Unveiling Walpole, WA: Why It’s Worth the Visit in 2024

Just so you know, this post contains affiliate links. If you buy something through them, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. It's one of the ways we keep bringing you free content. Learn more in our Disclosure Policy.

After exploring Western Australia’s southern treasures for nearly thirty years, Walpole has consistently captured my heart.

So, is Walpole worth visiting? Absolutely. Amid countless adventures and a deep love for nature, Walpole’s unique charm captivates me every time.

Ancient forests of towering tingle, karri, and marri trees envelop you, reminding you to adapt to nature’s pace and slow down.

There are so many things to do in Walpole to soothe your soul, whether traversing the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, unwinding by Circular Pool, or marvelling at the Giant Tingle Tree.

And who doesn’t want to be soothed now and again?

Beyond the breathtaking views, Walpole enriches your adventure with history through trails like the Swarbrick Art Loop and Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail.

For those seeking an extra thrill, the WOW Wilderness EcoCruise promises an immersive experience into Walpole’s heart, combining awe with delight – and a bucketload of fun thrown in for good measure. 

Ready to explore?

Pack your bags, bring your camera, and join me in discovering why Walpole’s allure is irresistibly worth the visit.

Shelley taking photos at Circular Pool - a serene pool with granite rocks scattered inside it and a backdrop of trees
Circular Pool in Walpole – one of my ‘happy places’ ©Lifejourney4two

Quick Guide to Walpole Wonders

For those short on time but eager to grasp the essence of Walpole, here’s what you need to know:

Walpole’s serene beauty, history, and community spirit make it an irresistibly worth-visiting destination. Whether you’re drawn to adventure, tranquillity, or the desire to connect with nature and local culture, Walpole is a nature lover’s dream.

Although we’ve explored all the main things to do in Walpole, we still haven’t uncovered every nook and cranny.

So, if you plan on staying in the area for a while or have special interests such as hiking, boating, and fishing, drop into the welcoming Walpole-Nornalup Visitor Centre for extra info, advice, and brochures.

Conspicuous-Cliff-beach-
Conspicuous Cliff Beach, Walpole ©Lifejourney4two

How to Get to Walpole & Map

By Air:

  • Nearest Airport: Other than Perth, the closest major airport is Albany, approximately 120 kilometres from Walpole. Regional Express flies from Perth to Albany.
  • From the Airport: Car rental services are available at both airports. The drive from Albany to Walpole takes about 1.5 hours, offering scenic routes along the South Coast Highway.

By Road:

  • From Perth: Walpole is roughly a 4.5-hour drive from Perth via State Route 2 and National Route 1. The journey is a fantastic road trip, with lovely views and charming towns along the way.

Travelling around Walpole is easier by car. If you need to hire a car, check out the deals available on Discover Cars, which we use whenever we need to rent.

Public Transport:

  • Bus Services: While more limited, there are bus services from Perth to Walpole, offering a hassle-free option for those preferring not to drive. TransWA GS3 goes from Perth to Albany via Walpole (stopping outside the Visitor Centre by Pioneer Park).

Interactive Map and Key Locations:

To help you plan your journey better, we’ve included a map marking Walpole, things to do and travel routes from Perth to Walpole.

Planning Your Travels to Western Australia?

Exploring the Heart of Walpole’s Natural Beauty

Walpole town with a large sign with Walpole in large letters
Walpole – Where the Karri meets the Coast ©Lifejourney4two

The Valley of the Giants & The Ancient Tingle Trees

There’s something magical about the Valley of the Giants. Being up there, 40 metres high on the Tree Top Walk, really puts the sheer size of these ancient tingle trees into perspective.

The last time I visited, quite some years ago, felt different to my most recent visit. I was more concerned with my kids’ excitement and the novelty of being so high up among the trees. I now have a deeper appreciation for the ancient stories these trees tell.

It’s incredible how perspectives shift over time, isn’t it?

