Lane Poole Falls
Western Australia may not be known for big waterfalls, but size isn't everything! Some of our modest falls can be truly gorgeous after seasonal rains, with relative isolation and lack of crowds more than compensating for size.
A lovely example is Lane Poole Falls, near Northcliffe in the southwest corner of Western Australia. It is best visited in winter or spring, when rains have produced a decent flow in the Canterbury River and conditions are better for bushwalking. The falls dwindle to just a trickle in the dryness of summer.
Reaching the falls is not hard, but not straightforward either. From the tiny town of Northcliffe - which even some locals consider "out of the way" - it is an 18km drive, partly on gravel roads, through attractive farmland to the Boorara Tree car park and picnic area. This tree was once a fire lookout tower, and the display near it is worth a look.
From the car park it is then a 5km return walk to the falls, passing through pleasant native forest which hosts a smorgasbord of wildflowers in spring. The track starts out almost flat then descends to the falls, which I think are made more attractive by their seclusion; the access trail providing a buffer from "civilisation". If you visit after good rains, the Lane Poole Falls thunder noisily over the 12m drop into the creek bed, in stark contrast to the peacefulness of the surrounding karri forest.
The length of the walk to the falls, the distance from town, and the fact it is not on the way to anywhere else all help keep the crowds away from Lane Poole Falls. Chances are good that you'll have the place all to yourself. By contrast, Beedelup Falls near Pemberton can often be crowded, because they are only a short distance from a main road in a prime tourist area. Most Perth people I know, who have travelled, have been to Beedelup falls, whereas few I've met know of Lane Poole Falls. Most would find the extra effort worthwhile.
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