Exploring the National Parks surrounding Pemberton by 4WD can be an exhilarating experience – there are quite a number of 4WD destinations in the region which are fun to explore. These include; Marlimup Beach, Meerup River, Coodimurrup and Fish Creek, Broke Inlet, Yeagarup Dunes, Black Point, Lake Jasper not to mention the numerous ex-forestry trails through the Karri loam country.
Before you head out you may wish to take some advice from Graeme Dearle – owner Pemberton Discovery Tours.
The opportunity to load up the four wheel drive and head off is normally a priority for any avid four wheel outdoor adventurer. Escaping the madness of the city for something a little more simple and down to earth can make your adrenalin running just thinking about it.... Well, maybe it’s time to start planning your next trip down south!
Fortunately there are still some destinations left on the map in reasonable proximity from the city of Perth for some decent outdoor exploring. Pemberton is surrounded by a number of national parks encompassing a large mixture of forest drives and coastal experiences and located only a four hour drive south of Perth. It has become a popular destination over the years as a four wheel drive destination.
The D’Entrecasteaux National Park has the majority of four wheel drive opportunities. The park stretches 130km from Black Point, south of Augusta all the way down to Walpole, following some of the most spectacular coast line in Australia accessible only by four wheel drive vehicle and home to Western Australia’s true giant and the king of the forest (Eucalyptus diversicolor) Karri; the word majestic is the only word that truly describes this tree and its forest.
There are a number of ways to access the coast by four wheel drive vehicle - and in doing so you experience a complete contrast of landscapes. The pristine and isolation of our national parks needs to be appreciated and respected by all users, the opportunity to be able access this amazing country is a true privilege that has being lost elsewhere around Australia due to misuse and land use changes.
Four wheel driving can be a fun and rewarding experience – providing you keep in mind that it can be hazardous if you don’t have the appropriate expertise or are not travelling with the right equipment.
The minimum you should carry onboard:
A good supply of potable water
First aid kit
A good jack and base plate
If you have the right gear and the know how of using it you are more than likely to have a good time – also remember safety in numbers as you may require a second vehicle to get you out of that sticky situation. (Don’t rely on a recovery service as there isn’t one!!) If you need a tractor you will be required to fork out around $1000 - John has a high success rate and can be called on 9776 1432)
Whether you are experienced or just a novice there are tracks and circuits through the south west that can suit you. Remember that the road rules that apply on the main roads also apply off-road. The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) maintain the national parks and state forests so you have to abide by their rules whether they be in regards to tyre pressures or roads closed due to dieback, maintenance or safety issues.
For more detailed information on road conditions or any other national park information The Pemberton (DEC) office can be contacted on 08 9776 1207
There are a variety of different tracks in the national park that can be used to explore the park. Maps to help find your way around can be purchased in town at our shop - the Pemberton Discovery Centre.
One of the best circuits out of Pemberton is the Yeagarup/Warren Calcup Hill circuit. This is one of my favourite half day tagalong circuits in the park that I provide for anyone who may not know the area or may not have the expertise and confidence to attempt by themselves. This particular circuit can be restricted seasonally by the river mouth, and high tide.
Normally only accessible from December to April, unless you have the required skills or you are travelling with a responsible four wheel drive club or group, I wouldn’t recommend you attempt the crossing of the Warren River mouth or any other crossing in the park as a number of victims do come stuck on a annual basis.
You will need to reduce your tyre pressures to suit the current conditions in the Park this is not only to be able to gain access in to the sandy boggier areas but is to help maintain the condition of the track, reducing your impact on your visit is crucial in maintaining our access to this amazing area.
If you are looking at camping - you will not go past the Yeagarup Hut - a private group booking campsite you can book the whole facility! Visit www.wawilderness.com.au for more details.
Don’t forget to take out what you take in and report any one who disrespects the use of our National Park to the Police or DEC all you need is a rego. Visit www.lnt.org.au for Leave no trace Australia.
Litter reporters are able to report someone throwing litter or dumping matter from a car, trailer or boat to Keep Australia Beautiful Council by:
I’m on UHF 10.
Graeme Dearle is owner of Pemberton Discover Tours, and a certified trainer and assessor. He has been guiding in the region for over 16 years prior to that he was a field tech travelling off road through inland Australia.