Valley of the Giants
Less than 90 minutes south west of Mount Barker, The Valley of the Giants, near Walpole, Western Australia is breathtaking beautiful forest of Tingle Trees, soaring to a maximum 80 meter canopy overhead.
The forest, with it's abundant source of food is a haven for native Australian animals and of course, the spectacular Tree Top Walk where visitors can step out onto a suspended canopy level walk way as the forest floor descends far below. To get there see the map below. For more information visit the Valley of the Giant's website.
The Tree Top Walk
Originally proposed in 1994, construction began in 1995 after an Australia - wide competition determined the design team, opened on August 6, 1996 and has now welcomed 3.4 million visitors.
Great care and emphasis was placed on land care during construction with no helicopters or cranes involved. Six 60 meter spans were prefabricated in Fremantle near Perth, moved onto the sight using 4WD vehicles and erected into place by riggers using hydraulic jack and mechanisms.
The pylons that support the spans were erected by riggers using scaffolding and were constructed of Austen steel which oxidised and developed a rust colour designed to blend into the forest and give the impression of the walk being suspended in the air. An experience further enhanced by a design that allowed the spans sway slightly as you walk amongst the canopy.
Entire Length of Walk:
Length and width of wooden jetty
Width of walkway of steel trusses
Height of walkway from forest floor
Weight of a steel truss
Diameter of platforms
Number of pylons
Diameter of pylons
Strength of guy wire
Decking and stud work and Ancient Empire boardwalk
Light coloured cladding
Dark coloured cladding
74m x 3m
9m - 40m
Red tingle and jarrah
The Tingle Forrest
Much of the plant life in this forest is unique to the south-west of Western Australia. Trees such as the tingles only occur in this small area and as such provide a window to the past.
Some of the plants have origins that can be traced back 65 million years to the super continent Gondwana when Australia was joined with what is now Africa, India, Antarctica and South America. Fifty million years ago, this land mass drifted apart to form separate continents in similar positions to those they occupy today (however, they are still slowly moving).
Since Gondwanan times Australia has experienced significant climatic change. However, here in the southwest of Western Australia, much less change has occurred. This region has an annual rainfall of more than 1200 millimetres, well-drained gravelly soil, low nutrient content, hilly terrain and minor seasonal change.
It is this combination that has allowed species, such as relict spiders and snails from Gondwanan times, to survive in the tingle forest.
The canopy, ranging between 30 and 80 metres in height includes the red tingle (Eucalyptus jacksonii), yellow tingle (Eucalyptus guilfoylei), marri (Corymbia calophylla) and karri (Eucalyptus diversicolor). Jarrah does not grow in the vicinity of the Tree Top Walk.
The tingle forest holds an abundance of food sources for native animals including nuts, seeds, nectar, fungi, fruit and insects.
Native fauna of the tingle forest
MARSUPIALS - Brush-tailed phascogales, quokkas, southern brown bandicoots, brush-tailed possums, grey bellied dunnarts, mardo, woylies, pygmy possums, chuditch, ring-tailed possums and western grey kangaroos occur in the forest.
OTHER ANIMALS - Southern forest bat, motorbike frog, slender tree frog, bush rat and water rat can also be found.
BIRDS - Seen at the Tree Top Walk at various times of the year are white tailed black cockatoos, western rosellas (both nest every year in hollows at the Tree Top Walk), red winged fairy-wrens, black-faced cuckoo-shrikes, golden whistlers, splendid fairy wrens, white breasted robins, scarlet robins, spotted pardalotes, white browed scrub wrens, ring-neck parrots, red-eared fire tail finches, purple-crowned lorikeets, crested shrike-tits and owlet nightjar.
Last updated 16/07/2017
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