Right about now you may be thinking, “Wait a minute, I thought you guys were travelling through Australia…Denmark?? What’s going on here?!” Well, it just so happens that Western Australia has a very picturesque town called Denmark in the Great Southern region, which has a lot to be seen.
After we had satisfactorily wandered around Albany and its national parks, we made the “trek” to Denmark, a pleasant coastal town just 55km further west. We got ourselves set up at a lovely spot by a small brook at Riverbend Chalets and Caravan Park and went out to explore. Being a great day for it, we made our way to the other side of the inlet and found ourselves at Anvil Beach, one of our favourite snorkel spots to date. It has a small shelf dropping off to a fairly deep channel, with lots of sealife in it. We loved it so much we went back numerous times during our stay. We then capped off our first day in Denmark at the Boston Brewing Co. for some very tasty beers.
The following day we visited one of the main attractions in the area: William Bay National Park. This tiny national park includes two stunning attractions: Green Pools and Elephant Rocks. Elephant Rocks consists of a set of colossal granite boulders strewn on the beach, looking quite like a herd of elephants wading at the water’s edge.
Meanwhile, Green Pools, as the name suggests, is a green-tinged, well-protected bit of ocean, great for swimming and snorkelling.
After enjoying most of the afternoon there, we went back early the next day to enjoy these spots at sunrise, before the crowds, then spent the rest of the day checking out the local wineries along the Scotsdale Scenic Drive, our particular favourites being Rockliffe and The Lake House. At this point in our trip we made our way to Perth to meet up with family, but we came back about a month later to nearby Walpole, the next town west of Denmark.
Walpole is a beautiful little town nestled in among the tall karri and tingle trees, some of which are over 400 years old. If you’re not afraid of heights, the Valley of Giants Treetop Walk, where you can appreciate these majestic trees from 40m up, is well worth a visit.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of tall trees after that, there are two trees you can climb from bottom to top a bit further north near Pemberton: the Gloucester Tree (53m) and the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree (65m). These trees were historically used as fire lookouts to scout the region for bushfires; there used to be a whole system of these lookout trees but now only two are still open for the public to climb. A series of foot pegs spiral around the tree allowing you to climb your way up, step by step…not for the faint of heart and be prepared for some sore muscles in the morning!
Definitely don’t just stick inland, though; there is some scenic, rugged coastline in this area to be explored. Peaceful Bay, which lives up to its name with calm, swimmer-friendly water, and Conspicuous Cliffs can be beautiful places to spend an afternoon, and a great spot to catch a glimpse of migratory whales from May to October.
And D’Entrecasteaux National Park has some real coastal treasures as well, particularly around Windy Harbour. And if dune driving tickles your fancy, Yeagarup dunes in Warren National Park has got you covered.
Continuing further west from here, you’ll come to the Southwest corner of WA, which is chock-full of amazing, beautiful spots and little hidden treasures!