FAMILY FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES WITHIN THE PEMBERTON ACCOMMODATION REGION
Diamond Forest Farmstay is located just 15 minutes drive North of Pemberton towards Manjimup. This central location is perfect to provide guests with access to the best of both worlds – the natural beauty and tourism icons of Pemberton, Northcliffe and Walpole, and the convenience of the commercial hub and attractions of Manjimup. Provided below is a brief overview of what to see and do around the Pemberton region.
For comprehensive information about the local area and its attractions please visit either the Pemberton Visitor Centre or Manjimup Visitors center along with any of the links provided below. For some helpful safe driving tips for our region translated into several languages please visit the Manjimup Shire website.
In a Nutshell
“The pretty timber town of Pemberton in the south west pocket of Western Australia is all about indulging in local gourmet produce, tasting top wines and feasting your eyes on breathtaking forest scenery. The tall trees – Pemberton’s biggest attraction, are truly magnificent. Stretching skywards as far as the eye can see these vast Karri giants are awe-inspiring. And in spring the forest floor transforms with a burst of colourful wildflowers.
Get off road and explore the forest by hiking the bush tracks, travelling by four wheel drive or horseback adventure. For spectacular views, venture up Pemberton’s climbing trees, originally fire lookouts in the 1940s. Paddle a canoe around Pemberton’s river, lake and estuary waters, visit the largest inland dune system in the Southern Hemisphere and browse around local art galleries.
Diamond Forest Farmstay is also a great base to explore the south west, with Margaret River, Bunbury, Busselton, Northcliffe, Walpole and the Valley of the Giants all within an hour and a half drive by car.”
Surrounded by the Gloucester, Warren and Beedelup National Parks, and within close proximity to the D’Entrecasteaux and Shannon National Parks, there are so many things to see and do while in Pemberton that it is wise to stay at least a few days.
This way you can experience the outstanding natural beauty and diversity which draws people to the region: forests with towering trees; pristine rivers, dams and waterfalls; vineyards, crops and plantations; and rugged coastline, beaches and inland dunes. Following are some suggestions to help you get to know the region intimately in a fairly short space of time.
- Karri Forest Explorer
- Beach and Forest Off Road Adventure
- Donnelly River Cruise
- Pemberton Tramway
- Pemberton Hiking & Canoeing
- Still Water Activities
- Bush Walking
- Galleries, Studios & Crafts
- Pemberton Events
- Pemberton Unearthed Festival
- Pemberton Mountain Bike Park
- Mt Chudalup
Karri Forest Explorer
Ask your hosts at Diamond Forest Farm Stay for a Karri Forest Explorer map. This is a self drive tour through some of the more spectacular forest pockets such as The Heartbreak Trail, and includes many of the better known tourism destinations in the area such as Beedelup Falls, The Cascades (horizontal waterfall), the Bicentennial Tree, Gloucester Tree and Diamond Tree fire lookouts which you can climb if you’re game; Big Brook Dam and Big Brook Arboretum.
The drive will take you past the Lavender & Berry Farm with their famous pancakes; and many of the wonderful wineries with delicious lunch menus and open cellar doors.
The Karri Forest Explorer map is accompanied by tourist radio commentary in some sections as well as trail side information, picnic stops and walk trails, and the length of your day out is dependent only on the number of places you decide to extend your sensory indulgence.
Beach and Forest Off Road Adventure
Allocate a half day in your schedule to experience the Beach and Forest Off Road Adventure with Pemberton Discovery Tours. You may take the tour either morning or afternoon in their custom designed 4 wheel drive vehicle, or as a “tag-along” in your own 4 wheel drive vehicle.
The tour takes you through the awe-inspiring karri forest and out onto the (equally awe-inspiring) Yeagerup Dunes which have been described as “like a Lawrence of Arabia film set”. As you travel, your knowledgeable guide will provide information about the local flora, fauna and history of the area, and will answer any questions you might have.
