13 February 2018
Our 7 Natural Wonders
BunGeo is a special place; an area recognised as one of 25 global biodiversity locations. We don’t have any official ‘natural wonders of the world’, but these are the natural, wondrous places to find that will move you both physically and emotionally.
Koombana Bay is home to a large population of bottlenose dolphins and serves as a resting area and breeding ground. A group of around 100 to 150 dolphins is regularly seen in the bay and surrounding waters. Approximately 20 to 40 of these are considered residents of Koombana Bay, and there is a group of five or six dolphins that regularly visit the public interaction zone, with as many as 16 dolphins known to have visited at any one time. Join the team at the Dolphin Discovery Centre for an intimate swim with wild dolphins in their natural environment. Accompanied by an experienced guide and trained volunteers you will venture into the open waters of Koombana Bay. Depending on dolphin sightings you will be guided into the water where the dolphins may elect to initiate interaction with the swimmers. As they are wild dolphin interaction cannot be guaranteed. If you’re not keen on getting wet, take a 1.5 hour Dolphin Eco Cruise within Koombana Bay. The vessel provides an excellent viewing platform designed to get you as close as possible to the dolphins so you can say ‘hi to flipper’.
Tuart Forest National Park protects the largest remaining pure forest of Tuart in the world. It also has the tallest and largest specimens of Tuart trees on the Swan Coastal Plain. Some trees are more than 33 metres high and 10 metres in girth. The forest contains a thriving community of fungi, including some species yet to be named. It also protects WA's largest remaining wild population of the endangered western ringtail possum.
Hidden in the depths of the Harris River State Forrest, near Brunswick Junction is Hadfield – the largest Jarrah tree in Australia! Listed on the National Tree Register, this highly significant tree is more than 10 metres in circumference. Stand small next to nature’s giant. For something a little more accessible, visit the King Jarrah Tree in Wellington National Park. This majestic Jarrah tree is one of the tallest in the region and estimated to be between 300 and 500 years old. Standing about 36 metres tall, it has survived bushfires, storms, lighting and insect attack. Afterwards, head off on a walk through beautiful gum forests to shake out your limbs.
The Blackwood is the largest river in the South West at 28,100 square kilometres and 41 tributaries. Take a quiet walk along any of the many tracks and trails or sit still on the banks of the river and it’s quite likely you’ll see an array of birds and wildlife. Canoeing, Boating, swimming, camping and fishing are just some of the activities the river offers.
A truly remarkable spot, Perup Nature’s Guesthouse is a hideout for the endangered Numbat, ring-tail and brushtail possums, bilbies, quenda, woylies and chuditch. Sitting within the Tone-Perup Nature Reserve; 56,000 ha of native forest the Guesthouse includes two cottages, group accommodation for 50, and a homestead kitchen, with no tv or wifi. At night, go spotlighting for rare native animals or star gaze away. The reserve is also home to over 600 species of native plants, many of which are unique to the upper Warren area. If you’re a keen botanist, you will be in botanical heaven.
Our rare Basalt Rock can only be seen on Wyalup Rocky Point in Bunbury, at Capel and at Black Point in the Southern Forest and Valley’s region. It was part of the Kerguelen large igneous province that formed over a period from about 130 to 95 million years ago as Australia, India and Antarctica split apart. Wyalup Rocky Point is also of Indigenous significance. Wyalup means a ‘place of mourning’ as in the past the area was a Noongar burial ground. The waves plummet over these ancient rock formations. Sunset time is the best, where the light creeps down over the evening landscape, providing a dramatic backdrop.
The northern end of the Leschenault Inlet in Bunbury is home to 25,000-year-old white mangroves – the most southern population of its kind in Australia. This unique ecosystem has more than 60 species of waterbirds and is accessible through extensive boardwalks, complete with interpretive signage.