It was quite a journey to Denmark (Western Australia), so we decided to stop in a little place called Walpole for the night.
Driving through the south-west forests was special. Both sides of the road teeming with giant karri and tingle trees, whose branches create a canopy above the road. It’s no wonder why the locals call it the Valley of the Giants.
Our lunch break was in a small spot on the map called Pemberton. It has an IGA Supermarket and an impressive ANZAC memorial and that’s about it. We continued on to Walpole.
The Visitor Centre was great in Walpole. The guy behind the desk pointed out all the best places to visit and helped us with accommodation. He also gave us info on the main attraction – The Treetop Walkway. We would do that in the morning.
As we were chatting, he asked where we were from. When he had heard Karen was from Ayr his eyes lit up and he asked:
“Ayr?, Is that near Prestwick?”
In his younger days he and some mates, at Uni in the Lake District, had restored a 1936 London Cab and driven it up to Scotland where they sold it for the train fare back south, in Prestwick! #SmallWorld
We drove round to the Walpole Lodge and managed to get a dorm to ourselves – first bunk beds of the trip! That sorted we went exploring the town/village.
Some nice jetties and lakes surround Walpole but the piéce de resistance is the pub! Who knew carpet and concrete could go so well! It was Footy Night and the bar was busy so we managed to get two stools at the end of the bar and had some ‘Midi’s’ – half pints!.
As night started to descend we left after a few drinks and went back to cook some food followed by something very naughty….trashy Australian TV – XFactor and the like!
As the owners baby son was staying over we were told off for having the TV on loud!
So some Midi’s, a plan for tomorrow and a win for the Freo Dockers in the footy – Mission Accomplished!
The next morning John drove to the Tall Trees. Karen was nervous…
The walkway is 40 metres high and follows a path through the forest. Unlike in Borneo, this walkway didn’t look on the forest below but we had to look up at the towering trees themselves – the Red Tingles, which are unique to this part of the world. Lasting for approximately 400 years they can reach a height of 75 metres.
On the ground we walked along a pathway called the ‘Ancient Empire’ and into the hollow trunks of these trees and avoided cutting ourselves on the Sword Grass around us. The trunks are hollowed out at the base due to fire, fungal and insect attack. They are also one of the only Eucalyptus Trees to not have a taproot which accounts for their buttressing development (shallow routes that spread out).
With our bout of Tree Hugging finished we jumped back in the car.The next stop would be the town of Denmark after a few pitstops…