After a stop where the Warren River meets the ocean, it’s back to the bush for a delicious picnic lunch or afternoon tea.
Donnelly River Cruise
Catch the bus from a local pick-up point or meet at the jetty for boarding the Donnelly River Cruise. Soak up the scenery from the comfortable, purpose built flat-bottomed boat and then succumb to your guide’s homemade muffins and a “cuppa” where the mouth of the Donnelly River meets the ocean.
All the while you will be entertained by the extraordinary knowledge and cheeky banter of your guide as he tells you about the natural eco-system and history of the river and its surrounding bush, and make sure to ask him about the native “drop-bears” in the area! Allow another half day for this tour, either morning or afternoon.
You can even arrange to do both the Beach and Forest Off Road Adventure and the Donnelly River Cruise on the same day. Talk to your Diamond Forest Farm Stay hosts about any or all of these tours.
Board the Pemberton Tramway for a unique way to immerse yourself in the natural environment. See emus and kangaroos in the open farmland as the tram sneaks around the back of the Pemberton Saw Mill and enters the towering Karri, Marri and Jarrah forest.
Make the most of the brief stop to take a walk and be gob smacked by the height and girth of some of the magnificent trees, and the natural beauty of the area around The Cascades (horizontal waterfall). As you meander gently along the track, your tram driver will provide an informative commentary about the forest, railway line and history of the region.
The tram crosses many different bridges over rivers and streams, providing great photo opportunities, before commencing the journey home. The Pemberton Tram runs twice a day, six days a week and takes 1 3/4 hours. There is no requirement to pre-book.
Pemberton Hiking & Canoeing
Canoe down a wild river. This is another wonderful way to get to know Pemberton from the inside. Pemberton Hiking & Canoeing specialises in environmentally sensitive adventure and leisure tours into the unique old growth forests and pristine river systems and landscapes of the Pemberton area.
If you would like to swim in cold clear lakes, discover the majestic virgin Karri forest, see beautiful birds and wildflowers and sit around campfires under a starry night sky – let Pemberton Hiking & Canoeing take you there.
Pemberton Mountain Bike Park
With over 30 trails graded from easy to moderate to difficult there is a trail suitable for everyone and a great day out for you and your family. The mountain bike park is open to everyone and is your chance to ride on tracks that have been designated a National level ride destination.
Pemberton Mountain Bike Park is on the north west edge of Pemberton on Swimming Pool Rd. Follow the signs to the swimming pool from Pemberton town centre to get there.
Enjoy the 360 degree views of the surrounding forest, heathlands, coast and the magnificent Yeagarup Dunes from the top of this Mt Chudalup. Approximately 1 hour from Pemberton on the way to Windy Harbour Mt Chudalup’s large granite outcrop reaches 187 metres above sea level.
The best way to experience the fantastic views over the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and beyond is to take the Summit Walk Trail which leaves the picnic shelter at the carpark. Distance: 2km return.
Swimming, Fishing & Surf Beaches
Much of the wild coast of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park is only accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicle, however conventional vehicles can access the park at Salmon Beach and Windy Harbour where you can still see the rugged limestone cliffs and find good swimming, fishing and surf beaches. This access is approximately 50 minutes drive from Diamond Forest Farm Stay & very well worth the effort to see.
Still Water Activities
Big Brook Dam is only minutes from Pemberton Pool and has a small gently sloping man made beach that is just perfect for the whole family. It also has surrounding boardwalks and is the ideal spot for swimming, fishing, canoeing, walking or to just sit and enjoy the sounds of nature. Picnic and BBQ facilities are also available. Only 15 minutes drive from your cottage & something not to be missed.
Then there’s the historic Pemberton Pool – a beautiful “natural” pool in the shade of the Karri Forest. Formed in 1928 when public subscriptions enabled the dam wall to be built across the Lefroy Brook, it’s an ideal place for a family picnic. Once again just 15 minutes away from your cottage.
