White sandy beaches on the shores of an inland lake surrounded by a towering Karri Forest complete with walking/cycling trails, what more could you want from an idyllic holiday spot?
What Is It?
Big Brook Dam was created in the 1980s to serve as a backup water supply for Pemberton and to aid the Trout Hatchery located along Lefroy Brook but it’s main purpose now is for recreation. A haven for swimming, canoeing, walking, cycling and fishing (see Fisheries website for further details), this is a great place to spend a sunny day when you’re in the South West.
Where Is It?
Located a short five-minute drive from Pemberton, from the main strip in town head east along Vasse Highway until you reach a left turn for Golf Links Road. Follow this road until you reach a left turn on Mullineaux Road then take Percival Road followed by Range Road (it is well signed if that sounds complicated). The main parking spot is on the south side of the lake and there is a paved walkway all around the lake. The main picnic area at the beach is a short stroll north along the path.
What to Do?
There are no shortage of activities to keep you occupied at Big Brook ranging from walking to cycling to swimming to fishing (freshwater license is required). The walking/cycling trail that runs around the perimeter of the lake is fully paved so is also one of the longer wheelchair accessible trails in the South West. Nestled in-between the Karri Forest and the blue waters of the lake, this is a really pleasant trail to follow.
Adding to the enjoyment are the little bird hides and shelters situated around the lake that have information boards telling you about the area, the plants and even a carton representation of the water cycle thanks to Walter the Water Molecule. Once you’re finished with your walk, you can find a spot along the beach or at one of the picnic tables to enjoy some time in the sun or perhaps a swim (the water will be chilly all year round). It’s a wonderful place to spend some time and a really unique spot as we don’t get natural lakes in the bigger forests of Western Australia.
What Not to Do:
While Big Brook Dam is dog friendly, they are not permitted on the beach section. Remember to be a good dog owner by keeping your four-legged friend on a lead at all times and always pick up after it.
If you want to extend your walk/cycle a little further then follow the signs on the western side of the lake towards Big Brook Arboretum. Only a 2km there and back diversion, you can explore the arboretum that is full of exotic tree species. Big Brook is part of the Karri Explorer route that you can follow to other sites around Pemberton like Beedelup Falls, the Gloucester Tree and plenty of wineries/galleries in the area.
About the author:
Mark (The Life of Py) is a Perth based outdoor enthusiast that loves exploring the trails of Western Australia in his free time. When he isn’t out taking photos he is busy planning the next adventure. See more of his content HERE.