A tall fire lookout tower, known as Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, rises above the dense forest canopy in Pemberton, Western Australia, under a clear blue sky. This image highlights one of the top things to do in Pemberton, WA, offering panoramic views of the surrounding forest.
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22 Epic Things To Do In Pemberton WA + How To Plan Your Trip (Stays, Restaurants, And More)

Pemberton is tucked away in the South West, about four hours south of Perth… and it’s worth every minute of that road trip!

This town is surrounded by beautiful forests and it’s home to the famous Gloucester Tree and Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, two of the tallest karri trees in the area.

A woman climbing the metal rungs of the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree with an observation platform in the dense forest of Pemberton, Western Australia. One of the things to do in Pemberton WA
Challenge yourselves to climb the Gloucester Tree.

There’s also the Pemberton Pool and the Big Brook Dam, great spots to go for a swim and spend the day relaxing with the family.

For the adrenaline-junkies out there, there’s the Yeagarup dunes which are constantly on the move and make for an epic 4WD adventure.

Springtime is arguably the best time to visit. The weather is perfect for exploring, but there are other things to do depending on the season – we’ll tell you all about it in this guide.

A man wearing a red cap and maroon shirt stands smiling at the top of the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree lookout in Pemberton, Western Australia. This image highlights things to do Pemberton WA.
A view from the top of Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree.

There are over 22 unique things to do in Pemberton, so deciding where to start might seem daunting.

But don’t worry, we designed this guide to help you plan the ultimate Pemberton getaway, including the best places to stay, where to eat, and more!

Let’s get started!

22 Best things to do in Pemberton, Western Australia

There’s plenty to do in Pemberton, but these activities are unmissable:

1) Visit the Gloucester Tree

This is a famous, 61-metre-high karri tree that was used as a fire lookout. It’s a 5-minute drive from the town centre, right here.

A platform was constructed 58 metres up along with a spiral staircase of metal pegs for fire spotting duties.

A towering tree with a lookout platform high above its trunk, surrounded by dense forest, called Bicentennial Tree, one of the unique attractions in Pemberton WA
The Gloucester Tree in Pemberton, Western Australia.

Spotter planes were introduced a few decades later, so there was no need for lookout trees anymore… but the structure remained, becoming a tourist hotspot.

In fact, up until a few years ago, you could climb +50 metres up the pegs and enjoy the view of the forest! This isn’t allowed anymore due to safety concerns.

At the moment of writing, maintenance is being done to the tree to eventually reopen to the public. You can check the latest updates here.

While you can’t climb the Gloucester Tree anymore, it’s still worth a visit to experience the stunning karri forests of Pemberton. There are several walking trails nearby, too!

2) Visit the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree

This is another giant karri tree that stands tall in the Warren National Park, a 12-minute drive from the town centre, right here.

At 75 metres high, it’s not just an imposing figure in the forest but also one of the tallest climbable trees in the world!

Named to celebrate Australia’s bicentennial in 1988, it was initially one of the fire lookout trees, similar to the Gloucester Tree. Visitors could climb it too, until July 2023, when it was closed due to maintenance.

At the moment of writing, it’s still under repair. Check the latest updates here.

It’s still worth visiting, though. There are lots of walking trails around, including the Warren River Loop Trail, a 10.5 km hike around the forest.

3) Do the Karri Forest Explorer Drive

This is an 85-kilometres-long scenic route that winds through the towering karri forests around Pemberton. It’s well-marked, following sealed and/or unsealed roads, making it suitable for all vehicles.

It’s designed to showcase some of the most beautiful spots in the region, including natural attractions like Beedelup Falls, Big Brook Dam, and several ancient karri trees.

A scenic road, lined with tall Karri trees, stretches into the distance under a clear blue sky in Pemberton, Western Australia. It shows one of the things to do in Pemberton WA
This shot was taken from inside our caravan while driving Karri forest.

We recommend downloading the map (you can get it here) as it pinpoints all the must-see stops and facilities along the route – picnic spots, walking trails, lookouts, etc.

It’s self-guided and you only have to pay for the entry fee of the National Park! Just make sure your vehicle has a full tank before heading there.

4) Enjoy wildflower season

In Pemberton, the wildflower season kicks off around mid-September and runs through until late October. It’s absolutely beautiful, as the whole landscape bursts into colour!

You’ll see a spectacular display of wildflowers, including orchids, banksias, and kangaroo paws, which are just a few of the unique species that make the area a hotspot for enthusiasts.

A vibrant field of pink in full bloom, bathed in sunlight, in Pemberton, Western Australia.
Wildflowers are indeed stunning in spring!

