Location: Frankland River, Nornalup
Distance: 13km return
Trail Marker: Unmarked trail, easy to follow
Duration: 4 hrs
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: Yes, at start/finish
Dog Friendly: No
Date Paddled: 20th June 2020
The Frankland River is the 8th largest river in Western Australia, known as the river of perfect reflections, flowing through forest into the spectacular Walpole-Nornalup National Park. This trail is a secluded 12km return paddle from the Nornalup Jetty to Monastery Landing. Mount Frankland was named in December 1829 by naval ship's surgeon Thomas Braidwood Wilson after the Surveyor General of Van Diemen's Land George Frankland. Wilson explored the area in company with the Noongar Mokare from King George Sound, The river was sighted by Captain Thomas Bannister in January 1831, and was named by Governor James Stirling when Bannister reported its existence to him. Stirling's choice was influenced by Wilson's naming of Mount Frankland.
The river was glassy as we paddled our way to Monastery Landing scoping out the area for some up coming kayaking experiences. The reflections of the surrounding forest really enhanced the peace and tranquillity we felt from the moment we got out of the water. I would have to say this is by far my favourite paddling experience in Western Australia. It was a beautiful paddle winding through the Walpole Wilderness and I really cannot wait to get people out here and immerse them deep into nature. There was a feeling of peace, with the birds singing and the early morning sunlight filtering through the branches.
When the first settlers first arrived in the area they rowed up the Frankland River from Nornalup and were stopped by the majestic beauty of one particular spot, where the trees overhung the river from both sides. Overawed by the solitude of the river and surrounding forest, a surveyor’s assistant in the party gasped and said “It’s as quiet as a monastery” and “Monastery Landing” it has been called ever since.