One of the nicest things about the town of Walpole on the South Coast of Western Australia is that it is built along the northern shoreline of the peaceful Walpole Inlet.
Walpole Inlet is for the most part enclosed by hills and forests. But at its southern end a channel in between The Knoll and Rest Point connects it to the much larger Nornalup Inlet, which in turn flows out into the ocean.
The hills, paperbark swamps and karri trees surrounding Walpole Inlet provide it with protection from the wind. Its calm, dark tannin-rich water is quite a contrast to the massive, windswept and choppy Nornalup Inlet beyond The Channels.
Take a Walk Along the Walpole Inlet’s Shores
Whenever I’m staying in Walpole town I always enjoy walking the path along the shoreline of the inlet, a peaceful and relaxing walk with beautiful views to photograph. This path is actually a small section of the Bibbulmun Track so you can continue following it down to Coalmine Beach on the Nornalup Inlet and beyond.
If I can be bothered getting up early, I take this inlet walk at dawn because I love the view of the sun rising from behind karri forest hills. On a still morning, the fiery colours in the sky are reflected in the water - a beautiful sight worth more than a sleep-in!
Walpole Inlet Jetties
Walpole has two small jetties reaching out over the Walpole Inlet. Both are good spots to drop a line from if you don’t have a boat.
Locations of the Jetties:
- Red marker: Town Jetty
- Yellow marker: Swarbrick Jetty
Walpole Town Jetty
Town Jetty is at the end of Jones Street, in a long narrow and slightly swampy bay. Small boats can be launched here and there are picnic benches and a bbq on the shore. The WOW inlet cruise leaves from the Town Jetty.
The other jetty is Swarbrick Jetty. Swarbrick Jetty is a long wooden jetty reaching out into the Walpole Inlet, with a small secluded picnic area nearby on the shore in the shade of a paperbark tree. The Autumn sunrise photo below was taken from Swarbrick Jetty. It’s a nice place to watch both the sunrise and sunset from.
Boating and Canoeing on the Walpole Inlet
As it is much smaller than the Nornalup Inlet, the Walpole Inlet has fewer beaches, rivers and places to explore and discover. But the Walpole Inlet is nonetheless a pleasant and scenic waterway for paddling or puttering around on.
In fact, some days you might find the Nornalup Inlet is just too choppy and windy. I remember one Walpole camping trip many years ago when we had the boat with us, but my Granddad wouldn’t take the kids out on the Nornalup Inlet because it was it was howling a gale with big, sharp waves.
Instead we motored around the calm Walpole Inlet and up the narrow Walpole River. We had a great time looking at the scenery on the riverbank and dodging the branches and snags. I think we got about as far as the bridge, but beyond that it was too shallow and choked with branches.
Much more recently my boyfriend and I hired a boat from Rest Point and set out on a journey all around both inlets. We drove up close to the boats moored in the bay near the town jetty and found they were very strange-looking old rusty barges – some with small shrubs growing on them.
A Map of Walpole Inlet
The Walpole Inlet is 2.8km2 in area. It is fed by the Walpole Inlet to the west and has a swampy bay in the north:
Last Updated: 18th June, 2014.
First posted on 21st December, 2013 by Bonny.
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