The best places to see wildflowers are the Gloucester and Warren National Parks. These have several walking trails that meander through the forest, perfect for wildflower spotting!

Keep reading: The ultimate guide to wildflower season in Western Australia (map with hotspots included)

5) Spend the day at the Pemberton Pool

The Pemberton Pool is in the heart of town, right here. It’s a natural pool surrounded by towering karri trees!

It was developed in the early 20th century for the families of timber workers and has become a staple for both locals and visitors since then.

An aerial view of a person climbing the spiral metal steps of the Gloucester Tree, surrounded by dense forest in Pemberton, Western Australia. This image showcases one of the things to do in Pemberton WA,
Enjoy a day at Pemberton Pool after your Gloucester Tree visit.

It’s perfect for a day out with the family or a group of friends, as the area is equipped with BBQs, picnic tables, and toilets. Plus, the entry is free!

6) 4WD along Yeagarup Sand Dunes

The Yeagarup Dunes are a massive land-locked dune system just a 30-minute drive from the town centre, right here.

This unique landscape is constantly moving inland from the coast due to the winds, engulfing forests in its path, it’s truly unique.

You can explore them on foot, but a 4WD is essential to navigate the soft sand and the steep inclines.

If you don’t have a 4WD, no problem – there are tours, too! We 100% recommend doing it if you can, the thrill is unparalleled!

🤩 Wanna experience the thrill of 4WD driving across the breathtaking Yeagarup Sand Dunes? Then this half-day tour is for you: Half-Day Pemberton National Parks Beach and Forest Eco Adventure

7) Hike around Beedelup Falls

This is a 10-metre high waterfall a 20-minute drive from Pemberton, right here.

The Beedelup Falls are particularly impressive from May to October (winter to spring) when they’re in full flow, but they can be visited all year round.

A man wearing a hat and casual clothes stands amidst dense greenery and tall trees while hiking in the woods.
Enjoy a hike on your way to the Beedelup Falls.

Once there, make sure to do the Beedelup Walk! This is a 4.5 km hike that takes you around the karri forest.

The route also takes you through a 25-metre-long suspension bridge near the falls. It offers an epic vantage point for photos and a closer look at the natural beauty of the area! Here’s the full route.

8) Check out Cascades

The Cascades are a set of gentle rapids along Lefroy Brook, an 8-minute drive from Pemberton, right here.

The area is particularly beautiful in winter and spring, as the water is flowing at its peak. But it’s charming all year round with the magnificent karri forest as the backdrop.

There’s a short loop trail, about 600 metres long, that gives you easy access to great views of the cascades, plus it’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

FYI – the area is also home to a population of lampreys. They’re completely harmless but you might see them in groups, climbing the slippery rocks with their sucking mouth. Yes, nature can be a bit gross sometimes.

9) Hike a section of the Bibbulmun Track

The Bibbulmun Track is one of Australia’s premier long-distance walking trails, stretching over 1,000 kilometres from Kalamunda (Perth Hills), all the way to Albany in the south west.

It goes through diverse landscapes including forests, beaches, and rivers, making it a bucket-list adventure for many hikers.

The section of the Bibbulmun Track that runs through Pemberton is particularly stunning, as it goes through the heart of the karri forest and ends in Northcliffe.

It’s also one that caters to beginner hikers, usually taking 3-4 days to complete. If you want to tackle it, make sure you have good hiking boots, plenty of water, and suitable clothing weather!

🤩 This 4-day hike and camping adventure tour takes you along the breathtaking Bibbulmun Track from Pemberton to Northcliffe. Explore stunning landscapes and camp under the stars: Bibbulmun Multi-Day Hike & Camp

10) Kayaking or canoeing on the Warren River

The Warren River winds its way through the forest before emptying into the Southern Ocean. Its waters are calm, perfect for kayaking or canoeing!

It’s also a great place for fishing. There are several bushwalking trails as well if you feel like exploring.

Two people paddle yellow canoes on a calm river surrounded by greenery and a partly cloudy sky showing things to do in Pemberton WA
Warren River is home to trout fishery so you can canoe and fish at the same time!

The access point is in Warren National Park and there’s an entry fee, you can check all of it here.

11) Go mountain biking

If you’re into mountain biking, then there’s no better way to explore Pemberton!

The trails here cater to all levels of mountain bikers, from beginners looking for a gentle ride, to seasoned riders looking for a challenge.

Make sure to check out the Pemberton Mountain Bike Park, near the pool. Here’s a list of all the trails in the park, organised by difficulty!

