Local Escapes

20 Awesome Things To Do In Pemberton And Manjimup

By Claire Logan – who grew up in an ingredient household and swears by the healing powers of a good martini

Home to world class pinot, more truffles than you can dream of and majestic towering karri forests, Pemberton and the Southern Forests has to be one of WA's top weekend escapes.

From mountain bike trails to whiskey bars, jaw-dropping natural scenery to foodie faves, you’ll find your dream break down south. To get you started, here's all the best things to do in Pemberton and Manjimup.

  • First things first, book one of these stunning Southern Forests stays.
  • Then lineup a wine tasting adventure. Unlike Margs, you'll need to book ahead to sip at most of these cellar doors so go ahead and lock in a session at PicardyLost Lake and Hidden River Estate.Picardy winery in Pemberton
  • Ampersand Estates is one of the few vineyards in the area that you can just waltz on in without booking. It also has both wine and spirits to keep you busy, so it's a good one to keep up your sleeve on days you haven't planned anything.
  • Start your day with a good coffee and ciabatta toastie from Southern Roasting Co. in Manjimup. They also run Park, if you're after a sitdown brekky with a good view and a mimosa.Southern Roasting Co in Manjimup
  • If you're chasing something in Pembie, go to Wild at Heart cafe. A cute little coffee shop with some of the best homemade cakes around, it’s open for breakfast through to lunch.
  • Climb some extremely tall trees. Pemberton has two biggies that will challenge your fear of heights—the Gloucester Tree (which is temporarily closed at the mo) and the Dave Evans Bicentennial Tree. If you chicken out of the climbing part (it's seriously no joke), these giant karris are still pretty marvellous to see up close. Gloucester Tree in Pemberton
  • Do go chasing waterfalls. Beedleup Falls has water flowing all year round and some stunning walk tracks with viewing platforms to soak up all the action. There's also Cascades, which has a seriously picturesque walk around it.
  • Go for a picnic and a swim at Big Brook Dam. This beauty is basically Pembie's answer to the beach, so you'll find loads of locals here on the rare occasion it gets over 22 degrees. The water is surprisingly warm, though, so just suck it up and go for a plunge.
  • Or dive into one of these manmade outdoor swimming pools. Pemberton Pool and Fonty's Pool in Manjimup are both mind-blowingly beautiful spots for a dip.Fonty's Pool in Manjimup
  • Lace up for a scenic hike. The Southern Forests are blessed with some stunning trails through towering forests and flowing waterways. Check out some of the best here.
  • Go four wheel driving over dazzling white sand dunes at Yeagarup Dunes or let Pemberton Discovery Tours show you the way. There's also plenty of amazing four wheel driving to be had through D'Entrecasteaux National Park too.D'Entrecasteaux National Park
  • Fill your chocolate quota at Southern Forests Chocolate Company. The charming cafe has a luxe hot choccie to warm you up and seriously delish treats for the car ride home.
  • Book a truffle hunt. The region is Australia's biggest supplier of black gold, so you can dig up loads of the stuff between June and August with clever doggos at farms like Truffle Hill and Australian Truffle Traders.Truffle Hunting in Pemberton
  • Or just sample all of Chef David Coomer's next-level truffle goodies at the recently opened Hound & Hunter Fine Foods in Manjimup. The new cafe and test kitchen has endless treats to tempt you, but the ridiculously cheesy truffle toastie might just be our fave.
  • For allllll the truffles you can handle, time your trip to line up with the annual Truffle Kerfuffle, held every June. The festival has back-to-back gourmet feasts running from morning to night along with chef demos, wine tastings and endless market stalls.Truffle Kerfuffle
  • Get the true blue country pub experience at The Pemberton Hotel. They serve classics like steak, parmis and fish and chips that can all be washed down with a pint of something cold.
  • For a German-inspired feast for lunch or dinner,  stop by Forest Lodge Resort. Owner and chef Ingo Maas will be sure to look after your tastebuds. We’d suggest staying at the lodge and enjoying breakfast the next morning too. 
  • You'll also wanna head to Jaspers in Pemberton to get stuck into their wild whiskey and bourbon line up. The whiskey and chocolate flights are a whole thing.Jaspers in Pemberton
  • Grab a glass of vino and some tasty pinchos at Treehouse Tapas and Winebar in Pemberton. Just make sure you book ahead as it's often packed with locals and out of towners.
  • Tall Timbers in Manjimup is another favourite for a good feed, with a vast selection of local wines both to taste and buy. If you can’t get out to many of the region’s cellar doors, this is your best option for a one-stop-shop.
  • Spend a night at RAC Karri Valley Resort. With its waterfront dining room and cute cabins, it's the perfect spot to cosy up with a local vino and a bite to eat before toddling next door when bedtime hits.

Looking for an escape closer to home? Try one of Perth's best day trips.

Image credit: Tristan McKenzie, Picardy, Southern Roasting Co, Jaspers

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