Walpole Recreation Centre, WA
Latham Ave, Walpole WA 6398 (in the field)
Opening Hours: 24/7, seven days a week – contact club directly to arrange paperwork and entry with door code.
Staffed hours: Irregular
Cost: $10 per go (unofficially – need to contact them directly to discuss) or $60 per month.
Welcome to Walpole, the party centre of Australia!
Ok, so I’m exaggerating somewhat, but this lovely little town does make for a great place to chill out, especially if you’re having a break from hiking the Bibbulmun track, like I am. Walpole Recreation Centre is located in the middle of this cosy town – you’ll find it on the Eastern side of the field where Latham Ave meets Pier St.
It’s only staffed during limited hours, a few days per week, so to be on the safe side, message them on their Facebook page to arrange a time to go down.
The gym itself is accessible by an external door and you’ll need to fill in some brief paperwork first, pay and get the doorcode from staff to enter. From that point, you’ve got 24/7 access!
The equipment is all in good condition and weights are tidy. Whilst not the most modern, all equipment worked and the gym is colourful and attractive. There’s even a music system if you can suss out how to connect it to Bluetooth!
The gym is fairly small, but given the size of Walpole, it’s more than sufficient. I trained there twice between 16:00 and 17:00 and was the only person in there.
You’ll find a small range of cardio equipment, free weights including barbells, and resistance equipment in the main room. At the back, there’s a smaller room with mostly functional equipment.
There are fans here, although on a chilly September day I certainly didn’t need them!
Take your own towel and water bottle. There are showers, a key to which is located in the gym so you can let yourself in.
Given the size of the gym, you’ll find an impressive number of adjustable barbells racked at one end, next to the Smith machine.
Resistance equipment here includes a lat pulldown, tricep pulldown, leg extension and leg curl. You’ll also find a multifunctional resistance machine in the functional area. Possible functions include a pec deck, shoulder press, lat pulldown and leg extension. There’s a hanging knee raise machine as well.
At first I struggled to find dumbbell free-weights; they’re in with the functional equipment at one end of the gym. There’s a huge range at the light-weight end, although if you want heavy weights you’re out of luck. Heavier weights weren’t clearly labelled but I struggled to find more than around 15kg dumbbells. However, if you can make do with barbells mentioned above, you’ll be able to lift far heavier.
Walpole Recreation Centre has a small number but excellent range of cardio machines. These are a treadmill, two crosstrainers, two recumbent bikes, one upright bike and an airbike. You’ll also find a rowing machine here. Everything is in good condition.
This small area at one end of the gym is extremely well-equipped. You’ll find a lot of comfy mats here, along with step-boards, Swiss balls, some medicine balls, air-based wobble-boards for ankle rehab and kettlebells up to 12kg.
If you’re into boxing, you’re in luck too. Equipment includes several sets of gloves and pads, as well as a punchbag in the centre of the gym!
You’ll also find a cradle (hanging on the wall) and a hip extension bench.
I am not usually very optimistic about what I’ll find in a small-town gym with no competition, but Walpole Recreation Centre certainly exceeded my expectations! There’s a good balance of weights, cardio and functional equipment here, and everything was in great condition. The only thing I really missed here was a set of pull-up bars – I’ll be walking the park later in search of some! The friendly staff made me feel very welcome and explained that although casual rates are not usually offered, they can accommodate people for $10 a go if requested – contact them directly if you wish to go.
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