Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 018 Contents June-December 2010 Scoop Traveller 187
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insider Southern Forest
MOUNTAIN BIKERS The new
Pemberton Mountain Bike Track
was completed early in 2010 and
is already attracting cyclists from
around the world. You’ll find it
near Pemberton Pool, just out
of the town centre. Everyone
from first-timers to experts will
enjoy the Jump Track– where the
platforms range from 0.8-1 .5m in
height– and the X-Country Skills
Loop. These courses are family
friendly, suitable for kids and
can be easily covered in a day.
NATURE LOVERS From mid-
September to November, the
floor of the Southern Forest will
be sprinkled with magnificent
wildflowers, including a variety
of orchids and bottlebrush. Ask
the local visitor centre for tips on
where to find them, but a good
display can usually be found
in the Warren, Shannon and
D’Entrecasteaux national parks.
The latter is also a great spot for
whale-watching through August
FOOD LOVERS They say the thrill
is in the chase. That certainly rings
true with some of the interactive
food experiences on offer here.
Until late August, join a truffle
hunt at The Manjimup Wine and
Truffle Co, which offers daily
tours and a chance to sample this
fungi delicacy. At luxury retreat
Stonebarn, the first harvest of
black truffles is also expected this
winter. Book in for a special Truffle
Weekend, which includes truffle-
inspired, three-course meals.
FISHING FANATICS From
September on you just may catch
one of the trout this region is
famous for. And, as the weather
warms up, a marron or two. Buy a
licence at local post offices. There
are lovely spots to throw in a line
along The Maidenbush Trail in the
Warren National Park. Or go to
King Trout Cafe in Pemberton on
the banks of the Warren River,
where can hire a rod to snare some
tasty trout. The chef will then
prepare your catch for lunch.
Graeme Dearle is one of the region’s top authorities on 4WDing and his company,
Pemberton Discovery Tours, has attracted many awards for his local knowledge
and skill. Here, he gives an insight into the region’s best tracks and how you can
experience them. So, if you are looking to inject a little adrenaline into your holiday,
Graeme assures us that Southern Forest is home to some of the most exciting 4WD
territory in Australia, including the spectacular Yeagarup Dune.
You operate 4WD tours out of Pemberton, what do these involve? We focus
on areas most people, sometimes even locals, don’t know about. We go into
the heart of the old growth karri forest and the Yeagarup Dune, then onto the
beach. The morning tour has lunch provided and in the afternoons we have
home-baked Anzac cookies compliments of the father-in-law.
Are people able to tag-a-long in their own vehicles? Yeah, often people want
to try out their new beast or they might lack the confidence to go on their own.
But we also get a lot of very experienced drivers.
What are some of the other 4WD tracks you’d recommend? Summertime
Track is popular, but obviously only accessible in summer months. Then there is
the Calcup Circuit and a trip from Lake Jasper to Black Point. People can also
access the beach I go on to, which covers around 30km. There are two exit
points, one at Calcup Hill (also known as Warren Hill). It has a bit of a legendary
status because some cars make it down but can’t make it back up again. You
can also use the river mouth – but I don’t recommend anyone to cross there,
as it is possible to get stuck.
What are your safety tips for driving in these areas? When you go off-road,
you’re travelling into some very remote areas. You might not get telephone
coverage and if you break down, you might not see anyone for a couple of days.
I think a shovel, compressor and a few decent maps of the area are essential.
You need to reduce tyre pressures not only so you can drive on sand, but to
reduce your impact on the environment as well. That’s probably one of the most
important things to remember – that a little bit of responsibility goes with four-
wheel driving. After all, if you go and wreck the environment, it won’t be there
to enjoy in the future. For more information on 4WDing tours in this region, visit
gRAEME DEARLE |
Beach + dune 4WDing
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