Gloucester National Park: Everything you need to know

Gloucester National Park
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[2024 update: Gloucester Tree and Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree will be closed for at least the next 12 months]

We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to lush national parks to explore in Western Australia.

We’ve explored a whole heap of them over the past couple of years, and another to add to your list. Home to WA’s most famous Karri Tree, you can explore the park by ground and by tree, and it’s one of Pemberton’s many beautiful experiences.

What is it?

Gloucester National Park is the home of the tallest tree species in WA – and third tallest in the world – the karri tree. The lush green forests are a spectacular spot for bushwalking and animal-spotting, and of course the main attraction, the 61m-high Gloucester Tree. The renowned karri was once the world’s highest fire lookout, is now a 153-peg climb up to a lookout platform, offering spectacular views of the national park’s karri forest.

Where is it?

Just under four hours from Perth, Gloucester National Park is 3km from Pemberton, an historic milling town 330km south of Perth. From Perth it’s basically a straight drive down Forest Highway, South Western Highway and finally the Vasse Highway.

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What to do:

Pack a sense of adventure, some walking boots (or a bike) and get ready to explore! There are sections of the Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Trail in the area, while Gloucester National Park itself is filled with various bushwalking trails. Bring a keen eye to spot some native mammal species such as quendas, dunnarts and even quokkas.

Make sure you also stop at the Cascades, a cool, shady spot that transforms into a stunning series of waterfalls in the winter. The Gloucester Tree and Cascades are also part of the Karri Forest Explorer, an almost-90km drive through the thick of the karri forests.

What not to do:

Be a hero – at 200 feet high the Gloucester Tree climb isn’t for the faint of heart (especially if you’re scared of heights).

Forget some cash if you’re driving – you can drive through Gloucester National Park but be aware there is a $15 entry fee (although this will give you access to other parks in the area).

Anything else?

The Gloucester Tree isn’t the only big tree climb you can tackle in the region – make sure you check out the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree in Warren National Park, the tallest climbing tree in the world! It’s one of many beautiful places to explore in and around Pemberton, and we’ve outlined a heap more of them for you to check out here.