Southern Forest Road Trip – Dandalup to Walpole

Australia Day Road Trip

This Road Trip coincided with the Australia Day break in 2019. For the past seven or more years we would get up to 25 people and 15 vehicles join us on this holiday weekend – a break that we extended to four days.

2019 was a little different. Only a two night static camp plus Mike and Nick and their entourage wouldn’t be there. Moving every day. Still a four day break.

North Dandalup Dam to Dwellingup

The meeting point, for most,  was North Dandalup Dam on Friday. Adi, Kerry, Brad and Jane met us at the end of the day at Jayes Campground. and Jeff and Micaela were a day later at Walpole. It was still a considerable convoy out of North Dandalup Dam.

We travelled south along the Darling Scarp to Marrinup and then Dwellingup.

Dwellingup to Jayes Campground, Gnowergerup

Nanga Road took us south from Dwellingup to Harris Dam, Collie, Glen Mervyn Dam and Mumballup.

Andrew met us at Wilga, once a thriving timber town; now a quiet bush hideaway.

From Wilga we headed west to Greenbushes to see the lithium mine. Not far out of Greenbushes the Hester-Cascades Track is a great drive as it climbs the southern end of the Darling Scarp. We arrived at Jayes Campground a short time later. It was a cold night and fire restrictions were in place so there was no fire. Everyone was in bed by 8.30 p.m. to beat the cold.

Jayes to Great Forest Trees Drive

Next morning it was around four degrees and places where the sunshine filtered through the the trees were highly favoured.

We drove through the Kingston National Park along Corbalup Road to Perup, and then onto Muirs Highway for a short distance before turning south onto Deeside Coast Road. Nine kilometres along this beautiful drive we stopped at a fire tower.

Another five kilometres and the first karri tree appeared.

Great Forest Trees Drive to Eco Park, Nornalup

Tony had been experiencing issues with his vehicle and he needed to take some positive action by the time we reached the start of the Great Forrest Trees Drive.

The Great Forest Trees Drive was closed – probably because of fallen debris as a result of the major storm the previous week.

Then to Fernhook Falls and on to Mt Frankland.

North Walpole Road takes drivers from Mount Frankland through magnificent stands of karri flanking rich farmland south to Walpole, where the South Western Highway ends and the South Coast Highway starts.

Tingle Drive

From our base at Eco Park we headed out to Hilltop Drive, Circular Pool, Tingle Drive and Monastery Landing.

Conspicuous Cliff

Next stop was Conspicuous Cliff Beach, just a few kilometres from Eco Park.

Parry Beach

After a quick visit to Peaceful Bay we travelled to Parry Beach where we caught up with Dave Snooks, a friend from Perth who moved to Denmark a few years ago. Dave guided us into Boat Harbour and the Quarrum Beaches.

Boat Harbour

Quarrum Beaches

After lunch at Middle Quarrum Beach we pushed on towards Big Quarrum. via the Quarrum Dunes.

The beach at the western end of Big Quarrum had been totally washed away by last week’s big storm, thwarting out attempt to drive through to Peaceful Bay.

We returned to Eco Park.

Return home via Lake Muir

Before we made the return journey to Perth we visited the Nornalup and Walpole Inlets.

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Kim Epton

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