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The Cascades is located 3km from
Pemberton in Gloucester National Park, and
the spectacular Beedelup Falls is situated
22km west of town on Vasse Highway. South
of Northcliffe, Lane Poole Falls gushes
over 12m of boulder granite along the
Canterbury River. Fernhook Falls, located
along the Deep River near Walpole, is
another magnificent sight in winter.
This brand-new facility, officially opened
in July 2013, cost $1.14 million to build –
and it’s worth every penny for families
in the region. Let the kids run wild on
custom-made playground equipment
including a massive climbing net, cubbies,
slides, rides, sculptures of local animals
and – drumroll – a 40m double-cable flying
fox. They may never want to leave. There’s
also outdoor gym equipment, barbecues
and picnic spots. The park is open daily from
9am to 5pm from April until September,
The rugged coastline that is the D’Entrecasteaux National Park attracts serious anglers,
with its plentiful tailor, salmon and mulloway. While best tackled by 4WD, the park also
has 2WD access at Salmon Beach and Windy Harbour. Shoals of salmon can often be
spotted from Tookalup Lookout at Point D’Entrecasteaux – one of the few areas of
the park accessible to 2WD vehicles and also the starting point for many walk trails.
Freshwater trout and redfin perch can be hooked throughout the year and the highly
sought-after marron is plentiful during open season (check dates at www.fish.wa.gov.au,
they change annually). WA’s trout-fishing epicentre can be found at Pemberton’s Warren
and Donnelly rivers, but if you snag a redfin perch be aware they’re a serious pest in this
region and it’s illegal to throw them back in the water if caught – luckily they’re good
eating. Walpole is surrounded by one of the first marine parks in Western Australia. The
Walpole and Nornalup Inlets Marine Park supports the highest diversity of fish species in
any WA estuary, with about 40 marine and estuarine fish species to be found in the park’s
waters, the most common of them being black bream, King George whiting and flathead.
A variety of sharks and rays are also found here. The inlet system and surrounding area
provide a diverse mosaic of aquatic and terrestrial habitats. Fringing habitats include
forest, heathland, swamps and beaches. Inhabiting this diverse landscape are some 150
bird species, including hooded plovers, pelicans, ospreys, swamphens, ducks, and many
more water, shore and sea birds.
after which it remains open daily until 8pm.
Entry is free.
There are several ways to explore this 10km
body of sand near Pemberton; by 4WD (this
is only suitable for experienced drivers due
to the isolated and chancy terrain), on
a guided trip with a local tour company
(check with the visitor centre for details), or
by foot (take the sandy track leading to the
dunes from the car park at Yeagarup Lake).
But be sure to take note of where you are
at all times – it’s easy to get lost, and you’ll
need to follow the same route out.
Canoeing is a big pastime in the Southern
Forests. The Blackwood River is the longest
continually flowing waterway in the
southwest and offers up plenty of challenges
think rapids, bends, rocks and submerged
trees – so pay attention. Skilled paddlers
will also get a kick out of Warren River
in Pemberton, courtesy of its snags and
outcrops. The Frankland River in winter
is popular for whitewater rafting (but the
rapids at Circular Pool should really only
be tackled by those with superior skills.)
During flood weather the river’s an altered
experience, so approach with extreme care.
The protected Broke Inlet, near Walpole,
is also a safe, calm spot. Paddle from
the towns of Nornalup, up the prestine
Frankland River to Monastery Landing where
karri forest towers above the river. Sample
Mount Frankland National Park via Deep
River (a main tributary of the Walpole and
Nornalup Inlets, also good for kayaking and
canoeing options). Visit www.water.wa.gov.
au for information on river conditions.
There are plenty of gourmet treasures
waiting to be unearthed in Manjimup,
including the Perigord truffle – or ‘black
gold’ as it’s known in these parts. The
season runs from late May to early
September, and the highlight of the
calendar is the Truffle Kerfuffle, celebrating
the marvellous fungi each year in June.
If you prefer sweet rather than savoury
treats, don’t miss Manjimup’s Cherry
Harmony Festival at the end of the year
(see Events, opposite). From June to July,
keep a lookout for opportunities to pick
Fernhook Falls, Walpole
(photography Katrina Bartley).
Local fly fishing (photography Stonebarn).
The Blue Cruiser trail at
Pemberton Forest Mountain Bike
Park (photography Jake Hannah).
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