The abundant waterways of the Geographe region give life to a vast diversity of flora and fauna – in fact, the area is located in one of only 25 biodiversity hotspots in the world.
BG’s coastal plain is home to beautiful Tuart forest – with less than 2,000 hectares of this forest remaining it is one of the rarest in the world. A protected area of pristine Tuart forest can be found in Bunbury at the southern end of Ocean Drive, but to truly witness Tuart forest in all its splendour head further south to the Tuart Forest National Park. The forest is also home to a variety of wildlife including kangaroos, bandicoots and ringtail possums.
As you move inland, the Jarrah forest becomes dominant. The thick Jarrah forest of the BG is protected by the 4,000 hectare Wellington National Park, which offers extensive walk and mountain bike trails. Within this park is the King Jarrah Tree – one of the largest tree in the area. A protective boardwalk follows its circumference allowing an intimate view of this majestic old tree.
The biggest Jarrah tree in Australia is hidden deep in the Mornington State Forest near Brunswick Junction. Only accessible by 4WD, the Jarrah Hadfield is more than 10 metres in circumference – try wrapping your arms around that – and more than 260 years old.
Also on the National Register of big trees and close in size to Hadfield, is a 250 year-old Jarrah Muja near Collie, off Boyup Road.
Our European influences stand tall in the Donnybrook and Balingup regions.
Balingup’s Golden Valley Tree Park is the largest arboretum in Western Australia, both in terms of area and number of species. The Park is divided into two sections, one area of 25ha for Australian trees and the other area of 35ha for the World Collection. There are over three thousand individual trees planted of over one thousand different species, some specimens of which date back one hundred years to when the original farming properties were established. Every year the collection is increased.
The Balingup Avenue of Honour is a beautiful avenue of old oak trees, recognising local men and boys who lost their lives in the First World War. Their names are engraved on plaques at the bases of the trees.
A 128-year-old oak tree on the National Register graces the surrounds of the Donnybrook Visitor Centre. Nearly six-metres in circumference, it’s an impressive sight.
Moreton Bay Figs
Two National Hertiage listed Moretan Bay Fig trees can be found in Bunbury. One sits in the CBD near Centrepoint Shopping Centre. Another is located near the historical St Mark’s Anglican Church – Old Picton Church (1842) and Graveyard.