Accessibility is a big win here; whether on foot, with prams, or in wheelchairs, everyone can get close to these giants.

Tree top walk - a steel mesh bridge through the giant tingle tree canopy
The incredible Tree Top Walk through the giant tingle trees ©Lifejourney4two

Giant Tingle Tree – A Testament to Time

In another forest, separate from the more famous Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk, the Giant Tingle Tree stands as a silent guardian of the forest. It’s the tallest red tingle tree left in the forest and, indeed, in the world, and it has stood here for over 300 years.

You’ll find it just off Hill Top Road, a one-way gravel track with a gorgeous lookout point with views across the Nornalup Inlet and the Southern Ocean.

Our visit there in February was a battle against March flies, which was a stark reminder to choose visiting times wisely! Despite the pesky biting flies, we enjoyed our visit.

We will return in spring with hopefully fewer flies. The wildflowers will also be out then, so comparing it to our summer visit will be interesting.

There’s something special about this place, especially if you’re keen on photography or simply soaking in the tranquil majesty of nature.

The bottom section of the giant tingle tree with a hollowed out trunk and Shelley stood at the bottom for perspective
The Giant Red Tingle in Walpole – I look tiny in comparison! ©Lifejourney4two

Circular Pool – Tranquillity Personified

Circular Pool is a chill spot where you can sit back and enjoy the peace. In summer, it’s all about the clear, calm waters. In winter, it turns into a frothy Cappucino!

It’s super easy to get to, making it a top pick for a laid-back visit, maybe with a picnic or just enjoying the views from one of the platforms.

After listening to the rustle in the bushes, we were lulled into expecting a quokka or quenda to appear as we intently watched the bushes below one of the Circular Pool Viewpoints.

But nature had other plans, and a King Skink emerged instead. It was not the wildlife moment we were hoping for, but it was a cool reminder of the variety of critters Walpole bush shelters.

So, should you make a trip to Circular Pool? Yes. It’s one of those places that shows off Walpole’s quiet beauty. If you’re after a spot where you can relax and get a real sense of the natural world, Circular Pool is a gem.

It’s all about soaking up that tranquil vibe that Walpole does so well.

Circular pool with granite rocks and forest behind
Circular Pool’s tranquil scenery ©Lifejourney4two

Mount Frankland National Park

Not far from Walpole, Mount Frankland National Park offers a rugged counterpoint to the tingle forests. The summit and the Mount Frankland Wilderness Lookout are perfect for those craving panoramic views of the vast, untouched Walpole Wilderness.

Coastal Marvels and Artistic Gems

Conspicuous Cliff: Where Land Meets Ocean

At Conspicuous Cliff, you’re greeted with a scene that starkly contrasts Walpole’s deep forests.

Here, the bush meets the expansive ocean, offering breathtaking views and a refreshing change of scenery.

Standing on the cliff, you’re treated to a panoramic view where the rugged bushland kisses the vast ocean. It’s a refreshing change that showcases Walpole’s diverse natural beauty.

If you visit at the right time of year, you’ll also have the perfect viewpoint to spot these enigmatic creatures.

Whether you’re there for the stunning views or the chance of whale sightings, it proves that Walpole is more than its forests. It’s a place of varied landscapes, each with its own story.

Shelley stood on Conspicuous cliff beach with a sweeping bay of white sand and a backdrop of green hills
Taking in the views on Conspicuous Cliff Beach ©Lifejourney4two

Swarbrick Art Loop: Art in the Heart of Nature

The Swarbrick Art Loop is where the stories of the forest’s past and present come alive, urging you to consider our environmental impact.

The trail features thought-provoking sculptures that blend art with nature, sparking conversations on conservation and our relationship with the earth.

After visiting the Swarbrick Art Loop, I was struck by an unexpected wave of reflection. Knowing my grandfather had a hand in shaping and, in some ways, clearing these magnificent forests for farming and settlement brought a complex mix of pride and pensiveness.

