Be surrounded by historic Tingles, towering Karris and corky Sheoaks as you explore the Valley of the Giants. It is an active forest full of wildlife like quokkas, possums, bats, frogs, cockatoos and owls.
The Tree Top Walk
One attraction of the Valley of the Giants is the Tree Top Walk, which opened in 1996. Plans to make tree top walk started in 1994 with the launch of an Australia-wide competition to design the platform. The inspiration of the winning design comes from two local plants – sword grass and tassel flower. The walkways, or ‘spans’, swing and sway to create the sensation of being in the canopy and the see-through decking allows you to feel how high in the canopy you are. Construction began in 1995 and without using any machinery, they erected the walkway which is 600 metres long and reaches 40 metres into the trees.
The feature of the Valley of the Giants is the Red Tingle. This tree is only found in the Valley of the Giants, grows up to 75 metres tall and can live for up to 400 years. It is considered to be the first eucalypt ever and is an ancient tree that survived the Ice Age by tapping into the cold, underground aqua table to survive. It has a very shallow root system and relies on a wide root system and buttressed base for stability and ability to absorb more moisture and nutrients. They protect themselves from white ants by collecting leaf debris at the base of the tree. As the leaves fall, they collect nitrates so stop them from decomposing so that the chance of a fire at the base of the tree is higher. The fire will hollow out the tree and kill the ants while the underlying tree lives on. Sometimes, the hollows at the base of the Tingles can get so big, that you could park your car in it!
It’s $12.50 per adult to do the Tree Top Walk, but if you’re afraid of heights, perhaps stick to the ground level tours.
The Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree
Standing 75 metres tall in the Warren National Park is the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, a huge Karri tree that was pegged in 1988 to celebrate Australia’s bicentenary. You can climb the pegs to a height of 60 metres and are rewarded with 360 degree views of the surrounding forest.
Karri trees have a smooth bark and are the 3rd tallest trees in the world. The aborigines found them very useful because when these trees lose their bark, they knew it was time for the Salmon Run – the seasonal breeding of coastal salmon.
Facilities nearby include toilets, BBQs, a picnic area and walking trails. Entry into the park is $11 for a day pass or you can get a Holiday Pass for $40 and this covers entry to WA parks for 4 weeks. Climbing the Bicentennial Tree is free!