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Welcome to BikeRoundOZ - Self guided tour itinerary sample page
The information below is a typical page from one of our itineraries. You can see it contains details of the route, distance, things to see on the way and background information on each area. You'll also receive maps with your itinerary with the route clearly marked so that it is easy to follow as you travel...
Albany to Pemberton 244km:
Leaving Albany you’ll find that Denmark is the next main town along the South Coast Highway.
Denmark is a popular and attractive town noted for its excellent fishing, the diversity of landscape (from rugged coastline to tall timber country) and the quietness of an area which has not been over-developed or commercialised.
The first European to explore the district was Dr Thomas Braidwood Wilson in 1829. A surgeon with the Royal Navy Wilson decided to explore the land to the west of Albany while his ship was laid up in King George III Sound. The Wilson Inlet was named after him by Governor Stirling and Wilson named Denmark after a colleague, Dr Alexander Denmark.
In 1884 Edwin and Charles Millar took out timber leases in the area. Denmark really became established as a town in 1895 when the Millar brothers built a number of timber mills on the banks of the Denmark River to process the giant karri trees which were felled inland and exported to Britain, China, India, Africa and South America where they were used for everything from paving blocks to wharf piles and telegraph poles. The town grew rapidly to handle the large labour force required to run the mills which, at their peak, were employing 750 men and producing 90 000 super feet of timber a day. At that rate of consumption the timber industry was bound to be short-lived. The mills only lasted from 1895–1905.
A few mill workers stayed on after the mill closed. In 1907 the Western Australian government bought out all Millars interests in the town - the buildings, the mills and the railway. By 1911 dairying had taken over as the major industry in the area.
Today the town's economy is sustained by a combination of tourism, timber, dairying, beef cattle and fishing. Tourism has become increasingly important since World War II. During the war American soldiers stationed in Albany would often make day trips to Denmark and this encouraged the establishment of tea rooms and souvenir shops.
Things to see:
The Bandstand: One of the town's more unusual attractions is a bandstand located on the river bank with the seating for listeners on the other side of the river. The acoustics of the bandstand are such that the quality of sound which travels across the river is excellent.
Exploring the Coast: Denmark's great appeal lies in its proximity to some of the most beautiful coastline in the country. The easiest access points are Ocean Beach Road which runs south from the town to the mouth of Wilson Inlet, and William Bay National Park, 15 km west of Denmark, which has the delightful Green's Pool natural rock swimming pool as well as Tower Hill and the fishing spots at Madfish Bay. One of the highlights of the coast is the remarkable waterfall at Madfish Bay where tumbles over the cliffs and into the sea. The coastal views here are quite remarkable.
Heritage Trails: The publication Heritage Trails in the Denmark District: Exploration and Settlement in the Tall Timber Country offers three trails in the area. There is the Mokare Heritage Trail, a 3 km walk along both sides of the Denmark river from the main road bridge to the old railway bridge. There is the Denmark Timber Heritage Trail, a 20 km drive, cycle or walk along Scotsdale Road which focuses on the timber industry which thrived in the area in the 1890s. This trail offers a fascinating insight into the establishment of the town and the way timber was extracted and processed. And there is the 9 km Wilson Inlet Heritage Trail which runs along Wilson Inlet from Ocean Beach Road to Crusoe Beach Road.
Walpole is a small town 66km west of Denmark Walpole. It is situated on the shallow Walpole Inlet. This inlet has a depth of no more than 1 metre and is fed by the Walpole River. The Nornalup Inlet nearby is both deeper and larger and is fed by the Frankland River and the Deep River. The two inlets are connected by a one kilometre long channel.
Three kilometres east of Walpole in the Nornalup-Walpole National Park is the Knoll Scenic Drive. This 5 km drive provides panoramic views of both inlets, passes through a beautiful Karri forest and provides good picnic and fishing spots.
Don’t miss the Tree Top Walk. You can explore this famous forest of gigantic tingle trees-from the forest floor and from 40 metres up in the canopy. The world class Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk soars gently upwards amidst the Tingle foliage and opens up a world of birds and flowers that most people never see. The walkway has gained international attention for its innovative design and the exciting experience it offers.
Descend to the boardwalks below and explore the "Ancient Empire" - a grove of impressive veteran tingle trees.
Shortly before Walpole a short gravel road leads you to the Giant Tingle Tree. It is more than 450 years old and you can easily park a car in the hollow created in its trunk by fire.
