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  The natural environment in and around Northcliffe

 

The NORTHCLIFFE’S BLACKBERRY ERADICTION PROJECT 2011 Blackberry is a Priority No.4 weed of National Significance. It is one of the most devastating weeds in Australia. Eradication and control of damage cost over $70 million a year.
.......read the full details of this project
 

Northcliffe is surrounded by State Forests, National Parks and agricultural land used mainly for dairy farming. Vineyards and tree farms are also beginning to be seen in the area. From Northcliffe to the coast at Windy Harbour is a coastal heath plain, a wild flower wilderness which can be viewed from the top of Mount Chudalup.

For those with a little time to spare a walk in the Northcliffe Forest park will be rewarding at any time of year. Tall karri trees, native flora and birds are a delight.

The new road and walk trail near Salmon Beach, off the Wheatley Coast Road just before the Windy Harbour Settlement, is well worth a visit. It was developed by The Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) to give access to Point D'Entrecasteaux and the surrounding coastal cliffs. Locals will sing the praises of Windy Harbour and other coastal areas for fishing.

For anyone who enjoys bush walking, the Bibbulmun Track passes through the Town of Northcliffe and there are four local marked walk trails to enjoy too.

Photo: Mount Chudalup, Wheatley Coast Road, south of Northcliffe

Mount Chudalup
The "rock" of Northcliffe is one of the most impressive attractions in the area. Standing on the top of the rock looking out to sea or over the forest, you can easily imagine you are the only person ever to have set foot upon the place. The view is awe-inspiring.

Northcliffe Forest Park
This delightful forest park is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the beauty of a karri forest. Access is less than twenty metres from the main street, behind the Tourist Centre . There are marked walk tracks to explore with barbecue and picnic sites for a lunch spot or rest .The Gardner River flows through the Forest Park, adding places of cool, green peacefulness.

Photo: Hollow Butt tree

The Hollow Butt Tree and The Twin Karri
You will find these interesting trees in the Northcliffe Forest Park. The Hollow Butt tree, and the Twin Karri picnic area is the most visited attraction in Northcliffe. The tree still lives even though its base has been hollowed out by fire.
Lane Poole Falls
Fifteen metres wide, fifteen metre drop over an ancient boulder of granite, Lane Poole Falls is one of the most rewarding sites after walking the two and a half kilometres from the car park. During winter the thundering roar from the cascade of long rains will take your breath away.
Photo: Lane Poole Falls in winter
Lane Poole Falls

Shannon National Park
On the South West Highway, just south of Middleton Road is the Shannon National Park. To tour by car take the Big Tree Drive - a booklet is available from DEC. Shannon was a thriving timber town which has been completely demolished, but there is a great bush campsite. It has two wooden huts complete with simple bunks and pot belly stove and the Shannon lodge, which has to be booked through DEC. The campsite has a shower and toilet block, and hot water for a shower can be got using the solid fuel heater. 
Fo more information about National parks  go to the National parks finder

Warren National Park
Some stunning karri trees and delightful walk trails, including the Heartbreak trail. Well worth a visit and has three bush campsites.

Photo: Warren National Park

Boorara Conservation Park
A mountain bike trail has been developed here, but it is also a delightful karri forest for bush walks.
The Yeagerup Dunes
A stunning range of mobile sand dunes. They are steadily encroaching on the bushland and lakes. A four wheel drive vehicle is necessary to reach or cross the dunes to Yeagerup Beach, a popular fishing beach. Take a short walk onto the dunes from from Lake Yeagerup, it's a remarkable experience.

D'Entrecasteaux National Park
The D'Entrecasteaux National Park covers 118,000ha and includes 131 km of wild coastline. The Park also includes "islands" of karri forest, granite outcrops such as Mount Chudalup, limestone cliffs, coastal wetlands, mobile sand dunes, white sandy beaches and river estuaries.

Most areas are only accessible by 4WD vehicle although Salmon Beach and Windy Harbour can be reached by normal cars. Here you can see the limestone cliffs and find good swimming, fishing and surf beaches. Windy Harbour has a camp ground and boat ramp, but take care, the Southern Ocean is not a place for the inexperienced.

DEC have put in a new road to Point D'Entrecasteaux, off the Salmon Beach Road - well worth a drive and there is a new coastal walk trail with fine views and whale watching.
Salmon Beach is popular for swimming and fishing or just a pleasant beach walk.

Access to the Park is mostly by four wheel drive, so observe the following tips provided by DEC

" Remember all vehicles entering the park must be fully licensed for the road. The park is not an off road vehicle area. - Deflate your tyres when driving on soft sand. If you wish to enter the park this is a must. Tyre pressures required depend on the sand conditions, your tyres and the weight of your vehicle. If you do not deflate your tyres you will get bogged, chop up the track and raise the ire of other users and the local ranger! - Select the correct gear. Low third will keep you moving at a comfortable pace and has enough power not to stall when the going gets heavier. - Keep to the track. Drive on existing tracks only; don't create new ones or drive on the scrub. For more information about 4x4 driving pick up a Going To The Coast brochure from the local DEC office in Pemberton or call DEC Pemberton on (08) 9776 1207."

Ask for advice before you go. Call into or ring the local DEC office.

PhotosPoint D'Entrecasteaux, near Windy Harbour    Courtesy of Shashi Richards

Moon's Crossing
A delightful spot on the Warren River, with rock pools and rushing waters in winter. Can be crossed by 4x4 in summer only. Was originally a river crossing for cattle. The Bibbulmun Track passes close by and meets the local Blackberry Pool Walk Trail. Ask for a brochure at the Northcliffe Visitor Centre.

Photo: Moon's Crossing in Summer

 

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