Most of the activities and attractions around Pemberton are related to the forest, the karri trees in particular. The Karri Forest Explorer Drive provides a comprehensive tour of the main highlights. You can pick up a map from the Visitor Centre and/or follow the signposted roads. One magical route that's part of the drive is the Heartbreak Trail, off the Old Vasse Road, south of Pemberton. This one-way gravel track winds through magnificent old-growth forest, at times just above the Warren River, and with a few steep sections. You have to get out of your car to really appreciate the grandeur.
One special adventure, not for the faint of heart or those with no head for heights, is climbing the Gloucester Tree, just 3km (2 miles) east of the town. Some of the forest's tallest trees were converted to be fire lookouts in the 1940s; series of wooden stakes were hammered into the trunks in spiral fashion, leading up to a sort of tree house where the rangers could watch out for smoke or fire. Visitors today can clamber 60m (200 ft.) to the top -- and it's the climb rather than the view that excites. Wire netting surrounds the spiraling stakes as a nod to safety. Passing people going the other way can be interesting.
Taking a Pemberton Discovery Tour, 48 Brockman St. (tel. 08/9776 0484; www.pembertondiscoverytours.com.au), is an informed and entertaining way of seeing the countryside. The half-day "Beach and Forest Eco Adventure" takes you through remote old-growth forest and on to the enormous Yeagarup Dunes, before driving along an empty beach by the Southern Ocean. The tour operates all year at 9am and 2pm, including lunch or tea, for A$90 adults, A$50 children under 14, or A$270 families, with a minimum of two passengers. Booking is essential.
Then there's the Pemberton Tram, which leaves from the railway station (tel. 08/9776 1322; www.pemtram.com.au). The diesel-powered tram rattles its way along a narrow-gauge line over several wooden trestle bridges. There's an informative commentary, and opportunities to stroll into the forest. The tram runs daily, except December 25, at 10:45am and 2pm. Fares are A$18 adults, A$9 children 4 to 15, A$2.50 under 4.
Trout fishing is an option, and most local rivers are stocked, but you need to be aware of seasonal and licensing requirements. Several accommodations have their own lakes where guests can cast a line; King Trout Restaurant & Marron Farm, Northcliffe Road and Old Vasse Road (tel. 08/9776 1352)), provides for fishing and/or dining.
Pemberton is yet another quality wine-producing region boasting cool conditions, and it's becoming particularly known for its Burgundy-style wines, including WA's best pinot noir, at Salitage, Vasse Highway near Pemberton (tel. 08/9776 1195; www.salitage.com.au), the top winery (with two wines classified in Australia's Top 100), established and owned by Margaret River pioneer John Horgan. The sleek modern winery is open from 9am to 5pm daily, closed December 25 and 26.
The newest attraction around Pemberton is that amazing delicacy the truffle. The Wine & Truffle Company has a trufferie of 13,000 trees, mostly hazelnut, and is producing commercial quantities of the famed black truffle. Guided truffle hunts at A$95 adults and A$58 children 16 and under, are available throughout the year but best during the season, May to August. The company also produces quality wines, which can be tasted at the cellar door, together with a range of truffle-based products. The restaurant serves excellent lunches, with a gourmet truffle menu in season. Both are open daily.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.