Friday, March 12, 2010

Week 11/52 - Bushwalking in Nannup

Welcome to Week 11 of my 52 week tour of Western Australia. This week we head north from our last stop Pemberton, and travel to Nannup.

I hope you have your hiking boots on because we are going for a walk on the Old Timberline Trail in the St John Brook Conservation Park just out of Nannup.

Once echoing with the sounds of axes, saws and timber trains, birdsong now breaks the silence and the jarrah trees have reclaimed their land in an area which was once a major timber logging area.

The Old Timberline Trail is a moderately easy 20 kilometre walk and cycle trail through the Park following the disused forestry railway between Nannup and Cambray Siding. Wood fired locomotives once hauled jarrah along an extensive railway network from bush camps to Barrabup Mill and then to Busselton Jetty for export. Interpretive signs give a historical insight and describe the life of the timber cutters. Most of the railway sleepers have been removed but a few can still be seen along the trail.

Marked by white triangular signs displaying an axe, the trail can be broken into sections making it ideal for day or overnight walks. Starting from the old railway bridge in Nannup, it is 10 kilometres to Workman’s Pool camping area and then 1.2 kilometres to Barrabup Pool. The timber mill and townsite which operated between 1909 and 1925 were located in this area.

The picnic area and platform overlooking Barrabup Pool invites you to linger. From here it is 4 kilometres to Sleeper Hewer’s camp where there is an overnight hut and then 4.8 kilometres to Cambray Siding. Here is a photo of Barrabup Pool.

From Life Images by Jill
Leaving Barrabup Pool, a bridge crosses St John Brook before the trail climbs up to join the old railway track. Along the way is the Potato Swamp where vegetables were once grown for the Barrabup community.

Dominated by jarrah, banksia and a profusion of wildflowers in spring, the trail follows the ridge line above the brook with glimpses of the water through the trees.

From Life Images by Jill

The trail descends to the remains of a disused timber railway bridge spanning the gully. We stayed for a while to take some photos of the bridge. I've converted this one to black and white.

From Life Images by Jill

A short walk through a rail cutting leads to Sleeper Hewer’s Camp (4km). Set above two wide pools of the river it is a tranquil place for lunch or an overnight stop and an opportunity to observe the many birds and animals that inhabit the Park.

From Life Images by Jill

From the hut it is easy walking from here to Cambray Siding where men who repaired the railway lines once lived. Observant walkers may see native orchids at the edge of the trail.

A few minutes later you reach the car park and the intersection with the 26 kilometre Jarrahwood to Nannup Sidings Rail Trail. It is 15 kilometres from here back to Nannup along the Sidings Trail.

And a few wildflowers - can't go bushwalking without photographing wildflowers........

Banded Greenhood Orchid..........

From Life Images by Jill

From Life Images by Jill

From Life Images by Jill

....oh and, we decided it was too cold to camp out in a hut, so here is the veranda of our accommodation for the night. Fancy a wine and cheese platter and a hot spa to soak those tired feet? This cottage is on a farming property just out of Nannup and bounded on two sides by the river and the bush. We have stayed here twice - it is lovely.

From Life Images by Jill

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope you have enjoyed this tour around Western Australia. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for taking the time to comment.