Baden Powell, Island Pool, Marrinup Falls
Thu 28 May 2015 - Mon 1 Jun 2015
With a long weekend approaching... Nil other commitments for myself and kids... (No such luck for Hubby unfortunately. He had to work the Monday public holiday)... And no real rain predicted... the constant, slowly smoldering thought took hold and burst into flames. Lets go camping!!
Where to? - No real preference. Maybe try and avoid crowds. Good luck with that on a public holiday!
Just us or others to? - Definitely others too! Shared experiences are often enjoyed a whole lot more. Not to mention the much appreciated assistance with young kids!
Throw the idea around and.... The kids and I can head off early for 4 nights. Clancy will be able to join us for one night. Two of my sisters will be able to join us for 3 nights. And one other sister may be able to do a day trip out to see us and join in the fun for that day.
The consensus on where to go? - Still not solved! Until... Clancy decides he doesn't want to travel too far, and would like green and trees. Not 'boring old wheatbelt bush!'
So... Lane Poole Reserve... lets see if you live up to the reviews and expectations!
I had previously done an overnight school canoe trip through this area many years ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Ayla (my youngest sister), had also been on a school camp to this area previously... but neither of us could really remember exact details. We all knew that there were plenty of things advertised to do in the area (far too many to complete in one weekend). So, despite knowing that it'd be fairly full of people, we decided to just have fun and make this an exploratory trip. Scouting out what extra there was to see and do, ready for the next trip.
Finding the Main Entrance
- I found the signage to be a bit lacking in Dwellingup township itself. Especially for night arrivals who've never been there (or can't remember) and are coming through Dwellingup from North Dandalup on the Southwestern Highway.
- GPS navigation systems are not always accurate either!
- So... Check direction details before leaving.
- If arriving during business hours, the Dwellingup Information Centre's definitely worth a visit. Very helpful in providing information on things to see and do. The informative displays covering the 1961 bushfires were also really interesting. The kids especially loved the old fire truck!
- Once again... all good intentions failed. Resulting in an after dark setup
- Plus side to that... I now know that I can successfully erect our new BIG tent by myself in the dark and freezing cold.
- Well, bigger than our previous tents anyway. And not 100% dark, I did have a much appreciated head torch! Oh, and it wasn't really 'freezing'... it just felt that way to me at the time!
- Biggest thing I was thankful for during the whole experience... both kids stayed asleep in their car seats till I had the tent up!
- When they did wake, it was time to roll out sleeping mats and bags, cuddle into pillows, and sleep.
- Well... that's what I'd hoped! Unfortunately, I'd grabbed the wrong sleeping bags out of the back of the ute, meaning I kept waking up to the cold.
- And with both kids wanting to sleep in their individual sleeping bags (also not very suitable to cold), this required constant checking to ensure the extra blankets I'd thrown over them both, actually stayed over them!
- Note to self... take the time to grab the correct bags next time!
- Major re-organisation and explanations regarding sleeping arrangements to kids come morning!
Warm Sleeping Hints
- The following ideas are some that I've come across in my travels thus far that I've found to work for me.
- Put a silver car windscreen sun visor/ sun shield thing under your mat to help reflect the heat back up to your body and stop the cold seeping up through from the ground.
- Place a wool blanket on top of your mat/mattress to act like an under-blanket. And another one between yourself and sleeping bag (inside your bag if you're actually sleeping inside a zipped up sleeping bag).
- Try and keep your sleeping bag puffed up. I've found wherever it gets thin, gets cold!
- So... the kids new sleeping arrangements became...
1. Windscreen visor
2. Sleeping mat (like yoga/exercise mat)
3. Crocheted wool blanket
4. Flannelette sheet
5. Sleeping space
6. Flannelette sheet
7. Crocheted wool blanket
8. Regular wool blanket
9. Opened sleeping bags
- And, instead of sleeping them in individual 'beds', I put them together so they could huddle together and help keep each other warm.
- Success! Nil further waking in the night from cold.
Kids and Cold
- Not good!!! Major grisle, whinge, whine, cry time.
- I thought I'd packed enough warm gear for them. Obviously not so!
- During the day and evening was ok. Morning was the horror.
