Friday, 11 December 2009

Australian travelloque: Walpole's Valley of the Giants

3 Nov 2009. We left Walpole (population, 2006 census: 321) rather early in the morning and headed back east towards the direction of the Valley Of The Giants in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. That would be our main itinerary for the day: to go for a tree-top walk in the morning and then head back into Walpole by mid-day because I had a little rendezvous with something. More about that later.

But first, a short stop at Nornalup. This is a very small community. How small is small? Well, as far as I could see, it has only two roads and according to a 2006 census, its population stands at 279. Anyway, Nornalup is located right beside the Frankland river. Many of the houses face the river and some of the owners even have their own private jetties. Nice place for relaxation but we had to leave for the Valley.

Frankland River, as seen from Nornalup

Oops! Obviously, my timing was out of whack. We arrived at the entrance to the Valley Of The Giants Wilderness Discovery Centre much too early and the bar was across the road. We thought of waiting it out but after five minutes of doing absolutely nothing, the thought of doing a further 20 minutes of sitting still in the car wasn't going to appeal much to us.

The drive along the Valley Of The Giants Road

So we decided to drive further and ended up at Dingo Flat Road. Aha....a small farm to explore, which we did for about 10 minutes.

Anyway, we went back to the Wilderness Discovery Centre, duly paid our entrance fee to the very friendly lady manning the ticket booth (maybe we were too mesmerised by her friendliness and enthusiasm), went for the 600m-long Tree Top Walk that rose almost imperceptibly - most probably because the forest grounds fell into a valley - up to about 40m above the forest floor from where we had a magnificent 360-degree view of the tingle forest's canopy, and then proceeded along the ground-level Ancient Empire boardwalk that snaked though a grove of veteran tingle trees. All in, an entertaining experience.

The tree-top walk is disabled-friendly

Towards the Ancient Empire boardwalk

Next: Going to the races
Previous: Moon over Walpole

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