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Gloucester Tree

Climb into the canopy of the karri forest for spectacular views at the Gloucester Tree.

Details

  • Attraction Fee:No fees apply
  • Feature:Info Shelter,Toilet,Entry Station,Dogs Allowed - No,2WD Access - Yes
  • Activity:Bush Walking
  • Water:Treated

Description

Before the introduction of spotter planes to look out for fires, a network of 18 fire lookout trees and towers were spread out across the south-west forests. From the top of these lookouts, foresters used to scan the landscape around them for the first signs of smoke.

Selecting the tree
Foresters selected the Gloucester Tree to use as a fire lookout in 1947. It was one of eight lookout trees built in the south-west between 1937 and 1952. There were also 10 other lookout towers constructed from timber or built on high points in the landscape. To determine its suitability as a lookout tree, forester Jack Watson climbed it using climbing boots and a belt. It took him a gruelling six hours to reach the top and return.

A visit from Royalty
The tree was named after the then Governor-General of Australia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. He visited the tree and watched the pegging of the ladder and lopping of the branches to construct the lookout. Apparently the Duke showed and interest in the tools used by the axemen. He tried his hand at using the auger to bore holes for the climbing pegs and remarked that it did not seem too difficult a task. The axeman replied “Come off it-you’re not through the bloody sapwood yet!”

Enjoying retirement
Today, the Gloucester Tree has retired from its duties as a fire lookout tree but is available for the enjoyment of visitors. You can climb 53 metres to the lookout structure which affords spectacular views over the surrounding karri forest and farmland.

South West NatureGuide App

Enable visitors to learn about the plants, animals, geology and history as they explore a tagged trail.

Available now to download for Apple iOS. Android will be available soon.


This information was provided by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions: dpaw.wa.gov.au

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