Araluen

 

Tip Toe Through the Tulips

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

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Araluen

Botanical Gardens

Located in the Darling Range.

35km south-east of the Perth

Easy and Inclusive Walks

(Disabled Access)

 

Springtime in Western Australia, one always thinks of our beautiful wildflowers especially after such a good winter. However, here in Araluen one could almost imagine being in Holland with such a spectacular show of tulip. Kathy and Marcia took a trip there and this is what they found and photographed.

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Araluen Botanic Park is home to many species of Australian and international flora.

Its unique micro-climate featuring loam soils and high rainfall provides an unparalleled opportunity to grow exotic cool climate plants in our desert climate.

 

Camellias, tea roses and tulips can all be discovered at Araluen in springtime amongst a native backdrop of Eucalyptus, Marri and Blackbutt.

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The natural surroundings support a range of native wildlife, including marsupials, birds, reptiles and water creatures. After a good wet winter the frogs were particularly active and great Bio Indicator of this unique environment.

Araluen boasts of a magical journey through the Park highlighting the stunning bursts of colour from the 125,000 Tulips throughout the Park.They are not wrong and well its worth the drive there!

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Park for Parkinson’s

Perry Lakes

 My mother has Late Onset Parkinson’s Disease. She is 85.

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Some times when I visit her she is struggling a bit to move around her apartment. Every Sunday morning we go for a walk in the park. We drive down to nearby park lands called Perry Lakes. This is large beautiful area with lots of trees and several lake areas situated right next to Bold Park (an A class reserve).

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The air in Perry Lakes is always fresh and the bird life plentiful.

And there are outdoor exercise machines here too!

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We take our time as we walk through the trees towards the several outdoor exercise gym machines. On those days we are nearly always overtaken by other people!

freda-8Two exercise machines are particularly good for mum.

This first  one is the cross trainer walker machine and is a little like a ski walking machine.

It helps her coordinate her arm and leg movements and helps her to  make large strides.

 

 

 

fredaThe second is an ab-hip swinger.

Mum often comments that she can feel this one loosening up her hips.

She finds them both easy to do and I can see how much more she is loosening up as she exercises on each machine.

The results of taking these exercises in the park are always apparent afterwards. When we return to the apartment her ability to move around the apartment has greatly improved.  We often remark that it is not just the exercises but also the fresh air and the natural surrounding that re- invigorate her.  It is noticeable to us that the effects are  better than those when she  exercise indoors.

For mum, the walks are easily worth 1000 or more  Frequent Bio Points (this is subjective of course)! It may not cure her but it at least helps improves her condition.

White Cockatoos recorded at Perry Lakes

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Thank you to the Rotary Club and the  Town of Cambridge for supplying and maintaining this resource.

Karri Lake Trail

Rating:  300 Frequent Bio Points*

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Distance: 4 km circuit

Easy 1 -2 hour walk

The entrance to the Karri Lake Trail is  off Wheatley Coast Road at the northern end of Quinninup.

 

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The winter of 2016 was a decent season with constant rainfall across the region. They say that frogs are a good sign of a healthy environment (bio-indicators). Wherever I walked I could hear frogs!

On one particularly wet day I walked down to the entrance off Wheatley Coast Road where  I could hear Bonking Frogs sounding like an orchestra of banjos in the rain!

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The walk around Karri Lake is mostly very easy with beautiful and at times stunning views along the way.

Karri Lake is the water catchment area for the town and there is evidence of logging and clearing in parts of the lake.

 

Unfortunately there is  bacteria in the lake and the water is not fit for consumption. Drinking water has to be be constantly trucked in to refill the town’s reservoir tank .

It seems strange houses are allowed to be built around and very close to the lake.

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The closeness of the houses and the human manipulation of the landscape is why the walk doesn’t attract the full 500 Bio points * you would expect.

Never-the-less it is a very satisfying walk and well worth doing for the views,the fresh air and to listen to the birds, frogs and insects everywhere! This recording captures the sounds of the forest as I walk past a stream.

 

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King Karri Trail

Rating:  500 Frequent Bio Points

Tall Tree

 

King Karri Trail

Distance: 4.2 km circuit

Easy 1 -2 hour walk

The entrance to the King Karri trail is off the Wheatley Coast Road towards the South West Highway.

 

 

 

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Fallen LogNot far from the entrance I thought a fallen tree had crossed the track. It wasn’t a tree, but a massive branch from the top of one of the huge trees.

A reminder not to walk in the forests during storms (or the day after)!

 

There are two named trees along the trail; Shaggy Karri and the Hollow Butt King Karri  They are 300 to 400 years old and over 60 metres high!

Shaggy Karri

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Recently the Hollow Butt King Karri had succumbed to nature and crashed down to the forest floor. I’m very glad I wasn’t admiring it when it fell across the path.

Hollow Butt before (2015).

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Hollow Butt after! (2016)

Hollow Butt 2016

 

Overall this is a delightful and easy walk. Listen to the bird life in the ambiance of the forest air (including magpies and kookaburras).

 Time Machine: Listening to these sounds takes me right back to this place and time!

 

Quinninup

RATING: 750 Frequent Bio Points

Every year I try and escape the technologies and demands of city life by going down South for a couple of weeks. In the Great Southern Region of Western Australia I discovered the charms of an old timber town called Quinninup.

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Quinninup is a few kilometres down from the turn off to Pemberton on the South West Highway.

The little town is a hidden gem.  It  is not the place to go to find 5 star accommodation or for any resorts surrounded by sparkling spas, pools, cocktail bars and artificial plants.

 

But it is the place to go for easy, beautiful and restorative walks in our magnificent Karri forests!

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Accommodation varies from old timber cottages, caravan park and cabins as well as holiday homes with beautiful views of the Karri Lake.

 

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Meals are available from a great little country pub.

 

 

 

 THE WALKING TRAILS

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Toadstool Quinninup

There are three easy to moderate walking trails around Quinninup; The King Karri Trail;, Karri Lake Walk and the Orchid Trail.

There is also one lesser known moderate to difficult walking trail called the Ridgebark Trail.

Winter is a great time to walk the Karri forests of the South; the snakes are all asleep and the forests are vibrant with intriguing tapestries of various creepers, fungi, mosses, ferns and lichens.

However to catch the wildflowers and wild orchids then Spring is ideal. The snakes might be awake but they are rarely a problem (they slide away and hide from human footsteps). It’s a good idea to wear appropriate sturdy shoes and long pants. Dress for the weather (rain can come up quickly and unexpectedly).  Always carry water in the warmer months. Avoid walking the forests on stormy, windy or very hot days.