About this place
Earlier this year, improvement works were carried out at Gloucester Tree, which included repegging so it could be safely climbed to a height of 42 metres while the top section of the tree and upper platforms remained closed for further inspections.
Based on the latest advice from our structural engineers, the work on the upper platforms requires the closure of the whole tree until further notice to provide safe access for workers and machinery.
We know this is disappointing, but visitor and workplace safety are our top priorities.
The nearby Bicentennial Tree in Warren National Park is still open and available for climbing.
Before the introduction of spotter planes to look out for fires, a network of 18 fire lookout trees and towers were spread out across the south-west forests. From the top of these lookouts, foresters used to scan the landscape around them for the first signs of smoke.
Foresters selected the Gloucester Tree to use as a fire lookout in 1947. It was one of eight lookout trees built in the south-west between 1937 and 1952. There were also 10 other lookout towers constructed from timber or built on high points in the landscape. To determine its suitability as a lookout tree, forester Jack Watson climbed it using climbing boots and a belt. It took him a gruelling six hours to reach the top and return.
The tree was named after the then Governor-General of Australia, His Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester. He visited the tree and watched the pegging of the ladder and lopping of the branches to construct the lookout. Apparently the Duke showed an interest in the tools used by the axemen. He tried his hand at using the auger to bore holes for the climbing pegs and remarked that it did not seem too difficult a task. The axeman replied “Come off it - you’re not through the bloody sapwood yet!”
Today, the Gloucester Tree has retired from its duties as a fire lookout tree but is available for the enjoyment of visitors. When open - you can climb 53m to the lookout structure for spectacular views over the surrounding karri forest and farmland.
Plan when to visit. Consider travelling with a personal location beacon (PLB). In the event you need to be rescued it could save your life!
Plants, wildlife and fungi
Visit the Atlas of Living Australia for a list of species recorded within a 5km radius of Gloucester Tree.
We recognise and acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional owners of Gloucester National Park.