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Walpole is situated on the Walpole Inlet, in the Shire of Manjimup, on the South coast of Western Australia. It is about 4 hours away from Perth and 1 hour away from Albany. It is most famous for the Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants, but there are many other things to keep you entertained in the area.
It is an incredible part of the world with so many unique features. The Walpole Inlet is a smaller inlet attached by a narrow passage of water to the larger Nornalup Inlet which feeds out directly to the Southern Ocean.
All of that sparkling blue water, surrounded by swathes of National Park create some incredible environments for you to explore.
There are heaps of things to do in Walpole. The most popular being the famous Walpole Tree Top Walk. This is definitely worth doing but there are plenty of other activities to keep you occupied while you are there.
To help you get down to the business of enjoying the area, I have created this article with all the information you need about the Tree Top walk plus another 12 suggestions for amazing things to do in Walpole WA.
The Tree Top Walk in Walpole
The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk is the number 1 attraction in Walpole. It is located a short distance away from the Giant Tingle Tree (see below for more information) within the Walpole-Nornalup National Park.
There is an entry fee of $21.50 per adult and $12.50 for each child over 6 years of age. There is also a family pass option. It is open daily from 9am until 5pm.
For the entry fee, you can do the Tree Top Walk as many times as you like. We arrived early and completed one lap of the walk before hordes of people arrived. (Aim to get there when it opens if you can, it was definitely a much more pleasant experience with fewer people).
The suspension bridges are made to sway. Apparently, this gives you a greater feeling of what it feels like to be amongst the branches of the giant trees. I don’t think I was the only one who felt like it distracted me from being in the moment amongst the tree tops as I fought my natural instinct to be afraid. This fear was heightened as more and more people entered the walk. There were signs on the bridge limiting the number of people to 20 people per section, however this did not seem to be policed at all.
The Ancient Empire Walk
I felt much more able to enjoy the area when I was back at ground level, but Lala and El Enrique loved the thrill of being up high and swaying in the breeze.
If you want to skip the Tree Top Walk there is a free 600m walk at ground level which takes you through the amazing tingle forest. It was great to do both. One to look down at the trees, and the other to look up!
I could have sat with Grandmother Tingle for hours. I am sure that she would have started telling me the tingle secrets if I sat still with her for long enough!
The Tree Top Walk School Holiday Activities
We were lucky enough to be there during the school holidays and they had a free kids activity which was based around a hide and seek theme. There was a series of clues and you had to use the information boards on the Tree Top Walk, and also the Ancient Empire Walk to find the answers. It was a great way to get Lala interested and each time we saw an information board she would run to it and wait for us to read it to her to find another answer in our quest.
There are regular school holiday activities, so check the website for updated information on what is happening.
Spot a Quokka
Rottnest Island is famous for Quokka’s. but there is one other place you could spot one on the mainland and that is in the Walpole – Nornalup National Park. We saw their ‘runs’ after we did the Tree Top Walk and were back at ground level, though we didn’t spot any of the smiling quokkas themselves. Who knew you could Walpole’s Tree Top Walk and go Quokka spotting at the same time.
The area surrounding Walpole is known as the Valley of the Giants. It encompasses the area around the Tree Top Walk, and the Giant Tingle Tree, which is only a short drive away. It is here you can find the huge Red Tingle trees that are only found in this part of the world.
I love that they have called it the ‘Valley of the Giants’. It seems to imbue the trees with personality. For me it conjures up an image of ancient giants that used to rule the world.
Before we even got out of the car we were exclaiming at the size of the trees as we drove past them. All three of us were calling out, ‘Check out the size of that one’, or ‘Look at how huge that one is!’. There is something about a massive tree that makes you feel like a little kid.
Our first stop was the 800 metre loop walk to check out the Giant Tingle Tree. This walk is completely free so if you didn’t want to pay for the Tree Top Walk this is a great alternative. But, I would suggest you did both. This short walk takes you to the largest eucalyptus tree in the world. It is huge and has to be seen to be believed.
