Home to some of the state’s most magnificent karri forest, Shannon National Park offers a variety of ways to experience its beauty.
You can meander along the Great Forest Trees Drive, immerse yourself in the forest along several different walktrails, go birdwatching or canoeing and even stay a few nights in the Shannon Campground.
The park and the Shannon River were named after the HMS Shannon, an English Royal Navy ship that won a battle with an American frigate off New England in 1813.
The Shannon was one of the last areas in the South-West to be opened up for logging, due to its inaccessibility. The Shannon area was largely untouched until the 1940s, when an acute shortage of timber after World War Two prompted the State government to establish a timber mill there. Timber cutting began in the Shannon basin in the mid-1940s and the town and timber mill were established in the late 1940s.
A new focus
Gazetted as a national park in 1988, today the Shannon lures visitors seeking to immerse themselves in its natural beauty. The karri trees are certainly the jewel of this park, some growing up to 90 metres tall. You can view these forest giants up close at Snake Gully Lookout and Big Tree Grove.
The park also features beautiful stands of jarrah, marri, bullich, paperbark and blackbutt.
The entire catchment system of the Shannon River is protected within the Shannon National Park and the adjoining D’Entrecasteaux National Park.
Shannon Campground has recently been upgraded and there are now over 60 campsites to choose from. Whether you have a tent, campervan, caravan or even a large 5th wheeler, you are sure to find a site that suits your needs. Gas barbecues, hot showers and upgraded walk trails make this a great spot to spend a few days.
You can also camp with your horse at the recently built Shannon Horse Camp. A large, securely fenced area near the Shannon Oval provides plenty of room to stay with your horse. Horse yards, hitching rails and compost bays are located within the fenced area. Toilets and showers are a short walk away in the main Shannon Campground (no horses permitted).
Camping fees and park entry fees apply and can be paid at the fee shelter at the Shannon Lodge.
Please be aware of ongoing works around the campground such as tree planting, weed control and construction and improvement of recreation areas.
Great Forest Trees Drive
The Great Forest Trees Drive is a self-guided, 50km drive that winds its way through spectacular old-growth karri, jarrah and marri forest. You’ll also pass sedgeland, heath and granite outcrops.
There are several stops along the way where you can stretch your legs, have a picnic or just enjoy the views. The drive starts from the northern side of the South Western Highway near the Shannon Campground and finishes at the campground.
Interpretive signage along the way gives you information on the trees and vegetation types of the Shannon National Park.
On the northern side of the highway, you’ll visit Shannon Dam, Which Tree is That?, Melaleucas and Curtin Tank. Once you cross the highway and start the southern loop of the drive, you pass Snake Gully, Big Tree Grove and Inferno Hill.
The Great Forest Trees Drive mainly takes you along unsealed roads but these are suitable for two-wheel drive with care. Please be aware that some sections are one way only. For more information visit TrailsWA.
There are a variety of walks on offer at Shannon National Park. You can start them from the Shannon Lodge in the Campground or from the Shannon Dam. For more information visit TrailsWA.
You can also explore the Shannon National Park on your horse along three bridle trails that leave from the Shannon Horse Camp. At 7km, 17km and 20km, you are sure to find a trail that suits you.
The Warren Blackwood Stock Route, a long-distance horse-riding trail, also passes through Shannon National Park. From Shannon, you can ride south to Broke Inlet or north towards Quinninup, Manjimup and Bridgetown.
Shannon National Park is accessible from the South West Highway halfway between Manjimup and Walpole.