Lifestyle Nation: Glamping in Karri Country
Welcome to the first Isolated Nation guide to experiencing WA outside of Perth. In this series we will explore the hidden treasures within our beautiful state and provide you with a succinct and informative summary of our findings!
For the first in this series, we checked out the 'glamping' experience offered by WA Wilderness & Pemberton Discovery Tours at Warren National Park.
The first cab off the rank is the Southern Forests region (the green part of Australia’s South West), surrounded by National Parks and Pemberton. The region is nestled in a valley, surrounded by Karri forests, however it is only 30km by 4WD from the nearest beach.
The Southern Forests region encompasses the shires of Manjimup and the towns of Pemberton, Walpole, Manjimup and Northcliffe.
WHERE TO STAY
We camped at the super private Drafty's campsite in the heart of the Warren National Park. Nestled deep in the forest on the banks of the Warren River, the camping grounds were approximately 15 minutes from the heart of Pemberton. The site can be accessed by a 2WD, though the track in is unsealed and gravel, so during wetter days Parks & Wildlife may limit access (i.e. close the road to the public) to protect the roads from damage.
Apparently, Drafty’s campsite was a secret (but well-loved) destination for campers for many years before it was realised that the pristine location would have to be protected. Drafty's is now managed to prevent too many people camping, toileting and damaging the river bank. The camping sites are spread out and provide campers with ample privacy, making it well worth the commute.
This option is perfect for busy people who are looking for a secluded location to try camping, appreciate nature and its sounds, smells and sights (Include wildflowers, astronomy & photography). The grounds themselves are diverse enough for you to set up and not leave for a few days. The grounds have an array of various hiking trails, swimming holes around the Warren River and lookouts which kept us occupied for the majority of the weekend. If you have a canoe or kayak, then the Warren National Park is your spot! You could even bring an inflatable pool and glide down the very still river.
The glamping package we experienced included tent, national park and camping fees, tent erection and site preparation. There is also a large undercover camp kitchen complete with BBQ, hotplate, preparation benches and sinks, which it makes a great place to get away and experience nature without giving up all of the conveniences of modern living. It was truly an ideal camping experience - everything was set up including bedding and cooking facilities. We just needed to bring an esky with our food for the weekend and voila!
Having everything set up allowed us to maximise our time relaxing in this paradise. It allowed us to experience the best parts of camping without acquiring the niche bits and bobs required for hard yacka outdoorsmanship. It also meant we had plenty of space in our car for the important stuff... such as wine, and snacks!
THINGS TO DO
Start your morning with a coffee in town at the Paddock.
Then head to the coast and see the expansive sites of Salmon Beach, located in the D'entrecasteau National Park. It is a southwest-facing beach which is bordered by 100 m high cliffs and dramatic coastal views. A sealed road runs over the backing ridge to a lookout above the southern end of the beach and to a car park and picnic area for morning tea. It's a great spot for fishing, so bring the rod but don't try and swim!
Time to drive to Mt Chudalup - one of the most significant landmarks in the region. It offers some light exercise and expansive views over the wetlands, forests, coast and beyond. A huge block of granite, Mt Chudalup is known as a monadnock, which is a large isolated hill above a generally flat plain. Be aware that the granite can be slippery in wet weather and there are steep drop offs on the summit. Stop here for a picnic lunch on the rock.
You can then make your way down to Beedelup Falls within the national park of the same name. The falls are accessed via a well designed series of boardwalks. This site is short and sweet and relatively close to town. You may wish to visit a winery on your way back to camp! There are many options in the area, such as Silkwood, Jarrah Jacks and Hidden River Estate - these all have restaurants!
The 2017 Unearthed Pemberton festival runs from 21 - 30 April, with open gates, studios and events under three categories - Food & Wine, Art & Heritage and Adventure. For more details visit their website !
If you're interested in staying in the Karri Valley, Pemberton Discovery Tours are offering Isolated Nation readers a very special offer, receive your third night free of charge when you book for at least two nights. Enter 'Nation' when you book a three night stay at the Pemberton Discovery Tours Website. The offer is valid from 27 April until they close up for winter!