With so much to do, Pemberton is a popular spot for a weekend getaway with families, couples and solo travellers. No matter what you’re looking to do during your holiday there’s something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to spend majority of the time relaxing in a chalet with only one or two trips to the local must sees or you’re looking to truly immerse yourself in nature and the serene Pemberton surroundings, we’ve put together a list of scenic spots and activities that we think are worth visiting in this post, the best 18 things to do in Pemberton.
1. Climb the World’s Tallest Treetop Lookout Tree – The Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree
Pemberton is known for its beautiful karri trees, which is why the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree should be on the top of your ‘things to do in Pemberton’ list. Perfect for adventurers and thrill-seekers, there’s no better way to experience the beauty of the Karri trees than to be amongst them.
At 65 metres tall the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree is the world’s tallest fire lookout tree. It was pegged for climbing in 1988 in celebration of Australia’s bicentenary and is now open to the general public to climb. While the climb up the tree is not recommended for the faint hearted or anyone who is afraid of heights, those who do venture up to the top are rewarded with 360 degree views of the surrounding Karri forest.
Note: park entry fees do apply for the Warren National Park. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants). If you’re visiting multiple national parks during your time away we would recommend getting a holiday pass or an annual all parks pass as these will be better value for money. Holiday passes are available for 5 days, 14 days or 4 weeks and annual all parks passes are available for a full year.
2. Take on a 53m Climb at the Gloucester Tree
As the smaller sibling of the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, The Gloucester Tree is the world’s second tallest fire lookout tree at 53m in height. The Gloucester Tree was selected to be used as a fire lookout tree in 1947 and was one of eight fire lookout trees built in the south-west region between 1937 and 1952. Previously used to check for signs of bushfire smoke, the Gloucester Tree is now also open to the public and can be climbed.
The tree also features a platform in its upper branches that shows views of the surrounding Karri forest and farmland. So adventurers and thrill-seekers who take on the climb will be rewarded with stunning scenery at the top.
Similarly to the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, park entry fees also apply for the Gloucester National Park. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants). As noted previously, if you’re visiting multiple national parks a holiday pass or an annual all parks pass would be better value for money.
3. Have a Relaxing Picnic or Refreshing Dip at the Pemberton Pool
Pemberton Pool is a historic swimming pool that has become a tourist must see when visiting Pemberton. Besides being a great place for a swim the natural pool is stunning as it’s surrounded by towering karri trees, making it not only the perfect spot for a BBQ, a picnic or a swim but a scenic spot, perfect for photos.
The pool was constructed in the late 1920s for the families of the timber workers and has been loved by both locals and visitors ever since. It features different sections, with varying water height ranges from knee and chest-deep to very deep, making it perfect for all ages.
4. Hike to the Summit of Mount Chudalup
Now Mount Chudalup technically isn’t in Pemberton, it’s around a 40 minute drive out of Pemberton, but it’s definitely a drive that we think is worth making when you’re visiting Pemberton. It was one of the highlights of our trip which is why we’ve included it in this list of the best things to do in Pemberton.
Mount Chudalup is a 185 metre tall granite dome that is located in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. The hike to the top of the dome is short and scenic, taking less than an hour, meaning you have no excuse not to take the short detour! While the hike has some steep sections, any reasonably fit person can reach the top without any strenuous effort.
Anyone who makes the effort to hike to the top of the granite dome is rewarded with 360 degree views of the surrounding forest, the coast and the Yeagarup Dunes. We were in awe at how far you could see from the summit and how beautiful it was up there.
Park entry fees apply for the D’Entrecasteaux National Park. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants). As noted previously, if you’re visiting multiple national parks a holiday pass or an annual all parks pass would be better value for money.
5. Immerse Yourself in Nature at Beedelup Falls
If you’re looking for a spot to immerse yourself into nature, this is the spot for you. At Beedelup Falls you can enjoy the sight and sounds of a waterfall in the heart of the Karri forest. Listen to the serene sounds of flowing water and tweeting birds, amongst the stunning greenery of Jarrah and Karri trees.