- Every morning was the same routine... wake up, toilet, PJ's off and into layer upon layer of day clothes, start breakfast... and as the cold slowly seeped in... so the issues started.
- With what we had available at the time, I think we may have finally figured it out by our last morning.
- Which was to... continue the same routine... but let them sit in their chairs all rugged up with extra jackets or blankets to keep warm. With one of us feeding them if need be. Then getting them up and about, actively preoccupied with something else as soon as possible.
- Remember for next time... gloves, extra warm jackets, sneakers as well as gumboots, scarves for faces, leggings/thermals.
- Many of the possible Lane Poole Reserve campsites require pre-booking on the DPAW website.
- Others are available on a first come, first served basis.
- Some allow campfires out of fire ban time frames, others don't.
- If thinking about going over a long weekend or during school holidays, book well in advance if you want a booked site as they get booked out pretty quick.
- We were lucky despite booking relatively late for a long weekend and managed to get 2 sites next to each other at Baden Powell camping area (Everything else was already booked).
- No campfires allowed there. However... due to the cold over that particular weekend, the rangers informed us that we could have a fire if we had something to contain it in, and keep it off the ground (See 'For Future Trip/s' at the end of this blog for examples).
- Unfortunately we didn't have access to anything like that, so we put up with the cold and thought about planning for next time.
- We also used this trip as a scouting exercise to help decide where we'd like to camp next time. Thinking possibly the non-booking area of Nanga Mill or Nanga Brook if not canoeing. Otherwise, maybe Tony's Bend, which isn't too far from Island Pool.
Baden Powell Camping area according to kids...
- Book online
- No fires
- Free gas BBQ's (sheltered)
- Water available
- Designated camping sites
- Site sizes available for small tents up to campervans/caravans
- Long drop toilets
- Short distance down to the river and Baden Powell Day Use area and waterspout (swimming, canoeing, fishing).
- Apart from not being able to have a fire, we found it to be a really nice camping area.
- Considering the crowding we saw at Nanga Mill and Nanga Brook over the long weekend, we were rather glad to have booked a site guaranteeing a bit of space (even if small) between us and the neighbours.
- Being able to easily walk down to the Baden Powell Day Use area was also great. The kids loved exploring the rocks and water as much as we'd let them!
- Nice big pool in the Murray River (canoeing, swimming, fishing)
- Wooden steps down to the river
- Rapids/rocks at the up-river end of the pool
- Picnic tables
- Click heading above for mud map. Click here for walk details.
- Starts from the upper car park.
- Nice walk through jarrah forest up, across, and down the side of a hill.
- Some steps at the beginning and end of the track.
- We managed with a pram/stroller, but definitely wouldn't recommend it!
- Kaden had fallen into a deep sleep on the drive there. I noticed that the steps were only mapped at the beginning and end of the track so thought we'd try the pram and see how we went. Kaden amazingly stayed asleep for two thirds of the walk despite a rather bumpy ride over rocks and sticks! It provided quite a workout pushing/towing the pram. The log seat at the half way mark at the top of the walk was much appreciated!
- Pram/Stroller hints... For difficult sections - towing the pram's often easier. For really difficult sections - a second assist for lifting/carrying the pram is definitely recommended!
- Thanks to Dwellingup Information Centre for the heads up about this one.
- Located not far from the Marrinup Camping Area, the Marrinup Cycle Trail, and the historical Marrinup POW site
- The access road into the falls walk car park is apparently meant to be one way. However we found that a fallen tree just past the car park nicely converted it to a two way road.
- The walk trail is fairly short and nice over varying terrain.
- There were only pools of water to be seen while we were there. Would be great to see it in full flow!
- The kids enjoyed the walk down, clambering around the rocks, and finding various interesting things for Sharelle to photograph.
For Future Trip/s...
- Portable campfire thing
See if we can maybe make something like this ??... Other examples (...1...), (...2...). Otherwise... for a lot more money, a Snowpeak cary fire pit from Drifta (Currently on my wishlist!).
- Larger quantity of appropriate kids cold/wet weather gear
- Check and print out maps/directions prior to leaving
- Map and record possible geocache coordinates
- Mountain bikes
- Marrinup POW site
- Captain Fawcett 4WD Track
- Hotham Valley Railway
- Scarp Lookout and Pool
Any other recommendations... let me know!