It was cold and rainy on the day we went and I just loved the extra layer of atmosphere that added to our walk. We could smell the rainy forest, and the light mist of rain seemed to change the colour of green.
There were several information boards located throughout this walk which provided you with all sorts of information about the forest and the tingle trees. This area was once a part of Gondwana land and is largely unchanged from how it existed many millions of years ago. Let your imagination grab hold of that piece of information and run wild with it.
Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks
Located right next to each other within William Bay National Park, Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks are another favourite thing to do in the Walpole region.
You know how sometimes things don’t quite live up to your expectations? Well, that was our experience on the day we went. It was the day after a mega cold snap. It was overcast, cold and windy with occasional showers. I had rolled my ankle a couple of weeks prior and it was aching and making it difficult for me to walk on the unsteady sand and rocks. We still enjoyed it and could appreciate it’s beauty, but I just know it could have been a better experience on a different day.
Greens Pool was still beautiful but almost nobody was in the water. It was far too cold. A small group of 4 teenagers stripped down to their bathers and ran into the water squealing. I overheard one saying to the others, ‘We will regret it if we don’t do it!’ I certainly didn’t regret not going in the water. It was freezing and I thought they were completely crazy!
Elephant Rocks is a short walk away from Greens Pool via stairs and a walking track, or over the giant granite rock that straddles the two areas of the National Park.
I have seen countless photos of spectacular glassy blue water spotted with giant granite boulders that look just like elephants. On the day we went, in the freezing cold and wind, my imagination could only just make out elephants in the rocks. It was high tide and the water was up at the ‘secret entrance’, between two huge rocks. Sorry, too cold to take our shoes off and roll the pants up to go through!
I would love to return at the height of summer to really get the most out of it.
Enjoy the Local Produce
There is plenty of local produce to try in the area but the two that you definitely don’t want to miss are marron and wine.
Where to Find Marron in Walpole
If you are not a WA local, your chances of trying Marron anywhere else in the world are pretty slim. A freshwater shellfish, Marron is only found in the South West corner of Western Australia.
There is a Marron shop on the main street in town in Walpole. Here you can buy a live Marron to take home and have a go at cooking this local delicacy yourself. Be aware that if you buy it, you will also have to kill it.
Getting information on how to cook the Marron from the guy at the shop was like pulling teeth, but I found out the information I needed and confirmed it with google later. When we got home I put the Marron in the freezer to anaesthetise it, then cut it in half (sorry little fella), cleaned it out and put it on the barbeque with some garlic butter. El Enrique and Lala both refused to try any so I had to eat the whole thing myself.
There are a number of wineries in the area as well. We set off down an unsealed track to try Moombaki Wines which we chose from a map of the area we had picked up at the visitor centre. El Enrique was happy with a tasting and a warming bottle of Red. We also purchased a bag full of heritage variety apples which we enjoyed over the next few days. They were a pale yellow and tasted light and crisp and only a tiny bit sweet.
I also heard good reports of Bartholomews Meadery while we were there, but we never got to try it ourselves.
If you prefer to be taken around to enjoy the local produce, there is a tour that departs from Albany – The Tastes of the Great Southern – which is a great option if you can’t agree on who is going to taste and who is going to drive.
This is a very popular eco cruise which is located on the edge of the Nornalup inlet. It costs 50 dollars per adult and 15 dollars per child and operates daily from 10am until 12.30pm. It is very highly rated on Trip Advisor with many of the comments praising the tour guide. You can book tickets at the Visitor centre or directly on the WOW website.
Wow. What a beautiful and wild place. When we visited, the sun broke through the clouds and illuminated the beach in all its glory. There was a little creek trickling through the dunes, alongside the boardwalk and viewing platform, onto the open beach.
Lala could not resist the temptation and splashed around in the fresh water enjoying the brief sunshine. She chased the seagulls away who were using the freshwater for a drink and a wash.
