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Lane Poole Reserve; the best adventure close to Perth

If you are looking for the best bang for buck bush location close to Perth that’s jam packed full of opportunity for adventure, you need to head to Lane Poole Reserve. We’ve been visiting for many years at any time of the year, and cannot recommend it more for a quiet break, or a trip full of adventure.

Lane Poole Reserve

Looking for an amazing adventure close to Perth? Lane Poole Reserve is it

Lane Poole Reserve mist

Wake up to amazing fog over the river

Amazing reflections

Or kick back to some insane reflections

Where is Lane Poole Reserve?

You’ll find Lane Poole Reserve not too far from Dwellingup, in the beautiful forest, surrounding the Murray River. At an hour and 22 minutes south of Perth city centre, its easily achievable for a day trip, a weekend or even longer. From the entrance to Lane Poole Reserve to Dwellingup its only 7 minutes drive, giving you plenty of options for accommodation, groceries and food.

Lots of space for peace and quiet

Lots of space for lots of peace and quiet

Lane Poole Reserve entry fee

Up until around a year ago, it was free to enter Lane Poole Reserve. After a fairly substantial upgrade by the Department of Biodiversity and Conservation, you have to pay a national park fee to enter. This is $12 per vehicle  or $6 for concession unless you have a park pass already. If you are going to visit a few of these, consider getting an annual parks pass. If you are with RAC, you can get the passes for half price, which is a great deal. Find our more here – RAC National Parks Pass.

At the moment, that takes it down to $44 for the year. Alternatively, you can get an annual parks pass to just Lane Poole Reserve and Serpentine National Park for $22 (not with RAC).

Lane Poole Reserve creeks

Although it was nice when its free, its still worth the fee’s

What are the camping costs, and can you book?

All of the camp sites in Lane Poole Reserve are paid, and range from $10 per adult to $13 per adult depending on where you stay. This cost is on top of the national park entry fee, and for what you get is pretty reasonable.

All sites require booking, except for Nanga Mill and Nanga Townsite, which are first come first serve. To book, head to the DBCA website, and pay through them. If you don’t book, you will not be able to get a camp site.

Nanga Mill Camping

There’s lots of choice for camp spots

Dwellingup Camping amenities

All camp sites in Lane Poole Reserve have large rubbish bins, picnic tables, fire rings and long drop toilets. Some have gas BBQ facilities, camp kitchens, untreated rainwater tanks and benches.

There are no powered sites, and no showers available.

Rubbish bins at Dwellingup

Please put your rubbish in the bins provided

What are the roads like?

Almost all of the roads through Lane Poole Reserve are gravel, with exception of a small section at the entry near the ranger station, and a tiny section going into Nanga Brook (from the other entry). The roads are generally kept in good condition, and can be done by most 2WD vehicles, but it does get dusty when its dry, and the road can be corrugated from time to time. There are plans to make this bitumen, which will make it much more accessible to others.

Lane Poole Reserve Gravel

There’s lots of reasonable quality gravel roads

When is the best time to visit?

Lane Poole Reserve is an amazing place to visit any time of year. It’s rare to find a spot like this, but as the seasons change, so does your opportunity. If you go in the middle of summer, its hot and dry during the day, and its the perfect place to find a creek to laze in, or kick back in the river. 

Dwellingup Swimming

On a hot summers day the swimming is incredible

If you go in winter, its often freezing, but you can make use of the high water levels in a white water raft or canoe, or just kick back next to a warm fire.

High water levels at Dwellingup

When its cold, the water levels are up and the rapids in a canoe are amazing fun

Lane Poole Reserve Temperatures

I mentioned above that you can visit any time of year and you’ll have fun, and that’s very true. However, you need to pack accordingly, as it gets extremely cold, and extremely hot depending on when you visit. In summer, it comfortably hits 40 degrees from time to time, and in winter we’ve woken a number of times to ice. Make sure you take warm clothing, and you stay dry, or it can be rather unpleasant!

Dwellingup Temperatures

The temperatures probably range from about 42 degrees in summer to -2 in winter

What can you do there?

Honestly, what can you not do there?! Lane Poole Reserve is perfect for anyone who wants to see a bit of Australian bush, or wants to have a nice swim, or get the adrenaline pumping with a heap of different adventure activities.

Canoeing and white water rafting

In winter time, Lane Poole Reserve is hugely popular for long distance canoeing, and going down the various rapids. This needs to be done with some care as they can be dangerous, and some rapids are off limits. In the past, we’ve spent 3 – 4 days canoeing down a huge length of the river, and camping on the side of the river.

Bobs Crossing underwater

Lots of water flowing over Bobs Crossing in Winter

In summer, you can still canoe, but the water levels only allow you to go so far before you need to get out and carry the canoe.