12) Relax around Big Brook Dam

Big Brook Dam is an epic spot for a leisurely day in nature, plus it’s less than a 10-minute drive from town, right here.

The entry is free and you can go for a swim, fish, paddle on a canoe or a kayak, or hike around and explore the surrounding forest.

There’s a dedicated swimming area, and a well-maintained walking track that loops around the water – perfect for a leisurely stroll or a bike ride.

Plus, there are facilities like BBQs and toilets, so you can easily spend the entire day here!

13) Explore D’Entrecasteaux National Park

D’Entrecasteaux National Park is a stunning park a 50-minute drive from Pemberton, right here.

Every landscape here is jaw-dropping, as it features towering karri forests, massive sand dunes and rugged coastal cliffs.

A forest of tall, slender Karri trees reaching up to a clear blue sky in Pemberton
Towering Karri Trees in Pemberton.

There are lots of activities to do, too:

  • Surfing

  • Snorkelling and scuba diving

  • Fishing

  • Bushwalking

  • Four-wheel driving

  • Even whale watching when in season (September to November).

Park entry fees apply ($17 per vehicle). For more information about the park, click here.

14) Go to Windy Harbour

Windy Harbour is a laid-back coastal spot a 45-minute drive from Pemberton, right here.

It’s nestled away from the usual tourist trails, making it a bit of a hidden gem with unspoiled beaches and incredible views of the Southern Ocean.

This holiday settlement is right next to D’Entrecasteaux National Park, so you could check out both of them in one day.

15) Hop on the Pemberton Tramway

The Pemberton Tramway is a unique way to see some of the most stunning landscapes around town. The station is in the town centre, right here.

The tram ride will take you through the forest and alongside rivers, stopping in Cascades so you can stretch your legs and explore a bit. All while the driver shares informative commentary about the ecology of the area and its history.

You can check the timetable and purchase tickets on their website.

The tram is a must-do during spring, as you’ll get to see the colourful wildflowers!

S&C Travel Tip

16) Go wine-tasting

Pemberton is a top-notch spot for wine tasting, much like the rest of the South West. This is because of the climate, which is perfect for producing high-quality wines.

There are a few great wineries near Pemberton. They’re not as popular as those near Margaret River, so make sure to call before heading there to check if they’re open to visitors:

  • Hidden River Estate, renowned for its cosy cellar door experience, offers a range of boutique wines alongside locally sourced meals.

  • Picardy, one of the pioneers in producing premium wines in Pemberton. They’re highly regarded for their meticulous winemaking process.

  • Lost Lake Pemberton has a rep for its great wines, particularly their “Honey Merlot”.

17) Try the truffles

Truffles are a big deal in the area, as the climate is perfect to grow them. So, if you want to buy truffles or even do a truffle hunting tour, this is your chance!

There are a few places near Pemberton where you can do this:

Close-up of three black truffles, one cut open to reveal the inside, resting on a piece of bark.
Pemberton is one of the preeminent producers of black truffles.

There’s also an annual weekend festival held every June, The Truffle Kerfuffle. It celebrates the start of the winter truffle harvest in the region.

It’s full of events, from truffle hunts and cooking demonstrations to wine tasting and farmer’s markets. Some ticket packages include accommodation and dining experiences! All the info about the festival is here.

18) Visit the Southern Forests Chocolate Company

This charming chocolate shop is where you go if you have a sweet tooth! It’s a quick 8-minute drive from Pemberton, right here.

Visiting this place gives you a chance to see chocolate production up close and to taste their delicious products. Plus, it’s in the heart of the forest! So the drive there truly enhances the whole experience.

19) Grab a bite at Vëska Café (formerly Lavender and Berry Farm & Cafe)

This café is a bit of an institution in Pemberton and it’s a 5-minute drive from town, right here.

It’s a picturesque spot next to a beautiful lake surrounded by forest. It began as a lavender and berry farm, run by a family. It changed owners a while ago, so it’s not a lavender/berry farm anymore.

Still, it’s 100% worth visiting just for the location. It’s now an excellent restaurant serving Belarusian food, plus there are alpacas you can feed!

Awesome spots at driving distance from Pemberton

Pemberton is at driving distance from some of the best spots of the south-west, including:

20) Augusta

Augusta is a 1.5 drive from Pemberton, right here.

It’s well worth the day trip, as it’s a prime spot for jaw-dropping ocean views and whale watching when in season.

A picturesque coastal scene featuring a rocky hill covered in vegetation beside a pristine sandy beach and turquoise waters in Augusta, Western Australia.

There’s also the Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, the tallest lighthouse on mainland Australia, marking where the Indian and Southern Oceans meet.

