The South of Western Australia offers great landscape diversity. We drove along rocky coasts, pure white sand beaches, golden wheat fields, mountain ranges… And while driving from Margaret River to Denmark, it was all about the beautiful Karri forests.
The Boranup Forest Scenic Drive
We started with the Boranup forest scenic drive. It was a pleasant, short detour on our way South and an introduction to the karri trees, a species of eucalyptus that can be over 60 metres high. We raised the level the next day with more serious and impressive experiences for tree lovers and sensation seekers.
Karri are very tall eucalyptus that can be found in the West of Western Australia. Their size is impressive, and there are opportunities to experience the forest as you may never have before!
Climbing the trees that were once fire towers
Most of the drive from Augusta to Denmark was around beautiful forests. That’s when you get the first opportunity to reach a unique point of view on these forests: you can climb to the top of the trees. Around Pemberton and the Warren Forest, they constructed fire lookout towers using the tall karri trees. Three of them remain and, surprisingly, are open to the public. You can just go there and climb the precarious and insecure ladder to the top of the trees. Well, if you’re not scared. The Diamond Tree is 51 metres high, the Gloucester Tree is 61 meters high, and the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree is 75 metres high!
We stopped at the highest one, Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree. I knew straight away I would not be able to climb it. My injured knee and my fear of heights were not good combos for this risky activity. It scared me enough to watch a group of teenagers almost racing to the top.
The suspended Tree Top Walk in the Valley of the Giants
The Valley of the Giants gave me a second chance with more secured and accessible platforms.
The Tree Top Walk is a lot less natural than the Warren-Forest: it is a 600-meters boardwalk with a gentle gradient suspended up to 40 meters high. Anyone can get the chance to enjoy the canopy and the giant old trees from an unusual point of view. The accessibility comes at a price: the entry fee costs more than $20 per adult.
Still, the magic happens: these trees are huge, and the stories they tell about them are fascinating.
A short walk at the base takes the visitors around the Tingle Trees, a species that evolved to cope with bushfires. They seem dead – we could even walk through them – but when you look up you realise they are actually still alive.
Would you climb the fire-tower trees? Or would you prefer the Tree Top Walk? Leave a comment below!
Where are these forests between Margaret River and Denmark?
We crossed the big karri forest during the second part of our road trip around the South of Western Australia, as we left the Margaret River region to reach the Denmark/Albany area.
The Valley of the Giants is on the south coast of Western Australia, in Walpole, just near the more famous Denmark. It’s about 400 km from Perth.
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