It was wild and windy, and the surf was pounding against the shore. A few people were fishing for salmon nearby and as the Bilbbulman track passes right by, there were lots of walkers taking a break and enjoying the rugged landscape.
It is not recommended to swim at Conspicuous Cliffs as the waves can be strong, unpredictable and dangerous. We certainly felt that on the day we were there, but apparently swimming is not recommended at any time of year. There was a gentle little creek near the stairs and walkway though, so if you are desperate to get wet, that would be the spot.
Go Whale Watching
Conspicuous Cliffs is a great spot to watch for whales at the right time of year. They move through the region from the end of May until early October. Bring a picnic and a pair of binoculars and sit on the beach or at one of the lookouts along the board walk. If you don’t spot them here you could drive to Albany and do a whale watching tour.
Walk a section of the Bilbbulman Track
The Bilbbulman track criss-crosses whole sections of the Walpole region. We encountered many walkers at various times and at various locations. The track passes right through town and along the Walpole inlet, past Coalmine beach, through the Walpole-Nornalup National Park, past the Giant Tingle Tree and the Tree Top Walk and heads back down to the coast near Nornalup.
It would be an incredible way to see the region. It is 126km from Walpole to Denmark, but there are plenty of smaller walks that you can do in a day or even a few hours.
To complete this section of the Bilbbulman track is one of my dreams and I was cursing my sprained ankle. However, the tiny bits that we did of the walk only made me want to return to the area to complete more another time. For more information check out the section guide here.
Visit the Walpole- Nornalup Inlet
There is so much incredible intricate coastline to explore in this tiny little section. Take the scenic drive around Knoll Drive and stop at the various lookouts to learn a little more about the area. Knoll Drive is a one way loop that runs for five kilometers between the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets. It’s scenic lookouts have some incredible views overlooking the inlets and we enjoyed a few little walks out to the lookouts.
You could also spend a few hours exploring Coalmine Beach. We stayed at the Coalmine Beach Caravan Park so we found it easy to head over to the beach to explore. As it is sheltered by the inlet it is perfect for swimming, beach walking and kayaking. There is also a boat ramp nearby.
We tried to talk Lala out of this one, but she was adamant that she wanted to do it. We paid the $14 per adult and $7 per child to enter and timed our visit for the reptile handling at 11am.
We spent about an hour here in total. Lala held a bobtail lizard and a parrot. El Enrique also held a snake. I had the very important job of taking photos so managed to avoid all reptile handling.
There were a bunch of dinosaur models scattered around the room, a couple of which also moved mechanically. All the dinosaur varieties were from around China, which makes me think that the owners managed to buy them all for cheap from overseas to turn into a tourist attraction. It would have been nice if it was a bit more relevant to the actual area but from a kid’s point of view – who cares! Dinosaurs!
In the garden outside, there was a sectioned off area that housed a few kangaroos that you could hand feed. Watch out for the kangaroo ticks, we did see a couple of them. There were also a bunch of aviaries with a variety of birds from Australia and around the world.
Where to Stay in Walpole
There are so many options for places to stay in Walpole. As we have our own camp set up we chose to camp at one of the Caravan Parks in the area. We were not disappointed with Coalmine Beach Caravan Park. It was a very central location and a beautifully maintained park. It had campsites as well as a variety of cabins which looked neat and clean from the outside.
There are even more options if you widen your search to include the Denmark region which is only an extra 30 minutes away.
When is the Best Time to Go
The region has something to offer at any time of year, however it does get very cold in winter. If you are planning a winter trip, I would ditch the campsite and get a little cabin with a fireplace like this one.
We were there over Easter and it was packed with families. We still enjoyed our time, there is something magical about being amongst trees after rain.
Next time we return I would like to go in Summer so that I can enjoy the full glory that the coastline has to offer.
How to Get There
Walpole is located directly on the South Coast Highway so once you are on this arterial it is easy to find. There are some great things to see if you are traveling between Walpole and Perth.