Passport to the Peel: Getting back to nature with a day of hiking in Dwellingup

Aren't we so lucky to live in one of the most magnificent parts of the world?

Endless perfect beaches, native bushland, fine food and wine and world-renowned waterways and wetlands on our doorstep.

There are so many relaxing getaways or exciting adventures in the Peel region, it can be hard to know where to begin to enjoy them all.

But I'm going to give it a red hot crack.

The new Passport to the Peel series will highlight some of the region's best travel experiences as I start ticking off my never-ending local bucket list.

I've always loved to travel and have a passion for writing about my trips as little keepsakes to look back on.

While my adventures usually take me overseas or interstate, the outbreak of COVID-19 has put those plans on hold indefinitely, so what better time than to explore my own backyard.

In the coming months, I'll be playing tourist in our great town and sharing all the fun there is to be had locally with Mandurah Mail readers.

The new Passport to the Peel series will highlight some of the region's best travel experiences as I start ticking off my never-ending local bucket list.

And we begin with a trip back in time when the summer sun was still scorching and before a global pandemic had many of us locked indoors for weeks on end.

In January, I persuaded my mum to join me for a day of hiking in Dwellingup.

In hindsight, the middle of summer was not the best timing for such an active adventure, but it meant the trail was free to enjoy all to ourselves.

The 40-minute drive was an experience to enjoy on its own with rolling fields stretching as far as the eye could see and cows lining the fences along the road, basking in the warmth of the morning sun.

We made our way to Lane Poole Reserve where we would be attempting the Chuditch Walk Trail - a seven kilometre, moderate hike from Chuditch Campground to Nanga Mill and back again.

Take your pick: There are plenty of hiking options for everyone at Lane Poole Reserve. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Take your pick: There are plenty of hiking options for everyone at Lane Poole Reserve. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

My love affair with Lane Poole Reserve started when I was a teenager and my high school classmates and I spent a few nights camping at Nanga Mill.

I've got to admit, I haven't spent much time in Dwellingup since then, besides the annual Pumpkin Festival, but the forest was exactly how I remembered it - welcoming and tranquil.

Much of the walk was on wide tracks with gentle gradients, besides a few hills here and there. It winded through the Jarrah forest, lined with impressive stands of grass trees and the occasional glimpse of the Murray River.

It was so peaceful listening to the birds high up in the canopy and only the sound of our feet carrying us through the ever changing landscapes on solid ground.

The walk took about four hours return and there were plenty of facilities along the way, including campgrounds, picnic tables, car parks and toilets.

Tasty treat: We enjoyed lunch at Dwellingup's Blue Wren Cafe to refuel after our hike. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Tasty treat: We enjoyed lunch at Dwellingup's Blue Wren Cafe to refuel after our hike. Photo: Kaylee Meerton.

Of course we had worked up an appetite, so couldn't help but stop at Dwellingup's famous Blue Wren Cafe to refuel on our way home.

There's nothing quite like a well deserved burger and milkshake after a big morning of hiking in the heat and this home-style meal in a warm and welcoming atmosphere did not disappoint.

It was the perfect, fulfilling end to a fantastic day getting back out into nature, right here in our own backyard.

We would love to hear about your recommended travel experiences around the Peel region. Email editor@mandurahmail.com.au with your suggestions.