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  • Writer's pictureHelen Avaient

Marrinup Falls and Lane Poole Reserve, Western Australia

Near the town of Dwellingup, just an hour's drive from Perth are two very different but beautiful places to visit.

Marrinup Falls

Marrinup was a timber town that burnt down in the 1961 bushfires. Today you can camp here, or visit the foundations of the Prisoner of War campsite. I went on the 2.6km trail loop through native bushland around the Marrinup Falls. Visiting in April meant the water was not flowing as much as it normally would be, but this gave a great view of the geography that is normally covered over. During wildflower season in spring these hills are a riot of colour. However, I enjoyed looking at the different shades in the rocks and plants that we walked past.

The loop is a grade 3 and not too difficult. There are a few stairs to climb that may be a bit slippery in the wet. It took around an hour to complete. The site is accessed from the Pinjarra - Dwellingup road via Grey Road. Grey Road is an unsealed road that leads north and it is well signposted.

Lane Poole Reserve

Covering almost 55,000 hectares the reserve is named after C.E. Lane-Poole, the State’s first Conservator of Forests and a devoted conservationist. The entry station to the park is 7.5km south of Dwellingup. Park Road, between the entry station and Dwaarlindjirraap, and the access road to Nanga Brook from Nanga Road are sealed. All other roads within the park are gravel and their condition will vary depending on the weather.

There are 7 camping areas within the reserve, all differ greatly from each other and bookings

must be made online before you arrive. Camping here often books out. National Park fees apply.

The Murray River flows through the forest and is the longest permanent river in the jarrah forest. Many activities can be undertaken here, including swimming, canoeing and fishing. In winter white water rafting is popular due to the increase in water level after winter rains.

It is also ideal for day visits with seating and electric barbeques at various spots throughout the reserve. These are ideally located in the most advantageous positions for watching the flowing waters.

Bushwalking in the area is also a popular activity and paths are well marked out. The reserve protects about 500 species of native plants, which provide important habitat for threatened fauna species such as the quokka, woylie, chuditch and western ring-tailed possum.

In the park there have been recorded:

- 32 species of mammal

- 123 species of bird

- 42 species of reptile

- 16 species of amphibian

- 6 species of native fish

Each turn of a path gives you a new vista to be in awe of, and photography is another popular activity here, for those pictures that you want to speak a thousand words, and keep as a value reminder of your time here. Looking at the photos below, I can remember the feel of the sun on my face, the breeze whispering through the trees, the sound of birds above, and the feeling of freedom I felt there. Even when the reserve is at fully booked capacity, there is still enough Australian bush for everyone to enjoy. I spent the day here during the busy Easter period and on my bushwalks it was rare for me to meet other hikers. Lane Poole reserve has so many places to explore, it is definitely a place to come and vist more than once.

Happy Travels!

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