Pemberton, Western Australia

Last updated

Western Australia
Pemberton town vasse highway.jpg
Pemberton main street.
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 34°26′42″S116°02′02″E / 34.445°S 116.034°E / -34.445; 116.034 Coordinates: 34°26′42″S116°02′02″E / 34.445°S 116.034°E / -34.445; 116.034
Population720 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 6260
Elevation174 m (571 ft) [2]
  • 335 km (208 mi) south of Perth
  • 156 km (97 mi) south east of Bunbury
LGA(s) Shire of Manjimup
State electorate(s) Warren-Blackwood
Federal Division(s) O'Connor
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
20.2 °C
68 °F
10.0 °C
50 °F
1,188.5 mm
46.8 in

Pemberton is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, named after original settler Pemberton Walcott.



Pemberton in 1919 Pemberton 1919.jpg
Pemberton in 1919

The region was originally occupied by the Bibbulmun people who knew the area as Wandergarup, which in their language meant 'plenty of water'. [3]

Following an expedition to the area in 1861 by Edward Reveley Brockman, his brother-in-law Gerald de Courcy Lefroy and his uncle Pemberton Walcott, in 1862 Brockman established Warren House homestead and station on the Warren River; Walcott, after whom the town would be named, established Karri Dale farm on the northern outskirts of the later townsite; and Lefroy established a farm and flour mill on Lefroy Brook (the current site of the 100 Year Forest). Walcott remained until at least 1867. By 1868 he was at Dwalganup Station near Boyup Brook, and in 1872 Karri Dale was for sale, marketed as a "four-roomed brick cottage, stockyards, cattle shed, good garden - stocked with fruit trees and permanent running water". [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

In 1913, the new government-owned State Saw Mills began construction of twin sawmills, No 2 and No 3, at the location then known as Big Brook, to supply half a million railway sleepers for the Trans-Australian Railway. The mill site was in a valley to ensure the mills had a regular supply of water and because it was easier to roll logs down hill to the mills. Big Brook became a thriving private mill town, with a hall, store, staff accommodation, mill workers' cottages, and single men's huts, and two boarding houses. [3] A more distinctive name was soon sought. The name Walcott was suggested but was rejected by the Post Office due to conflict with Port Walcott, also named after Walcott. William Locke Brockman, local farmer and son of early settler Edward Reveley Brockman, suggested Pemberton. The mill town was well established but by 1921 there was community agitation for a government townsite to be declared. Community pressure resulted in lots being surveyed in 1925 and the Pemberton townsite was gazetted in October 1925. [11]

During the 1920s the area was a focus of the Group Settlement Scheme and following the Second World War the War Service Land Settlement Scheme, but with only moderate success.

Modern day

During the 1980s, Pemberton began to grow as a tourist town and tourism, particularly domestic, continues to play a key role.

Log sawmilling was still the most active industry in 2005, occupying 12.8% of the workforce, [1] despite the state government drastically reducing old growth logging in 2003. Rather than shut down, the mill switched to plantation Tasmanian blue gum and pine in addition to karri.

Viticulture is now widely established with many investment schemes buying up large areas of pastureland and converting to vineyards.


The nearby Gloucester National Park contains three climbable karri trees, each more than 60 metres (200 ft) tall. The most famous is the Gloucester Tree, but there are also the Diamond Tree and the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree, the tallest of the three at around 71 metres. The trees have metal rungs that allow visitors to climb them and reach the constructed lookout at the top.

Pemberton Hotel Pemberton hotel.jpg
Pemberton Hotel

Other tourist attractions include the Pemberton Tramway Company, Yeagarup Dunes and the Bibbulmun Track. Tours include river cruises, hiking, canoeing and four-wheel drive tours of the national parks.

The three-day Southern Forests Festival [12] (formerly the Pemberton Autumn Festival/Marron & Wine Festival) is held in May. Pemberton is recognised as one of the premier cool-climate wine regions in Australia, and hosts many wineries in the region.

Pemberton is surrounded by karri forest with five national parks within 20 minutes' drive and has plenty of rivers, streams and dams for recreation. The Karri Forest Explorer Drive [13] has been developed by the Department of Environment and Conservation and links the tourism attractions together along sealed and unsealed roads.

