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Forest Discovery Centre

Home > Perth > Day Trips | Family | Fun for Children | Nature | Workshops
by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published January 24th 2019
Explore Western Australia's Natural Heritage
A lush natural wonderland where many unique species of flora and fauna can be found, Western Australia's south-west corner contrasts dramatically with the wide brown expanses typical of other parts of the state. The tall forests of this geographically isolated part of the world are the home of endemic tree species such as jarrah, karri, and marri – and were once the basis of a thriving timber industry throughout the region. Located just over 100 kilometres south of Perth, the Forest Heritage Centre is a fascinating complex where visitors can learn about Western Australia's native forests, enjoy bushwalks, participate in creative classes, and admire the work of talented local artists in its gallery and retail shop.

Image courtesy of the Forest Discovery Centre website
Image courtesy of the Forest Discovery Centre website

Surrounded by native bushland, the Forest Discovery Centre is situated on the outskirts of Dwellingup – a small, charming town that was a thriving timber settlement during the late nineteenth century. The centre is based in a striking contemporary leaf-shaped building constructed from rammed earth, and serves as an educational and creative centre, dedicated to raising public awareness of our Western Australian forests.

Image courtesy of the Forest Discovery Centre website
Image courtesy of the Forest Discovery Centre website

An interpretative centre provides fascinating information about the forest and its natural resources, as well as the native animals that live there. Visitors can also wander along a tree-top viewing platform that provides a birds-eye view of the forest canopy, and explore the nearby bushland by walking the trails surrounding the centre. Groups of ten people or more can take advantage of guided tours that focus on various aspects of life in the forest. Accompanied by knowledgeable local guides, Aboriginal cultural tours are particularly popular, and provide visitors with an insight into various aspects of traditional Noongar culture such as the making and use of tools, the utilisation of traditional plants, and food gathering practices. Other guided tours include a sawmill tour and wildflower walks.

Crafters, both experienced and aspiring, are invariably impressed by the studio facilities at the Forest Discovery Centre. Throughout the year a range of workshops are held, catering for every level of ability. Particularly popular are the centre's woodworking classes. Some of the current courses include woodturning workshops, burl hollowing, wooden bowl making, and dovetail box making.

Creative classes in macramé, silver clay, mosaics and watercolour painting are also available. There is even an introductory course on blacksmithing for beginners. However, please note that new workshops are constantly being added to the centre's website, so it's well worth checking it regularly.

The Forest Heritage Centre is a great place to purchase beautiful works by local artists. The large gallery space houses fine furniture made from native wood, other timber products, pottery, ceramic sculptures, and much more.

The centre is also a wonderful and very educational family destination. Children will love exploring the forest trails and especially the tree-top viewing platform. School groups are warmly welcomed by the centre, and special creative and environmental education excursions, as well as school camps, can be facilitated that link with the Western Australian Curriculum.

In conclusion, whether you're seeking a creative retreat, educational family fun, or a venue for your next school camp, the Forest Discovery Centre in Dwellingup will tick all the right boxes. If a single day doesn't provide enough time for you to explore all the centre has to offer, it also provides comfy and very affordable accommodation in its onsite Jarrah Forest Lodge.

The Forest Discovery Centre is located at 1 Acacia Road in Dwellingup, and is open on Monday to Friday, from 10am until 3pm. On weekends, the opening hours are 10am to 4pm. Entry is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for concession card holders, $3.00 for children and $13.00 for a family of four.

To find out more, visit the Forest Discovery Centre website. Alternatively, email or call 08 9538 1395.
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Why? To learn about Western Australia's forest heritage, participate in creative classes and / or purchase high quality local arts.
When: Open 7 days a week - weekdays from 10am to 3pm, and weekends 10am to 4pm.
Phone: 08 9538 1395
Where: 1 Acacia Road, Dwellingup, WA, 6213
Cost: Adults - $5.00; Concession - $4.00; Child - $3.00; Family of 4 - $13.00
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Love to do the forest discovery centre
by rosie (score: 2|168) 321 days ago
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