Karri Forest Drive

We think tourism is well catered for all over Western Australia but particularly on the south coast. This is probably because places are closer together. Every town (a couple of shops and a few houses) has a visitor centre with loads of leaflets about places to go in the area i.e. walks, drives, accommodation etc. and very helpful staff. Walks, as we have said before are classified and they normally begin at a carpark with toilets, picnic areas and free electric BBQ’s and a covered information area that tells you the classification and the time the walk should take. You can just have a 10 minute walk to a viewing platform or a good place for taking photos or a 30 minute walk or possibly a 3 hour walk. There are other information boards along the way explaining the flora and fauna, history and usually the Aborginal connection. For the more adventurous there is often a 3 – 4 day outback walk where you can stay in cabins along the way.

Car drives are catered for in a similar way. Some are sealed roads locally and others are unsealed going further afield and for the more adventurous again 4WD only. You just choose what experience you want on any given day.

We started our day at Northcliffe Visitor Centre. We wanted a good walk having driven a lot lately. We picked Windy Harbour a few miles away with a 2 hour clifftop walk. The walk was excellent, a bit like Cornwall really and we could still see the odd whale spout out at sea. But it was after lunch that things got really impressive. We chose a 50 mile scenic drive on unsealed roads round the Karri Forests. You find the start point of this one way trail and tune in to 100FM on your radio. At eight different points around the trail you switch your radio on and get a 5 minute talk about the area. One was about firefighting in the area, another about early settlers and another about the early tree felling operations. There were picnic areas all along the way and small walkways on wooden boardwalks where there were scenic views.

After finishing the drive we went back to our forest camping spot and spent another night there. These Karri Forests are really impressive but tomorrow we go to see the real giants.

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