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Home > Travelogues > 2010-2013 Travelogues Index  Walpole > Wilderness WOW boat tour
We take the Walpole Wilderness WOW boat tour on the inlet to the mouth and the coastline with the very entertaining Gary Muir.  This was the highlight of the trip. 
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The Tolstoy Link

 

Extract from WOW website

 

In 2010 Gary Muir and Yashna Van Kinderen travelled to Russia‘s Yasnaya Polyana to research links between Walpole and Leo Tolstoy. 

 

Five years ago a case was found in a boat shed containing papers and photo’s belonging to Walpole’s historic Tinglewood Lodge’s original owner, Fabian philosopher Frank Skinner Thompson.  Included in the case were letters and a book which described Frank’s stay with Leo Tolstoy in 1906.  The case also contained letters and photos from Tolstoy’s family and friends including Aylmer Maude (official translator of Tolstoy’s works) and Vladimir Tchertkoff (Tolstoy’s right hand man). 

 

Research was carried out at the original home of Tolstoy - Yasnaya Polyana - now a National literary museum.   Gary and Yashna were able to uncover a previously unknown chapter of Frank’s life as Manager of Tuckton House in Hampshire, home of the English Tolstoyism movement, sponsored by Tolstoy and Tcherkoff, who published most of Tolstoy’s works then illegal in Russia to be smuggled back.

 

The book “From Tolstoy to Tinglewood: The Case of Frank Skinner Thompson” by Geoff Fernie and Gary Muir has now been published.

 

 

 

 

 

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WOW Wilderness Eco Cruise on the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets with the amazing Gary Muir

 

 

We pass Newdegate Island, known locally as Snake Island, which the Muir family once owned and farmed.  Aboriginals used to cross the sandbar at low tide to collect orchid bulbs.  The Murrum people knew the area and island as Norn Norn Nup – place of the black snake.  The Island was then purchased by someone to grow vegetables.  Aborigines continued to visit the island, instead bring home potatoes.  Confrontation resulted in one Aborigine being shot.  Shortly after that the Muirs purchased the Island then tried to run cattle, but had significant losses due to the presence of a poisonous native plant of the Gastrolobium genus. 

 

A swamp on the island provides fresh water and in recent dry seasons this has dried resulting in the death of resident kangaroos. 

This cruise will be an entertainment experience you’ll never forget.  Gary Muir has an amazing knowledge of the history of the area in which his family were early settlers and knowledge of the biology of animals which he imparts in a unique way, with his flair for delivering his stories in an entertaining manner.  So much more I could say – but better still – experience it for yourself. Every time he includes different stories.   See more on the WOW Wilderness website  

Centenary of Walpole Nornalup National Park 

 

In 1910 a small parcel of land was set aside for A Class reservation and the waterways protected from professional fishing and netting after Western Australian Minister James Mitchell and his party were impressed with the beauty of the area.  This was the beginning of what was to become the Walpole Nornalup National Park, Walpole Wilderness Area and Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park. 

 

The cruise takes us through the Walpole and the larger Nornalup Inlets to a landing near the sandbar and mouth.  

Lady Walpole, wooden launch built here in 1932 by the Swarbrick family which operated for many years as a tourist boat was returned to Walpole in 2010 in time for the Walpole Nornalup National Park Centenary.  It can be seen anchored in the water at Rest Point.  

 

Dolphins play in the channel to the ocean as the boat travelled out past the sandbar for a short way.  This is a popular fishing spot.  The Conspicuous Cliffs to the south were in view as we entered the channel.   

 

 

During the morning tea stop at the landing, an optional short walk over the dune through the Nuyts Wilderness Peninsula goes through to the Southern Ocean at Shelly Beach.  

Gary delivering information with enthusiasm and humour, using the toy animals he uses when explaining animal biology. Here he was talking about the where Walpole fits as the bellybutton of the world (North Pole, South Pole who is in the middle!) and the breakup of Gondwana.

Read more about in and around Walpole on the following pages, with short drives around Walpole and the Tree Top Walk
 
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If you do nothing else whilst visiting the southern tip of Western Australia, take the WOW Walpole Wilderness Eco boat cruise in theWalpole Nornalup Inlets Marine Park through to the mouth. 

 

Walpole and surrounding areas in the South West of WA