Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents 202 Scoop Traveller January - June 2012
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It’s hard not to feel the call of
the wild in Margaret River, or
at least to hear it. More than
20 frog species live in the
region, including three that are
endangered: the white, orange-
bellied and sunset varieties. At just
2.5cm, the orange-bellied frog is
hard to spot – but you might see
some in dense swamp vegetation
along the Spearwood creek system
of the Blackwood River.
It’s much easier to find the
western grey kangaroo. Males can
reach 2m in height, and that’s
before they start jumping. The
kangaroos are popular residents
at Margaret River Golf Course,
where they can often be seen
playing near the green.
The adorable black-gloved
wallaby is known for its
eponymous black paws and mask
over the eye area. It’s smaller
than a western grey, and a lot less
common. But despite declining
numbers in recent decades, more
have been seen lately in the area.
If you want to spot one, try an
early morning or dusk expedition
through jarrah forest.
The Boranup Forest has some
of the tallest trees, with pale-
barked karris that soar to 60m.
A 2WD-friendly road winds
through the area, or you can
walk or cycle one of the many
trails, some with sweeping ocean
views. The southern end is also
home to karris.
Head north, on the eastern
side of the Leeuwin-Naturaliste
ridge, for a glimpse of jarrah and
The Prevelly, Gnarabup
and Redgate areas have been
impacted by bushfires and over
the next six months the forest
will regenerate and the wildlife
return. It is estimated that a full
environmental recovery will take
at least five years.
January to April is an ideal time
to head out on the sheltered
waters of Geographe Bay for a sail,
with consistent off-shore winds
providing great sailing on crystal
clear, open waters. Yachties from
Perth and surrounds love the
conditions down here, given that
the Bay is such a large expanse
of open water, with minimal
amounts of yachting traffic.
The main facilities for sailing
craft are Port Geographe Marina
(large yachts), Geographe Bay
Yacht Club (West Busselton)
and Dunsborough Bay Yacht
Club at Quindalup boat ramp.
Between November and March,
the Geographe Bay Yacht Club
offers twilight sailing over select
Thursdays from Port Geographe
Marina. Most of these clubs also
offer Learn to Sail courses on
smaller skiffs or laser class yachts.
If adventure on land is more your
thing, there are some amazing
tracks throughout the national
parks and forests in the area. The
trails are wide and hard, with
excellent drainage, although
winter is the best time to ride
because trails are firmer and
faster. Trails are graded from
beginners to intermediate, and
many are hidden and inaccessible
to the general public, so you have
Special construction permits
were obtained from DEC and
the tracks were designed and
built over many years and are
Fresh food really does grow on
trees in this part of the world.
How could it not, with all that fine
soil and pleasant Mediterranean
weather? Summer turns up
raspberries, blueberries, broccoli,
avocados, stone fruit and
macadamia nuts, among other
treats. Taste them at Margaret
River Farmers Market, which
attracts producers from across the
region. The event – happening on
the second and fourth Saturdays
of each month – also offers bread,
meats, cheeses and olive oil.
Cowaramup Market specialises
in organic produce and bread.
This is a smaller, community run
affair, happening on the second
Saturday of each month. Still
hungry? Follow the sweet-tooth
trail in central Margaret River.
Local fudge, cookie and ice-cream
vendors are scattered along Bussell
Highway. Head further out to
Harmans Mill Road for famous,
Walking the Cape to Cape Track
This 135km trail takes in a bounty
of natural attractions: from
stunning headlands and towering
trees to remote, pristine coastline.
Here are a few tips to help get your
Family trips | The first 3km from
Cape Naturaliste to Sugarloaf Rock
feature wooden boardwalks and
bitumen paths, with outstanding
vistas of Sugarloaf Rock and the
Windmills surfbreak. Slightly
more difficult is the 5km walk
from Smith’s Beach to Mitchell
Rocks. This stretch has steep and
rocky sections, great for young
families with adventurous kids.
Amazing scenery and high vantage
points make this trek worth the
Hard parts | Many walkers are
surprised to find their greatest
challenge is sand. The seemingly
innocuous stuff is a killer when
you’re trudging through it all
day. That’s why the section along
Boranup Beach is among the
hardest. You can start at Hamelin
Bay (2WD access) or via the
Boranup forest (4WD access),
with camping options at either
end. Of course, the greatest
challenge is the ‘end to ender’.
Most people take between five and
There are a host of picturesque stops for
cyclists in the region (Photography AMRTA).
Eagle-eyed walkers may spot the occasional frog
in the undergrowth (Photography AMRTA).
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