TINGLES - SPECIAL FOREST GIANTS
Trip Start Oct 05, 2009
325Trip End Oct 31, 2013
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JOURNEY: Shannon, Mandalay Beach, Crystal Springs, Walpole- 100+kms
WEATHER: Sunny 20 degrees at 8am
ACCOMMODATION: Coalmine Beach Caravan Park $30 with power
We had been thinking about accommodating ourselves for the long weekend next week and found all the caravan parks were fully booked along the coast and wondered whether Crystal Springs might be a spot to set up camp and stay put. We did not like this place at all so staying put there was not an option.
We did however take the very rough and corrugated 12 km road to the beautiful Mandalay Beach where we had a late breakfast admiring the wild beach. It is definitely not for swimming but fascinating to watch.
We drove on to Walpole, a small town beautifully situated among the glorious forests, national parks and an impressive coastline. We checked into the lovely Coalmine Beach Caravan Park $30 pn with power and site 70 was shady under the delightful peppermint trees; these trees are prevalent in south west c/parks and provide shade and sweet aromas! It was conveniently positioned on the inlet and we had a lovely beach just 5 minutes away. Coal was discovered in a cave by an early settler but was inferior and mining was abandoned- today its for swimming kayaking and fishing!
We did a quick tour of the one way Knoll Scenic Drive adjacent to the park and decided it would be a great walking track early mornings and it was!
The rest of the day was spent touring the one way, gravel Hilltop Gully Road to the Giant Tingle Tree and the Circular Pool. The tingle tree is a weird looking specimen with huge base like a giant elephant foot and the trunk often opening out into a cave like cavity. This giant measures 24 metres around and attracts a lot of visitors. So now we had to learn about a new type of eucalypt that only grows here in and is limited to a few thousand hectares around Walpole.
Circular Pool seemed to be suffering from a low level of water in the Frankland River and was stagnent in spots; we had to trust the sign that warned of raging torrents after winter rain.
We joined the Thompson's the following day for the must-do Valley of The Giants; their truck easily accommodates 7 people. You drive through huge Tingle, Marri and Karri oak forests and reach the famous Tree Top Walk which takes you 40 metres above the forest.
We really enjoyed the Ancient Empire boardwalk through weird and wonderful old tingle trees and had fun posing in the trunk caves. An icecream stop in Walpole completed a happy day and back at the park the Thompsons invited us for a roast lamb dinner under the stars. Wonderful!
After our walk along the deserted Knoll Drive early morning, we tried to extend our stay in the caravan park but had to move to a different site and that took a while. Emma came to practise her reading with us and we learned all about the adventures of Chugg. A relaxing afternoon at the Channels and a try out in the foot pedal kayak was fun but catching fish eluded us- the family nearby were reeling them in but no luck for us!
Must mention however that Joe and John went out early the next morning in the kayak and caught 10 fish- well done!!!
The weather has been perfect here with only a gentle breeze and warm sunny days after misty cool nights. There is a lot to see and do around this little town and our stay here was a happy one.
With the long weekend getting closer time to get into our next camp ground before the crowds descend; apparently Perth people travel down and that is why the caravan parks are fully booked. Luckily for us Parry's is first in, first bedded down.