The township offers a wide range of activities for visitors including swimming, boating, sailing, inlet cruises, fishing, bush walking, and climbing. The Walpole Inlet is a small estuary connected through a narrow channel with the bigger and deeper Nornalup Inlet. The Walpole area is famous for its red tingle trees. The Giant Tingle Tree near Hilltop Road is over 450 years old, and measures 24 metres in girth at its base.
Walpole Wilderness area & Walpole-Nornalup National Park
Vast, natural landscapes cover the Southern Forests through to the coast protecting more than 363,000 hectares of national park, nature reserves and forest conservation. There are seven National Parks
within the Walpole Wilderness area – Mount Frankland, Mount Frankland North, Mount Frankland South, Mount Roe, Mount Lindesay, Shannon and Walpole- Nornalup. The area is roughly the size of countries such as Luxembourg and Samoa. The national park covers nearly 20,000 hectares of diverse vegetation, from towering karri
and tingle forests to coastal heath and wetlands. With its rocky headlands and big swells, the beach here is also popular for fishing and surfing. In spring, wildflowers transform the landscape into a vivid tapestry of colour.
Walpole Wilderness Discovery Centre
The Walpole area features three sites called the Walpole Wilderness Discovery Centre. The aim of these sites is to educate visitors about this wonderful protected area. The sites are – The Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk
, Swarbrick and Mount Frankland
. Don’t leave the area without visiting the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk (between Walpole and Denmark). The 600 metre walkway rises 40 metres above the forest floor and provides a breathtaking experience with a birds eye view of the forest. A meandering boardwalk takes visitors through a grove of veteran tingle trees called the Ancient Empire. This walk shows at close hand, some of the unique shapes of the giant trees. You can even walk through the hollowed-out butt of one tree.
Travelling 8km along North Walpole road, heading towards Mount Frankland, you will find Swarbrick. It is home to some of the oldest trees in Australia, specifically Western Australia’s famous old growth karri forest. It features forest art exhibits and a giant 39-metre long ‘Wilderness Wall of Perceptions’ which encourages people to explore perspectives of the forest and wilderness.
Mount Frankland, dominated by an impressive peak is 29 kilometres north of Walpole. Classed as an adventurer’s playground, this area provides a range of walking and viewing opportunities. Enjoy the new bbq and picnic facilities. Follow the Summit Walk or take the ‘round the rock’ trail at the base of the granite outcrop. It is also a popular spot to abseil the 150 metre drop (permit required).
The Knoll is a peninsula which divides the Nornalup and Walpole Inlets. A mosaic of vegetation and landform features are found here. Adjacent to the headland the majestic karri and yellow tingle forest grow right down to the inlet. It is accessible by the one way sealed Knoll Scenic Drive. Circular Pool is a beautiful natural pool in the Frankland River. This area is the scene of raging torrents of water after the winter rains, causing large amounts of froth to foam. The leaching of tannins from vegetation causes this brown colouring. It’s a beautiful spot to picnic and there are a number of viewing platforms that provide ideal lookouts over the river, pool and forest.
Twelve kilometres west of Walpole is the turnoff to Mandalay Beach with a spectacular coastline and site of the 1911 shipwreck of the Norwegian barque ‘Mandalay’. This stretch of coastline offers great views of Chatham Island and is popular with anglers. Stroll along the boardwalk and read the interpretive information about the wreck which can sometimes be seen in the sand.
Accommodation in the area ranges from cosy cottages through to secluded hideaways or for something different spend a few nights on a houseboat.