The walk from the carpark to the Beedelup Falls is 300 metres long, however the walk itself is a sight to be seen. The walk features a 25 metre suspension bridge that has incredible views of the falls. Below is a photo of the suspension bridge.
The falls are a perfect spot to visit year round however winter and spring is when they’re flowing at their strongest.
Park entry fees apply for the Greater Beedelup National Park. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants). As noted previously, if you’re visiting multiple national parks a holiday pass or an annual all parks pass would be better value for money.
6. Go Strawberry Picking at Smashastrawb Farm
Have a fun day strawberry picking at Smashastrawb farm. The farm is located 20 minutes away from Pemberton in Smithbrook. Smashastrawb strawberries are grown with love in WA’s Manjimup Southern Forests Region in premium quality soil to give you juicy and delicious tasting strawberries.
Smashastrawb is open to pick your own on Saturdays and Sundays during strawberry season between 10am and 1:30pm. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the entry fee is $5 and a box is $12. And that includes snacking on strawberries as you go!
If you don’t want to pick your own but still want to get your hands on some delicious strawberries, Smashastrawb do sell already packed strawberries. Unfortunately on the weekend that we were in town Smashastrawb were closed for picking so we weren’t able to go strawberry picking, however we managed to buy a huge box of their seconds for just $12 (which is a bargain as the box contained around 4kg of strawberries!) and they were AMAZING.
7. Indulge in a Delicious Meal at The Lakeside Restaurant
Enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Beedelup over a delicious meal at The Lakeside Restaurant at RAC Karri Valley Resort in Beedelup. The restaurant overlooks the lake and is surrounded by the lush Karri forests, providing the ultimate tranquil scenery for you to enjoy.
Available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the restaurant chooses only the best local produce and premium wine from the Great Southern Forest food and wine region, so no matter what meal you’re dropping in for it’s bound to be delicious. From smashed avocado at breakfast to steak rueben sandwiches for lunch and smoked trout papardelle for dinner.
Images are taken from the RAC Parks and Resorts website.
8. Swim, Kayak and Fish the Day Away at the Big Brook Dam
Big Brook Dam is another popular swimming spot with a glorious setting. The freshwater dam was built in 1986 to supplement the local water supply but is now the perfect spot for locals and tourists to go for swimming, kayaking, or fishing. Surrounded by the Karri forest, with clear water and a sandy beach, the Big Brook Dam is a must visit when you’re in the area.
Spend the day at the Big Brook Dam, which has facilities such as toilets, shelters and picnic tables.
There’s a sealed 4km walk trail that takes you around the shore of the dam if you’d like to take on a scenic walk or cycle to further appreciate the beautiful surrounds. The trail does allow for stroller and wheelchair access.
9. Chocoholics Rejoice at the Southern Forests Chocolate Company
Nestled in the heart of the Karri forest is a chocolate lovers paradise, the Southern Forests Chocolate Company. Support local and enjoy hand-crafted artisan chocolate. This boutique chocolate stop serves up handmade truffles, chocolate bars, hot chocolates and coffee. Sit outside and enjoy their chocolate goodies yourself or grab the ultimate chocolate gift for a loved one.
Using homegrown and local ingredients, the chocolatiers create their own unique masterpieces, with heavenly chocolate bar flavours such as mango and salted roast coconut and bravo apple, nutmeg and cinnamon. Open everyday of the week from 10am to 4pm, make sure to pop by.
10. Appreciate the Tranquility of the Cascades
Amongst the Karri trees in the Gloucester National park are the Cascades, which are a series of rocky rapids and little waterfalls. The Cascades are a great place to visit all year round, with a gentle flow in summer and a powerful flow after heavy rain or in winter. Either time of year, the Cascades are an picturesque and impressive sight.
Want to enjoy the falls a little longer? Hit the Lefroy Brook Loop Walk, which is the short 1.5km trail that loops around the Cascades. Besides the stunning views of the Cascades the trail itself is picturesque and peaceful, with lush green surroundings and the gentle sound of water flowing. The trail is relatively short and easy, making it perfect for everyone no matter their fitness level or age.
