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Southern Forests

You will never be short of things to do in the Southern Forests region. Even a simple drive around the towns makes for a perfect day of exploring the natural beauty of our state.

For the active, there’s a range of adventures on offer, many taking full advantage of the region’s old-growth forests – tree climbing, for instance. Pemberton has three enormous climbing trees, the largest, the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, standing 75m tall. Originally used as fire lookouts in the 1940s, the trio of karri tree lookouts is impressive, but climbing them is not for those with vertigo – or with nervous parents.

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Top 10
  1. Climb Gloucester, Bicentennial or Diamond lookout trees
  2. Take a tour, drive or walk to the Yeagarup sand dunes
  3. Go mountain biking in Pemberton, or ride the famous Munda Biddi Trail
  4. Tour cellar doors and taste award-winning drops of the Pemberton wine region
  5. Fish the rivers and dams for trout, marron and perch; go salmon fishing on the coast, or picnic at Big Brook Dam
  6. Take a half-day Donnelly River Cruise to explore nature and Aboriginal heritage, see squatter’s huts, and walk on the edge of the Southern Ocean
  7. Take a canoeing tour on the Warren River and learn about the region’s flora and fauna
  8. Ride the Pemberton Tramway and wonder at the 1920s timber bridges
  9. Enjoy the fresh pancakes at the Lavender and Berry Farm
  10. Swim, picnic or walk around the natural swimming pool, constructed in 1928/29, in the Pemberton Forest Park
Enjoying the forests

A staggering 80 per cent of the Manjimup region is forest and national parks. The tall straight trees, some 300 years old, are majestic, and emit an energy you can’t deny. With an array of activities, from bush-walking and mountain biking to canoeing in the river, getting away from it all and into nature is the region’s real attraction.

The downside of living in an ancient forest? The risk of fire. To protect against this, a series of lookouts were constructed at the top of a few very tall karri trees during the 1930s and 1940s. Three remaining towers are open to those who are brave and love to climb: The 61m Gloucester Tree, the 51m Diamond Tree (the only wooden treetop tower in the world!) and the 75m Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, which offers 360-degree-views of old-growth karri forest.

Nervous to take on a climbing tree? The highly civilised, 38m-high Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants in Walpole offers majestic views of the tingle forests treetops, and is suitable for everyone. The interpretive centre and gift shop are also worth a stop.

For something else, the 10.5km Warren River Loop Walk wanders from the Pemberton karri forest to the Warren River.

Local tips
  • The best ways to stock up on local produce is to purchase from roadside stalls. My favourite is Phil’s Veggie Patch, halfway between Pemberton and Northcliffe
  • Create a picnic with the above provisions together with Holy Smokes products, or buy some local Green Valley lamb from Fox Brothers Butchers in Pemberton and go down to Big Brook Dam. There are undercover areas with barbecues, a beach and a wonderful 45-minute sealed walk around the edge of the dam, with bird-watching huts
  • Take a drive down to Windy Harbour via Northcliffe and stop at the visitor centre where you can access Understory – a unique sculpture walk through beautiful karri forest. If you’ve got the energy, hike up Mt Chudalup for amazing 360-degree-views
  • Visit the amazing Yeagarup sand dunes with a Beach & Eco Forest Adventure Tour through Pemberton Discovery Tours. These dunes are the largest migratory sand dune system in the southern hemisphere, and are extraordinary!
  • Plan ahead and book a seasonal dinner, wood-fired dinner or demonstration cooking class at Foragers

Guides


Donnelly River Cruises

Meandering along the 12 km section of the Donnelly River, we will transverse a diverse eco system that is only accessible by boat.