You can also check out Jewel Cave, renowned for its massive underground chambers and ancient crystals.

21) Margaret River

Margaret River is a famous spot near Pemberton that’s also a 1.5 drive from town, right here.

A day trip there is a must if you want to dive into the region’s renowned wine and surf culture. There are dozens of wineries, breweries, and gourmet restaurants – it’s a haven for foodies.

A wooden bridge stretches over a rocky coastline and clear waters at Canal Rocks in Margaret River, with a person standing on the bridge enjoying the scenic view. This image shows things to do in Pemberton in nearby places.
Canal Rocks, Margaret River, Western Australia.

The area is also surrounded by forests and beautiful beaches, perfect for surfing.

You could start your day with a morning surf or a nice stroll along the beach, then visit a winery or a brewery, and cap off the day with a gourmet dinner.

Keep reading: 32 things to do in Margaret River + tips for planning your visit

22) Walpole

If you want to explore further east, go to Walpole. It’s a beautiful town famous for its forests and beaches, and it’s less than a 1.5 hour from Pemberton, right here.

Walpole is famously home to the Valley of the Giants, a forest with some of the tallest trees in the world! There, you can stroll through the Tree Top Walk, suspended 40 metres above the ground.

A woman standing inside the hollowed-out trunk of an enormous tree in the Valley of the Giants, Walpole, near Pemberton, Western Australia.
The famous Giant Tingle Tree in Walpole, Western Australia.

If you want to spend a full day in Walpole, you can start with the Tree Top Walk, then check out the Giant Tingle Tree on your way to Circular Pool for a picnic. Cap it off with a sunset at Conspicuous Cliff!

When is the best time to visit Pemberton (WA)?

The best time to visit Pemberton is in spring (September-November), as the weather is great for hiking and it’s wildflower season, too.

However, other seasons have their own advantages:

  • Autumn (March-May) also has great weather for exploring, plus the autumn colours are unbeatable.

  • Winter (June-August) is perfect for foodies, as it’s truffle season. The food and wine scene is at its peak.

  • Summer (December-February) is also great if you want an escape from the heat, as the highest temperature is usually 26-27°.

How to get to Pemberton, Western Australia?

The best way to get to Pemberton will depend on where you’re visiting from. In general, you can get there by plane, car, or coach:

Getting there by plane

This is the best option if you’re visiting from anywhere but Perth.

The nearest airport is in Busselton, the Busselton-Margaret River Airport. It’s a 1.5-hour drive from Pemberton.

There are direct flights from Melbourne (4-hour flight) and Sydney (5-hour flight), as well as chartered flights.

We recommend using Trip.com to book your flights. They find the cheapest tickets available, sometimes even cheaper than booking directly from the airline!

You can rent a car from the airport as well. We recommend using Discover Cars to rent your vehicle, as they have heaps of options (including 4WDs!) and you can pick up and drop off at the airport.

Getting there by car

This is the best option if you’re coming from Perth.

It’s a pretty straightforward (and scenic) road trip, covering about 330 kilometres and it takes around 4 hours to do.

A couple stands next to a converted camper van parked on a dirt road, surrounded by tall trees in a lush forest of Boranup Drive in Margaret River, Western Australia.
You can stop by Boranup Forest on your way.

We recommend breaking the trip halfway in Bunbury. Either for a quick break to stretch your legs or to spend a few hours exploring, there’s plenty to do there!

Yes, it’s a long drive, but there is a lot to explore!

You could return the same way you came, or stop in Margaret River or Augusta, for example.

However, if you have a few extra days, we 100% recommend doing a road trip out of it. Pemberton is a bit remote, so it’s a great stop in some epic trips like:

Getting there by coach

This is the cheapest way to go to Pemberton from Perth, as a round ticket costs around $120.

TransWa offers 3 different routes, all of them dropping you in Brockman Street:

  • SW1 East Perth to Augusta and Pemberton via Bunbury and Augusta, takes around 7.5 hours.

  • SW2 East Perth to Pemberton via Bunbury and Donnybrook, takes around 5 hours.

  • SW3 East Perth to Pemberton via Bunbury and Collie/Boyup Brook/Bridgetown, takes around 6 hours.

Book your tickets, check the info on the timetables, and more on TransWa’s website.

How many days to stay in Pemberton?

2-3 days in Pemberton is enough to check out most of what’s in the list above, excluding visiting nearby spots.

A woman hugs a white camper van parked on a dirt road, surrounded by lush vegetation in Augusta,  Western Australia.
We never miss Augusta on a road trip. Our camper van makes it easy!

