Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 019 Contents 74 Scoop Traveller December-June 2011
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picked up the Bibbulmun Track from outside the Valley of the Giants and
continued on toward South Coast Highway. After checking into the Tree
Top Walk Motel in Walpole we enjoyed dinner at the Top Deck Restaurant.
DAY 5 | Giant Tingle and river valley walk (11.6km moderate walk)
From Walpole we took a short drive up to a little spot known as the Giant
Tingle Tree – a very old tree with a diameter of almost four metres at the
base! The walk along the Bibbulmun Track from there led us past some
of the best karri, tingle and sheoak forest anywhere in the south west.
It wasn’t long after seeing the first glimpses of the Frankland River that
we arrived at one of the best and well-known campsites on the Track
perched right on the bank of this largely unspoilt river is Frankland
campsite. Our walk finished at Sappers Bridge – a bridge re-built in
October 1982 by the 22nd Construction Squadron RAE following flood
damage in January 1982.
DAY 6 | Karri kingdom and the Gloucester Tree (10km easy to moderate walk)
The drive from Walpole to Pemberton is one of the more scenic drives
through the karri forest. It also passes through a section of the Shannon
National Park where I first encountered the Bibbulmun Track in the
mid ’90s. Our walk today started from Beedelup Falls and then took us
through an area rich in logging history, with a mixture of old growth and
regenerating karri forest. Walking through the Big Brook Arboretum we
saw many different species of trees from around the globe which were
initially planted in the 1930s to determine their resilience to the soil
conditions and climate. The collection of trees is still standing tall as a
testament to their hardiness and includes the Californian redwoods and
If you don’t have time to walk the whole Bibbulmun, see the best of it.
Whether you spend a day, a weekend or eight days, this highlights tour
is the perfect way to enjoy the best of WA’s magnificent walking trails.
For more information, call (08) 9481 0551 or visit bibbulmuntrack.org.au.
other conifers. A quick drive then took us to the Gloucester Tree, a
giant karri tree. ‘Built’ in 1947, it is the world’s tallest fire-lookout tree.
Some of us took the challenge and climbed up the 153 rungs to a platform
in its upper branches for breathtaking views – you regained your breath
whilst looking at the view!
DAY 7 | Hills and Golden Valley Tree Park (8.4km easy to moderate walk)
A day of transition today, as we left the tall timber country behind us and
headed for the rolling green hills of Balingup. The first part of the walk
took longer than usual as we deliberately took time to look for orchids. We
counted 10 different species of orchid surrounded by numerous colourful
native flowers within a short distance including the stunning Reaching
Spider Orchid (Caladenia arrecta). We had lunch in Balingup and most
riders made the most of the various arts and craft shops in town. We
headed north to Dwellingup for our last night. We stayed out of town at
Banksia Springs where we had pre-dinner drinks looking at the photos of
our last seven days since we left Perth. It was also a 70th birthday for one
of our group – so there was plenty of cake after dinner!
DAY 8 | Dwellingup and jarrah forest (11km easy walk)
On our final day we had an easy stroll through the jarrah forest, spotting
a number of orchids and other wildflowers. We were pleased to spot a
patch of Bird orchids (Pterostylis turfosa) close to Chadoora campsite.
Back in town there was time to explore the town before heading home.
The Dwellingup History and Visitor Information Centre had an amazing
display of the infamous bushfire which tore through the town in 1961. A
mood of reflection swept upon us as we travelled over the Narrows Bridge
and neared our city destination. Soon, sadly, we had all gone our separate
ways but still looking forward to our next adventure which would bring us
back to the spirit of the Bibbulmun Track and the WA bush.
ABOVE White spider
orchids are just some of the
beautiful flora that can be seen
on the track. LEFT Among the
sights are regenerated bushfire
areas and their returned wildlife.
BELOW LEFT Trekking
through tall trees on the
Pemberton leg of the track.
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