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 »
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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 »south coast. The park takes in the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets and the tidal parts of the Frankland, Deep and Walpole rivers and is adjacent to the town of Walpole. 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.
You don’t need a boat to enjoy Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park, with good access by car or foot to various beauty spots, swimming areas, and shore fishing locations and privately operated ecocruises available. People also use private boats to kayak or fish in the inlets and rivers.
There are no park fees. less «
The marine park supports excellent recreational fishing opportunities but make sure you first check the latest size, season and bag... more » limits with the Department of Fisheries (www.fish.wa.gov.au) and obtain any licenses that may be needed.
There are boat ramps at Rest Point, Coalmine Beach and Nornalup, a jetty at Walpole and interpretive signage about the marine park at each boat ramp.
Picnic tables and barbecues are provided along the shores of the marine park at Coalmine Beach, The Channels and the Town Jetty. There is a lookout at The Knolls and the Bibbulmun Track abuts the edge of the marine park for a short distance.
There are privately operated caravan parks on the shores of the marine park at Rest Point and Coalmine Beach and a range of accommodation options in the town of Walpole.
Privately operated ecocruises from Walpole allow visitors to get up close to the wildlife, experience the marine park’s stunning scenery and learn about its history.
• Please stay within designated speed limits when boating in Walpole Inlet and in the Deep, Walpole and Frankland rivers.
• Fish for the future. Observe size, bag and possession limits. See Recreational Fishing Guide: South Coast Region for details (available from the Department of Fisheries and the Walpole post office).
• Quickly return undersize and unwanted fish to the water. Use wet hands or a wet cloth when handling fish and avoid placing on hot, rough or dry surfaces.
• Dispose of litter thoughtfully, especially plastics and fishing line. Birds and marine wildlife can easily become entangled in line and suffer a slow painful death.
• Anchor in sand to protect seagrass communities.
• Go slow near shorelines to prevent shoreline erosion, disturbance to waterbirds and disturbances to other marine park users.
• Stay on tracks when accessing the marine park to protect fragile estuarine vegetation. less «
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 fishing has been banned in both inlets since the 1920s). No nets are permitted. Remember that an incoming tide can be very productive when inlet fishing. Most rivers and brooks upstream of the marine park also contain marron, which may be caught subject to seasonal restrictions and licenses. Types of fish that can be caught include black bream, skippy, whiting, flounder, flathead, tarwhine, salmon trout, herring, pilch, cobbler, small sharks. Crabs are also caught in season. Popular bait includes river prawns and shrimp, octopus, white or blue bait, cockles, rock crabs and mulies.
Walpole Inlet was named after Captain W Walpole, who served aboard the Warspite in 1808 with James Stirling.Less
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.
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 scenic.Less
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 the South Western Highway in Walpole. In October 1930 a small community of tents and tin and bushpole shanties was established in this area, marking the beginning of the Nornalup Land Settlement, later known as Walpole.Less
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 salmon and even pink snapper are just a few of at least 40 fish species that have been recorded here, including larger fish such as sharks, which are uncommon in other estuaries. The smooth hammerhead shark, southern shovelnose ray, black stingray, eagle ray and gummy shark have all been found from the Walpole and Nornalup inlets, with eagle rays and gummy sharks being particularly abundant, though gummy sharks are confined to the outer basin of the Nornalup Inlet where salinity is the highest.
Black swans, ducks, grebes, swamphens, moorhens, coots, cormorants, herons, egrets, ibis, pelican, whimbrel, sandpipers, stints, oystercatchers and plovers—among other birds—all use the proposed marine park. Gulls and terns are abundant in the area, and shearwaters, gannets and albatross may also be observed. Ospreys and white-bellied sea eagles ply the inlet waters for fish. These large predatory birds are major attractions for nature-based tourism in the inlet system. Migratory shorebirds utilise the tidal delta flats.
The Minang people originally occupied the area from Albany north to the Stirling Range, and west to the Shannon River and Broke Inlet. They built fish traps in the estuaries and called the area Nornalup, meaning 'place of the tiger snakes'.Less
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 of the Sealers" and the Frankland River. According to his diaries: “The sail up was truly delightful. The river actually appeared to be embosomed amongst lofty wooded hills, with tall eucalypt trees close to the water’s edge, and crowning the summits of these high hills thus casting a deep gloom over the water and making the scenery the most romantic I ever witnessed in the other quarters of the globe.”
In 1911, Frank Skinner Thompson and family settled on the Deep River, established a farm and later a guest house in 1923 which was very popular with holidaymakers in Perth.
The Frankland and Deep rivers contain the wily black bream. The best time to catch large bream is after the first rains which flush the bream down the rivers to the inlet.Less
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 all that remains of it today.Less
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 on the river and inlet. The Bellanger family still live at Nornalup.
The river is home to the wily black bream. The best time to catch large bream is after the first rains which flush the bream down the rivers to the inlet (please observe Department of Fisheries size and bag limits - current information is available at the Walpole post office). Typical estuarine bivalves such as mussels and trough shells are found near the entrance to the Frankland River entrance.
A fish with an interesting lifestyle, the pouched lamprey (Geotria australis), occurs in its larval stages in the Deep and Walpole rivers, burrowing into shaded organically-enriched substrates for more than four years, before migrating to the ocean via the two inlets. Among the most primitive of living fish, lampreys have a jawless mouth that is modified to form a circular suction disc, and have a cartilaginous skeleton.Less
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 ... MoreNew Zealand fur-seals, whose thick pelts achieved prices of 15 shillings apiece at King George Sound in 1842. The sealers provided French and American whalers with fresh kangaroo meat and local knowledge in return for biscuits, flour and salt pork.Less
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 1m deep in some places.Less