It’s a reminder of the intricate relationship between humans and nature, between development and preservation, and how attitudes have changed over time.

The art pieces are conversation starters about the shift from exploitation to preservation, emphasizing the importance of caring for our natural world.

A visit here would enrich your visit to Walpole, and it’s one of the main attractions of Walpole’s Wilderness Discovery Centre.

Shelley stood in front of the mirrored wall at Swarbrick art Loop with reflections of the forest
Reading the leaves etched into the mirrored wall with quotes and thoughts about the forest ©Lifejourney4two

Walpole’s Immersive Experiences

WOW Wilderness EcoCruise’s Insightful Journey

Jumping on the WOW Wilderness EcoCruise isn’t just any old boat tour.

What sets this cruise apart is Gary Muir, your tour guide. The guy’s a legend. He mixes facts with fun in an enlightening and entertaining way.

You’re not just there to look around; you’re there to connect, to understand the importance of this place, and to see what role we can play in keeping it beautiful.

View through the Boat to an island and landing jetty
Landing at the jetty to walk to Shelly Beach ©Lifejourney4two

From getting up close with ospreys to helping with conservation work, this cruise offers a fresh perspective on the area’s rich biodiversity. Gary’s storytelling makes every moment memorable, highlighting the significance of the Walpole wilderness and our duty to protect it.

In my opinion, the WOW Wilderness EcoCruise is reason enough to visit Walpole! It’s the epitome of what eco-tourism should be—educational, engaging, and impactful.

If you’re all about getting into the thick of Walpole’s wild beauty and learning about why Walpole is the belly button of the world, this cruise is a must.

Book at the Walpole Visitor Centre.

Gary Muir holding props on the eco cruise while explaing an animals reproductive system
Gary in the midst of a graphic and another hilarious fun fact about Walpole’s wildlife ©Lifejourney4two

Walpole Community Markets: A Glimpse into Local Life

Don’t miss the Walpole Community Markets, held every second Saturday of the month at Pioneer Park. From 8 am to 1 pm, immerse yourself in a vibrant gathering of farmers, artisans, and creators.

It’s a chance to sample the freshest local produce, unique crafts, and artisanal foods, all against the backdrop of live music. The markets showcase Walpole’s rich agricultural and creative talents and strong community spirit.

A morning here offers a taste of local life, perfectly complementing the natural explorations in and around Walpole.

Off-the-Beaten-Path Adventures

Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail 

From its natural beauty to the tales of those who’ve shaped its land, this trail is a vivid reminder of Walpole’s dedication to preserving its rich heritage and natural wonders.

For anyone drawn to exploring the great outdoors with a side of history, the Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail is one you’ll want to include in any Walpole itinerary.

The highlight for us?

We stumbled upon a quokka along the way. It was one of those unexpected joys that turns a simple walk into a real adventure, showcasing the variety of life that calls Walpole home.

So, even in the wilds of Walpole, you never know what’s around the corner.

Shelley taking a phot along the sand coloured gravel trail with high bushes and trees either side
Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail ©Lifejourney4two

Knoll Scenic Drive

Whether you drive or walk the Knoll Scenic Drive, this hidden gem is worth a look. We saw cockatoos flinging marri nuts, kangaroos bounding through the forest, and ospreys diving for food.

We were treated to a beautiful sneak peek into the lives of the Walpole’s wildlife.

Fantastic viewpoints like The Channels are perfect for a picnic or a glimpse of the scenic beauty of the Walpole-Nornalup Marine Park.

It’s only a hop, skip, and jump from Coalmine Beach and the campsite, so well worth adding to your Walpole visit.

View of the Nornalup Inlet from one of the lookouts on Knoll scenic Drive - framed by a tree and looking towards the narrow channel of the estuary
View of the Nornalup Inlet channel from the Channel picnic spot on Knoll Scenic Drive ©Lifejourney4two

So, are these off-the-beaten-path adventures alone worth visiting Walpole for?