The beautiful forest attractions include Big Brook Dam in the Pemberton State Forest 6 km north on the Bibbulmun Track. Bird hides and jetties, BBQ facilities and sandy beach allow visitors to enjoy this main attraction. The 4 km sealed walk trail around the lake is the perfect venue to take in the tall Karri Forests in the surrounds.

Beedelup Falls in the Beedelup National Park are 30 km north along The Bibbulmun Track. Visitors can explore via a suspension bridge, walk trails and visitor information. The Falls are the break between the Darling Scarp and the Scott River Plain and the tourist drive is sealed with caravan parking.

The Yeagarup Dunes in the D'Entrecasteaux National Park are the largest land-locked inland dunes in the southern hemisphere. They are moving at four metres a year towards the Yeagarup Lake. Local tours are available to experience these remote locations only accessible only by 4WD.

Lake Jasper in the D’Entrecasteaux national park is the largest natural freshwater lake in Western Australia and covers an area of about 450 hectares. It is unique because it has no in or out tributaries and is 10 meters deep and accessible only by 4WD. A little further west is Black Point, in the far northwestern part of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park between Augusta and Windy Harbour. The black Basalt columns were formed about 135 million years ago. Local tours are available.

The Cascades are a series of low falls in the Lefroy brook. The road has been sealed and is accessible from the historic Tram, which departs from Pemberton twice daily.


Pemberton has a Mediterranean climate, with warm, dry summers and cool, rainy winters.

Climate data for Pemberton, Western Australia
Record high °C (°F)43.2
Average high °C (°F)26.2
Average low °C (°F)13.2
Record low °C (°F)4.0
Average precipitation mm (inches)23.0
Average precipitation days7.16.89.313.618.321.122.922.319.016.412.49.7178.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 282.1245.8229.4180.0145.7123.0127.1151.9159.0217.0219.0260.42,340.4
Source: The Bureau of Meteorology [14]

Related Research Articles

Greater Beedelup National Park Protected area in the South West region of Western Australia

Greater Beedelup National Park is a national park in Western Australia, 277 km south of Perth. It is situated on the Vasse Highway some 10 km west of Pemberton. The park is especially lush and damp due to an abundance of water.

Brockman National Park Protected area in Western Australia

Brockman National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 288 kilometres (179 mi) south of Perth and 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Pemberton.

DEntrecasteaux National Park Protected area in Western Australia

D'Entrecasteaux National Park is a national park in Western Australia, 315 kilometres (196 mi) south of Perth. The park is named after the French Admiral Bruni D'Entrecasteaux who was the first European to sight the area and name Point D'Entrecasteaux in 1792. The park received 168,497 visitors through 2008–2009.

Gloucester National Park Protected area in Western Australia

Gloucester National Park is a national park in Western Australia, 281 km south of Perth and about 3 km from Pemberton.

Shannon National Park Protected area in Western Australia

Shannon National Park is a national park on the south coast of Western Australia, 302 km (188 mi) south of Perth and 55 km (34 mi) southeast of Manjimup. It was declared a national park in 1988. The park covers the entire Shannon River basin. It is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.

Walpole-Nornalup National Park Protected area in Western Australia

Walpole-Nornalup National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 355 km (221 mi) south of Perth. It is famous for its towering karri and tingle trees. Red tingle trees are unique to the Walpole area. The park is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.

Bibbulmun Track

The Bibbulmun Track is a long-distance walk trail in Western Australia. It runs from Kalamunda in the east of Perth to Albany, and is 1,003.1 kilometres (623.3 mi) long.

<i>Eucalyptus diversicolor</i> Species of flowering plant

Eucalyptus diversicolor, commonly known as karri, is a species of flowering plant in the family Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a tall tree with smooth light grey to cream-coloured, often mottled bark, lance-shaped adult leaves and barrel-shaped fruit. Found in higher rainfall areas, karri is commercially important for its timber.

Manjimup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Manjimup is a town in Western Australia, 307 kilometres (191 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. The town of Manjimup is a regional centre for the largest shire in the South West region of Western Australia. At the 2016 census, Manjimup had a population of 4,349.

Dwellingup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Dwellingup is a town in Western Australia located in a timber and fruitgrowing area in the Darling Range east-south-east of Pinjarra. At the 2011 census, Dwellingup had a population of 383.

Denmark, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Denmark is a coastal town located on Wilson Inlet in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 423 kilometres (263 mi) south-south-east of the state capital of Perth. At the 2016 census, Denmark had a population of 2,558; however, the population can be several times the base population during tourist seasons.

