The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Monday, 21 January 2013

Walking with the Giants

At the end of our quick getaway to the Great Southern Region of WA, where we'd spent one night in Albany and the second night in Denmark, we headed west to the Valley of the Giants. This is Walpole's main tourist attraction, where visitors can get a tree-top view of the towering karri and red tingle trees from the Tree Top Walk. It was truly breathtaking (in a literal sense for hubby who is mildly acrophobic), and I savoured the fresh and fragrant breeze 40m above ground. Amazingly, this walkway is wheelchair-friendly!

Only a child would dare to run on a platform 40m above ground:

Looking down on some of the giants:

The Tree Top Walk:

We all got a good dose of nature in this national park, and also enjoyed a free guided tour through the Ancient Empire, the boardwalk below the Tree Top Walk that goes through the old growth forest. Hubby and I had a few questions about some of the things we saw while walking along the Tree Top Walk, and they were all answered during this free guided tour (without us asking any questions). Our lovely guide involved all the kids present, so our boy had a great time too.

Meeting Grandma Tingle, about 450 years old:

A distinctive feature of the red tingle is its large, hollowed out base. Here the kids were checking out the bat droppings from bats who call this tree home:

These huge hollows were caused over a long period of time by bushfires - but this ancient tree is still living and continues to grow:

The giant tingles grow from the seeds within tiny gumnuts such as this one found by my son:

I highly recommend this attraction, which is suitable for all ages, as there is much to see and learn here. We then made the 5-hour journey back to Perth, and thus ended our road-trip. I'm glad we did this trip, as the beaches, forest and country-life served well to refresh a weary city-dweller's soul.

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