This 12 kilometre return walk starts from the world’s tallest climbable tree – the Gloucester Tree and finishes at the Cascades, a series of babbling rapids along Lefroy Brook. It uses the Bibbulmun Track.
Fill your water flask, don a hat or raincoat (depending on the season) and set off on a half-day adventure along a section of the Bibbulmun Track. The track passes through the Gloucester National Park which is a great example of the closed forest ecosystem that extends throughout the Southern Forest region.
You start on the 10km Gloucester Route, but when you reach the bitumen road, turn right, cross over the twin bridges, and then right again, following the trail markers back into the forest. From there, you will follow the gurgling East Brook, through the valley. Listen for the stirrings of many different creatures for them, the winding brook is a liquid lifeline.
Continue through the forest, following the old railway earthworks. This too was once a lifeline with heavy logs hauled from the forest on the railway to the Pemberton mill. Listen carefully, you can hear the tram’s horn and watch out the tourist trams using the railway line. With time the telltale scar of the track and the timber harvest on adjacent hillsides is gradually fading as the forest continues its silent regrowth.
Timber remains a major industry for Pemberton, as you can see when you look across the town with its weatherboard houses and prominent timber mill. Equally important now, is tourism. Both rely on the same commodity – towering karri forest, now and in the future. Both can continue to exist together, as they do today. Continue to follow the trail markers until you reach the Cascades.
Take care! Listen and look out for log trucks when crossing roads.