Gnomes, Nature & Natty Wines: 7 Realms Around Bunbury Geographe To Visit This Winter
Sure the sun is rising a little later these days, the mornings are a bit cooler, and those winter rains are slowly comin’ – but that’s no excuse for you adventure-seeking folks out there to hibernate for the next few months, right? Our southwest comes alive in new and mysterious ways over winter, and Bunbury Geographe is divided into seven regions ripe for exploring while also being barely a couple of hours from Perth!
Here’s what’s up:
Our love affair with the Fergie began a couple of years ago with a short visit there, and we’ve been doe-eyed about it ever since. Scenic country drives through tumbling valleys, some enticing alternative drops in a bubbling winery scene, hidden art galleries, award-winning bakeries, a massive colony of garden gnomes, mountain bike trails, fantastic farm stays… The list goes on and on. There’s a reason it’s becoming a fresh and exciting alternative to other wine regions in the area, get on board!
Collie River Valley
In recent years the Collie Region has claimed two very distinct titles within this State that are hard to argue with – not only is it unofficially WA’s Lake District, it’s also become our Mountain Biking capital. The region’s ever-expanding list of heart-pumping downhill tracks attracts visitors from far and wide, while for those who enjoy things a little slower-paced there’s plenty of peaceful nature hikes, heritage and history to explore, plus the biggest dam painting in the entire southern hemisphere! And while this may not be the best time of year for a dip in one of Collie’s famous water bodies, those swimming holes take on a certain majesty on those cool, misty mornings.
The Harvey Region is arguably Bunbury Geographe’s most diverse – there’s something for everyone with beaches to the west, gently rolling meadows to the east and luscious pastures in between. One constant throughout the region though is the array of fresh produce you can sink your teeth into, including some of the State’s finest oranges, beef and cheese to line your picnic basket with. There’s also a couple of sneaky wineries and breweries about the place, along with public art, something for the history buffs and even Australia’s largest jarrah tree.
An unassuming seaside town that’s just away enough from the usual haunts to retain its unique down south charm, it’s where you go to refresh and recharge with the fresh, salty air of Peppermint Grove matched only by the earthy surrounds of Tuart Forest National Park. Dig a little deeper and you’ll find world class wine, golf, paintball, wildflowers and waterfalls – just make sure you fuel up at the Capelberry Café before you get started.
If quirky country towns complete with a cast of colourful characters is your cuppa tea, set your coordinates for the charming, historic hamlets of Donnybrook. If you’re all about keeping the doctor away Donnybrook is the “Apple Capital Of Western Australia”, with tumblings hills along the Preston River home to some of the best in the west. Grab a bunch and get some local knowledge from one of many roadside stalls around the place; pop into the delightful Donnybrook Goods Shed; enjoy a glass or two of some of the region’s best wine in the Preston River Valley; and if you’ve got some little ones in tow set coordinates for the recently refurbished Apple Fun Park, Australia’s largest free entry playground!
From there it’s onto the medieval, magical and mist-laden hills of Balingup. There you’ll find a place drenched in natural beauty, cosy cafes, merry markets and cute shops lining the main street. Located at the northern end of Blackwood River Valley, it’s also home to the spectacular Golden Valley Tree Park – WA’s largest arboretum.
The bubbling heart of the Bunbury Geographe region as a whole, Bunbury is a vibrant city that’s equal parts laidback coastal cool and burgeoning arts and culture stop, with a thriving eat and drink scene featuring small bars, historic pubs, boutique restaurants and quaint cafes. And that’s all before you even talk about the wild dolphins you can visit in Koombana Bay, the weekly farmers markets, consistent events calendar and loads more. There’s a reason it’s no longer just a stop-over for trips further south – get amongst it!
Where To Stay
All of this adventuring around the Bunbury Geographe regions means a nice and cosy place to rest your weary head is essential! Luckily for you the Bunbury Geographe Website has a very handy interface for finding great accomm in the area. Although if you pressed us for a few hot tips, may we humbly point you towards the delightful Evedon Lakeside Retreat, Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages, Quest Apartments Bunbury or the epically named (and luxe-looking), Skating Goose Farm:
Start planning your Bunbury Geographe adventure today via the Website, which outlines a host of experiences and great accommodation options in the area.
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