Things to do in the Southern Forests
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.
- Climb Gloucester, Bicentennial or Diamond lookout trees
- Take a tour, drive or walk to the Yeagarup sand dunes
- Go mountain biking in Pemberton, or ride the famous Munda Biddi Trail
- Tour cellar doors and taste award-winning drops of the Pemberton wine region
- Fish the rivers and dams for trout, marron and perch; go salmon fishing on the coast, or picnic at Big Brook Dam
- 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
- Take a canoeing tour on the Warren River and learn about the region’s flora and fauna
- Ride the Pemberton Tramway and wonder at the 1920s timber bridges
- Enjoy the fresh pancakes at the Lavender and Berry Farm
- 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.
- 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
- (08) 9777 1018
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
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.
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.
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
- 9777 1053
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
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@example.com. The Gateway Markets Manjimup are located at the Gateway Hotel, Lot 1 Case Street (corner South Western Highway), Manjimup.
- (08) 9776 1661
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)
- Tour Locations:Pemberton
- Open Days:Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,School holidays
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!
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+)
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.
- 08 9776 0484
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
- Tour Locations:Pemberton
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!
- (08) 9776 1559
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.
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.
- (08)9776 1211
A visit to the Pemberton Wine Centre is a truly unique experience.
- Open days/Times:Mon-Fri 12-4pm
- Activity:Food & Drink
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
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.
- (08) 9840 0400
Located in the stunning Walpole Wilderness area, this easy 500 metre stroll takes you through old growth karri forest.
- Type:Sites & Trails
Swarbrick features a selection of art exhibits designed to challenge your perception of wilderness.
The art works range from a sculpture depicting Aboriginal message sticks to a giant suspended ring, the Golden Torus, through which the artist prompts the visitor to explore the interconnectedness of all things.
A short loop walk takes you past the ‘Wilderness Wall of Perceptions’. This 39 metre long, stainless steel wall features more than 30 forest related quotes from the past 100 years, with dates of political events relating to forest management and wilderness.
- (08) 9776 1322
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
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.
- (08) 9840 1249
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
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.
- (08) 9776 7203
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.
- Activity:Bush Walking
- Suited For:Families
- Open Days:Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday,Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Public Holidays,School holidays
- (08) 9776 6439
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),Wheelchairs,Adults (18+),Seniors
- Tour Locations:Northcliffe
- Open Days:Friday,Saturday,Sunday,Monday,Tuesday,Wednesday,Thursday
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.
Cruise the rivers and inlets in the heart of the Walpole-Nornalup National Park.
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.
Join one of the WOW Wilderness eco-interpreters for an informative 2 1/2 hour cruise on the beautiful and unique waterways of the Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park to the Nuyts Wilderness, WA's first Wilderness Zone.