Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary

Completely coffee and patisserie unrelated we recently visited the Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary. Located east of Perth in the Avon Valley and close to the town of  Gidgegannup there are 3 walking trails – the 2.5 kilometre Possum Loop, the 6.5 kilometre Quenda Circuit and the 13 kilometre Numbat Track. We walked the Quenda Circuit.

Driving from the city we reached the area in under 1 hour. After we turned off Toodyay Road the scenery was beautiful, bush covered land and lots of kangaroos. As we pulled up to the sanctuary we disturbed a small group of them, they timidly hopped beside our moving car.  At 7am in the morning the light was perfect for taking photographs and the air was so refreshing.

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September and October is generally a good time to bush walk, the native wildflowers bloom all around Australia. It is also a little more bearable with the cooler weather and substantially less pesky flies around. The scenery is greener too following the winter season.

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This was the first glimpse of the stunning view of green rolling hills. Each time we stopped to take a photo thinking that would be the last view, we would stumble on another one. Actually there are a couple of looks out along the way. I have uploaded a couple of photos, leaving you to discover the beauty in the sanctuary.

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The shrubbery was overgrown and wild, spiders had made their nests in the trees and ants dominated the paths.

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There were sections of the walk where tall trees shielded us from the sky, marri, wandoo and powderbark were some of the tree species along the way.

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Many of the wildflowers grow very near to the trail, making it very easy to snap a picture. This Thelymitra crinita, blue lady orchid is captivating to see.

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Hibiscus beginning to bloom in a dainty fashion

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Eremaea fimbriata

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One part of the trail we could see the train line down below and several hills in the background.

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The walk changes from forest to granite forms and low shrubs, we stopped at this steeping view for a couple of photos.

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We walked safely along the ridges with amazing views across the hills.

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We kept an eye out for the wallaby and small mammals but saw no sightings, they are generally shy nocturnal animals. The circular trail climbs to a height of 250 m and throughout it is a hilly trail.

Capture

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At times the trail becomes engrossed with plants and trees, we casually joked that maybe we missed a marker due to me being distracted with the camera. We had not.

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Towards the end of the Quenda trail we returned through the woodlands, this was a welcomed change as the heat of the sun was beginning to slow us down.

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The end of the trail, we reached the final chairs set up to soak in the spanning view across the gorge. We spotted an eagle circling above the trees!

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I had learnt about the sanctuary from  The Life of PY website and inspired by his post we decided ‘to get out there and experience it!’ – the Life of PY

My take on the experience

This was our first bush walk, something we completed and a measurable achievement for the next one.

I am thankful Dk made me wear jeans, those ants were mighty big! Dk was thankful I bought a flask of coffee! We both thought eating a croissant before we started was a stupid idea. Our stomachs churned a little for the first hour.

We are generally fit people but the Quenda trail was a challenge but certainly an achievable one. We completed the trail in about 3 hours with lots of photo stops along the way. Next time we will start the walk earlier as the sun gets fairly hot mid morning.

The circular trail is hilly and the benefit to this is the scenic views. The trail is rated moderately difficult. The sanctuary was indeed peaceful and picturesque. In the way of nature there are lots to see, especially during the wildflower season. The Quenda track has many views to capture. I loved that we were able to do the walk alone, not one person on the trail was seen. We did see the staff car at the end but that was it. For 3 hours we were two humans totally alone, I struggle to even experience that at home and so it was a nice break from the city life.

What we bought along?

  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Hats
  • fruit
  • Camera
  • Map

Interested in doing the walk?

The Sanctuary is run by Australian Wildlife Conservancy and to visit you must book and pay an entry fee. Paruna is open from May to November.

Whats next for?

We are off to Bluff Knoll this month, I am excited and can see this turning into a hobby.

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