South Western Highway

South Western Highway is a highway in the South West region of Western Australia connecting Perth's southeast with Walpole. It is a part of the Highway 1 network for most of its length. It is about 406 kilometres (252 mi) long.

Northcliffe, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Northcliffe is a town located in the lower South West region of Western Australia, about 28 kilometres (17 mi) south of the town of Pemberton. It is part of the Shire of Manjimup. At the 2006 census, Northcliffe had a population of 412. Currently, Northcliffe serves a population of around 770 people within the town and surrounding areas. Approximately 31% of the population have post-secondary qualifications.

Nanga Brook, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Nanga Brook is a former town located in the Peel region of Western Australia in the Lane-Poole Reserve between Dwellingup and Waroona.

Donnelly River, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Donnelly River Village is a former timber mill town and present-day holiday village in the Shire of Nannup, in the South West region of Western Australia. The Village is located at a point between Nannup, Bridgetown and Manjimup on the Donnelly River, a small, seasonal river at this point, which flows into the Southern Ocean at 34°29'02.4"S 115°40'27.8"E. The name also applies to a winery downstream on the Vasse Highway and the township's cottages are sometimes confused with cottages built on the lower reaches of the Donnelly River at 34.482273S 115.683438E.

Vasse Highway Highway in the South West region of Western Australia

Vasse Highway is a Western Australian highway connecting Busselton and the South Western Highway 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) south of Manjimup. It is 151 kilometres (94 mi) long and travels through jarrah and karri hardwood forests for most of its length, with some small agricultural areas and wineries nearby, and forms the main street of the towns of Nannup and Pemberton.

The Warren River is a river in the South West region of Western Australia with a catchment encompassing the towns of Manjimup and Pemberton. The river was named by Governor James Stirling, probably after Admiral Sir John Borlase Warren under whom Stirling served whilst in action in North America in 1813.

Boranup, Western Australia

Boranup, in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, is the site of a large coastal dune blow out known as the "Boranup sand patch" as part of the Boranup beach, and the site of a former M. C. Davies timber company mill. The sand patch area and sand blows affected the alignment of the Busselton to Flinders Bay railway.

Tourist Drives in Western Australia are routes through areas of scenic or historic significance, designated by route markers with white numbers on a brown shield. Tourist Drives were introduced into Western Australia while Eric Charlton was the state government Minister for Transport in the 1990s. The 28 numbered routes collectively traverse more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) across the state. In addition to the Tourist Drives, there are unnumbered routes such as the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, and local governments may designate and maintain local scenic drives, generally unnamed and unnumbered.

Northcliffe Branch railway

The Northcliffe Branch, also known as the Northcliffe Section or Picton to Northcliffe Line, is the railway route between Picton and Northcliffe in Western Australia.



  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Pemberton (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 15 March 2018. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. "Bureau of Meteorology: Pemberton Summary Statistics" . Retrieved 15 January 2008.
  3. 1 2 "Register of Heritage Places – Pemberton-Northcliffe Railway & Railway Station" (PDF). 7 September 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 September 2007. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  4. "Southern Districts". The Inquirer & Commercial News . Perth. 4 April 1866. p. 3. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  5. "The Herald". The Herald . Fremantle. 7 September 1867. p. 2. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  6. "Classified Advertising". The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times . Perth. 21 August 1868. p. 2. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  7. "Advertising". The Herald. Fremantle. 28 September 1872. p. 3. Retrieved 21 March 2014.
  8. Malcolm, Norman, as Canmore (10 June 1924). "Rural interests - Down south-west - Settlements of interest". The West Australian . p. 5. Retrieved 29 August 2012.
  9. Shire of Manjimup (8 February 2015). "D'arcy Lefroy's property". State Heritage Register. Perth, WA: Heritage Council and State Heritage Office. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  10. "100 Year Forest". Explore Parks WA. Perth, WA: Department of Parks and Wildlife. 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  11. "History of country town names". Landgate. Retrieved 29 July 2011.
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 July 2012. Retrieved 25 July 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Climate Statistics for Pemberton, WA" . Retrieved 21 June 2020.


  • Bond, Alex (2008). Pemberton Wine Region Western Australia. Applecross, WA: Stormlight Publishing. ISBN   9780646488332.