Park entry fees apply for the Gloucester National Park. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the price is $15 per standard vehicle (with 12 or less occupants). As noted previously, if you’re visiting multiple national parks a holiday pass or an annual all parks pass would be better value for money.
If you’re looking for a more unique and exciting way to see the falls, checkout our next recommendation.
11. Go Back in History with the Pemberton Tramway Co
Looking for a unique way to see the majestic beauty of Pemberton? The Pemberton Tramway Co offer breathtakingly beautiful tram rides that take you deep in the Pemberton forest. Your tram driver will teach you about the long-standing history of the region as you pass the towering Karri and Marri trees and travel over trestle bridges that cross rivers and streams.
The tram leaves Pemberton, goes past the Saw Mill and to the Cascades, where you get to stop and enjoy the falls for 25 minutes before returning to Pemberton. Take the tram during the springtime and be rewarded with vibrant wildflowers lighting up the surrounding forest.
At the time of writing this (December 2022) the ride costs $28 per adult and $14 per child (kids under 2 are $4). The ride lasts 75 minutes in total and runs Monday to Saturday.
12. Explore the Karri Forest by Kayaking Warren River
Explore the majestic Karri forest by water and spend the day kayaking the pristine Warren River. A must do for any avid kayakers visiting Pemberton. There’s nothing more relaxing that listening to the birds chirping high in the Karri trees and the gentle flow of water as your paddle wades through the water.
The Warren National Park is well setup for kayakers with multiple canoe/kayak launches, including at; Maiden Bush, Warren Camp, Drafty’s Camp and Blackbutt. The river within the national park is graded as white water grade 2 as it features some small rapids which are a fun, yet achievable challenge for both beginner and experienced kayakers.
13. Tackle Steep Slopes and Soft Sand at Yeagarup Sand Dunes
Another popular spot outside of Pemberton, the Yeagarup Sand Dunes have become a must do for experienced four wheel drivers. A 50 minute drive away from Pemberton the drive across the sand dunes is challenging, with soft sand and steep slopes, giving even the most experienced four wheel driver an adrenaline rush. The challenge is worth it with rewarding views of Yeagarup Beach on the other side of the dunes. The beach is also a great spot for some fishing and sightseeing. There is a designated route across the dunes that is marked with posts, make sure to follow these to ensure you stay on track.
Besides the thrill of the drive, just looking at the Yeagarup Sand Dunes is a must do when in Pemberton. Visiting the Yeagarup Sand Dunes is like being in another world. One side of the massive 10km long body of dunes is swallowing the dense forest, and the other side connects to the vibrant blue water of Yeagarup Beach. The dunes in the middle almost look out of place, giving a desert feel, contrasting the scenery that surrounds them.
Another great way to explore the dunes is by foot, just make sure to be cautious and listen out for passing vehicles.
14. Karri Forest Explorer Self Drive
Experience the best of Pemberton without a guide and in the comfort of your own car, at your own pace. The Karri Forest Explorer is an 86km scenic drive trail that winds through the magnificent Karri forests and takes you to all of the major attractions in Pemberton, from Big Brook Dam, Beedelup Falls, the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree and into the heart of Pemberton. Pick your own adventure, do a select portion of the drive or the full thing, either way you’re bound to have a great time. The drive consists of sealed roads and unsealed gravel roads and is suitable for 2WD vehicles. We managed to do portions of the drive in our 2WD Mercedes Sprinter van, we just drove a bit slower on the gravel roads.
Another popular drive is the scenic 12km Heartbreak Trail. The Heartbreak Trail also winds through the magnificent Karri forest before driving alongside the pristine Warren River.
15. Dive into the Towns History
Want to dive into Pemberton’s history? The town has a number of old buildings and historical items that help tell the story of Pemberton’s vibrant history. Below are just a few examples of how to dive deeper into Pemberton’s history:
- Visit the Pemberton Pioneer Museum and look back on how the early settlers used to live with historic items on display such as clothing, utensils and memorabilia.
- Walk through the town and view the old timber houses that are dotted throughout.
