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Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park

Tall karri forest meets the sea at the two picturesque inlets of Walpole and Nornalup

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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Duration: Unknown
Family Friendly

Overview:  Tall karri forest meets the sea at the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park. The marine park is about 450km south of Perth on WA’s ... more »

Tips:  The marine park supports excellent recreational fishing opportunities but make sure you first check the latest size, season and bag... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Town Jetty

Privately operated interpretive ecocruises of the marine park depart from the Town Jetty every day, providing visitors with opportunities to get up close to the wildlife, experience the marine park's stunning scenery and learn about its history.

You can also launch private boats at the Town Jetty.

2. Walpole Inlet

The 100-hectare inlet is adjacent to the town of Walpole. It is shallow (mostly about a metre deep) and fed by the Walpole River.

The Walpole and Nornalup inlets is a permanently open estuarine system—one of very few in the south-west—that experiences marine-like conditions for most of the year and offers great recreational fishing (commercial... More

3. Rest Point

In 1926, Tom Swarbrick was granted land at Rest Point, on the western shore of the inlet. A sawmill was established and an eight-bedroom guest house was up and running by 1928.

4. The Channel

Two two inlets are connected by a narrow channel about 200m wide, 1km long and about 2m deep. The channel is bordered by steep granite hills clothed with karri and rocky shores.

5. The Knolls

Along the hillsides fringing the Walpole-Nornalup channel, the south-western shore of the Nornalup Inlet, and along the Deep and Frankland rivers, stands of karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor), red tingle (E. jacksonii) and yellow tingle (E. guilfoylei) dominate the tree line. These areas are known locally as The Knolls' and they are exceptionally... More

The Coalmine Beach Heritage Trail runs from the town of Walpole, through woodland and wetlands to Coalmine Beach. Interpretive signs convey how a teenager from an early settlement family may have experienced the environment through which the trail passes.

This is the end of the walk, which begins at the Pioneer Cottage on the northern side of... More

7. Nornalup Inlet

The Nornalup Inlet covers 1300ha and is up to 5m deep. Nornalup Inlet is fed by the Deep and Frankland rivers.

The open inlet mouth, the mixing of fresh and salt river waters, river deltas and two large inlets result in diverse marine habitats and a great range of fish species. Black bream, whiting, trevally, herring, juvenile Western Australian... More

8. Deep River

Sealers and whalers in the early 1800s spoke in glowing terms of sheltered inlets, huge trees and great deep rivers. These reports brought William Preston and his party to officially explore the Walpole-Nornalup area in 1837. Four years later William Nairn Clark and his party rowed into Nornalup Inlet and described the areas around "the Deep River... More

9. Newdegate Island

Newdegate Island, at the delta of the Deep River, is known locally as Snake Island. In 1845, a group of Englishmen, led by Dr Henry Landor, set up an ill-fated camp on the island. They planned to catch and salt fish for export and to graze cattle and horses. Within a year the venture failed. Two circular fireplaces, covered with undergrowth, are... More

10. Frankland River

The first successful settlement of the Nornalup area began in 1909, when Frenchman Pierre Bellanger and his family took up land beside the Frankland River. The Bellangers also established a tourist attraction in the area, the Nornalup Park Homestead, which provided accommodation, fine food and entertainment in the form of picnics and fishing trips... More

11. Sealers Cove

Even before Albany was established in 1826, sealers, including some ex-convicts from Van Diemans Land, also used this area. Sealers Cove in Nornalup Inlet was probably one of their base camps, and a sealer named Isaac is recorded as having lived on nearby Saddle Island with an Aboriginal woman in 1830. Using small boats they systematically hunted ... More

12. Inlet mouth

The inlet entrance remains permanently open to the sea due to the high rate of water discharge from the system in winter and the protection from the prevailing wind and swell provided by the adjacent Rocky Head.

The channel takes different routes through the mobile sands and may be several metres deep in some places, but can shallow to less than... More