Bunbury Geographe, in the heart of Australia’s South West, is a region where relaxation and exploration collide, characterised by sunsets over the sparkling Indian Ocean, rolling hills dotted with wineries, mountain bike trails and natural phenomena shaped by billions of years.
It’s a beautiful place to visit any time of year and really comes to life in spring, and if you’re planning a visit in the next few months you can head to the Visit Bunbury Geographe website for your chance to win two nights accommodation at beautiful Evedon Lakeside Retreat plus e-bike, mural and horseback adventures.
Below you can get inspired by a collection of seven half-day itineraries highlighting best of the region this spring:
If you’re a nature enthusiast, you’re in the right place. Start the day right with a 1.4 kilometre wander through the grass trees, bushland and rocky outcrops of the Wildflower Ridge Walk. Expect breathtaking views over the hills to the Harvey Dam, pine plantations and sweeping coastal plains. Spring is also wildflower season, so look forward to effervescent displays of native flora! Keep the good times rolling, with a wine tasting at the family-owned Harvey River Estate and lunch at independent brewery, Brugan in Wokalup who source the freshest ingredients possible from local farmers. If you’re feeling fruity, stop at Harvey Cheese for ice cream, cheese tasting and a sneaky tasting at St Dukes Distillery.
Dardanup and the Ferguson Valley
Known for rolling pastures, verdant forests and meandering rivers, Dardanup is the gateway to the award-winning cellar doors, country retreats and a lively arts scene of the Ferguson Valley. Begin your day in tranquillity among the jarrah trees with the Crooked Brook Wildflower Walk. The 3-kilometre undulating forest trail features a spectacular wildflower display and a picturesque valley lookout. Then enjoy lunch in the Ferguson Valley and at one of the exquisite wineries and boutique breweries.
End the day with something a little out of the ordinary… Gnomesville. A free and quirky gnome village, before staying the night at Evedon Lakeside Retreat. Alongside the cruisy lakeside cabins on offer, they’re one of the only places in the valley you can get an evening meal (Friday and Saturday) and are the perfect homebase for all your BunGeo explorations.
Also known as the City of Three Waters, Bunbury is an aquatic playground situated on a peninsula and loved by locals and visitors for surfing, boating, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding. A dolphin cruise at Koombana Bay is a must, so kick off the day with that – you’ll get the chance to get up close and personal to the friendly local bottlenose dolphins that call the area home. Follow up with a tour of the Dolphin Discovery Centre aquarium where you’ll learn about the region’s waterways from the freshwater river to offshore reef. Settle in for a bite at their beachside café or in town – we suggest Bunbury’s newest bakehouse, Little Spencer Coffee Co for a caffeinated beverage and toasty!
From the sparkling waters of azure lakes and countless adventure trails, Collie is a place to disconnect from the hustle and busy of everyday life and reconnect with nature. The historic town nestled on the Collie River has a reputation for adrenaline-pumping activities like camping, cycling and water sports, so it would only be right to begin with an Adventure Connections e-bike tour. The 10-kilometre journey takes guests around the Wellington National Park, and past Wellington Dam’s enormous 8,000 square metre mural, “Reflections” by Guido van Helten, which was inspired by local stories and photographs.
Back it up with lunch and locally crafted wine, beer and botanical-infused gin at Harris River Estate. Then walk it off with Forest Explorer’s Mural Tour which features more than 30 murals by WA artists on a unique outdoor gallery walk.
Capel is a quaint rural town famed for cheese, fruit and wine. The region is also home to pristine beaches and the world’s last naturally occurring tuart forest. Those with an adventurous spirit should begin the day with the Ironstone Gully Falls walk. Surrounded by a stunning display of wildflowers and countryside vistas, the falls drop over a nine-metre ledge, after coursing their way through one of the region’s many jarrah forests and a series of rapids. If you’re feeling peckish, head to Oakway Estate for lunch (if it’s the weekend) or Capelberry Café (during the week).
While it’s not quite New York City, Donnybrook is home to the aptly named Big Apple. The farming town is Western Australia’s apple capital and also houses the country’s biggest free entry fun park, alongside an abundance of fresh local produce. For a taste of serenity paired with nature-infused adventure, while away the hours along the Preston River Walk Trail and Waugyl Scupture Park. The 1.8-kilometre loop traverses a lush river ecosystem, which encompasses a suspension bridge and weir crossing.
Then for all things eats and drinks, take lunch from the locally sourced menu at Coughlan Estate, just a stone’s throw from the township. And for a little post-feed treat, enjoy a wine tasting at the Italian-inspired, family owned and operated, Barrecas Winery.
Bounded by rippling countryside, forests and orchards, Balingup resides at the northern entrance to the Blackwood River Valley. Spring is the best time to check out the Racecourse Flora Reserve for 1.7-kilometres of diverse flora, fauna and wildflowers. For lunch, pop into Mushroom 61 for one of their award-winning pies or Mr Foster’s for a salad and a delicious cake.
If you’re in the mood for stretching your legs, the Golden Valley Tree Park is a 60-hectare landscaped park in the Balingup hills and the perfect place for picturesque strolls in the heart of the South West. Finally, you can finish up with something sweet and with plenty of chocolates and cakes on offer in a charming heritage stables building, Blackwood Emporium 1864.
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