Wildflowers in the heath between Walpole and the beach

Arrived in Walpole around , first impressions are of a tiny town, all set out along one side of the highway, with a park and tourist information centre on the other side. The old lady in the tourist centre was horrified that we hadn’t booked our accommodation months in advance. Told us that we had almost no chance of finding anywhere in town to stay — but the motel might have some rooms left. Rather than try to book them, she then launched into a great rambling spiel of all the local tourist attractions and which ones to visit in what order. Eventually we dragged her back the topic at hand — accommodation — and persuaded her to call the motel.

Not only did the motel have a room for the night, but when we pointed out that we had asked for a room for two nights, they very apologetically dropped the price by $10 per night because the only available room had a crack in the ceiling. With a little trepidation we headed up the road to find this room-with-a-crack. After checking in we subjected the room to an inch-by-inch search, but despite our best efforts, we couldn’t spot the cause of the discount! Just a standard, nondescript 1960’s motel room — door one end, double-bed, mission-brown bricks and faded carpet, nothing to get excited about, but nothing more than we’d expected.

Strange ant-mounds of sticks and sand

A quick stretch and we headed off along the local self-guided walk, it winds around from the tourist centre to the beach, plaques along the way describe the life as seen through the eyes of a ten-year-old boy, part of the original group of settlers sent here during the 1930’s depression. Even out of season there are plenty of wild-flowers about, and foot-high ant mounds of sticks and gravel, loose-knit and very fragile, they fell apart at the slightest nudge of a shoe.

Dinner in Walpole was a choice of either the local take-away, or the pub. Being Good Friday, even the bar of the pub was shut — only the bistro was allowed to be opened, and then only because there were guests staying.


Margaret River, Walpole