We left the Margaret River region and headed inland in search of Pemberton’s famed tall forests.
But a check of the weather forecast for the next week indicated rain (and plenty of it) and high winds.
Given the likelihood of lots of slushy mud, free camping in the bush probably wasn’t going to be a great idea – especially for the Roe’ving Australia team’s newest recruit, Deb, in her rented campervan. So we quickly adapted our travel plans in search of powered sites on concrete slabs in caravan parks, in an effort to keep warm, dry and relatively mud free.
Our drive took us through the delightfully colourful village of Nannup, still displaying blooms from its annual Flower and Garden Festival held a week or so before we lobbed into town. We spent an hour or two having a coffee, browsing the shops and checking out the parks and the Blackwood River that flows nearby the town.
Next stop was our main destination of Pemberton, a beautiful old timber town nestled in the hills and surrounded by towering Karri forests.
After a hearty lunch, we set off on the 86km Karri Forest Explorer scenic drive around the region, to check out the nearby Gloucester National Park’s Karri forests.
We stopped to check out the very tall ‘Big Karri’, with a height of 72m. And no amount of tree hugging was going to get around its almost ten metres circumference!
The drive also took in the Gloucester National Park’s three other famous karri trees; these three once formed part of a network of fire lookout trees across south-west WA’s forests.
Both the Gloucester Tree (53 metres high) and the Bicentennial Tree (65m) are circled by metal rungs to allow the more adventurous visitors to climb up to the lookouts high above the forest canopy.
The two images below are of the third tree, the Diamond Tree, which was recently closed permanently for climbing. At 52m high, it is considered the baby of the trio. Against Deb (the little speck near the base of the tree in the left hand image), it is still a very tall tree!
The image below is of the Gloucester Tree. We decided against climbing it as it was very wet and slippery when we visited.
The Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree is the tallest of the climbing trees, at 65m tall.
The big climb done (Tick!), we continued on the Karri Forest Explorer scenic drive to discover the region’s other treasures.
We went on many short walks to check out the sights along the 86km Karri Forest Explorer scenic drive.
And when the rain came down, we dressed for the occasion and went out anyway.
The Karri Forest Explorer scenic drive was a mixture of sealed roads and unsealed tracks. The Heartbreak Trail (below) was a particularly narrow track that wound its way through spectacular forests.
And after a wonderful (if very damp) day exploring the giant karri forests around Pemberton, we headed back to the warmth of our dry caravan.
Next stop we’ll visit even taller trees in the Valley of the Giants, near Walpole in Western Australia.