  • Tour Price:Adults $75 Children $45
  • Type:Tours

Details

    Description

    Enjoy a relaxed cruise from the Karri to the Coast. After a courtesy pick up, you will be escorted into the beautiful D’Entrecasteaux National Park, by air-conditioned bus, to begin your cruise on the unique Donnelly River. Meandering along the 12 km section, we will transverse a diverse eco system that is only accessible by boat. From the lush Jarrah and Karri forests, through the Paperbark and wetlands, to the limestone cliffs and majestic Southern Ocean. On the way we will cruise past the unique holiday huts nestled amongst the towering Marri trees and coastal dunes.

    Morning Cruise

    Relax with a morning cruise on this pristine river. With a casual but informative commentary, you will learn some of the history of the area and view its beautiful flora and native wildlife. After a brief walk on the sandy beach (conditions permitting), we will cruise back up the river enjoying a complementary morning tea with my fantastic muffins. Cruises available Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (other days by booking only. Min numbers apply). Our courtesy bus departs the Karri Valley pick up point at 9.30am (departure time and availability may vary by season). We also pick up at the Pemberton Visitors Centre at 9.000am and the Manjimup Visitors Centre at 8.30am, by arrangement.

    Afternoon Cruise

    Enjoy an afternoon stroll on the beach. We will cruise down the river with all the fun and interpretation of the morning cruise. To add additional cheer, feel free to bring along that bottle of wine or a few beers. With a fridge, wine glasses and toilet all on board, you only need your drinks. Available Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (other days by booking only. Min numbers apply). Our courtesy bus departs the Karri Valley pick up point at 2.00pm (departure time and availability may vary by season). We also pick up at the Pemberton Visitors Centre at 1.30pm and the Manjimup Visitors Centre at 1.00pm, by arrangement

    Gateway Markets Manjimup

    An eclectic and effervescent mix of stallholders, fresh food and local crafts will breathe new life into Manjimup from October 26 with a weekly Sunday market at the Gateway Hotel.

    • Activity:Art & Craft,Markets

    Details

      Description

      AN eclectic and effervescent mix of stallholders, fresh food and local crafts will breathe new life into Manjimup from October 26 with a weekly Sunday market at the Gateway Hotel.

      Running 7am to midday, the Gateway Markets Manjimup will boast a vibrant mix of fresh fruit and vegetables, locally-made produce, clothing, jewellery and collectables as well as car boot sales offering all and sundry.

      Stalls are also available at $5 per stall for people wanting to sell their wares.

      Organiser Georgina Tagliaferri said the Gateway Markets Manjimup is an opportunity for people to get out and about and explore what is on offer.

      “There is something about markets that attracts people from all walks of life,” she said.

      “Whether you’re shopping for fresh fruit and vegetables or home-made condiments, looking for a unique gift or perhaps a second-hand treasure or just wanting to add some new plants to the garden, the markets are a great place to start.

      “For some, it’s the open-air format while, for others, it’s the community vibe, harking back to an era where the market square was a communal meeting place.

      “It’s also a great way of getting to know the friendly local growers and producers.”

      The markets form an adjunct to the Gateway Hotel’s offerings, helping to boost tourism in the region.

      “The Gateway Markets Manjimup is simply another way of enhancing the different experiences available, whether you’re a local, staying in town or just passing through,” Miss Tagliaferri said.

      “Having a regular Sunday market will entice people to stop and have a look or even stay longer in Manjimup, which has the potential to flow-on to other businesses and the local economy.”

      For more information, call 9777 1053 or email [email protected]. The Gateway Markets Manjimup are located at the Gateway Hotel, Lot 1 Case Street (corner South Western Highway), Manjimup.

      Lavender & Berry Farm Pemberton

      Lavender and Berry Farm Pemberton is the place to go for casual, family friendly dining set among a picturesque location

      • Open days/Times:Open Wed - Sun 9.30am - 5pm
      • Activity:Animal Farm
      • Suited For:Toddlers (0 - 3),Kids (4 - 12)
      • Type:Attractions

      Details

      • Tour Locations:Pemberton
      • Open Days:Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,School holidays

      Description

      We have friendly alpacas that you can hand feed. They will eat right out of your hand, and we also have ducks and sheep that need feeding too!

      Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park

      The town of Manjimup is defined by its timber industry, so what better place to start your visit to the area than the Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park?

      • Open days/Times:In the months April to September it is open from 9:00am – 5:00pm. From October to March it is open from 9:00am – 8:00pm

      Details

      • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Public Holidays,School holidays

      Description

      Manjimup was first settled in 1856 by timber cutter Thomas Muir. In the years that followed, the milling of jarrah, karri, marri and blackbutt quickly became the mainstay of the town’s economy. Today, Manjimup has grown to become the largest commercial centre servicing communities in the Warren and Blackwood Valley, and its principal industries now include fruit and vegetable growing, dairy, wool, grain and, of course, timber.


      With this in mind, no visit to Manjimup should be without a visit to the Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park, located in the centre of town on the corner of Edwards and Rose Streets. This outstanding museum covers 10ha of parkland gardens, recreational areas and exhibits explaining Manjimup’s timber history and colonisation. 


      A good starting point in the park is the State Timber Museum. Located just to the right of the park entry, visitors to the museum can follow a series of storyboards that lead them through the development and growth of the timber industry and highlight some fascinating facts and figures. There’s also an impressive collection of historic timber tools on display.


      From the museum follow the path towards the back of the park where you will discover the Historical Hamlet – six restored buildings that were operational within the town in the early 1900s. Take a step back in time inside Manjimup’s original Police Station, the Forestry Office and School, the Doctor's Surgery, a Vintage Truck Shed and a typical Settler's Cottage. From the foyer of each building visitors can view the rooms through glass partitioning and all are maintained to appear as if they’re still lived in today.


      To see a true traditional craftsman at work, stop in and visit George, the area’s resident blacksmith, who has a studio at the front of the park. Next door is the Woodturners Shed, which doubles as the headquarters for the Manjimup Woodturners Association. Here you can catch wood turners in action on most Fridays and the second and fourth Thursday of every month, and purchase one-of-a-kind handmade wood pieces. The wood turners are often working at other times, so if you hear activity in the shed give them a knock and they’ll happily show you around.


      For all the old train-spotters out there, we’re told that the restored 1907 Robey steam engine in the Age of Steam Museum is a must see. The museum is stacked with information on steam trains and the role they played in Manjimup’s timber industry, and on the walls are numerous historic photographs from the old Tone River Mill. Outside the museum is ‘Snorting Lizzie’, a unique 12 tonne steam engine. She never operated as a traction engine but in 1921 was converted to wheels for the new train line that ran through Manjimup.


      In the centre of the park you’ll find Federation Island and the popular barbeque and picnic area. The island is home to native gardens, a shaded gazebo area, and the unusual One Log Bridge that stretches across the pretty canal. For those looking to have a leisurely picnic lunch, the barbeque facilities and gazebo are located between the canals and the open grass, where a children’s playground is perfect for keeping the tiny tots entertained.


      If your schedule is too tight to fit in a barbecue, Gallery Cafe, located near the entrance of the park, is open daily from 9am to 5pm for breakfast, lunch and snacks. The cafe lights its potbelly stove during winter if you’re looking to escape the chill or, alternatively, you can sit outside on the verandah, which is protected from the weather. Attached to the cafe is a small gallery where you can purchase souvenirs and crafts.


      The Manjimup Timber and Heritage Park is being upgraded, so new and exciting exhibits are continually being added. The Shire of Manjimup recently released an informative and easy to read map with brief descriptions of the many attractions, ideal to help guide you around the park. Pop into the Visitor Centre and pick one up.

      Other park attractions:
      •    The sawpit – this area demonstrates the earliest method of producing long lengths of sawn timber.
      •    Steam Loco and Williamette Steam Hauler – the hauler could pull up to 25 tonnes of timber logs.
      •    Fire Lookout and Hut – a genuine towerman’s hut where signs of bush fires were monitored and reported back to the Forest Department via bush telegraph.
      •    Commonwealth Gardens – a grove of trees representing the different countries of the Commonwealth.
      •    World War II Memorial Bridge – the wooden bridge that leads to the fire lookout was built in memory of locals from the region who fought in WWII.
      •    Eight Wheeler Trailer and Whim – both trailers were drawn by either horse or bullock teams and were originally used to transport logs from the bush to the landings.

