The Diamond tree is over 50 metres tall and estimated to be 250 years old. She's a karri and was first climbed by forester Jack Watson. He climbed forty karris without pegs to find the tallest, with the best view.
I'm happier to climb a mountain than a tree. The only time I attempted the Diamond tree, the soles of my feet were going crazy ten metres up and I had to retreat. I think of those men and women sometimes, sitting in the crown of the biggest karri in the country, looking for smoke. Doreen Owens worked on the tree as a fire spotter in the 1950s. She said it was simply the best job but the place got pretty scary during high winds and the little hut would sway with the tree.
|Diamond Tree lookout in 1997
A woman who works at my local supermarket used to visit a friend who worked on an iron frame fire tower. She'd look down to see tourists climbing up. 'Quick Lyn!' She'd say, 'Grab that map table.' Together they'd push and pull at the map table until the whole tower swayed alarmingly. She called it her terrorist deterrent.
|Diamond Tree early days by Frank Hurley