Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 020 Contents 252 Scoop Traveller July - December 2011
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Enjoy the best Blackwood River
Valley walks as wildflowers
burst into bloom. Call into the
Bridgetown Visitor Centre and
pick up their new Walk Trails
booklet with 18 detailed walks
through Greenbushes, Bridgetown
and Hester. The forest floor of
Bridgetown Jarrah Park (20km
from Bridgetown along the
Brockman Highway) lights up
with wildflowers in spring. Look
for native wisteria, yellow flags,
wattles, hovea, banksias, coral
vine, spider and donkey orchids.
The park is the most northern
location for karri trees, which
share the area with jarrah, marri
and yarri (WA blackbutt). In
August, the walks around the
Greenbushes Discovery Centre
are ablaze with golden wattle
blossoms. There’s a walk for
everyone, from a wheelchair-
friendly 0.5 km boardwalk around
the natural Greenbushes Pool to
the challenging 15k Greenbushes
Loop connecting to the Bibbulmun
Track. Around Balingup, the
Golden Valley Tree Park Track
takes you 1.4km each way to see
the hundreds of trees that give
the park it’s name. The somewhat
challenging 12km Grimwade Road
circuit follows the Bibbulmun
Track north, through jarrah forest
and pine plantations, rolling hills
and farmland back to Balingup.
Kondil Park near Nannup
has several trails known for
spectacular wildflower displays.
Look out for pretty pink Pimelea
rosea, also called a rose banjine.
Watch your step as you walk
around the bush because the
weather warms in spring and
snakes start to emerge.
Ranging from a calm paddle
for the novice to pulse-racing
whitewater thrills for the extreme
enthusiast, you can head out for
a couple of hours or a couple of
days, camping by the riverbank.
Planning is essential – experts
advise that fast-flowing water in
the stretch between Bridgetown
and Nannup can pose real dangers
from hidden snags before the
river rises and widens, even for
the most experienced canoeists.
Downstream from Nannup is said
to be less hazardous, where you
can meander through beautiful
karri, jarrah forest and farm
land to camping grounds at Sues
Bridge. Always tell someone where
you’re going and when you expect
to return, and check conditions
before you head off. Get the
inside nod on Blackwood River
conditions from local operator
Neville Hamilton, who says
that he’d much rather give free
advice than have to pull you out
of trouble – call him on (08) 9756
1209. Check out the Blackwood
Canoe trails at warrenblackwood.
com.au/Canoe.html for sections to
suit your experience.
September through to mid-
December is said to be the
best time to cast a line into the
Blackwood, when the river’s
renewed with the winter rains. The
section between Bridgetown and
the Great North Road is considered
to be a good spot to catch rainbow
trout, which are restocked
annually by the WA Department of
Fisheries. Balingup locals try the
Balingup Brook for red fin perch.
Make sure you’ve got a Freshwater
Licence from the Department (also
available at Post Offices) if you
plan to catch anything but a cold.
On the Munda
Biddi cycling track.
Canoeing on the Blackwood River
(Photography Tourism WA).
Boyup Brook Country Music Festival
(Photography Geoff Harris)
Temperature (max 30o- min 15o)
Rainfall (max 148mm - min 14mm)
Taking a break on the
Caroline Watkins moved to the area
five years ago from the north-west
and is now the project manager for
Blues at Bridgetown. She lives 10km
out of town on a property where she
breeds alpacas as well as keeping
a small menagerie of animals. She
shares with us her favourite events
and things to do.
Harvey Dickson’s Country Music
Show | Put on your boots, listen to
music and watch the rodeo.
Rotary Blackwood Marathon
Relay | Great to watch, there
are hundreds of participants
in the relay from Boyup Brook
to Bridgetown, with the whole
community pitching in. There’s
cyclists, horse-riders, runners,
swimmers and kayakers.
Eat | We recommend The Cidery
and Chudacud for a barbecue or a
pub meal and a wander down the
main street to see the old buildings.
Coffee | Funky Tree is run by
a young local family and has a
great homely feel.
Birdwatching | We had a registered
birdwatcher come to our property
and he counted 56 different species
of birds in the region.
Stargazing | People bring their
telescopes down to watch the
stars – we’ve now bought our own.
The sky is so clear at night, the
stars are amazing.
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