Circular Pool Walk
Start - Follow signs on SW Hwy east of Walpole
Length - 750m (Return)
Grade - Green
Terrain - Pavement
Vertical Climb - Fairly Flat
Time - 30 Mins
Signed - No
Date Hiked - 26th December 2016
Best Time - All Year Round
Traditional Custodians - Minang People
The Hike - With a family trip out to see some sites around Walpole, the next stop on the list after the Giant Tingle Tree Walk was Circular Pool. A short drive from the Giant Tingle Tree, the rally stage to Circular Pool was a little bit fun and my father spotted a giant snake lying in the middle of the gravel track (I did not). With everyone assembled in the car park we had a look at the information board to see what was what and the nieces were set loose on the trail. While the trail isn't very long, there is plenty to see and photograph with the first opportunity a lookout above the forest. This gives you a sighter over the two pools and surrounding Karri/Tingle Forest. The nieces were excited to get going but before we did I had my brother-in-law Haydn practice his best "looking natural" pose, much to the dismay of my sister. With eyes sufficiently rolled and everyone keen to move on, we took the shortest of the two paths (the longer path is paved and wheelchair friendly) down the hill and towards the second lookout.
The second platform looks out over a longer expanse of the Frankland River. Being summertime, the water level was very low but this just exposed parts of the river that aren't visible during the winter months. The bright white rocks contrasted well against the deep tannins of the river and the greens of the forest behind it. We decided that given the low level of the river that it was alright to explore the granite rocks below and made our way to the river bank. I had great fun photographing the different colours and views along the river while everyone wandered off in their own direction. Eventually we made our way back to the platform and joined the official path again that leads down to Circular Pool and the boardwalks around the lower part of the river. As we were here to see Circular Pool, we made our way there first and found the boardwalk that provides access to the granite slopes we were previously exploring. With low river levels, the area was safe to walk right up to where the Frankland River flows into Circular Pool. The pools aren't that circular so the place is named because of the way the foam forms circular patterns as it flows into the pools. The currents of the river move in circular motions and this is only visible when you observe the foam flow into the pool. With the tall Karri forest in the background, the calm waters and some fluffy white clouds, the scene was perfect and I understand why this is a very popular spot with tourists. With more photos than I would have use for, we moved on to the boardwalk section and the quieter part of the Frankland River.
The well built boardwalks are there to both protect the fragile ecosystem and allow access to those who might not be able to walk down and experience this tranquil spot. There are plenty of places to grab a great photo here and my dad commented, "you should get a good photo with the reflections in the water". I tried dad but the sun wasn't positioned in the perfect spot so instead I got a photo of you taking a photo of the reflections in the water (see gallery). He doesn't like when people post photos of him on Facebook but this isn't Facebook so I think it is allowed. Further along my mum and youngest niece were having a good time and were coaxed into posing for photos by dad. With the end of the boardwalk section now completed we headed back up the path to where Haydn and my oldest niece were having another exploration session around the river. We were quite happy to watch them from the lookout where I spotted a strange pyramid shaped rock in the water. Was this an Illuminati burial site or just a well worn rock sticking out from the river? Probably the latter of those two options. We arrived back at the car park and mum mentioned something that I didn't spot on the information boards, apparently the car park was built because people used to park their 4x4s on the granite slopes next to the river and they kept having to fish them out of the river when things went bad. Interesting.
Final Thoughts - I had an inkling that both the Giant Tingle Tree and Circular Pool would be cool spots but I didn't think they were long enough to justify doing a post on them. Once we were there though it reminded me of why I love being out in nature so decided to give them a full write-up each. To also be able to share that with my family and especially my young nieces was very special and I hope they gain a deep love for this type of thing over the years.
Despite being a small walk, there is something cool to see around every corner. There are numerous photo opportunities with the forest reflecting off the calm water and the contrast of the rocks against the deep brown of the Frankland River.
I'm sure I will be back one winter to see how much the river level changes but visiting in summer allowed for a safer exploration of the rocky river banks for the nieces. If you are visiting Walpole then this is a great family activity to experience and should be on your to-visit list.
Get out there and experience it!
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