Fernhook Falls was supposed to be a very wide waterfall, which you might get a sense of from looking at the span of the road bridge in the photos on this page. Instead, we were only able to see a very small fraction of what was left of the so-called Deep River as evidenced by the photo you see at the top of this page. Like with other waterfalls we encountered in the Southwest of Australia during our June 2006 visit, waterflow (or lack thereof) plagued our waterfalling experience here. Even the somewhat moderate to heavy rains we were experiencing in the past couple of days couldn’t revive this falls as it would certainly require more sustained and substantial rains to fill up the Deep River and make it the wide river-type falls we had seen in the literature prior to our visit (under which conditions we might have been able to see people run the falls on kayak or canoe).
Visiting the falls was pretty easy as a wheelchair-accessible path led to various views of the falls. During our visit, we had to contend with foliage getting in the view. Apparently, we should’ve continued driving past the first car park and go over the bridge for a different perspective of the width of the river without as much foliage getting in the way. We didn’t bother doing that as the flow of the river was on the west side of the bridge.
Aside from the falls, there were picnic tables so I’d imagine this would be a nice place to have a picnic and watch the spectacle of the waterfall under more agreeable conditions.
To get to the falls from Pemberton, take the South Western Highway (Hwy 1) until you see the signed turnoff taking you onto an unsealed road (Beardmore Road). This turnoff is roughly 88km southeast of Pemberton. From Walpole, it was roughly 25km to the west and north, and there’s apparently a longer more unsealed path that also leaves north of Walpole into the Beardmore Ridge though we didn’t take that route so we can’t really say more about that route.
Anyways, once on the unsealed Beardmore Rd, the car park is another 15 minutes or so to the east of Hwy 1 to a well-signed area that also allows for camping.
Our Explore Australia 2006 road atlas said a high-clearance vehicle is necessary, but we were able to make it without any problems in our low clearance passenger vehicle. But even as I say this, I’m sure the trouble-free nature of our experience depended on the weather and road maintenance.
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