Wolwolling pool is a remarkable pool in the main bed of the Arthur River south of Highbury. In her book “Wolwolling Reflections” on the history of Highbury, Gwen Warren writes that the pool was a favoured camping place for indigenous Australians and was one of only 2 permanent freshwater pools around Highbury for shepherds, who with sandalwood cutters were the first white settlers there. Wolwolling is an aboriginal name meaning ‘Weeping women’ because scores of aboriginals died from a catastrophic measles epidemic after contact with Europeans, and were buried near the pool. Wolwolling was also the original railway siding before becoming the Highbury township.
The general direction of the Arthur River has changed little over millions of year. It was once was the headwaters of the Collie River before land movement caused it to be diverted then captured by the Blackwood. The Arthur river then became relatively sluggish with an extensive broad valley system.
In another Foxypress I explain how lakes form and much of these flats and associated lakes have become saline. Vegetation surrounding the pool itself is still fairly healthy with York gum and salt sheoak trees, needlebush (Hakea preissii) and unfortunately lots of weeds.
The image below shows a view of the pool (see arrow) looking east. The pool is located where the river has cut around a roughly east/west trending upland that has caused the river to become faster and deeper. I suspect that the rock under the upland is a line of dolerite (black rock), that has weathered to form York gum red clay. This can block or redirect groundwater that may form a spring.
Please don't camp here as the place is already suffering from unmanaged 4-WD vehicle traffic and mosquitos are likely to be thick in the evening.
One can also launch a canoe at the crossing for a pleasant 400 metre paddle in the growing season.
Morning is the best time to visit.
It was very pleasant there this July after good rain. The water slowly flowing into the tree lined pool was clear and brackish with water weed for the ducks. Great bird watching place, lots of bird song and sooo peaceful.
Lake surrounds contain the succulent samphire that is seen on salt land but rain washes salt out of the topsoil, and soil between red to green samphire plants is densely coated in bright green water-loving Cotula (Billy button) plants that will produce a carpet of yellow flowers in spring. Later I saw a pair of black swans with cygnets.