While each offers unique glimpses into the area’s natural and historical charm, their combination truly showcases Walpole’s allure.

A leisurely afternoon at Coalmine Beach, kayaking in the peaceful Walpole-Nornalup Inlet, or meandering through the heritage trail and scenic drive combine to create a fuller experience of Walpole’s beauty.

These interconnected experiences underscore the essence of visiting Walpole: it’s not just about individual sites but the complete journey they offer.

As part of your Walpole adventure, these off-the-beaten-path excursions are undoubtedly worth it, adding depth and vibrancy to your visit.

Coalmine Beach
Coalmine Beach on the shores of the Nornalup Inlet ©Lifejourney4two

What’s the Best Time to Visit Walpole? A Seasonal Guide

Discovering the perfect time to explore Walpole depends on what you want to experience in this beautiful part of Western Australia. From wildflower blooms to tranquil summer days, each season in Walpole unveils a different facet of its natural beauty.

🌸 Spring in Walpole (September – November)

In my opinion, the best time to visit is in the spring.

This is the ideal time for photographers, nature enthusiasts, and anyone keen to witness Western Australia’s renowned wildflowers in their full glory.

The weather is mild, perfect for hiking and outdoor activities. With the famous Bibbulmun Track crossing through many of Walpole’s attractions,

it’s the ideal time to grab your walking boots and tick off some of the sections of the 1000-kilometre stretch from Kalumunda in Perth Hills to Albany on WA’s south coast.

☀️ Summer in Walpole (December – February)

If you are looking for time at the coast, though, or want to enjoy the lovely swimming spots in Walpole, like Circular Pool and Coalmine Beach, then summer will be the best time to visit.

The temperatures are hit-and-miss, and although the average max is 25 in Walpole, when we visited in mid-February, the temperatures reached the high 30s.

The best time to explore is early or late afternoons, avoiding the midday heat. And be warned: the warmer temperatures also bring the pesky March flies, which seem to particularly like forested areas.

🍂 Autumn in Walpole (March-May)

As the heat of summer fades, autumn brings a cooler, calmer Walpole. The forests take on a golden hue, and the diminishing crowds make it an excellent time for peaceful exploration of the trails and scenic walks.

It’s also great for birdwatching as the deciduous trees drop their leaves, making spotting them easier. And if you are visiting Walpole around the long weekend of Labour Day in early March – don’t miss the annual In the Trees Sailing Regatta.

🌨️ Winter in Walpole (June – August)

Winter is for those who don’t mind the rain and cooler temperatures and enjoy snuggling up by a cosy fire in the dark late afternoons and evenings.

It’s also a great time to visit Conspicuous Cliff and the whale-watching lookout because you have the best chance of spotting the southern right whales migrating between July and September.

Walpole, Western Australia – Seasonal Temperature Ranges

Spring (September – November)

  • Min: Around 8°C to 11°C (46°F to 52°F)
  • Max: Around 16°C to 21°C (61°F to 70°F)

Summer (December – February)

  • Min: Around 12°C to 15°C (54°F to 59°F)
  • Max: Around 22°C to 25°C (72°F to 77°F)

Autumn (March-May)

  • Min: Around 11°C to 14°C (52°F to 57°F)
  • Max: Around 20°C to 22°C (68°F to 72°F)

Winter (June – August)

  • Min: Around 7°C to 10°C (45°F to 50°F)
  • Max: Around 15°C to 17°C (59°F to 63°F)

These ranges are averages only and can vary year by year.

Wooden sign at Coalmine Beach Campsite by the beach with distances to the north pole and to the south pole

A Haven for All: Walpole’s Commitment to Accessibility and Conservation

In Walpole, you’re not just visiting a place of stunning natural beauty; you’re stepping into a community deeply committed to preserving this beauty for everyone to enjoy.

