See giant red tingle trees at Walpole-Nornalup National Park in the south of Western Australia. These towering old growth forests are part of the Walpole Wilderness area and have remained virtually untouched. To get up close to these pristine forest beauties visit the Valley of the Giants and Tree Top Walk to the east of Walpole. You can get a magnificent view of the forest canopy from the Tree Top Walk, while the Valley of the Giants leads you to giant red tingle trees with trunks up to 20 metres in circumference. Walpole-Nornalup National Park is also home to a rugged coastline, peaceful inlets, rivers and forests of karri trees. In the south-west of the park, about 5,000 hectares of near-pristine bushland has been set aside for bushwalkers. The famous Bibbulmun Track passes through the Walpole-Nornalup National Park on its 1,000 kilometre route from the Perth hills to Albany. If you're visiting between February and April there's also the chance to see the annual migration and spawning run of the Australian salmon. There is camp sites dotted throughout the park. The park surrounds the towns of Walpole, Nornalup and Peaceful Bay, a five hour drive south of Perth.
The Walpole Wilderness Discovery Centre (WWDC) is an exciting tourism product in the South West of Western Australia. It represents a multi-million dollar investment by the State Government into eco-tourism and is comprised of three sites including: The Tree Top Walk; Swarbrick Art Loop in the Mount Frankland South National Park; and Mount Frankland which features the newly completed Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout, arrival shelter and visitor facilities. The WWDC focuses on different perspectives of the vast, natural and wild landscapes of the Walpole Wilderness to create inspiring visitor experiences. It has been designed and built to be the jewel in the crown for nature based tourism in Australia's South West and is a key tourism component for the newly formed Great South West Edge, one of Australia's sixteen national landscapes. The WWDC features unique interpretive displays at all sites where visitors can learn what makes the wilderness special. While the Tree Top Walk is an established product, it is the unique blending of this renowned product with the new to create a synergistic outcome where the total experience is more than the sum of its parts.
The spectacular coastline at Conspicuous Beach in the state's south is extremely popular for fishing and surfing. Whilst the rough waters are not recommended for swimming, surfers will take delight in the breakers off the coast. Take a walk along the boardwalk that follows alongside the beach and leads up to a viewing platform on Conspicuous Cliff. You may be fortunate enough to see whales gliding through the ocean on their migratory path. The panoramic ocean views are truly magnificent. Keen walkers can appreciate the area by walking a section of the Bibbulmun Track which passes by Conspicuous Beach on its journey from Kalamunda, near Perth to Albany. Known as one of the world's great long distance walks, stretching nearly 1,000 kilometres, it offers many gratifying views. If your visit brings you to the Walpole area over the summer months, you will be rewarded with the impressive display of flowers from the Red Flowering Gum trees. Conspicuous Beach is located 20 minutes east of Walpole and five and half hours drive south of Perth.
Go fishing, canoeing and kayaking at Frankland River near Walpole on the south coast. At around 400 kilometres the Frankland is the longest river that flows into the Walpole-Nornalup Inlet. This estuary permanently opens to the sea and is a haven for water birds and other wildlife. The Frankland River passes through picturesque farmland and virgin bush. It's a popular spot for water sports - take to the river in a canoe or kayak and be surrounded by nature. Fishing in the Frankland River is also top rate. Walpole is about a five hour drive south of Perth.
See the shipwreck of the Norwegian vessel the Mandalay, at beautiful Mandalay Beach near Walpole in the south. The ship was wrecked there in 1911 and when the tide is low you can see parts of it exposed from the beach. There's an interpretive display which tells you more about the wreck. This stretch of coastline also offers great views of Chatham Island which looms out of the water three kilometres offshore. Fishing is popular at Mandalay Beach, but even if you don't fish, a visit is worth it for the spectacular views of the Southern Ocean. Mandalay Beach is about a 20 minute drive west of Walpole. There's a walk trail to the beach. It takes around five and a half hours to drive to Walpole from Perth.
This short but steep one kilometre walk takes you up Mount Frankland in the Mount Frankland National Park near Walpole. Combining a walk around the base of the granite mount, surrounded by towering karri forest and superb summit views this trail is sure to impress. This Top Trail starts next to the car park, at the base of Mount Frankland. There are a few options, you can climb to its peak for breathtaking views, enjoy the walk trail around the base or combine both. Start on the bitumen track and climb to the top of the dome. The climb is mainly concrete steps requiring a short ladder climb so a moderate level of fitness is required. The views overlooking the karri forest and the Frankland River below are fantastic. After descending, walk the 1.5 kilometre loop trail around the rock. The trail requires a bit of effort as it is a natural surface with some rocks and narrow rough trails to negotiate. This is one of the best granite and karri areas in the south west. Camping in Western Australia's natural areas is a special experience. Selected campgrounds from across the state are now bookable online for a trial period.