- View the historic Pemberton Mill Hall. Originally built in 1913 to function as a town hall, the hall has been used for a lot; as a schoolroom, as a Red Cross blood bank, as a local cinema and as a major community facility; hosting concerts, plays, dances, weddings and meetings.
- Climb into the old State Saw Steam No 7 in the Centennial Park Pemberton.
16. Catch Dinner at the Old Vasse Trout & Marron Farm
On the edge of the Warren National Park, nestled amongst the karri trees is the Old Vasse Trout & Marron Farm. Known for their premium quality trout and marron, what many don’t know about them is that the Old Vasse Trout & Marron Farm open up their private lake to the public. Beginner and experienced anglers can step up to the challenge and test their fishing skills, catching their own rainbow trout.
What you catch you must keep. At the time of writing this (December 2022) the fees are $15 entry per adult and $30 per kilogram of trout (which includes Old Vasse Trout & Marron Farm cleaning your catch). Haven’t packed your fishing rod? Don’t worry they offer rod hire for $5.
17. Support Local and Shop at a Roadside Stall
Support the local farmers and enjoy some of the most delicious fresh produce you’ll get your hands on, with a roadside stall in Pemberton. As you’re driving through Pemberton keep your eyes peeled for any stalls that are sat at the front of farms. You’ll see a range of different produce available depending on what’s in season, from avocados and fresh cut flowers to citrus and pumpkins. During our time in Pemberton we managed to score some delicious avocados from a roadside stall that was also selling lemons and flowers. Just make sure you have cash on hand as the roadside stalls are setup with an honesty box where you pay for the produce in a coin box.
Buying directly from a farm has so many benefits, including; more affordable prices, fresher produce and the confidence in knowing where your food comes from. You also get to support the local community and a farmer directly.
18. Enjoy One of the Many Pemberton Walk Trails
Put your hiking boots on, get outdoors and delight in the natural beauty of Pemberton with a walk trail. Pemberton has an abundance of amazing walk trails of varying difficulties, there’s really something for everyone. Some of the incredible walk trails Pemberton has on offer includes the following:
- Beedelup Falls walk trail
- Big Brook Dam walk trail
- Gloucester Route walk trail
- Gloucester Tree walk trail
- Lefroy Brook walk trail
- Lorikeet Stroll walk trail
- The Dukes walk trail
- Warren Lookout walk trail
- Warren River Loop walk trail
Enjoy your Visit to Pemberton
And there you have our list of things to do in Pemberton. We hope you enjoyed this post and we hope you have an amazing trip to Pemberton. Let us know what you thought of our recommendations and whether you have any additional recommendations for us.
If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Pemberton below.
How Far is Pemberton from Perth?
Pemberton is approximately 327km from Perth, which is about a 3.5-4.5 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Far is Pemberton from Albany?
Pemberton is approximately 230km from Albany, which is about a 2.5-3 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Many Days do you Need in Pemberton?
This depends on how you like to travel. Typically two days is enough time for you to see all of the major attractions however you may wish to stay longer if you want to travel slower or wish to see more of Pemberton than just the main attractions.
Is Pemberton Worth Visiting?
Definitely, there’s something for everyone, with so many things to do in Pemberton. From adrenaline pumping tree climbs, to refreshing swims, tranquil waterfalls and artisan local products. No matter what you’re looking to do you’re bound to have a great time either way.
What Region is Pemberton in?
Pemberton is in the South West region of Western Australia.
What Shire is Pemberton in?
Pemberton is in the Shire of Manjimup.
What is the Population of Pemberton WA?
Pemberton has a population of 974 (according to the 2016 Census).
How Old is Pemberton WA?
Pemberton was established in 1913 but wasn’t announced as a townsite until 1925. This makes Pemberton over 100 years old.
Why is Pemberton Called Pemberton?
Pemberton is named after Pemberton Walcott who explored the area around Warren River in 1861 with his nephew Edward Revely Brockman and brother in law Gerald de Courcy Lefroy. He then established Karri Dale farm in 1862 on the northern outskirts of what would eventually be Pemberton.
The name Pemberton was suggested as the town’s name by William Locke Brockman who was a local farmer and son of early settler Edward Reveley Brockman.