Often known as the road less travelled, this hidden jewel in Western Australia's South West is an assortment of nature, adventure, culture, fine wine & produce. It's an unhurried and enchanting experience and one where you're more likely to encounter a tree than a person.
If escapism is on the cards or you're up for some 'shinrin-yoku' (a Japanese term meaning "forest bathing"), then you've found the right locale. Sourthern Forests and Valleys is a region which includes the townships of Bridgetown, Nannup, Greenbushes, Manjimup, Pemberton, Northcliffe and Walpole - and each and every one of these quaint townships holds at least one stand out natural attraction or trails experience.
The region is renowned by bushwalkers, hikers and bike riders for being the stomping ground for around 350 kilometres of Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi. But you don't have to be an experienced multi-day trail user to enjoy these or the other trails in the spectacular region.
Bridgetown is the home to Jarrah Park - an easily accessible well-marked leafy walking trail which allow you to experience an array of karri, marri, blackbutt and jarrah trees in the one location.
Bird watching enthusiasts will love what's on offer at Beedelup National Park or history and heritage buffs can learn about the importance of country for the Aboriginal Noongar custodians of the South West through a 400 metre universally accessible loop trail at Point D’Entrecasteaux.
Greenbushes offers an insight into a different aspect of history, with its Mining Heritage Walk trail or join onto a section of the Bibbulmun Track from this historic town.
The Ancient Empire walk in Walpole is an easy interpretative trail located at the well-known Valley of the Giants in the Walpole-Nornalup National Park. It meanders across the forest floor between 400-year-old red-tingle trees. Walking into the hollows of the giant tingle trees is an experience not to be missed and a lovely day out for families with children.
Also near Walpole, is a spectacular section of the Bibbulmum track along coastal cliffs. This day hike from Conspicuous Cliffs Beach to Rame Head Campsite is about 7km return.
But it's not all about tranquillity. This region offers a good share of adventure and challenge with Nannup’s mountain bike trails which offer a mix of kid-friendly through to epic. The Pemberton Mountain Bike Park is another option, with the relatively short trails (Relentless Blue and Cool Runnings)will have you coming back for more - all set in the heart of the giant Karri forests. There's even an Anklebiters Loop for the littlies.
If you're able, climbing the Bicentennial and Gloucester Trees should be on your bucket list. At 65 and 53 metres tall, these trees will get your blood pumping but the view from the top is astounding.
- Hiking: Bibbulmun Track - multi-day or short hikes
- 4WD: Yeagarup Dunes to Warren Beach Track
- Bike: Munda Biddi bike trail, Pemberton and Nannup Mountain Bike Trails
- Walk: Ancient Empire Walk (Valley of the Giants), Walpole, Jarrah Park - Bridgetown
- Bicentennial and Gloucester Trees