The Ferguson Valley is a wonderous place for art and history lovers, less than two hours south of Perth.
Appreciators of art and history buffs rejoice as hidden among the tall trees of the Ferguson Valley is a living and breathing open-air gallery.
The hamlet of Dardanup is the region’s treasure trove into the past, home to early agricultural, rail and machinery heritage of nearby towns. The town’s rich history has influenced art lovers to descend to the region, enabling the area’s great food and wine scene.
Satisfy the curiosity at both spectrums by uncovering the region’s pioneer past, reimagining the industrial era and seeing the creative juices flowing from locals with this inspiring weekender to leave a long-lasting impression.
Take a step back in time and follow the footsteps of the town’s early settlers with a 2km walk along the Dardanup Heritage Walk
Top tip: Do pace yourself as it can take between one to two hours to complete wandering around the living museum!
Visiting a country bakery is almost mandatory when on any Australian road trip and the Dardanup Bakery is well worth the detour.
The ever-popular bakery will appease any carb enthusiast with its vast selection of woodfired artesian sourdough breads, delicious pastries and ‘meal in your hands’ gourmet pies. No extra sauce required.
Afternoon – Early Evening
Still got your head stuck in the past?
Head to the nearby town of Boyanup. This quaint town is home to an impressive vintage collection of rolling stock and steam locomotives that would excite the young at heart, especially those who loved (or still do!) childhood favourite Thomas The Tank Engine.
All memorabilia are on full display at the monthly open day of South West Rail and Heritage Centre.
Continue your dive into a bygone era with visiting Rustic French Living located in a former church. Have your own Antiques Roadshow uncovering the speciality shop’s vintage treasures all originating from France. The shop also stocks French-inspired items to live a belle vie (beautiful life).
Weave a day of history with nature by taking a stroll alongside a tranquil billabong at Crooked Brook Forest. A ‘forest for all people’, this popular recreation site has four trails, ranging from Forest Path – a 600m wheelchair-accessible trail that has been listed as one of TrailsWA’s Top Trails – to a scenic 10km walk with views to the coast. Along the way, a series of plaques can be found depicting the history of the forest from prehistoric times to the Centenary of Federation and information on local wildlife and plants.
Play the real-life hunger games with a visit to traditional outback pub Bush and Bull Tavern for an early dinner. Be armed with a fork, knife and spoon as your tucker into delicious pub grub while seated in the beer garden or inside to appreciate the pub’s old-world charm. Make friends with those in charge of the Ferguson Valley’s future – the locals – over a round of free pool, an excellent way to make the day come full circle.
Get in touch with Ferguson Valley’s natural beauty by taking a short journey to Wellington National Park.
Follow the river along Lennard Drive, one of the park’s most scenic routes. Choose to admire the wildflower colours in the springtime (September – November) or take a refreshing dip in the picture-perfect Honeymoon Pool, a hidden natural oasis shaded by overhanging peppermint, karri, jarrah and marri forest.
Pull over the car to imagine a world of colour at Wellington Dam. The dam wall is to become one of the world’s most oversized art canvases with a surface of more than 12,000 square metres. Now that’s one big paint job!
Have a lunch date with nature at Evedon Lakeside Restaurant. Get your hands around a gourmet beef or veggie burger with a peach chutney twist while you watch life on the lake pass by. This restaurant is also the perfect springboard for bushwalking, kayaking and fishing.
Afternoon – early evening
See the keen eye and good handwork of locals with a visit to Collie Art Gallery.
It is WA’s only A-class public gallery outside of Perth with the state-of-the-art venue showcasing a unique and diverse collection that regularly changes. It also offers community workshops and is home to Australia’s richest regional individual art prize of $50,000.
Make sure you have your swimmers on when visiting Black Diamond Lake. Its glistening emerald waters have made this abandoned mine site Insta-famous, surrounded with forest greenery and small glitter-white cliffs. (Check the water quality before making your dip in.) The lake is also very popular with canoe, kayak, SUP and water inflatable enthusiasts.
Pack for a sundowner picnic by this enchanting lake as it doesn’t get more blissful than this!
Your trip to the Ferguson Valley can be as budget or luxurious as you want it to be with a range of accommodation options to suit your holiday needs.
Kiosk at the Dam’s Glamping – Weave rustic with plush with a glamping stay amidst Wellington National Park’s enchanting forest surrounds.
Windfall Wine Cottage – A stylish self-contained chalet for couples located on the grounds of Windfall Wine Estate.
King Tree Lodge – Relax in this country-style retreat located surround by jarrah forest.
Roelands Village – This former Mission accommodates larger groups and is a nationally significant heritage-listed site surrounded by Seven Hills.
Wellington Forest Cottages – Go back in time with a stay at these 1920s built former forestry staff accommodation turn cosy cottages located within the national park.
Inspired to see more of the Ferguson Valley?
There are six distinct Drive Trails of the Ferguson Valley and surrounds to explore. Read the e-magazine with maps, tips and themed itineraries to plan your trip for an extended break.
Discover more of the South West with our Margaret River guide.
All images featured courtesy Australia’s South West.
This is a sponsored post for Australia’s South West – endorsed by So Perth. We value your feedback so please contact us with any thoughts in regards to our sponsored post.