If you want to explore nearby towns (i.e. Augusta, Margaret River, etc) we recommend adding one extra day per place. This will give you time to check out the highlights of each place and time to go back to Pemberton.

Best stays in Pemberton (WA)

We’ll be honest with you – we love staying in caravans, and Pemberton is the place to do it.

There are a few caravan parks there, where you can stay and connect with nature.

Plus, caravans allow you to explore at your own pace. They can also be cheaper in the end, as you don’t have to rent a car and accommodation separately, and you can cook your own meals.

If you want to rent a caravan, go straight to JUCY campervans! You can pick up and drop off from most big airports and they have campervans for 2-5 people.

Star RV is another excellent option if you’re looking for something more luxurious.

That said, if you prefer a more traditional accommodation, here are the best places to stay in Pemberton (WA):

  • Best caravan park: RAC Karri Valley Resort is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, lake views, and a variety of outdoor activities. It’s a 17-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps up to 7.
  • Best budget-friendly stay: Gloucester Motel provides comfortable and convenient accommodations with easy access to local attractions and amenities. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps up to 2.
  • Best for families and groups: Home Rental offers spacious accommodations ideal for gatherings with amenities to cater to large groups. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps up to 12.
  • Best hotel: Karri Forest Motel provides a peaceful retreat surrounded by lush forest scenery, with comfortable rooms and modern amenities. It’s a 2-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps up to 4.
  • Best luxury: Forest Lodge Resort offers a charming and tranquil escape with picturesque views and a variety of on-site amenities. It’s a 3-minute drive from the town centre and sleeps up to 5.

Where to eat in Pemberton?

  • Wild at Heart Café ($$) is a must-visit for its top-quality coffee and delicious breakfast options like eggs Benedict with salmon and chimichurri. The café also offers smoothies and a great selection of local produce.
  • Crossings Bakery ($$) is the spot for the best pies in Pemberton. Don’t miss their steak and mushroom pie. Make sure to grab a vanilla slice or jam and cream doughnuts. Friendly staff and fantastic prices make it a must-visit!
  • Georgy Scott’s Smoke & Grill ($$) offers gourmet food full of flavours! From the smoky aroma to the delightful setting under festoon lights, the experience is top-notch. Tacos and grilled half marron and chocolate-fig dessert are a must-try.
  • Brockman Fish ‘n’ Chips at Pemberton ($$) offers delicious fish and chips with generous servings and great service. Highly recommended for their grilled options and homemade curry sauce you won’t want to miss!
  • Chefingo’s ($$) offers delicious dishes like the German platter and Tom Yam soup in a stunning Karri forest setting. Perfect for a romantic dinner or special event with impeccable service. Highly recommended!

Top tips

Pemberton is all about the outdoors, so bring appropriate clothing – comfy walking shoes, layers, and insect repellent.

Mobile reception can be spotty too, so have any maps needed downloaded on your phone.

Lastly, if the Gloucester and Dave Evans trees are open during your visit, don’t underestimate them! Make sure you’re comfortable with heights and have a decent level of fitness before climbing them.

Did you know?

Pemberton was established in 1913 and was primarily developed to support the expanding timber industry. The town was named after Pemberton Walcott, an early settler in the area.

The area around Pemberton is part of the traditional land of the Bibbulmun (also known as Noongar) people, who have inhabited the region for thousands of years.

The Noongar people have a deep spiritual connection with the land, particularly the karri forests, which play a crucial role in their culture and storytelling.

FAQs

What is Pemberton WA known for?

Pemberton, Western Australia, is known for its majestic karri forests, which are among the tallest trees in the world. It’s also known for its truffle industry, celebrated annually at the Truffle Kerfuffle festival.

The town also offers excellent opportunities for bushwalking, climbing ancient trees, and exploring local wineries!

What are some must-visit attractions in Pemberton?

Some must-visit attractions in Pemberton include the towering Gloucester Tree, the beautiful Beedelup, and the scenic D’Entrecasteaux National Park. Don’t miss out on the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree!

Is Manjimup worth visiting?

Yes, Manjimup is definitely worth visiting if you’re into scenic countryside, excellent local produce, and outdoor adventures. It’s renowned for its truffles, wine, and the annual Cherry Harmony Festival. It’s a 20-minute drive from Pemberton.

The bottom line

Pemberton truly is a playground for anyone wanting to disconnect from city life and dive into nature.

Whether you’re chilling out at the Pemberton Pool, or 4WDing your way around the Yeagarup Dunes, there’s something here for everyone everyone.

Don’t miss the beauty of Beedelup Falls, the relaxing Cascades, the epic Big Brook Dam, and the mouth-watering truffles!

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