Walpole-Nornalup NP The superlatives are rolling off our tongues as we motor into Walpole – the ultimate sea change – tree change adventure, where the forest meets the sea. Our first day was quite an ordeal, the bumpy, soft, sandy access track into the Banksia Camp in the Walpole-Nornalup NP, bouncing the trailer coupling off the pin – an incident put down to human error. There we were with the coupling and A-frame buried deep in the sand hump in the middle of the track. Oh crap, I think about covers it!! Fortunately we had an X-Jack on hand, inflated by a vehicle's exhaust or air compressor. So within a relatively short time, we had dug a hole beneath the A-frame, inserted the jack, raised the A-frame, cleaned the coupling and locking mechanism, and re-attached the van. Phew!
But the physical challenges had only just begun, getting bogged within 100m of the campsite on a 90 degree bend, plundered with deep soft sand. Four Maxtrax extractions later and we were rolling somewhat exhausted into camp. One tip for Maxtrax newbies is to attach the lanyards supplied with all new Maxtrax 'before' the recovery exercise. Our Maxtrax became buried in the deep sand after each recovery attempt, creating a new challenge – find the Maxtrax!
Not far away, we spent the next few days at the Coalmine Beach Holiday park on Nornalup Inlet and ventured into the magnificent forested areas. Some of the highlights, the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, the Tingle Forest Drive, Frankland NP and the Nornalup foreshore.
Warren NP Our forest drive adventure continues as we venture into the Warren NP and a delightfully peaceful camp on the Warren River, known as Drafty's. As with Fitzgerald River NP, Caravans are not permitted, due to the steep terrain, much like the Victorian High Country. The Topaz is in it's element!
The local delicacy is Marron, like a freshwater Crayfish which is available in the shops for around $60/kilo. So when in Rome …. Marron for dinner!
This place is magic, so damn peaceful … if only we were staying longer!!