Big Brook Arboretum campground is in the Big Brook State Forest just outside the town of Pemberton. Such a beautiful and peaceful place to stay. There is no water, power, internet or amenities other than a drop toilet. Western Australia have ‘’Volunteer Hosts’ at their national parks and state forests who live on site in their van for a month at a time. Ours were Flo and Jim, lovely people. The weather was cold, about 15oC during the day, and drizzle most of the time, but the sun came out a few times which was very nice. A large family of kookaburras lived at the campsite.
A short drive away is the Big Brook Dam with a sandy beach (man made) a great place for picnics, kayaking, fishing etc.
The nearest town was Pemberton which has a number of bicycle events throughout the year. One being the Pemberton Classic, a road race which was on earlier in March and the WA State Cross Country Olympics Mountain Bike Series which was on while we were there.
Here are a few of the places we visited in the area.
Warren National Park home to the Heartbreak Trail and Draftys Campground. “The 12 kilometre Heartbreak Trail is a one way gravel road that descends into the Warren River valley, following the river for a while before climbing back up the karri-clad slopes. This steep track was built by hand to clear a path down to the river for fire fighters and the name reflects the hardship of the job. The rapids of Heartbreak Crossing and the Warren Lookout are great stopping places along the trail.”
The 500 year old King Jarrah tree, Wellington National Park.
Beedelup National Park and Beedelup Falls.
In the D’Entrecasteaux National Park is the Donnelly River boat ramp, Goblin Swamp and Snottygobble loop with two camp areas, Carey Brook and Grasstree Hollow. Yep! That’s what they’re called.
Donnelly River boat landing.
Goblin Swamp . We even saw some Goblins (using a bit of imagination)
Snottygobble Loop, Carey Brook and Grasstree Hollow camps.
Cathedral Rock and The Windows lookout at Point D’Entrecasteaux.
Northcliffe Visitors Centre and Art Gallery has a 1.5 km walk outside with sculptures, known as Understory, art inspired by nature. It was at times difficult to spot the various artworks on the walk, but that made it even more interesting.
This area of WA is known as the Karri Forests region. These beautiful trees are giants and so straight, with beautiful coloured bark of pinks and cream. Before aeroplanes were available to spot fires in the forests, fire lookout trees were dotted through out the forests where rangers would sit at the top to alert of any smoke they saw. There are three trees still standing that are open to the public to climb, “the Gloucester Tree, Bicentennial Tree and Diamond Tree have metal rungs spiralling up their trunks. The tallest is the Bicentennial Tree, at 75m high.” We didn’t climb any but saw others climbing the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree.
We were suprised at the number of avocado farms in the area. They also have beef and dairy cattle, lots of vineyards and an impressively large strawberry farm which was undercover, probably to avoid frost.
Heading north west today. Til next time, cheers from Helen & Tim.