Northcliffe is a 41km ride along the Trail from Pemberton and is the southern terminus of Stage 6. It hosts a population of fewer than 1000 residents and has the unique distinction of being the only town founded in WA specifically for the First World War Group Settlement Scheme. There is an old fashioned country, community spirit that is still alive in Northcliffe, which has existed since the early settlement days.
The town is largely surrounded by karri, marri and jarrah forest and is close to the Warren, D'Entrecasteaux and Shannon national parks. Town facilities include a small supermarket, post office, cafe, museum, hotel, gallery, as well as a public playground with barbecue and gazebo. The Northcliffe Visitor Centre is within around 50m of the Trail and is a great place to visit before heading off on your Northcliffe adventures. From the visitor information centre you can access the stunning sculpture walk trail – Understory. Understory is a nationally unique art in nature experience that everyone can enjoy. Artworks are located along a 1.2km walk trail through pristine native forest. Forty artists, international, interstate and local contributed to the sculptures exhibited in the park. Choose from five different audio tours to complement your experience. The Red Tree Gallery holds regular exhibitions for artists, photographers and potters.
Section 7 of the Trail starts in Northcliffe with the first campsite being the Yirra Kartta campsite 50km later. If, along this stretch, you are contemplating the meaning of the markers showing a white bike icon on a brown background, these denote the Northcliffe Mountain Bike Trail. The impressive granite outcrop around the Yirra Kartta hut has important significance to the traditional owners. From here, it is a further 50km to the next Kwokralup Beela hut and another 30km to the next town of Walpole; the southern terminus of Section 7.
Northcliffe was surveyed in 1923 for the Group Settlement scheme in which forest areas were cleared for farming and for forest industries. Apart from land clearing, the trees of the forest were felled to make sleepers for railway lines, and for construction purposes in Australia and Europe. Northcliffe was named after the newspaper baron whose papers promoted the scheme. The timber industry was a significant source of employment. More recently grapes, marron, olives and walnuts have been successfully introduced into the region.
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