Just over 100 kilometres from Perth lies Lane Poole Reserve. Covering more than 50,000 hectares it is the largest park in the northern jarrah forest. It was named after CE Lane Poole, the state’s first conservator of forests and a man who did much to ensure the sustainable management and conservation of Western Australia’s forests.
The Murray River – the longest permanent river in the jarrah forest and one of the few major rivers remaining undammed – flows through the park. Slow and meandering in spring and summer, people flock here to canoe its tranquil waters. In winter, the river rises, with white water and fast currents, creating a challenge for more experienced canoeists and kayakers.
The Bibbulum Track passes through the Lane Poole Reserve, as does the Munda Biddi Trail.
There are many popular campgrounds in Lane Poole, some specifically designed for large groups and some suited to smaller family groups or individuals.
There are about 500 species of native flora in Lane Poole Reserve. There are old growth forests and tall open forests of jarrah and marri. Wandoo woodlands occupy the land to the eastern side of the park. Some habitats within the park are in particular need of protection, such as the densely vegetated Taxandria swamp thickets, which provide habitat for quokka and the noisy scrub-bird.
Threatened species such as the woylie, western ringtail possum and chuditch are found deep within the park. You may see Baudin’s and Carnaby’s cockatoos screeching raucously from the the treetops.
Lane Poole Reserve is an easy 100 kilometre drive south-east from Perth. The entry station to the park is 7.5 kilometres south of Dwellingup, and from there, Park Road takes you into Lane Poole’s many enchantments. Most roads within the park are gravel and their condition will vary depending on the weather.
Lane Poole Reserve is very popular for camping with many different camping areas.
Camping in the more secluded new Baden Powell campground, Charlies Flat, Chuditch, Stringers, Tonys Bend and Yarragil must booked online at parkstay.dpaw.wa.gov.au one day or more in advance. The larger campgrounds at Nanga and Nanga Mill are suitable for groups, these cannot be booked in advance - they operate on a first come, first served basis.
Each of the campgrounds has toilets, tables, barbecues and bins. Some have drinking water and some have fireplaces (campfires are not permitted during the hotter drier months and at any time of year at Baden Powell and Chuditch). Wood is not supplied.
Special conditions apply to many of the campsites in Lane Poole.
The Murray River is popular for canoeing. There are many places where you can launch a canoe, including Island Pool, Yarragil, Baden Powell and Stringers. A popular stretch for canoeing is the 11.5-kilometre journey from Yarragil to Nanga Road Bridge. In winter some stretches of the river are fast flowing and can be treacherous. They are suitable for experienced canoeists and kayakers only.
Lane Poole is a popular destination for bushwalkers with many walks of varying length and difficulty. There are walk trails at Island Pool and Chuditch Campgound. The King Jarrah Walk is within the park.
The Bibbulum Track passes through Lane Poole and walkers can camp at Kookanelly, Murray, Swamp Oak and Yourdamung huts, which are all within the park.
Mountain bike riding
The Munda Biddi Trail passes through Lane Poole reserve and the camp shelter Bidjar Ngoulin is within the park. The Waterous Trail runs off the Munda Biddi, providing another option for cyclists.
Many people fish in the Murray River and some of its permanent tributaries for species such as rainbow trout, redfin perch, cobbler and marron. Closed seasons, bag limits and minimum legal sizes help protect stocks from over-fishing . This enables the available catch to be shared between the thousands of anglers who target these species.
You must have a valid fishing licence, issued by the Department of Fisheries. Licences are available from any Australia Post Office or Department of Fisheries offices or online.
The Les Cousins Bridle Trail traverses part of the park.
Dogs are allowed in the recreation area of Lane Poole Reserve but must be kept on a leash at all times. The Department conducts baiting with 1080 poison as part of its Western Shield animal conservation program in Lane Poole Reserve. This includes the King Jarrah Walk Trail, the Fawcett Track, the Bibbulmun Track and the Munda Biddi Trail. 1080 poison is lethal to dogs and it is recommended that dogs are not taken outside of the designated campsites or recreation area. For more information on Western Shield and baiting locations, please see https://www.dpaw.wa.gov.au/management/pests-diseases/westernshield/western-shield-fox-and-cat-baiting-locations or speak to a ranger.