Governed by the principles of inclusivity and sustainability, Walpole-Nornalup National Park stands out with its no-entrance-fee policy and thoughtfully designed paths that welcome all visitors, from families with prams to individuals in wheelchairs.

This commitment ensures that the tranquil allure of Walpole’s ancient forests, serene rivers, and rugged coastlines is accessible to everyone, reflecting a broader mission to share nature’s wonders responsibly and freely.

Shelley and a couple fo others on Shelly beach
Looking for plastic nurdles on Shelly Beach as part of the WOW eco-cruise ©Lifejourney4two

Where to Stay in Walpole

Walpole offers many different accommodation options. From caravan parks in nature to luxurious chalets by the river, Walpole caters to various preferences and budgets.

Coalmine Beach Caravan Park- A Gateway to Nature

Our top pick, Coalmine Beach Caravan Park, is a great choice and our favourite place to stay.

  • Encounters with Nature: Discover a sanctuary where kangaroos greet you at your campsite, thanks to strict no-pet policies enhancing the wildlife presence.
  • Strategically Placed: Enjoy the beauty of Nornalup Inlet and Coalmine Beach at your doorstep. The scenic Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail of 3km leads to Walpole, with the Knoll Scenic Drive close by for more explorations.
  • Comfort and Convenience: Experience a comfortable stay with well-maintained sites, chalets, and luxury tents, all in an ideal location for adventurers and families alike.

With a rooftop tent on our car, we’ve enjoyed both powered and unpowered sites here, but the chalets and luxury tents are also fantastic options, boasting a Booking.com score of 9/10

The ambience, combined with the accessibility to nature and wildlife, makes it a standout experience.

Coalmine Beach shallow waters with woman paddling in the water
Coalmine Beach, Walpole ©Lifejourney4two

Other Places to Stay in Walpole

Other options nearby include: 

Venturing Beyond Walpole: Personal Highlights from Nearby Towns


Venturing beyond Walpole, you’ll find even more charming places to visit, each with its own allure.

Pemberton

Pemberton is renowned for its lush forests of towering karri trees. Although the iconic Gloucester Tree can no longer be climbed, the Aerial Adventure Pemberton, a high ropes course, now sits in the shadows of this majestic tree.

For off-the-beaten-path exploration, driving the Yeagarup Dunes offers an unforgettable drive through the largest land-locked mobile dune system in the Southern Hemisphere. Navigating through these vast dunes surrounded by forest was slightly surreal.

Plus, serene canoeing opportunities on the Warren River promise a peaceful encounter with nature.

The side of our car on the left of the image and on a huge sand dune
Us driving the Yeagarup sand dunes to Yeagarup Beach ©Lifejourney4two

Denmark

Denmark charms visitors with its boutique wineries and artisanal food scene. Without exaggeration, the ice chocolate at the Denmark Chocolate Factory was the best I’ve ever had.

The pristine beaches of Greens Pool and Elephant Rocks provide stunning settings for relaxation and ocean dips.

Denmark Chocolate Factory - a gabled building that looks like a house with a cottage garden all around it
Step into the Denmark Chocolate Company for the best ice chocolate ever! ©Lifejourney4two

Albany

Albany is where history meets the sea. The National ANZAC Centre is a deep dive into Australia’s past, and nearby Two Peoples Bay is a slice of coastal heaven. If you’re lucky, you might even bump into a quenda – they apparently often hang out near the picnic area.

The historical whale museum offers fascinating insights into the region’s whaling past, and nearby Misery Beach is a delight and doesn’t live up to its name.

Misery Beach in Albany
Misery Beach, Albany ©Lifejourney4two

Margaret River

A bit further away, Margaret River, or as locals call it, Margs, is a paradise for surf enthusiasts, wine connoisseurs, and nature explorers. Famous for its surf breaks, the region also boasts hundreds of wineries and boutique breweries.

