About 90km as the crow flies east and inland from here, Nannup has a frosty winter suited to plants from the northern hemisphere and each year holds the Nannup Flower and Garden Festival. The old timber town is also the home of the 'Nannup Tiger' the elusive beast featured in Tim Winton’s scariest novel, In the Winter Dark. The animal, believed by some to be a thylacine, is sometimes glimpsed or heard at night on the lonely forest roads.
It was a delightful day with displays of tulips and daffodils, ‘tigers’, local handicrafts, photographs and vintage cars, a market and open gardens. The whole community had contributed in some way, from the kindergarten’s emu to the ladies from the CWA with their morning teas. One proud young man was showing his mothers’ friend his rather wonderful photograph that he had on display and children were mesmerised by a fairy grotto that had been created by other children amongst the displays in the Town Hall. There were many people with walkers and wheelchairs, they were able to easily enjoy the many bulbs within their reach in planter boxes along the roadside.
I have never experienced an event like that here. It is rather sad that this timber town has gone the way of the winery and the cashed up tourist. The Margaret River brand aims for the posh and trendy top dollar tourists. The locals are surfers, aging hippies, craftspeople and dairy farmers along with a transient community of casual workers and many young families. This leaves the community splintered into groups with differing agendas. The fantastic community spirit that had created the event that transformed the sleepy little town now abuzz with families enjoying the winter sunshine might exist here; I’ve yet to see it - Maybe we’ve got a ‘bit big for our boots.’