Leaving Albany to head further west, we arrived at the magnificent “giant trees” area of the great south of WA, with our first stop being Walpole. What a great place! Although a small town of only around 500 people, Walpole has great coastal frontage and some beautiful scenic drives, with most of the area surrounded by National Park which contains the fabulous Karri trees. We found the park was very popular with grey nomads, finding out that many spend weeks if not months there during summer due to the cooler weather, temperatures being not dissimilar to those experienced at Albany and Esperance.
Taking a day trip to experience some of the sights at Walpole, we visited the Giant Tingle tree. Trying to imagine a tree with a 24 metre girth is hard enough, but to physically see it was nothing short of amazing. The Giant Tingle tree is a eucalypt and is the largest girthed living eucalypt known in the world. Some of the tingle trees we saw had been affected by forest fires over the years, often resulting in the burning of inside the trunks. Although the trees survive, the space created can be so enormous that a mid sized car would easily fit within its trunk. Incredible!
Next stop – the Valley of the Giants. Here we were able to have a bird’s eye view of the forest by taking the tree top walk with the highest point reaching 40 metres above the ground. The trees though were still so much taller than us! Later in the day we took in some of the coastal views around the area – ahh, these holidays are so hard to take! 🙂
Further west, we began to drive through the most beautiful Karri forest on our way to Pemberton. The trees absolutely towered over us as we drove, their canopy allowing dappled light through to the road which made our trip so enjoyable. In parts, the trees were so tall, that the road in comparison looked so small like a bike track. Photographs just don’t do the trees justice. Not being able to find a proper stop along that road for our morning coffee to further enjoy the forest, we basically pulled over where we could, took out some chairs and a table, and enjoyed our coffee just listening to the birds and the the wind gently blowing through the tops of the trees. Growing to a height of around 75 metres at a rate of 1 metre per year, these trees are simply stunning and dwarfed both us, the car, and the van.
Upon arriving in Pemberton, our stay included a ride on the tram which weaved its way through the towering Karri forest; we also went for a look at the Gloucester tree which had been used years ago as a fire lookout, and walked the suspension bridge at Beedalup Falls (but no water in summer time!) A trip this way wouldn’t be complete without again trying out a couple of wineries…first stop was Lost Lake Wines followed by Hidden River Estate Winery for tasting and a great lunch platter. At both places we favoured the whites, adding a few to our cache in the van to take further up north. Grant and I both agree that this whole area would be fantastic to cruise around in a convertible, as there would be nothing above you to inhibit the great views of the trees and soaking in the real atmosphere of the place. Magic!
We next continue to arrive at the most south western point of Australia, Augusta and begin our trek up the west coast.
Grant & Linda.
|Kms Travelled Total 5,856