Golden Valley Tree Park: Everything You Need To Know

byMark Pybus
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With Western Australia enjoying a lovely Mediterranean climate, we are blessed with a large number of native evergreen tree species but that means we miss out on the changing of the leaves as autumn and winter approaches.

There is a place in the South West where you can get the full “fall” experience of the colder climate countries in the Northern Hemisphere where a kaleidoscope of colours is waiting every autumn.

What Is It:
One of the largest and most extensive arboretums in the state, the Golden Valley Tree Park in Balingup has colonial history dating back to the late 1800s when it was an agricultural homestead. Since the 1980s it has been running as an arboretum and contains an amazing variety of deciduous and evergreen trees, some dating back to the early 1900s.

These days it is a volunteer run community project that is continuing to expand with more trees planted every year. Split between the exotic and the native species, it’s a truly unique place to explore where you’ll get to see some old and character filled trees that you wouldn’t normally see in WA.

Where Is It:
Balingup is located a two and a half hour drive south of Perth along South West Highway. Take Forrest Highway south until you reach Bunbury and then turn onto South West Highway and follow this for another 60km until you reach Balingup.

The Golden Valley Tree Park is located just south of town, follow the signs on Southampton Rd and then Old Padbury Rd. There is plenty of parking available at different points.

What To Do:
To get the full Golden Valley experience it is recommended that you bring some good walking shoes and take in the two loops that are found in the area. The World Collection is the more famous of the two loops where you will walk along the gentle hills and admire the exotic species from all around the world. Autumn is the best time of year to visit when the changing of the leaves from green to different shades of orange, red and yellow put on a spectacular show.

The Australian Collection showcases a variety of species from all over the country, not just WA. See the smooth barked eucalyptus varieties from the east coast and a lot of work has been done to include some of the threatened native species from the Wheatbelt. Pack a picnic to enjoy afterwards with plenty of space to lay out a blanket and enjoy the serene surroundings.

What Not To Do:
While dogs are allowed at the Golden Valley Tree Park, they must be kept on a leash. With livestock roaming around the World Collection Walk, it is best to keep your four legged friend close by. Care and respect must also be shown to the trees, please don’t carve your name into them or climb them and as always, remember to Leave No Trace.

Anything else?
Balingup is a really cool and vibrant town in the South West with plenty to explore. The surrounding area is full of orchards, cosy bed and breakfast stays and great local producers.

The other unique experience that Balingup is famous for is the annual Medieval Festival where knights, ladies and lords gather each year to dress up and enjoy a weekend of activities, festivities and competition.

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