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Nuyts Wilderness Walk

Nuyts Wilderness Walk

Walpole-Nornalup National Park

Directions - From the centre of Walpole, head west along South Western Highway until you reach the turnoff for Tinglewood Road. Turn left and follow this all the way past the car park for Mount Clare. Keep driving along Tinglewood Road as it descend down towards the Deep River. The car park is located on the left hand side, with a small area to park in front of the wooden poles where the Bibbulmun Track crosses.

The Hike - The Nuyts Wilderness Walk has been on my radar for quite a long time but the opportunity to hike this one eluded me over the years. Having talked about it a few times on the podcast, I made some time to finally get out to the area while passing through on an epic three week hiking road trip. This area is one that I've always enjoyed visiting, with a few trips out here to hike the Deep River Walk Trail, along with passing through on the Bibbulmun Track as it comes into Walpole.

A bit of poor planning saw me without accommodation for the night in Walpole, as my favourite haunt, Tingle All Over, was fully booked when I was prepping a few weeks before my trip. When one door closes, another opens, so I took the chance to stay the night at the Mount Clare Campsite on the Bibbulmun Track. It's a place I've visited a few times before but have never stayed there, a wrong I would be righting. Carrying my overnight hiking gear with me, as I had a few nights on trail planned for later in the trip, I ended up being alone that night to enjoy this stunning campsite, set among the Tingle Forest. Waking up to a crisp morning, I packed up quickly, before walking back to my car and driving down to the start point near the Deep River. Enjoying breakfast was the tailgate of my car, this would be the first of many trails around the Walpole Wilderness today but this is the one I was most looking forward to. 


Loading up with water and a couple of snacks, I was ready to go, and was soon walking down to the suspension bridge over the Deep River. It certainly felt like an adventure, crossing a large river and heading out into the wilderness, even though I knew what was coming for at least the first few kilometres. Last time I was here, I was racing the rain as I walked into Walpole, a race I ended up losing. While the grey clouds were hanging around today, there wasn't rain on the forecast. After photographing a favourite scene of mine, the bridge over the Deep River, I headed into the mixed Tingle and Karri Forest that is home for the first section. The Nuyts Wilderness Walk sees you progress through a variety of different vegetation types, and serves to provide a varied and interesting walk. Passing an old wooden shelter, I was enjoying the thick and lush forest while it lasted. 

Being the height of spring, I was on the lookout for as many different wildflower and orchid species as I could find, and it wasn't long before I was clocking up the numbers. Photographing the trinity of common orchids around the forest of the South West, there were plenty of Pink Fairies, Cowslips and Purple Pansy Orchids lining the trail. Along with the orchids, there were plenty of other wildflowers out, with Karri Dampiera, Sail-boat Wattle and a Triggerplant spotted. Crossing Crystal Brook, the golden brown colour of the shallow water comes from the tannins that leech out of the eucalyptus leaves that are dropped. A large moss covered Karri tree is a feature as you cross the bridge, providing a nice photo opportunity. Rising up a small hill, you pass through a section of really nice forest that marks the end of the heavily vegetated walking.


There is one final green tunnel, with the sandy path lined with Bracken Fern and Grass Trees, before you pop out into the open. Marking a new phase of the walk, the white sands and low scrub will be your companion as you make your way south to the coast. Rounding a corner, my welcome present was a colony of tiny Narrow Lipped Hammer Orchids, so tiny that if you aren't looking out for them, you may miss them completely. Having seen my first ones at Goblin Swamp in 2022, anytime I am passing through sandy soils, I make sure to scan the edge of the trail for these delicate beauties. Down on all fours trying to get a decent photo, I eventually pried myself away from this spot to continue exploring. The wildflowers continued to be excellent as I made my way towards the main track leading south. Spotting a few Hooded Lilies and Mountain Kunzea among others, this was turning out to be everything I had hoped for.