      Mt Frankland Summit Trail

      The trail is located within the Mt Frankland National Park. It provides a fascinating insight into the local area, set among the stunning karri forest providing views of the southern coastline.

      • Course Duration:3 hours, 1.2km
      • Open days/Times:All year, but consider weather conditions.
      • Wheelchair Access:Yes. Only available in the picnic area, toilet and Wilderness View Lookout.
      • Type:Sites & Trails
      • Activity:Bush Walking
      • Suited For:Adults (18+)

      Details

        Description

        The trail starts on the bitumen track next to the car park at the base of Mount Frankland. The walk is short, but steep and takes you to the peak of Mount Frankland for the optimum views of the karri forest, Frankland river and southern coastline. The climb includes over 300 steep concrete steps and requires a short ladder climb. It is recommend those of a reasonable fitness level attempt the climb. The time needed to complete the trail is up to three hours including resting time. 

        On the descent, it is recommended to take the trail to the Soho Lookout, continuing on the Caldyanup Trail. This return is about 1.6km in length and is moderately difficult. However, it gives you the full immersion into one of the best granite and karri areas in WAs South West.

        The trail has a Grade 4 Difficulty rating. Bushwalking experience is recommended.

        Pemberton Discovery Tours

        Pemberton Discovery Tours offers eco adventure tours into the magnificent national parks surrounding Pemberton in Australia's South West. Let us show you the Best is Off the Highway!

        • Activity:Four Wheel Driving,Food & Drink
        • Type:Tours

        Details

        • Tour Locations:Pemberton

        Description

        The "Beach & Forest Eco Adventure" is an experience that allows visitors to the southwest corner of Western Australia access into the inaccessible wilderness of the D'Entrecasteaux and Warren National Parks.

        This nationally recognised Advanced Ecotourism Accredited Tour offers you an interpretive eco-adventure departing daily at 9am or 2pm and travels through Pemberton’s magnificent old growth Karri forests, large landlocked inland dunes & stunning beaches.

        Explore the spectacular Yeagarup Dunes, Pemberton’s inland desert, drive on endless beaches and touch towering Karri trees on this half-day 4WD eco tour.

        This tour is a nature based experience that allows visitors to the southwest access into normally inaccessible forest wilderness; travelling through a wide variety of landscapes and appreciating the diversity of this regions flora & fauna. Visiting the D'Entrecasteaux and Warren National Parks near Pemberton, Western Australia and enabling visitors to adventure into otherwise unknown territory.

        Suitable for all ages & all adventurers. The diversity of this area is amazing – and all within 35km from Pemberton Township. Tours depart at 9am or 2pm daily from the Pemberton Discovery Shop. Drop on by and let us show what you can discover in Pemberton… alternatively private charters are available through this area and the other special attractions only the locals know… finish off the day at a local winery – meeting the people who make the wine.

        See something unique and do something different; the best is off the highway!

        Pemberton Hiking Company

        The Pemberton Hiking Company specialises in environmentally sensitive adventure and leisure tours into the unique old growth forests and pristine landscapes of the Pemberton area - in the South West of Western Australia.

          Details

            Description

            Be guided through a leisurely 4 hour informative scenic walk, a pleasant afternoon canoeing through ancient forests, and advernturous 2 to 5 day wilderness trek, a spectacular full moon walk and seasonal wildflower walks. All through the dynamic untouched forests, rivers, lakes and inland dune systems of this unique corner of WA.

            Pemberton Wine Centre

            A visit to the Pemberton Wine Centre is a truly unique experience.