Moon’s Crossing between Pemberton and Northcliffe is another scenic spot for a picnic and also provides an opportunity for swimming if there is water in the pools.
Those visiting Pemberton in the spring are in for a treat as the karri forest is resplendent with a myriad of wildflowers – a tapestry of colours which seems to change week by week. The best time for viewing these is from September to mid November but this may vary from year to year with the weather. Flowers such as the tiny but exquisite orchids can best be seen on foot.
Pemberton spoils those who want to explore on foot. There are more than 20 trails close to town which are well marked and described in a guidebook. Trails range from short strolls to day and overnight hikes. The Bibbulmun Track, a long distance trail stretching from Perth to Albany, also passes through town.
Galleries, Studios & Crafts
Pemberton’s collection of galleries showcases a diverse array of workmanship from the glowingly beautiful handcrafted timber furniture, exquisite jewellery, unusual ceramics and glassware and a wide variety of paintings, prints and photographs, to lovingly hand sewn teddy bears and quilts and homemade soaps, candles, jams, preserves and beauty products. Just ask your Diamond Forest Farm Stay hosts for where to go for a particular experience, or visit them all!
Gold n Grape Gallery
Lavender and Berry Farm shop & Cafe
The Great Karri Cup Mountain Bike Challenge is one of Western Australia’s largest and longest running mountain bike events. It is held in the Southern Forests around the south west town of Northcliffe on Labour Day long weekend at the beginning of March each year.
Whether you are an experienced mountain bike competitor looking for an endurance challenge; a rider looking for an enjoyable and challenging ride through magnificent forest scenery in the company of others like you; or an occasional mountain bike competitor looking for your next challenge there’s something for everyone.
Stay in Pemberton or Northcliffe for the weekend and experience 100 kilometres of trails amongst the karri trees, some of the world’s tallest trees, a course for all ages and abilities, a fully supported, fully catered event with categories for teams and solo riders. With Australia’s largest mountain bike event there’s plenty of riding opportunities for everyone including the kids over the long weekend.
The Pemberton Cycle Classic. This cycle race is a regular event for the cycling road-racers out there, and along with the Great Karri Cup Mountain Bike Challenge around Northcliffe, it is also held on Labour Day long weekend at the beginning of March each year.
The event program has something for all ages including novelty events for the younger children; the Criterium “Race around the Town”; and the Road Race which takes in the beautiful surroundings of Pemberton’s farmland, vineyards and karri trees over a 40km circuit, with varying distances for different grades.
The Pemberton Cycle Classic is fast becoming a major event on the Western Australian Cycling Calendar, with a substantial prize pool and featuring some of the best cycling talent in WA on a challenging circuit.
Karri Valley Triathlon. Set 22km out of Pemberton, the Karri Valley Triathlon is set among the towering Karri forests, which have become an attraction for many visitors to Western Australia. Triathletes are drawn to the region for the opportunity to swim in the clean, freshwater lake, ride among the towering Karri forests and to run along winding bush trails.
Set on the picturesque banks of Lake Beedelup, and given TWA Series Race status in 2005, the Karri Valley Triathlon has become one of the premier events on the Western Australian Triathlon calendar. Held in February/March each year this event has rapidly grown to be one of the most popular events in WA, proving to be a fantastic getaway for tri-athletes and their families, and for spectators too.
Pemberton Unearthed Festival
The Pemberton Unearthed Festival is held every year in Autumn. A two week long event that encourages visitors to explore beyond the gate with art, heritage, food, wine and adventure. Events include such things as workshops, seeing behind the scenes on some of the areas largest producers, long table lunches, art and heritage trails.
The mission of the Festival is to open up the region by encouraging visitors off the beaten track to meet the locals at their labours. The Southern Forest region, while often visited, hides much of its treasures behind the farm gate, artists studios, and local secrets. The Festival aims to open and share these to give the visitor a real taste of life in the region. The Festival is a showcase of the regions premier food and wine producers, culinary professionals, art, heritage and natural beauty.