The clear, crisp air and rich landscape of the Southern Forests region produce and nurture the magnificent forests of Karri, Marri and Tingle trees so closely associated with this picture-postcard area. Its exquisite landscapes are a blend of gently contoured, vine-clad hillsides, fertile orchards, majestic and ancient forests, and a coastline with exhilarating views across the vast Southern Ocean.
The Southern Forests begin around Manjimup where agricultural land is dotted with tall stands of magnificent Karri trees then journey further south towards the timber town of Pemberton. The forests get thicker here and you will see virgin Karri trees up to 300 years old protecting an amazing collection of forest flora and fauna.
Towards the southern coast lies the small town of Northcliffe, surrounded by towering forests, rich coastal plains and wetlands. It’s the gateway to the D’Entrecasteaux National Park and the spectacular cliff-tops of Point D’Entrecasteaux. Travel further to the town of Walpole, enjoying the dappled light of the forests, and stop to take a nature walk to delve further. The Walpole/Nornalup area is ‘Valley of the Giants’ country, known worldwide for its Tree Top Walk that rises almost 40 metres above ancient Tingle trees.
Southern Forests exhibits one of only five Mediterranean-type ecosystems in the world. The region has over 1500 species of flowering natives including colourful wisteria and stunning rare orchids. It is resplendent with wildflowers in the springtime, between August and December each year.
The Southern Forests coastal scenery is striking in its contrasts, with beautiful Karri forests meeting the rocky cliffs as they are pounded by the relentless Southern Ocean. It has 140km of the most magnificent coastline, from beautiful white sandy beaches to rugged sea cliffs and spectacular dunes.
The Bibbulmun Track
The world famous Bibbulmun Track meanders through the Southern Forests region presenting a unique opportunity to appreciate the vast and ever changing scenery. The entire track stretches 963 kilometres from Kalamunda to Albany, with over 381 kilometres of its winding its trails traversing the forest and beaches of this diverse region.
Munda Biddi Trail
The Munda Biddi Trail was opened in June 2013 for cyclists. The trail runs from Perth through a 1,000km of the South West of Western Australia and is anticipated to become a world renown cycle trail.
The region boasts a number of tranquil inlets, streams and rivulets, brimming with life. Trout, perch, fresh water cobbler and marron present popular hunting opportunities in the fertile rivers and streams in our region. Marron is a very large freshwater crayfish native to the permanent rivers in forested, high rainfall areas of the south west. Licences for Trout and Marron fishing can be obtained from the local Post Office.
Steeped in history, from the pioneering timber industry, the rich soils and cooler climate of the region now produce award-winning wines. It has grown to take its place as the third largest grape growing area in Western Australia. Many boutique wineries offer cellar door sales and tastings, with restaurants, cafes and galleries springing up amongst them. Take the opportunity to sample a variety of quality wines amidst the ambience of rambling rivers, magnificent forests and beautiful lush countryside.
The Southern Forests region could well be called the gourmet food bowl of Western Australia. It is rich with fine produce at all times of the year, reflecting the influence of our European cultural heritage. Producing niche epicurean treats including boutique wines, roasted chestnuts (a delightful Easter treat), cheeses, ginseng, green tea and, more recently, the black truffle. Complemented by dairy products, beef, lamb, marron, perch, trout, smoked products, rainforest water…the list goes on and on.
Festivals and events
Festivals and events embody rural WA’s hospitality and sense of community. Southern Forests host many notable events, including the Manjimup Moto Madness in June, the JB Ipsen Golf Classic in October, Truffle Kerfuffle in June and the Cherry Harmony Festival in December, to name but a few.
For those looking for a bit more action, Southern Forests host some great cycling events including the Northcliffe Great Karri Ride for mountain bike enthusiasts, and the Pemberton Cycling Classic for road bikes, on the March long weekend.
If walking is one of your passions the Southern Forest region has a plethora of trails to choose from. To find a trail to suit your needs this link www.warrenblackwood.com.au will assist you in making the choice.
The Shire has a number of small settlements iincluding Jardee, Deanmill and Quinninup. These settlements are worth a visit as they keep part of our history alive. Quinninup has a website to peruse through this link
Green Tea in Manjimup
Over the years Japanese green tea varieties have been trialled in Manjimup by the Green Tea Partnership Group. During this time work was undertaken to ensure that the tea could be successfully grown in the area, trial green tea varieties, ensure quality was satisfactory and establish yields.
The Four Aces
These four majestic karri trees are around 230 years old and stand in Indian file a short distance from the road, about 1 km past One Tree Bridge on Graphite Road. This is a beautiful area which is well worth a visit. An informative display of karri forest evolution is located here.
Warren National Park
At Warren National Park near Pemberton you can go bush walking through ancients forests of karri trees, some nearly 90 metres high or sitting by the river. Walk trails wind through the forest floor – you’ll feel dwarfed by these old growth giants. You can climb some of the tallest karri trees which were once used as fire lookout towers.
Vineyards and Wineries
The Southern Forests produces fine wine and fresh produce year round, and is the third largest wine grape growing area in Western Australia. The landscape is a blend of vineyards, orchards and towering forests with the magnificent Karri trees.
The Shire of Manjimup Heritage Trail
The Shire of Manjimup Heritage Trail is a living trail that is designed to preserve and celebrate the stories that connect the communities within the Shire.
The project itself evolved from the communities preparations for the Shires centenary in 2008. The pressing need to preserve our stories and share them with locals and visitors became a hot topic throughout this period.