Mount Frankland South National Park
Directions - From the centre of Walpole, head west on South Western Hwy for 28km until you see the small sign for Mt Burnett. Take a right here and park in the rest area. The trail starts on the southern side with a new information board showing a map.
The Hike - With changed plans on a day exploring around Walpole, I was ticking off a few trails on my to-hike list. As chance would have it, as I was checking out at the Tingle All Over Backpackers I noticed a Walks Around Walpole paper brochure on the desk so had a bit of a look. The only place noted was Mount Burnett and based on the location, I wasn't sure it was going to be the best. As I passed it heading out to Mount Pingerup, it looked nothing more than a rest stop on the side of South Western Hwy but given it's close proximity to Mount Pingerup, I decided to check it out after that hike. Parking up in the rest stop area, it actually looked quite promising with wildflowers dotting all around the car park.
The limited information I had on this trail suggested it was a very short trail and I initially expected this to be a little loop to a granite outcrop. Reaching the trail head and the relatively new looking information board, I was pleasantly surprised to see that this was longer than expected and the type of terrain ahead looked very nice. The little map showed a creek crossing and a small granite hill that the trail looped around with one of the local beetles perhaps hinting that more of him could be found at the creek crossing based on his position on the map. It's always the trails where you have low expectations that impress the most and this one was shaping up to be a nice little walk. Descending the small hill, through lovely looking forest filled with Blue Squills and many other wildflowers, I reached the low lying area that you wouldn't know was there driving past. Passage through the reeds and tall grasses is provided by a section of boardwalk that also keeps your feet dry in the wetter months when the water course here is flowing (and also protects the environment). Being springtime there was an amazing display of wildflowers sprouting up everywhere and the variety was already greater than Mount Pingerup.
Standing in the middle of the boardwalk with the sound of the creek water gurgling away, it was cool to look up and down where the creek flowed and see nothing but grass. These natural flood plains are common in this part of the state and the trees really don't like growing there. Prevalent all throughout this area were some fluffy looking White Banjine, plenty of Pink Boronia and a few Acacia varieties. The chorus of frog ribbits was strong but finding one to photograph was hard so I continued along the boardwalk as it reached the edges of the forest. The quality through here continued with the trail leading to the point where the loop section starts lined with more wildflowers than you could poke a stick at. With a nice canopy overhead, these were perfect conditions for the forest floor to spring into life thanks to the shadier conditions. Reaching a fork in the trail, the walking man points you to the right to start the loop and I was in no mood to argue so headed in that direction. Finding flowering Hakea, Grannys Bonnets, Hovea, Petrophiles, Chorizema rhombeum, Yellow Flag and more Blue Squills, the variety was some of the best I've seen on a trail in terms of sheer difference within a short stretch.