            • Open days/Times:Mon-Fri 12-4pm
            • Activity:Food & Drink

            Details

              Description

               
              Set in the heart of Warren National Park amongst the majestic karri trees, we invite you to savour a selection of local wines from this cool climate region. 
               
              Pemberton wines can also be purchased on line at www.pembertonwine.com.au 
               
              Open 12 noon to 5pm 7 days.

              Quinninup Forest Walks

              Visit a fascinating Gondwana type landscape where the karri and jarrah forests meet. Walk among forests giants centuries old.

              • Suited For:Families
              • Type:Sites & Trails

              Details

                Description

                Experience the amazing understorey of these forests and learn about the ecology of the two forests. King Karri Walk-through the old growth forest. Orchid Walk has many native orchids. Ridge Back walk-steep hilly forest.

                Tales of the Trail Western Ranch

                Express your inner cowboy. Come and experience the majestic Southern Forests on horseback. Ride our quality Quarter Horses. Western style, small groups, great fun.

                • Activity:Horse Riding
                • Type:Tours

                Details

                • Tour Locations:South West

                Description

                The Western Ranch is located in the middle of thousands of hectares of beautiful jarrah and karri bush. No shortage of trails here. We welcome you to explore this giant wonderland on horseback.

                Take your own horse or ride one of our Quarter Horses. There’s no head-to-tail riding here. We let you ride to your ability and as much as you want! We specialize in "on demand" horse rides, meaning you can book your rides for when you want and as long as you want. Morning and afternoon rides as well as all day rides are available. We even have fully organized 3 day rides.

                All you need to do is call and book... (08) 9773 1118

                 

                 

                 

                The Pemberton Tramway Co

                See the karri forests, valleys, waterfalls, wildflowers and rivers of the Southern Forests area from a unique perspective - trundling along in a tram or steam train from a bygone age.

                • Suited For:Families

                Details

                  Description

                  You'll glide over trestle bridges that tower over the forests and gilded valleys and experience a much more rustic form of travel than you're used to, and it's a great way to see the area at a relaxed pace. The tram runs Warren River Bridge and Northcliffe and the steam train to Easterbrook and Lyall every day.

                  Thurlby Herb Farm

                  Wander through our herb gardens and essential oil distillery, and enjoy delicious food at the teahouse and our large range of gourmet preserves.

                  • Open days/Times:Mon-Fri 9am-5pm
                  • Activity:Farmer's Markets,Food & Drink

                  Details

                    Description

                    Thurlby Herb Farm is a special kind of business in a very special part of the world. Tucked away in the Southern forests of Western Australia, Thurlby grows herbs and manufactures soap for exclusive handmade products.

                    From simple beginnings as a family based business, Thurlby has grown into a successful company with an international reputation. Thurlby is the largest private employer in the Walpole district and our products are available in over 900 retail outlets throughout Australia, Europe and Asia.

                    If you are looking for a different kind of something for someone special, the Thurlby Gift Shop is a marvellous treasure trove featuring unusual gifts from around the world.

                    Many of our customers and visitors comment on the “beautiful smell of Thurlby”. This is apparent when you walk into our giftshop, as the complete range of Thurlby natural handmade soaps and herbal products are on display and for sale.

                    For safety reasons, it is not possible to wander through our soap production area – however we have a ‘viewing window’ that shows the process.

                    Most visitors are amazed to discover this busy hub of creative productivity, the source of the internationally renowned Thurlby products, tucked away on a small dirt road in the quiet forests of North Walpole.

                    Hungry? Stay for a leisurely gourmet lunch, or maybe just freshly baked scones with homemade jams. Our creative foodies in the kitchen are passionate about fresh, local produce. Homemade cakes, good coffee and quality tea is essential for exploring the Walpole Wilderness! Our handmade preserves are also available to sample.

                    Wander through our peaceful display herb and cottage garden, which changes with the seasons.
                    Children are very welcome and love the open spaces of Thurlby to run around and play.

