Why winter is the perfect time to explore WA’s Southern Forests & Valleys

Bridgetown walks
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With majestic, ancient forests, charming country towns and delicious local produce, it’s no wonder the Southern Forests and Valleys are a must-visit winter destination.

But where do you start?! Get ready for your next Australia’s South West winter getaway with our must-hits of where to stay, eat and explore:

Fridgetown Festival 

Bridgetown is charming year-round, but winter is when it really comes alive: so much so it’s even earned the moniker “Fridgetown” as the unofficial winter capital of Western Australia! The annual Fridgetown Fest celebrates this winter fun, showcasing local businesses and transforming the town into a twinkling winter wonderland from June through August.


WOW Wilderness

You don’t need to be swimming to explore the wonderful waterways of Walpole. Jump aboard Wow Wilderness’ Rainbow Lady for an unforgettable eco tour exploring WA’s first designated wilderness zone, the Walpole Wilderness Area. Stretching over a spectacular 360,000 hectares, join award-winning EcoGuide Gary Muir and the WOW team on a cruise through breathtaking inlets lined with impressive karri trees that grow right up to the water’s edge.

Truffle Kerfuffle

What’s more winter than treating yourself to a truffle-laden feast in Manjimup, the biggest producer of rare black Perigord truffles in the southern hemisphere? The annual Truffle Kerfuffle is one of the most indulgent weekends on the calendar, as celebrity chefs and truffle-lovers alike descend on the Southern Forests and Valleys for three days of delicious revelry. Eager to get a jump start? Plenty of farms offer hunt-your-own truffle experiences through their picturesque winter orchards.

Truffle Kerfuffle

Understory Art Trail

Combine magical winter bushwalks with a treasure hunt for spectacular artworks at the Understory Art Trail. This vibrant tapestry was established by local artists Fiona Sinclair and Peter Hill to bring attention to ecosystems under threat. Stretching over a 1.2km circuit through the lush surrounds of the Northcliffe Forest Park, the walk unfolds secrets along the way. Sculptures peak from behind ancient trees, stories are carried on the gentle breeze, and the forest is awash with creations from local and international artists that celebrate the South West.

Manjimup Heritage Park

If the kids aren’t quite so keen on the truffle hunting, it might be time to set them loose at the Manjimup Heritage Park. Boasting 12 hectares of natural bushlands, community gardens, walk trails, an adventure playground, three museums and a historic hamlet, there’s more than enough to keep the whole family busy for an afternoon or more! The park also boasts a massive 17 metre viewing platform and gigantic slide that even mums and dads will want to give a go!

Manjimup Heritage pArk

Ampersand Estates

Perched on rolling green hills on the banks of the picturesque Donnelly River, Ampersand Estates makes for a spectacular stop for a tasty drop. Producing a range of premium wines that reflect the earthy flavours of Pemberton, the cooler weather demands a taste of their signature Bordeaux-style “Esperluette”, a sumptuous blend of Merlot, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon. And of course, after cosying up with a couple of wines by the fire… Who could blame you for staying a little longer? Until the end of August, you can enjoy the Estates’ stunning and historic residences for three nights while only paying for two!

Ampersand Estate

Windy Harbour

Still want to get your beach fix, but do it the winter way? Head to the coast of D’Entrecasteaux National Park, where you can drop a line and catch your dinner at Windy Harbour! Cathedral Rock Beach is a favourite for keen anglers – one of the more sheltered spots along the rugged coastline, where you can expect to catch herring, whiting and skippy all year, as well as salmon and tailor when they’re running. Just don’t forget to pack a warm jacket – this spot lives up to its name.

Yeagarup Dunes

Also in the D’Entrecasteaux National Park, the shifting sand dunes of Yeagarup are one of the region’s most remarkable natural wonders. The land-locked dune system creeps away from the coast four metres each year, migrating inland, swallowing forests and wetlands and unearthing fossilised trees. It’s a favourite for 4WD enthusiasts, and there’s plenty of options for guided tours for those without one.

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Summerstar Walpole Rest Point Caravan Park

You don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a dreamy winter escape – in fact, Summerstar Tourist Parks make it practically irresistible! The Summerstar Walpole Rest Point Caravan Park is nestled in the heart of the Walpole Wilderness Area. Surrounded by lush national park and right on the banks of the Nornalup Inlet – it’s the perfect spot to enjoy crisp winter mornings overlooking the tranquil water.

The park’s accommodation ranges from powered caravan and camping sites to charming A-frame cabins, and units that sleep up to seven – plus, during winter you can stay in roofed accommodation for four nights for the price of three, or just $25 a night for powered camping sites! Find out more here.

Walpole Summerstar Tourist Park

Ready to discover more magical winter experiences in Australia’s South West? Head to Winterdownsouth.com to plan your next cosy getaway.

This article is sponsored by Australia’s South West and endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.