Next on the agenda was a trip along the Southern coast of W.A , deep into Forrest country. This is all national park. Actually it's several national parks. These link up to form a huge reserve that goes on for hundreds of kilometers. I read that if these parks where a country they would be the 50th biggest country in the world. The whole area is very lightly populated with only a couple of towns and settlements spread throughout. Originally logging camps the main industry is now tourism.
Forrest meets the waters of Walpole inlet
Three Kangaroos eating the grass by the side of the road. Can't see the third? It was a little Joey (baby) in the pouch of the biggest one. It had its head poking out. When bent down to eat junior was having a chow as well from within.
Typical Southwest highway road
One thing I had to do was climb the Gloucester tree. There are several trees in this Forrest which were used as lookout stations for spotting Forrest fires. They were originally selected in the 1930s and 40s on account of there size and location.they were then climbed by forresters and had their crowns lopped off. A spiral staircase of wooden pegs were then driven in to the tree from the ground to the top. Cabins were then built at the tops as shelters for people whose job it was to call in by telegraph the first sign of smoke. Other trees in the area had the same treatment to form a network.
The Gloucester Tree in the Gloucester National Park is only 3kms from the Post Office in Pemberton. The Gloucester Tree was chosen for a fire lookout in 1947, one of a network of lookouts built in the karri forest between 1937 and 1952. The Gloucester Tree was named after the then Governor-General of Australia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, who was visiting Pemberton as the lookout was being built. Today, visitors can climb 61m to see one of the most spectacular views of the Karri forest.
Can you see the cabin at the top?
The Bicentennial Treein the Warren National Park is a 15 minute drive from the Pemberton township. This is one of three fire lookout trees open to the public in the Pemberton area. The Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree lookout was first pegged in 1988 as part of Australia’s bicentennial celebrations. Towering 68 metres above the ground, it is the tallest climbing tree open to the public. You will be rewarded with 360-degree views of old growth karri forest.
Looking out over hundreds of square kilometers of Forrest from the top of the Gloucester tree 61 meters up. Pretty freaky feeling everything sway and creak in the fresh breeze!!