Day 23: The Ocean

Sunday November 6, 39.7km/24.7mi

Woolbales Campsite (706.2/35m) to Walpole town (745.9/14m) (WA)

I fell asleep so early last night that I was naturally awake at 5am. So might as well start walking….

It was chilly when I started at 5:45am, but at least I didn’t have any more of those deep puddles to wade thru today. As I made my way south towards the ocean the terrain became a little rockier. Granite slabs!

The trail markers are embedded in the rock here.

The view from the top of the rocky dome towards the south.

There were a few wet swampy areas this morning, and fortunately they all had these nice wooden bridges. Why didn’t they have these yesterday?!

The spring wild flowers are in full bloom right now. I don’t know what these purple ones are called but they were everywhere.

The trail meandered among the sandy hilltops, it was a relaxing morning.

After 2 1/2 hours of walking I reached a lookout point. I made it to the ocean!

Looking Southwest to Chatham Island.

Looking southeast towards Long Point.

I descended from the viewpoint and a few minutes later was in the carpark (parking lot). It’s time for some beach walking on Mandalay Beach!

This area was a little more developed for day hikers. Pavement!

The trail used a boardwalk to get down to the beach, it prevents people from walking on the dunes and protects them.

I thought the illustrations on this sign were hilarious.

The beachwalk started off on really soft sand, which was slow going and annoying.

It was near low tide, so I was able to walk on the harder, compact sand.

The waves were enormous. I’m not sure if this was typical for the Southern Ocean or a storm was approaching.

This was a cool juxtaposition of bird footprints and the ripples from the wind.

I walked on the beach for only a kilometre but it was great! Just as I was leaving I even saw a seastack!

The trail left the beach and climbed almost 200 metres up to a ridge. I followed ridgetops for a couple of hours with amazing views down to the ocean below.

More of these purple wildflowers.

The flowers surrounded the trail on both sides in for a while it smelled like a florist, ha!

Near a trail junction, I watched an enormous kangaroo hop across the trail, and then this baby Kangaroo!

I had to climb up to another ridge, and surprisingly they even built stairs. So. Many. Stairs.

The trail kinda reminded me of the PCT because you could see where you were going to be hiking for the next hour, across the wide open landscapes.

Eventually I descended from the ridge and turned away from the coast, crossing the Deep River. My favorite type of bridge…a Swingbridge!

I had a short but very steep climb up to Clare mountain. Since it was almost 1pm I decided to take a longer lunch break at this shelter.

This area is known for a special type of tree called the Red Tingle tree. It is only found along the coast here for the next 100km…very rare.

Another Red Tingle. This one has a girth of 12 metres (39ft). These trees have a shallow root system, as they are adapted to a time when Australia had a much wetter climate millions of years ago.

I descended off the mountain and was on the final stretch into the town of Walpole. The trail parallels a road near here and I was able to stop by the scenic “John Rate lookout”. You can see down into the Nornalup inlet.

The last hour of the day followed an old railroad grade, it was nice easy walking.

This with the 3rd snake I’d seen all day, and the first one that didn’t move out of my way. Like, at all. By now the sunny day had become cloudy and cool, so perhaps he just didn’t have the energy to move. I walked around.

Once I was near town, there was a ton of this boardwalk constructed to get through the swampy areas and streams.

I walked into Walpole at 3:30pm and it looked like it was going to rain, so I went straight to the hostel. I love the name “Tingle All Over”, haha.

It used to be a YHA hostel, but for some reason YHA has sold most of their hostels in the last few years. So now it’s run by a local owner, and it had a great vibe with the other hikers there.

I had my weekly shower, did laundry, and got some dinner from a take-away place down the street. It seems to have started raining (which was not in the forecast), so it’s perfect timing since I’m indoors tonight!

6 Comments

  1. Hi Recon, I’m really enjoying tea about your hikes. I wanted to let you know about a free app called Seek. It identifies plants and animals and is a lot of fun. I’m dying to know what those purple flowers are that you keep seeing.

    Liked by 1 person

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