                    Open: Monday - Friday, 9am – 5pm (lunch service finishes at 3pm). Closed weekends & public holidays.

                    Directions: Thurlby Herb Farm is located 15km north of Walpole at 301 Gardiner Road, (off North Walpole Road).

                    Thurlby aromatherapy and herb products sell throughout Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Europe.

                    Understory - Art in Nature

                    Australia’s leading ‘art in nature’ experience features unique sculpture, stories and music by national and international artists along a 1.2km walk trail through pristine native forest.

                    • Type:Tours
                    • Activity:Bush Walking
                    • Suited For:Families

                    Details

                    • Open Days:School holidays,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Public Holidays

                    Description

                    Every place has its hidden treasures...

                    Every Understory artwork has been specifically commissioned to respond directly to Northcliffe’s 'spirit of place'. Each work is a unique exploration of our human relationship with nature. These world-class artworks are the key to discovering the natural environment from a fresh perspective. When imagination is the guide – the heart is free to connect.

                    ABOUT US – SOUTHERN FOREST ARTS
                    Understory is managed by Southern Forest Arts - a 'not for profit' community cultural organisation. Understory and its companion, The Painted Tree Gallery, were established in November 2006, and are located within the award-winning eco-friendly Northcliffe Information & Visitor Centre. The Southern Forest Arts team are inspired by the diverse beauty of the ancient forests that surround Northcliffe, and the ingenuity and character of the individuals and community that live beneath the canopy. The group explores, celebrates and promotes the unique local identity of the region with imagination and heart.

                    THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING NEW TO SEE
                    New artworks are added to the Understory trail regularly to ensure there is always something fresh for visitors to experience. The Gallery also showcases a range of exhibitions across the year featuring a wide range of media and themes, including state and national touring shows as well as work by local artisans.

                    AUDIO TOURS INCLUDED
                    Most visitors to Understory spend about an hour or hour and a half walking the trail and listening to a range of five MP3 audio tours (including interviews with participating artists, stories, poetry and music). There are also audio tours developed especially for children and youth.

                    GROUP DISCOUNT
                    Groups of ten+ are eligible for discount.

                    GUIDED TOURS AND CREATIVE WORKSHOPS
                    Guided tours and creative workshops with local professional artists can be negotiated by prior booking through the Northcliffe Visitor Centre.

                    ENTRY FEES
                    Adults $11
                    Concession $8
                    Children (aged 6-16) $6
                    Children (under 6) Free
                    Family (2 adults / 2kids) $30

                     

                    Understory Trail

                    Understory is a nationally unique art in nature experience that everyone can enjoy. Artworks are located along a 1.2km walk trail through pristine native forest.

                    • Open days/Times:Open daily: 9am - 4pm
                    • Tour Duration:1 to 1.5 hours
                    • Tour Price:$0-$40
                    • Type:Sites & Trails,Tours
                    • Activity:Bush Walking
                    • Suited For:Families,Teens (13 - 17),Adults (18+),Seniors,Wheelchairs

                    Details

                    • Tour Locations:Northcliffe
                    • Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday

                    Description

                    Understory was originally called the Southern Forest Sculpture Walk. It is managed by Southern Forest Arts - a 'not for profit' community cultural organisation.

                    Over 50 nationally and internationally renowned creative professionals have participated in the project since first established in November 2006. New artworks are added regularly to ensure there is always something fresh for visitors to experience.

                    Most people spend one hour to one and a half hours walking the trail and listening to a range of five audio tours (including interviews with participating artists, stories poetry and music). There are also audio tours especially for children and youth.

                    Wild Over Walpole Wilderness Cruises

                    • (08) 9840 1036

                    Cruise the rivers and inlets in the heart of the Walpole-Nornalup National Park.

                      Details

                        Description

                        Enjoy the commentary on the natural and cultural history of the area, walk through wilderness to a secluded beach, swim in the quiet inlet waters or just enjoy the scenery.

                        SCOOP