Things to do in Western Australia
Western Australia is a great place for walking trails. Forest or sea, you can have it all.
Crooked Brook Forest near Bunbury is tagged as a ‘Forest for All People’ but when we went for a two hour walk along the 10km Marri Trail last weekend, we didn’t meet another soul. It was as if the forest existed only for us, and the frisson of excitement of being alone, really alone, deep in the Jarrah forest following only the occasional Marri Walk sign pegged to a tree was like salve to counter the stresses of a working week.
Situated about 25kms from Bunbury and near Dardanap in the Ferguson Valley, Crooked Brook is a forest of jarrah trees, and at the main car park and picnic site where there’s a free gas barbecue, picnic shelter and tables you’ll also find a peaceful billabong around which is a paved path. Here there are a series of interesting plaques and information boards giving useful insights into the history of the forest and the local wildlife and plants.
There are four walking trails:-
- A 600m wheelchair path that takes you to a Billabong
- The Jarrah Walk – a 1.5km circuit from the car park, past the billabong and through the jarrah forest.
- Wildflower Walk – a 3km moderate walking route through the Crooked Brook Forest’s wildflower display. There are great views all the way to Bunbury from the lookout point.
- Marri Walk – a 10km circuit with a couple of inclines that takes you through redgum and jarrah forest. It’s advisable to plan for about 3 hours, but if you’re fit you’ll probably do it in 2 hours.
Go during wintertime when the winter brook will be running and the billabong is full, or in springtime when the forest flowers are abundant. During summertime it’s still pretty and the occasional orchid can be spotted eking out life from the tinder dry earth. Take lots of water, wear a cap and try not to do the long walk in the midday heat.
Driving through the undulating hills and valleys of the Ferguson Valley after our walk we stopped at Ferguson Hart Estate, on the corner of Pile Road and Gardincourt Drive, and had delicious coffee and homemade cakes in a courtyard that seemed transplanted from Italy. Open weekends and public holidays from 11am – 5pm.
For more information: www.crookedbrookforest.mysouthwest.com.au or www.fergusonvalley.com.au