The limestone caves, such as Jewel Cave and Lake Cave, reveal fascinating aspects of the area’s ancient natural history, making Margaret River a diverse and captivating destination.

It has a more touristy vibe than many places in the south and can be busy in the summer and school holidays.

Plan Your Perfect Walpole Adventure

Ready to explore the enchanting beauty of Walpole and its surroundings?

To make your journey even more unforgettable, I’ve created a comprehensive 23-page Road Trip Planner packed with templates to help you organize every aspect of your trip.

From daily itineraries to budget trackers and packing lists, this planner ensures you can focus on the adventure, not the planning.

Sign up for your free Road Trip Planner and start crafting your perfect Walpole adventure today.

This planner has you covered whether you’re mapping out your visits to the Valley of the Giants, planning serene days at Circular Pool, or scheduling your WOW Wilderness EcoCruise.

Road Trip Planner
brown arrow

For more help planning any road trips and travelling together with your partner around Walpole or further afield in Western Australia, these articles may be of interest:

Final Thoughts: Is Walpole Worth Visiting?

Reflecting on the myriad experiences that have enriched my life through travel, especially the raw and untamed beauty encountered while camping among lions and elephants in Southern Africa, Walpole presented itself as a contrast at first glance.

You might think that Walpole would seem a tad tame after such wild adventures.

However, the truth couldn’t be more different.

From the moment we popped up our rooftop tent amid the towering ancient tingle trees, Walpole embraced us with a restorative calm I hadn’t realized I was looking for.

The quiet majesty of the forests, the serene waters of Circular Pool, and the expansive vistas from Conspicuous Cliff offered a different kind of thrill — one that soothes the soul and slows the pulse.

With its easy access to breathtaking natural wonders, this tranquil corner of Western Australia has redefined my understanding of adventure.

It’s not always about the adrenaline rush of close encounters with Africa’s giants; sometimes, it’s about the gentle whisper of the wind through the tingle trees or the joy of spotting a quokka as it scurries through the underbrush.

Walpole’s magic lies in its natural beauty and proximity to other gems in the south of Western Australia, like Pemberton, Denmark, Albany, and Margaret River. Each place has its unique allure, but Walpole holds a special place in my heart for its ability to connect me with nature in a profound and personal way.

Our journey through Southern Africa taught me the value of wildness and the thrill of the unknown. On the other hand, Walpole has taught me the importance of stillness, the beauty of a slower pace, and the deep, restorative power of being fully immersed in the natural world.

Unlike the raw thrill of Africa’s wilderness, Walpole offered an unexpected sanctuary, proving that adventure can also be found in the stillness and beauty of nature’s quiet moments.

It’s a reminder that adventure comes in many forms, and sometimes, the quietest places leave the loudest impact on our souls.

So, is Walpole worth visiting?

Without a doubt. Its blend of peaceful natural settings, accessibility, and the immersive experience of being amongst the trees offers a unique perspective on what it means to travel and connect with the earth.

With its understated charm, Walpole has deepened my appreciation for the quieter, more reflective adventures that nature bestows upon us.

Is walpole worth visiting pinterest pin

Planning your travels?

These are the travel resources we recommend and use when planning our trips.

For a more thorough list, visit our Travel Resources page here.

Photo of author

Shelley

Shelley, a former primary school teacher with a law degree, and her husband Lars co-own Lifejourney4two. Their adventure began in Perth, Australia, and has since taken them through Europe and Africa in motorhomes and bush campers. Shelley's travel guides combine practical advice with engaging stories, mirroring their shift from 'One Day' to 'Day One'. Together, they aim to inspire others to embark on their own travel dreams.

2 thoughts on “Unveiling Walpole, WA: Why It’s Worth the Visit in 2024”

  1. Hi Shelley and Lars. Thanks for doing all our background searches and recommendations for us. We are in Walpole at present can’t wait to visit the places you have reviewed. Cheers John and Linda

    Reply

Leave a comment

Pin It on Pinterest