Pemberton is a one-time timber town set amidst rolling hills and surrounded by forests of magnificent karri, jarrah and marri trees. Pemberton's main attractions focus on the timber industry. There are the giant Gloucester and Bicentennial Trees, an old timber carrying railway line, a museum which focuses on the timber industry and a number of pleasant drives through the forests which surround the town. As timber has declined in importance the town has increasingly become a tourist destination and, like so much of the rest of Australia, some people have sought their fortune by planting vineyards.
The Tourist Bureau, located in Brockman Street, is housed in a building which dates back to1912. Apart from providing information for visitors to the district (The excellent booklet Pemberton & Northcliffe Holiday Guide is a handy guide to the attractions in the area) the building also houses the town's Pioneer Timber Museum which has an extensive display of memorabilia and photographs from the town's early timber days. Ask about the Self Drive Tours and Karri Forest Explorer and they’ll give you a great map detailing routes around the beautiful countryside and along the local rivers. Some of the nicest roads are gravel and so take your time and be careful especially if it’s wet.
The first European to settle near Pemberton was Edward Brockman, the son of one of the original Swan River Colony settlers, who arrived in the area in 1861. Brockman decided that the area was ideal for raising and breeding horses. With his wife, Capel Bussell (the daughter of John Bussell - the original settler in the Busselton area), he managed to establish a successful business in the area.
In spite of Brockman's claims to be the first European settler in the area the town was named after Pemberton Walcott who arrived in the area in 1862 and departed two years later.
Settlement throughout the nineteenth century was slow. The village was founded in 1911 and proclaimed a town the following year. It wasn't until a sawmill was established in 1913, with an order to supply half a million railway sleepers for the TransAustralian Railway, that the town began to grow. Today the mill is one of the biggest in Western Australia.
Things to see:
Gloucester Tree: The town's most popular tourist attraction is the huge Gloucester Tree with its fire lookout teetering 64 m above the ground and its hair-raising 153 rung ladder to the top. It is claimed that the view from the top is magnificent but, if there is a wind blowing, the experience of swaying from side to side is less than comforting!
A Forests Department notice explains the origins of these lookout trees. "In the late 1930s the Forests Department began to establish a network of lookouts so that forest fires could be rapidly detected. In contrast with the northern forest areas the gentle undulating country and very tall trees of the southern forest offered a few vantage points for fire lookouts. To build towers high enough to see over the forest would have been too expensive. An alternative was a cabin built high enough in one of the taller trees. The first Karri fire lookout tower, called Big Tree, was constructed to the west of Manjimup in 1938. By 1952 eight tree towers had been constructed".
The Gloucester tree was prepared for use as a lookout in 1946. During the construction of the lookout cabin the Duke of Gloucester visited the site and the tree was named after him.
Bicentennial Tree and Warren National Park: This is a lovely drive starting a few km south of town. The road is gravel and narrow in places but generally in good condition. You follow the Vasse Road until you reach the Bicentennial Tree. At almost 70m high it is not a climb for the fainthearted but the views at the top are spectacular.
Continuing on the Vasse Road brings you to a junction with a left turn. This is a one way gravel road running alongside the Warren River. There are lovely bush camps and views over the river here all set amongst the huge trees.
Pemberton to Northcliffe Railway: The Pemberton to Northcliffe Railway, completed in the early 1930s, runs a small tram through the local forests. This is a scenic journey with the railway crossing rivers and passing areas which, in season, are ablaze with wildflowers. The journey runs daily and takes 4 hours. Tickets & timetables are available from the PembertonNorthcliffe Tourist Bureau 9776 1322.
Fishing: The area around Pemberton is noted both for its rainbow trout which have been introduced (over 1 million are released into the local rivers annually) and its marron, a species of freshwater crayfish which is the third largest in the world. Details about fishing in the area can be obtained from the Tourist Bureau. King Trout Farm, 7 km south of Pemberton, is a popular attraction. King Trout Farm, which is open from 9.30 a.m. - 5.30 p.m. offers the opportunity to catch your own rainbow trout. Contact (08) 9776 1352 for details.
Beedelup National Park: To the west of the town is the Beedelup National Park with the Beedelup Falls, a rocky cascade which is particularly dramatic after rain, and the Walk Through Tree, a 75 m, 400 year old karri which has a hole which visitors can walk through. The hole took ten hours to cut by chain saw.
Brockman Sawpit: 15 km south of the town on the PembertonNorthcliffe Road is the Brockman sawpit first used in 1865. It still has the equipment required for sawing logs with one man on top and two sawing from below. It has been restored so that visitors can get some idea of how difficult it must have been to manually saw the giant karri logs.