After two weeks in Perth, staying with Julie, we hired a car and headed south. Because it was the school holidays and New Year, accommodation was hard to come by and we found ourselves staying in Pemberton which is some distance from the main tourist centres. In particular we were staying in chalets which once belonged to the Warren National Park, but have since been sold on to a local avocado farming family.
We couldn’t have found a better place! It was quiet, a fifteen minute drive from Pemberton, self-catering, very comfortable and in a beautiful part of the country. It overlooked a spring fed dam which was rather scenic.
The farm was a working farm specialising in avocados and kiwi fruit. A walk through the farm was always worthwhile.
And if you went further afield the magnificence of the forest was manifest.
Trying to photo these monster trees required great efforts.
But the rewards were quite good.
There has been a long (in Australian terms) history of forestry in the karri forests and only in the last few years has it been brought under strict control. Pemberton used to be a logging town and is now transforming itself into a forest tourism town. And doing it rather successfully.
One of the attractions it boasts is the Pemberton Tramway which carries you through the forest along a narrow gauge railway in a tram of 1907 design.
At various points you can get off and have short walks through the forest.
At one time the tram went all the way to Northcliffe but now it stops at the Warren River Bridge, in the heart of the forest and then returns to Pemberton.
One of the traditions of karri forestry was that of building fire lookouts in the tops of large trees. This was commemorated for Australia’s Bicentennial by the construction of a new lookout in the top of a very large tree. The topmost lookout is 75 metres up and getting to the top is not for the faint-hearted (or for me!). The means of ascent are by way of steel spikes inserted in a spiral fashion up the trunk.
The tree is huge – I got as far as the 25 metre level and thought that was quite far enough!
After four days at Hawke Brook we made our way to Margaret River and that will be the subject of the next post.