Fernhook Falls and Rowells Pool near Wapole

Friday, 25th January to Sunday, 27th January 2013

We try to get away from the Perth as much as we can. We either go touring looking at interesting things, camping where we will stay put for a few days or a combination of both. What determines which we do is the amount of time we have to do it in. Normally we take 1 to 2 days off work before Public Holidays and stay away for the length of the time minus 1 day. For this Public Holiday, which is Australia Day (One Day) plus 1 day off work plus the weekend equals 4 days minus 1 day gives us 3 days to get somewhere. We then leave one to two days before the public holiday weekend and return one day early.

Why leave one to two days before and come back one day early?, Well I’m not sure I should let you into the secret. Hmmmm okay you twisted my arm. We leave one to two days early to beat the traffic (camping/touring) and also in most cases it gives us the best choice of camp grounds when we get where we are going (camping). So if everyone starts doing this then I suppose we will need to go two to three days early. What about coming back one day early?, same thing, we avoid the worst of the holiday traffic and it gives us a day to unpack, clean and wash clothes, camping gear etc. But most importantly clean the car thoroughly and check/repair anything that requires doing.

Okay enough preamble,

Because we have only 3 days we opted to go to one off our favorites spots in the South West of Western Australia, which is Fernhook Falls and Rowell’s Pool, 25 kms north-west of Wapole. Coming from Manjimup its 83 kms on bitumen to a signpost for Fernhook Falls at Beardmore Road. 6kms of easy gravel road takes you to Fernhook Campground/Falls. This is a great spot sitting in the Gladstone State Forrest with the Deep River cascading over Fernhook Falls before running into Rowell’s Pool (when there is water in the river) before flowing down to the Nornalup Inlet. Rowell’s Pool, every time that we have been there, has had water in it even during the height of summer. We have even seen locals using this as a swimming hole.

Next to Deep River and Rowell’s Pool is the CALM camp ground called Fernhook Camp with a Day use area as well. The Camping ground has about 10 bays and 2 single room shacks both of which only cost the normal camp fee of $7.50 per person per night, although they are used on a first come first served basis. Fernhook Camp also has two reasonable pit toilets, both are acceptable to use. Fernhook Camp also boasts one of the bests outdoor kitchens that I have ever seen in a CALM camp ground. The kitchen space with 2 gas BBQ’s is large and has a good sized dining area all under cover. Well done CALM.

Of interest to note is that Campfires (in the provided concrete fire rings) are permitted between April 15 and November 30 and there is no fire restrictions during this peroid. Your own own liquid or gas, stoves, heaters or fuel BBQ, can be used at any time, unless a total fire ban has been declared. Please bring your own firewood as you are not permitted to collect firewood in the Fernhook Campground area.

Bookings can’t be made for Fernhook Campground and it would be best to have alternatives in mind if Fernhook Campground is full.The Fernhook campground is very popular particularly during public holiday weekends and Western Australia’s school holidays periods.

One of the things we love doing is photographing local wildlife & birds. Every so often we come across some friendly wildlife that make taking photos just too easy. In one way this is a good thing, but there is always some idiot that will harm these innocent creatures.

Some of the friendly locals you might come across are the Western Grey Kangaroos. These guys are quite common in the south west of Western Australia and extend to South Australia. The Western Grey Kangaroo is 2nd largest and they are the most vocal of all three large kangaroos. The mum communicates with her joeys using a series of clicks and has a growl when in defensive mode. The Western Grey can grow to a height of approx 2mt. They inhabit grasslands, forests and woodlands near water.?The Western Grey Kangaroo body fur can range from grey/brown to red/brown and can be identified by dark to black fur on their gloves, hind feet and tip of the tail. It’s lovely to see them in their natural habitat.

There are a couple of short walk trails that go from Fernhook Campground to Rowell’s Pool and Fernhook Falls. These trails are mostly on boarded paths making the short walk pretty easy.

Sitting peacefully in the quiet you can get to see and hear a lot of wildlife, this for us is a rewarding experience. Local bird life seemed happy to share their space with us and went about their daily foraging with little concern. One of those was the Red Winged Fairy Wren. The male? being more colorful than the female, has a blue cap on his head, red on his upper back and shoulders while the female Red Winged Fairy Wren is? a drab brown. Casting your eyes downward now and then can yield some interesting finds like bright green caterpillar of the Emperor Gum Moth. In earlier stages of life the caterpillar is all black, then yellow with raised tubes. These tubes change to red, yellow and blue while the body turns green in the third stage of their life cycle. Just before pupation the caterpillar is a blue/green and has a white or cream strip down each side and the tubes are blue and they are about 8cm in length.?? We were fortunate enough to see one in the fifth stage of the cycle. All this color in the caterpillar produces a rather bland moth ranging in color from reddish tan to pinky brown. It is a large moth with the female having a wingspan of up to 15cm. They have a large black eye on each lower wing.

We got to do a bit of relaxing and enjoyed ourselves, but all to soon its time to head back to Perth.