Walpole-Nornalup National Park
Directions - Located within Walpole-Nornalup National Park, and on the popular tourist drive, to reach Circular Pool continue along Hilltop Road from the Giant Tingle Tree until you each Pool Road. Turn right and follow the signs until you reach the Circular Pool car park. The trail starts from the eastern side of the car park.
The Walk - One of the main drawcards of visiting Walpole is to explore the vast forests surrounding the town, and the easiest way to do that is by taking in the trio of the Giant Tingle Tree, Valley of the Giants and Circular Pool, all located in the hills to the north east of town. I've visited the area many times over the years, hiking, bikepacking and holidaying, and I love any excuse to get out and take in the natural wonder of the national parks near Walpole.
With another visit to the Walpole area booked in, I made a point to add Circular Pool to the must visit list, as my previous post was a bit dated. After an enjoyable walk at the Giant Tingle Tree, I made my way through the forests above Walpole and onto the car park for Circular Pool. Being the middle of school holidays, I was not expecting it to be so quiet, although happy that there was only one other car when I arrived. It's not a long walk, so this one is more about slowing down and really appreciating nature. First on the agenda is to take a right turn after starting the walk, and visiting the first of two lookouts over the Frankland River. Looking down at Circular Pool through the forest, there are plenty of information boards here to let you know about the local culture and environment. Moving on, there are two paths you can take down the hill, with wheelchair friendly pavement going along a series of switchbacks and a set of stirs providing a more direct route. I chose to mix it up and do each one going out and back, just for funsies (you also see more on the longer path). Both trails lead to the second lookout over the river and this one is the more impressive of the two.
With views looking up and down the Frankland River before it empties into the two wide pools, it's a great spot to admire the large boulders, towering forest and bubbling rapids. Moving on, I knew from previous visits that you can walk out onto the granite and get a closer look at the rapids (where apparently people used to park their cars before it was banned after they kept sliding into the river). Be careful in wet conditions as granite can be slippery and it's easy to fall over. Walking down to where the water empties into the first pool, this was just as nice as I remembered it being. Having a sit down on the rocks, I took some time here to soak it all in, as it's not always a guarantee that you'll get to return. Having the place to myself felt good as I enjoyed the quiet sounds of nature before moving back to the path and the wooden boardwalk overlooking the second pool. With it being the first day of Kambarang, the water levels were pretty good, and the swirling effect of the foam (whipped up by the rushing waters) showed exactly why this place is called Circular Pool. After watching the water for a while, I headed back up the hill, spotting plenty of cool wildflowers along the way.