This reserve also called Dwellingup Lane Poole Reserve, an IUCN category II (National Park) is a hidden secret in Western Australia. This natural gem is located only 115 km from Perth in the town of Nanga Brook and South East of the town of Dwellingup. It is situated on the edge of Darling Scarp.
This nature lover’s paradise is a forest reserve that is home to native woodlands. It includes a long stretch of Murray river which is an undammed river in Western Australia. Murray River flows through reserve along with its scenic waterfalls and rock pools all its way.
The calm and serenity of the place along with the numerous activities that are organized in this place makes it a must-visit place for tourists. Various activities are offered here, which include fishing, swimming, and even rafting in the Murray River.
1. History of Lane Poole Reserve
The area comprising of northern Jarrah forest and its Murray River was identified and declared part of the reserve in 1984. The reserve is named after Western Australia’s first Conservator of Forests of Western Australia – C.E. Lane Poole.
Before the area was declared as a reserve, an old Jarrah Mill at Nanga was completely burnt during Dwellingup Fire in 1961. This site is presently used as a camping spot.
2. Lane Poole Reserve and its Topology
The reserve covers 55-kilo hectares in the area. It comprises rock-rimmed pools, numerous small and large waterfalls with steep Murray River valley sloops, and a thick forest. This topology is favourable for hosting wildlife.
Murray River is the defining factor in the reserve. Even though the flow of the river depends upon the climate, the river flows throughout the year.
During summer, the river has a gentle flow and therefore becomes conducive for white water rafting and swimming. However, in winter, the river flows with all its raging torrents with high water levels.
The abundance of water makes this place filled with beautiful wildflowers in spring. Murray River forms plenty of small waterfalls in steeply forested valley slopes. However, there are plenty of trails for you to trek on while enjoying the beauty of the Reserve.
3. Activities in Lane Poole Reserve
Despite being a reserve, the Lane Poole Reserve hosts numerous activities for tourists. It has numerous campsites and watersports such as canoeing, surfing, river rafting, mountain biking, and trail trekking.
3.1. Camp Sites
In recent times, numerous campsites have been established to cater to the growing demands of the tourist. However, most of the campsites are unpowered and do not have even drinking water facilities.
Mobile phones will not come to your aid in Lane Poole Reserve because of the lack of coverage. Parking and entry fees apply in most of these camps.
We will discuss some of the campsites where you can pitch your tent.
3.1.1. Chuditch Campsite
Chuditch Campsite is located in the serenity of Jarrah forests. It is a medium size campsite located close to Murray Valley Mountain Bike Trails and the Chuditch picnic area.
You can also enjoy kayaking in the Murray River as this campsite has many launch points nearby.
3.1.2. Baden Powell Campsite
Baden Powell is a well-managed and sheltered campsite. It has a camper trailer, barbeques, water taps except during summer, camp kitchens, and benches. It has 42 camping sites. It also has wheelchair access on one of its camping grounds.
3.1.3. Charlie’s Flat
Charlies Flat is located on the banks of the Murray River and hosts secluded campsites along the river bed. You can pitch a tent on this site under trees of your liking such as the jarrah or the blackbutt trees.
Being next to the river, you can easily find peaceful spots for your fishing. They also let you fire up your campfire in some seasons.
3.1.4. Tony’s Bend
This is one of the best camping sites if you are travelling with your family. With 13 camping sites, Tony’s Bend offers you many activities to choose from.
It offers canoeing, swimming, and fishing in the Murray River. With a cleaning sink, picnic tables, and tap water, Tony’s bend is a recommended camping site for a long weekend.
Yarragil has only two campsites and is ideal for families. However, both campsites are unpowered and you need to bring your own firewood.
It is the starting point for the 12 km river track for Nanga Road Bridge. It is also a favourite place for swimmers as they can just enjoy the refreshing swim. Dogs on leashes are permitted in this campsite.
3.1.6. Stringers Campgrounds
Stringers campgrounds is a peaceful camping spot on the riverbed of the Murray River. It offers various activities such as swimming, bushwalking, and mountain biking. It permits campfires during some seasons. Dogs are permitted at Stringers, but should always be controlled on a leash.
3.1.7. Nanga Townsite Campground
This campsite is attached to history as it is located at a place which was once a timber mill which was destroyed in a fire. Nanga Townsite Campground is a pine trees campsite and is very peaceful.
It however cannot accommodate camper trailers as there are no caravan parks. However, do not forget to book in advance.
3.2. Trekking in Trails
There are numerous trails within Lane Poole. You can discover nature’s beauty by trekking amongst the Jarrah forest on a heart-pumping adventure. Young kids will enjoy the flora and fauna which includes the flying foxes and koalas.
Trekking should be a sure thing to do if you are on a day trip. A few popular trails in Lane Poole Reserve include:
3.2.1. Chuditch Walk Trail
An Australian Bushwalking trail is 7 km in length from Nanga brook to Chuditch. The vicinity of the serene Murray river will make it a trek to remember.
3.2.2. Island Pool Walk Trail
Island Pool Walk trail is another Bush Walk trail and is 2 km long. It is an amazing trail during the day. The trail passes through Jarrah forest and gives the best view of the entire Murray river valley.
3.2.3. King Jarrah Walk Trail
It is the longest Bush Walk trail in Lane Poole Reserve. It is 18 km long and passes amongst the oldest trees in the place. King Jarrah is the oldest tree of around 600 years around in the reserve.
3.2.4. Captain Fawcett Track
Captain Fawcett track is a road drive trail that starts at Dawn Creek Road and is 105 km long. The trail ends at Quindanning Hotel which showcases the best view of Jarrah forests, historic farmhouses, and magnificent views.
3.2.5. Les Couzens Bridle Trail
Go on a horse-ride trek from Dwellingup through Lane Poole Reserve in a loop. The trail passes through Jarrah forest. You should try this trail.
3.2.6. Bibbulmun Track
Bibbulmun Track is a 1000 km long trail passing through the centre of the reserve. You can spend half a day-long bushwalking. It is a challenging trial for all levels of skills.
3.3. Bird Watching
Lane Poole is a paradise for a vivid bird watcher. The varied species of birds vary from honeyeaters to parrots. The Murray river also attracts many birds such as pelicans and herons.
3.4. Horse Riding
Ride and explore the Les Couzens Bridle Trail on horseback. You can rent a horse or be a part of the adventure group.
The trek starts at Dwellingup through Lane Poole and ends back at Dwelling up. Do not forget to take your cowboy hat.
The Murray River is perfect for kayaking and canoeing. Many campsites are close to the Murray River and offer both activities.
You will be able to sight some amazing animals if you are lucky while kayaking and canoeing. However, avoid kayaking and canoeing if the river flow is torrent.
3.6. Mountain Biking
Mountain biking is a must-do if you love the forest. The trail through the thick forest in Lane Poole is an amazing place to enjoy.
There are about 18 different trails that let you mountain bike. Carry a go pro and capture the best videos in the forest.
The reserve is the best place for you to either learn fishing or enjoy your catches if you are an expert. Due to the great stretch of the river road and river bed, it will be easy to find a calm and peaceful fishing spot.
Nothing is more calming than a dip in the cold water of a river. Murray river is safe for swimming in all months except in winter when the river flow is turbulent.
Lane Poole Reserve brings out best of the Western Australia. Named after first Western Australia’s first conservator, this place provides you with the best tourist option.
Whilst you will have an adventure of a lifetime, it is also important that we do not spoil the beauty of the national park. All efforts towards the conservation of the place must be supported by us.
Summer is the best time to visit the reserve if you want to swim in the river as winter is not a conducive time.