Golden Valley Tree Park
Golden Valley Tree Park is a unique collection of beautiful and interesting trees from all over the world, grown in a landscaped setting. The aim of the park is to create an inspirational place for all to enjoy the beauty of nature.
The Park is a co-operative project between the Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) and the Balingup Progress Association, and is run by a joint committee
There are many species of exotic and Australian trees in the collection. Although every tree has its own story to tell, here are just a few examples of the diversity to be found in the Park:
· A small cluster of Gingko trees stand near the picnic area. These trees, which originated in China, were once thought to be extinct.
· Two large oak trees, adjacent to the picnic, are known as the "Cleveland Oaks" (named after the settlers that once lived here). Using seeds brought from England, these trees were planted in 1946 and are as big as oak trees twice their age in England! The climate of the South West encourages rapid growth of these huge, majestic trees.
· There are three species of cedar in the world . . . and they all co-exist at Golden Valley. Come and find them!
· A mixture of fruit trees abound in the Park. Mulberry, apple and pear trees all provide a feast for those visitors lucky enough to come to the Park at the right time of year.
Things to Do
The Park has great picnic facilities (with wood supplied for BBQs) and an area where kids can play safely. Walk trails criss-cross the Park and lead to spectacular scenic lookouts. For the less adventurous, there is a 10 minute walk trail which is easy to navigate! The Bibbulmun Track runs right through the centre of the Park. Dogs are welcome on a lead.
Entry to the Park is free, however there are a number of ways that you can help maintain the facilities. For example, the Park provides a unique setting where you can hold special functions such as weddings, social activities and private parties. Guided tours are also available on request. These activities attract a small fee for more information, see "Costs".
How to get there
The park is 2km south of Balingup and is well signposted.
The 60 hectare park is divided into two sections. The area to the west of Padbury Road features the Australian collection, while the exotic (overseas) collection is found to the east. On the hilltop above the Australian section, a lookout offers fine views of the park and of the Balingup district.
There are hundreds of trees that may be sponsored. In return for your sponsorship you will be allocated an established tree with your name on a small plaque.
People sponsor trees for all sorts of reasons it is a way to contribute to the upkeep of the Park. Sponsor a tree for a wedding, anniversary, birthday or even to commemorate the loss of a loved one. For more information visit the Golden Valley website.
The Committee welcomes anyone interested in participating in the development of the Park. For more information, visit the Golden Valley website.
Entry to the Park is FREE but we need help to maintain existing plantings and establish new trees.
You can help . . . by becoming a sponsor or a Friend of the Park - visit the Golden Valley Tree Park website
The Park originally comprised of two farms sold to The Forestry Department "Yungerup" and "Golden Valley". Golden Valley was one of the earliest farms established in the area and Yungerup had lots of well established exotic trees – planted by the Cleveland family.
In July 1980, the Balingup Progress Association found that the Forests Department intended to plant pines, and a group was formed to prevent the establishment of a plantation close to the town. The Progress Association negotiated with the Forests Department at a well attended public meeting. After considerable negotiations, it was agreed that the two properties could be developed as an arboretum.
The first event held at the Arboretum was a picnic organised for the locals on 27 May 1981. Over 250 people attended more than half the population of Balingup.
The first trees were planted by a group of around 50 local people, on 5 July 1981. During the next fifteen years well over 5000 trees were planted in both the Australian and Overseas collections. Much of the planting has taken place at "busy-bees" supported by the local residents.
The Golden Valley Homestead was refurbished during 1992/93. Although the Homestead is not open to the public, it is worth a look as you drive past.
Facilities such as toilets, BBQs, picnic tables and walk trails have been established by CALM over the years. In 1999, further improvements were made to the Park as a result of a government grant for CALM to employ some Whittakers Mill retrenched workers.
It is well worth a visit to see the authentic post and rail fence around the Homestead and down the drive entrance to the picnic area. The new composting toilets were considered to be state of the art eco-friendly! Unfortunately these were burned down in 2006 and are being replaced.