.
Straight from this Drive we turned into the next drive to Hilltop Lookout. Now this drive was absolutely amazing – it was a one-way road and wound through a forest of gigantic Red Tingle and Karri trees. These trees are amazing. We were the only people on this drive so it was lovely to stop for a while and just listen to the sound of the birds in the trees. Took lots and lots of photos.
The Tingle tree is an extremely tall eucalyptus tree and is well known for its buttress shaped base which helps support its great height. It is also known for its ability to survive almost total destruction by bushfire which burns out the insides of the tree, and yet it stays alive and continues to grow.
There was a lookout here overlooking the Frankland River and Nornalup Inlet. Because we were quite high the view was great.
Next venue was the Giant Tingle Tree. It was a 800m walk from the car park to this tree and the walk took us past some unbelievably large trees- made us wonder just how big is this Giant Tingle Tree? We soon found out. They have erected a boardwalk around this tree to protect it. Its girth is 24 metres around. It is believed to be the oldest living eucalypt in the world. This is a tree which is almost fully hollow inside and yet it continues to grow. It was massive!
Not far from this large tree was another scenic spot call ‘Circular Pool’. This is small pool into which the Frankland River flows over some rocks etc. and the water coming down causes masses of froth – the pool is called ‘Nature’s Cappuccino’, because with all the tannin staining the water, the froth looks like chocolate topping on a cappuccino.
The drive through this forest to see these venues was really magnificent.
We then drove through Walpole and Nornalup (only 20 kms or so) to what is called ‘The Valley of the Giants Tourist Drive’. This drive meanders through another forest of Tingle Trees and Marri and Karri Oak trees. Again, very lovely. The Drive leads into the famous Tree Top Walk.
This is a 420 metre long steel truss walkway. It is built on the side of a natural valley so the climb above the treetops of the giant tingle trees is gradual. At its highest point we were 40 metres above ground level. The walkway is accessible by wheelchair so it is very safe. It does rock a bit, but nothing like a swing bridge. We met some people who could not wait to get off the platform, but it really was nothing to worry about.
The view from above the trees was certainly spectacular but both Ian and I thought our drive earlier through the other forest was much better.
We then drove back to Walpole to go to the local IGA to buy milk, and the drove around the town too have a look. What a lovely little town. A best-kept secret – but not for long as there was a sign for a subdivision being opened. This little town is right on the inlet – absolutely picturesque. Many of the homes were holiday shacks, but there were some lovely homes there as well. Most people here have a boat as it is a good fishing area.
Arrived back at the Van around 4.00pm. Got my washing off the line before the evening chill set in.
We are both a bit tired now – we did quite a bit of walking today. Also Ian’s legs are a bit sore after yesterday’s climb of that large tree. Probably all the walking has done him some good.
This is certainly lovely country and we are glad we took the time to have a good look around.
Love to all, Janese and Ian