The South West of the State of Western Australia is not only known for its coasts with extraordinary landscapes and wild beaches, but also for its forests of giant eucalyptus trees.
Between Denmark and Pemberton, the forest landscapes are majestic and will make you feel tiny.
Valley of the giants
The forests of the Southwest have been and still are exploited for their wood.
With a single tree, which can reach 90 meters in height, one can build a house.
The species found here and nowhere else are Karri, Jarrah and Tingle.
Today, vast nature reserves protect part of these forests and offer numerous possibilities for discovery and hiking.
The Walpole and Nornalup region is home to the Valley of the Giants, an interpretive trail that winds between giant eucalyptus trees, the Red Tingles, which reach 50 meters in height.
The "Treetop Walk" is an installation accessible to all which allows you to explore the canopy at a height of about forty meters, on a suspension bridge.
The national park covers almost 20 hectares of Karri and Tingle forests and wetlands.
Nearby, Mount Frankland is a good hike with great views of the area.
The very diverse vegetation contains many plants that grow nowhere else.
The National Park offers campsites in the middle of nature, especially near rivers where it is possible to go canoeing.
A little further, in Shannon National Park, a marked route, the "Great Forest Tree Drive", will teach you more about the region and its natural wonders (audio commentary by radio).
One of the highlights of a visit to the region for those who are not shy is certainly Gloucester National Park, as it allows you to climb three of these giant trees.
In the 1940s, we had the idea of using the tallest trees as forest fire monitoring posts: the trees were equipped with steel pitons rising in a spiral to the top, at a height of about sixty meters.
If you are not prone to vertigo and if you are athletic, do not miss this incredible experience.
You can climb three trees, the highest and best known being the Gloucester Tree (60m).
To get your legs up, you can start with the Bicentennial Tree, with its mid-height platform.
The region can be visited easily because the distances are not very important between the interesting places.
A rental car is a good solution to fully enjoy your visit. Some brave people prefer the bike.
The towns of Denmark and Pemberton are very friendly with a somewhat timeless atmosphere.
The forests of the Southwest are an ideal place for nature lovers and hikers.
A unique place in the world which is now equipped for tourism in the most ecological way possible.
See also our activity: Blue Mountains and Jenolan Caves
V.M. Schoelzke © Azureva.com