Dwellingup water exploration

There’s so much water to explore

Downhill Mountain Biking

Lane Poole Reserve has some of the best public Downhill Mountain Bike tracks in WA, and is hugely popular all year round. If you want something a bit more sedate, the Munda Biddi Trail is an amazing track running from Perth to Albany.

Downhill tracks

There’s lots of tracks to suit various level riders

Downhill at Dwellingup

Getting some air time on one of the jumps

4WD Tracks

If you own a 4WD, you have even more option when it comes to exploring this amazing place. There are all sorts of tracks throughout the National Park including the Captain Fawcett, River Road and plenty more. Take a GPS, another vehicle and make a day of exploring.

4WD tracks at Dwellingup

There’s no shortage of 4WD tracks in Lane Poole Reserve

4WD tracks near Perth

Some are much harder than others

Water crossing

Watch the water levels

Fishing

If you’ve never done any freshwater fishing before, its a lot of fun. Trout are the prized catch here, with Redfin being regularly caught (and they are decent eating too). You must have a fresh water fishing license to wet a line here.

Redfin at Dwellingup

A small redfin caught down river

Swimming and splashing

If its warm enough, there’s no better place to swim than the river at Dwellingup. There’s a huge number of places you can swim from. Island Pool, Stringers, Yarragil and the natural water slides are all worth a dip.

Dwellingup swimming

Cooling off on a 40 degree day

Bird watching and animal spotting

Escaping the big smoke to kick back and listen to the sounds of nature, and appreciate the animal life is something everyone should do once in a while. There’s plenty of Kangaroo’s around the place, along with Blue Wrens, Kookaburras and other bird species.

Blue Wren at Nanga Mill

A beautiful Blue Wren at Nanga Mill

Kangaroos at Dwellingup

You’ll see heaps of Kangaroos

Hiking and Walking

If you like using your own two feet to explore, there’s more walk trails and long distance hikes around Dwellingup than you can poke a stick at. The Bibbulmun track covers a huge chunk of Dwellingup (a 1000km walking track from Perth to Albany), but there are plenty of shorter walks in the reserve too. 

Lane Poole Reserve Walks

There’s heaps of walks and hiking trails to enjoy

High Ropes Adventure Course

If you want to test your fitness, get the heart pumping and have a rush of adventure at the same time, an Adventure high ropes course opened in Dwellingup a few years ago. This is not far from Nanga Mill, and is hugely popular. We’ve done the one at Yanchep National park and had an absolute ball, and this one is supposed to be taller, and even better. 

High ropes course

To the Dwellingup High Ropes Adventure Course

Zip lining at Yanchep

Zip lining from tree to tree at Yanchep

Relaxing

There really isn’t many places better than Lane Poole Reserve to kick back around a fire, sit under the tree’s or float the day away down the river. When you get tired of all of the adventure activities, kick back and relax!

Enjoying the creeks

Kick back in a creek and relax

Where’s the best sites?

If you don’t have a camper trailer or caravan, our favourite site is Yarragil. It’s limited to two groups, is right next to the water and has a lot more peace and quiet than the others. If you are camping in a large group, or with young kids, we like Nanga Mill. Stringers is another beautiful camp site, but realistically you won’t go wrong with any of them.

Stringers camping

A camp site at Stringers, not far from the river

What should you take?

You need to take camping gear that suits the climate. It gets seriously cold, and seriously hot through the different seasons. Sunscreen is a must if you are going outside of the shade of the forests, and fly deterrent is a good idea as the March flies (and normal ones) can be annoying! Take swimming gear, a kayak if you have one, bikes and a sense of adventure!

March flies in Dwellingup

The March flies can be annoying at times

When are fires permitted?

Fires are not permitted during the prohibited burning period, which is usually around October through to May. There are total fire bans in place occasionally, and if this happens you cannot cook outdoors using any form of flame (this includes webers and gas burners).

Can you take dogs?

Dogs are permitted in Lane Poole Reserve, but with a caveat. There is a lot of 1080 baiting going on still (to kill fox’s and cats) and it is recommended you do not take your dog outside of the designated recreational and camping areas. There is always the possibility of baits being spread around by animals, so a muzzle is good insurance if you have them in the park. 

Dogs are permitted

Dogs are permitted, but be very careful with them!

Dwellingup Accommodation

If you don’t want to camp in Lane Poole Reserve, there are plenty of accommodation options in Dwellingup itself, or not far away. You have the Dwellingup Forest Lodge, Dwellingup Hotel, Dwellingup Chalet and Caravan Park and then the usual deals on Airbnb and Stayz (and others!)

Visit Lane Poole Reserve

If you haven’t been to this amazing place before, do yourself a favour and head down for the day, or for a weekend. It is truly magic.

Bobs Crossing in Winter

Bobs Crossing in winter at full flow

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