Denmark Welcome Sign - gorgeous Blue Wren

Denmark Welcome Sign – gorgeous Blue Wren

It was gloomy and drizzling rain when I left Crystal Springs this morning headed for Walpole where I drove the Knoll Road Scenic Drive around Coalmine Beach and the Knoll. The drive follows the coastline around the Inlet and the Channels so gives a great overview of the area. I’m heading to the Tree Top Walk via Nornalup –a quaint little village on the banks of the Frankland River – a beautiful wide river – very scenic.  A very witty superhero lolling on a sign at the Pig Poo Lady’s house was very amusing.

I arrived at the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk and it’s still raining – I can’t let it spoil the experience I’ve come so far to see, so I arm myself with the umbrella and head off. The walkway is 600 metres long, consists of six sixty metre long bridge spans (which are designed to sway – GREAT!!) and reaches a height of 40 metres above the forest floor. Keeping in mind that the Red and Yellow Tingle Trees vary in height from 30 – 80 metres, much of the forest canopy is above me as I walk.  It is truly amazing to think that these tingle trees only occur in a small area and we’re able to walk amongst them.

After the Tree Top Walk, I explore the Ancient Empire – a forest floor walk with interpretive signs on the walkways.  There is usually a guide but the weather has meant the cancellation so it is self-guided today.  The raindrops on the Karri Oak trees’ leaves look like baubles on the Christmas tree (small ones!!) but really are quite beautiful.  The Karri Oak has needle-like leaves similar to a pine tree. One beautiful plant which I had seen but never knew its’ name was the Tassel Flower – quite distinctive with a leaf pattern like the spokes on a wheel. The pure size of some of the Tingles puts me in awe of nature once again and the hollowed out buttresses which give them their stability (necessary because they have no tap root like other Eucalypts – a very shallow root system for such a giant). The rain is insistent so I decide that I’d head back to Walpole and then on to Shannon National Park as there is a Great Forest Trees Drive and Walk I want to explore.

The Shannon National Park Great Forest Trees Drive is a 23 kilometre loop which I find to be stunning – I was a bit apprehensive because of the rain and it’s a gravel road but so pleased I did the journey.  The four main trees that I wanted to identify and become familiar with were the Karri, the Jarrah, the Marri and the Blackbutt.  Information boards at the first Picnic area I came to armed me with the information I needed so I set off to the Great Forest Trees walk with confidence that I would learn heaps before the day was out and I achieved it.  The walk and the drive are brilliant – giant trees and forestry on a one way track through old growth forest is a great way to spend an afternoon.  To top the day off, I headed to Shannon Campground – what a find – absolutely gorgeous campsites set in the forests – very well serviced – even a hot shower if you stoke the boiler!!  I was fortunate that I knew a couple who were staying here and we had a campfire and cooked our dinner on the barbecue – perfect end to a wonderful day (and it stopped raining for a couple of hours!!) Thanks John and Fay for your company – very enjoyable.

Knoll Drive

Knoll Drive

Coalmine Beach
Coalmine Beach

Nornalup Inlet from Lookout

Nornalup Inlet from Lookout

Frankland River

Frankland River

Valley of the Giants Welcome

Valley of the Giants Welcome

Discovery Centre Display

Discovery Centre Display

Tree Top Walkway

Tree Top Walkway

Red Tingle Foliage

Red Tingle Foliage

Tree Top Walk

Tree Top Walk

Red Tingle Buttress

Red Tingle Buttress

The Ancient Empire Walk

The Ancient Empire Walk

Paula at the Ancient Empire

Paula at the Ancient Empire

Quokka Information

Quokka Information

Red Tingle Root

Red Tingle Root

Red Tingle Information

Red Tingle Information

Red Tingle Log

Red Tingle Log

Tassel Flower Information

Tassel Flower Information

Tassel Flower

Tassel Flower

Great Forest Trees Walk Bridge

Great Forest Trees Walk Bridge

Shannon National Park

Shannon National Park

Shannon Campground

Shannon Campground

Forest Drive
Forest Drive

Livin' at the Great Forest Trees Walk
Livin’ at the Great Forest Trees Walk

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