Situated on the western side of Albany, lies the 117 km South Coast Highway, which winds along the coastline with numerous National Parks to explore on both sides of the road.
The road ends at Walpole town before it merges with the South Western Highway, that offers another new set of adventure in the next article.
From Albany, head North along York Street to Albany Highway. Once on the highway, make a left turn into South Coast Highway, at the roundabout, which intersects with North Road; Chester Pass Road; Hanrahan Road and Albany Highway.
From Albany to Denmark
Founded in 1895, Denmark is a small coastal town on Wilson Inlet, surrounded by William Bay National Park on the west, West Cape Howe National Park on the east.
I will skip writing about West Cape Howe National Park in this article, as I have not physically visited the place due to its remoteness and some part of the attractions will require 4WD Vehicles.
William Bay National Park
Covering almost 2,000 hectares along the southern coastline, William Bay is declared as a National Park to protects the flora and fauna from Denmark to Walpole.
The park is famous for its green sheltered pools and gigantic boulders of various sizes.
Situated in close proximity with Albany (54 min | 70.7 km) and Denmark (17 min | 17.2 km), it is one of popular stop en route while travelling along the South Coast Highway.
Greens Pool and Elephant Rock are the two main highlight in the park and it can reach via William Bay Road from South Coast Highway.
There are two parking lot at the end of the road with toilet facility. The bigger parking lot is closed to Greens pool, whereas the smaller parking lot is more accessible to Elephant Rock. Alternatively, you can choose to walk from Greens Pool to Elephant Rock via the Elephant Rock trail.
Greens Pool – sheltered by the granite boulders, the pool is a safe swimming spot for children and inexperienced swimmers from the strong waves of the Southern Ocean. It is also a popular place to snorkel, as many fishes can be spotted swimming between the boulders.
For those that are not into swimming or snorkelling, strolling on the headland rocks beside the pool, not only provide a spectacular view but also a good photo-taking spot of the Green Pools from the top. The headland rocks are part of the trail that leads to Elephant Rock.
Elephant Rock – resembled a herd of elephants with part of the body submerge in the shallow water, Elephant Rock can be reached from Green Pools for an easy 10 minutes walk via the trail.
At Elephant Rock, you can either sit back and relax on the top of the rock to enjoy the view or descent between rocks via a staircase to Elephant Cove Beach and stroll along the coastline.
If you have few hours to spare, other attractions such as Mazzoletti Beach, Waterfall Beach, Madfish Bay, and Tower Hill are also worth a visit.
From Albany to Denmark
Valley of the Giants
From Greens Pool parking lot, drive North along William Bay Road and turn left into South Coast Highway. Travel westward along the highway until the intersection with Valley of The Giant Road on the right side. From the intersection, travel another 5 km to the entrance of Valley of the Giant parking lot. The total time taken is 35 min | 47.2 km.
Valley of the Giants derived the name from the towering Red Tingle Trees (Eucalyptus jacksonii) that rises to a height of 74 metres from the ground.
Ancient Empire Boardwalk – built with raised wooden platform that starts at the Visitor Center beside the parking lot for a distance of approximately 420 metres. The platform winds in and out of the forest floor in between 400 years old red tingle trees, with some that cut across the base of the tree with a circumference between of 15 – 23m.
Tree Top Walk – raising for a height of 40 metres above the ground, the Tree Top Walk offers spectacular views of the forest canopy. As most suspension bridges in the world are built to have the swinging effect, which is not suitable for the faint of heart, the 60 metres Tree Top Walk here is built with lightweight steel pylons, which is secured and suitable for children of all ages and wheelchairs.
Walpole-Nornalup National Park
Most of the coastline on the shire of Walpole consists of rugged cliffs and beautiful beaches but mostly are inaccessible by 2WD vehicles. Conspicuous Beach in Walpole-Nornalup National Park is one of the three beaches in Walpole, which travellers have the privilege to visit.
Situated on the opposite side of Valley of the Giant across the South Coast Highway, Conspicuous Beach can be reached by driving out of Valley of the Giant Road, follows by turning left into South Coast Highway for a short drive and ends with a right turn into Conspicuous Beach Road. The parking lot is situated at the end of the road.
The trail from the parking lot is paved with a wooden platform, with a small stream on the right side, which leads to the sea.
Conspicuous Beach is undeveloped and 100% unspoilt. It is not one of the popular destination but it is definitely worth to divert the journey slightly, before heading to Walpole townsite.
Walpole, a small town on the west, is only 21 min | 18.4 km fromConspicuous Beach and a perfect place to stopover for a night, before proceeding on with the upcoming adventure ahead.