It’s time to spring into action with a Ferguson Valley road trip, less than two hours south of Perth and enjoy some of WA’s best hikes, bikes & wines.
Spring in the Ferguson Valley is a gorgeous time. Its lush green surrounds, comfortable temperatures and an array of outdoor adventure playgrounds mean that there is no better excuse to finally work off overindulging in one too many winter Donnybrook-apple crumbles and get moving.
To take advantage of the fresh spring air, follow this energising Ferguson Valley weekend itinerary that proves to balance out the scales with pumping muscle and indulging in tasty pleasures.
Start your weekend with pedal power exploring Wellington National Park. Hire a bike or bring your own and head to Mount Lennard, regarded one of the best-sanctioned mountain bike networks in the state spanning 40km. The area is very much a labyrinth when it comes to mountain bike trails with seven scenic routes and varying grades to suit riders of all levels, fitness and time available for your two-wheeled adventure through the storybook forest.
Bravo bravo! You have finished your very own Tour de Ferguson Valley; now it’s time for an extended pitstop. Conveniently located opposite the bottom trail car park is Wild Bull Brewery. This family-friendly boutique brewery is not short on flavour with its premium craft beers, woodfired pizzas and towering Dardanup beef burgers to rival the Leaning Tower of Pisa on offer. Relax and enjoy your comfort feed while taking in the tree-lined views of the valley.
Afternoon – Early Evening
Head on for a short 150m stroll to Ferguson Hart Estate to get inspired with the creative flair of the Ferguson Valley. (Come on, after a big feast we can’t be too active just yet, can we?)
Before you get stuck into the liquid pleasures, see the visual ones checking out owners Jan and Merv Hart’s local fine art collection, mostly painted by Jan herself. The Hart’s themselves work the cellar door too so expect a friendly greeting from those who live and breathe the delightful provincial vineyard. Sit back in the estate’s gorgeous gaudy patio to enjoy a drop of the estate’s Gold medal Chardonnay or a cuppa of speciality ground coffee with cake. A sugar rush all around.
You are now well on your way with an easy tour of Geographe Bay wine region with Willow Bridge Estate just a quick two-minute drive away. The estate is one of the region’s largest wineries and holds a five-star Halliday rating and has been voted ‘Best Large Cellar Door 2019’ by Gourmet Traveller Wine. Try its Dragonfly range which includes its multi-award-winning Sauvignon Blanc Semillon blend, priced at $22 per take-away bottle.
Cap off your Saturday session with a visit to Ferguson Falls Wines Café for afternoon tea with a cheesy twist. Wines, American-inspired gourmet pizzas, hand-crafted cheeses, desserts, Two Fat Cows ice-cream: it’s all very dairy delicious here! This vineyard is also the first one planted in the region, calling first dibs with its pristine location overlooking the ever-verdant valley. No need for dinner as this scenic afternoon feast should do the trick!
Top tip: Not a dairy lover? The café also caters for gluten-free diets.
The day can go two ways:
Take it easy on a Sunday morning with a scenic stroll and swim in Wellington National Park. Jabitj (Running Water) Walk Trail runs along the Collier River between Instagram favourite Honeymoon Pool and Kiosk at the Dam (6km one way, 12km return). Make sure you bring your swimmers for a tranquil dip under overhanging peppermint, karri, jarrah and marri eucalyptus trees in Collie’s much-loved natural pool. We couldn’t make it sound more romantic if we tried!
Time to jump in the car for a half-hour journey to Hackersley Estate Wines. Now, this is the time to relax and unwind with a long lunch affair overlooking the apple-green rolling hills of the Ferguson Valley. (Make sure you wear loose clothing!) The three-course lunch set-menu ($59) changes approximately every eight weeks, so prepared to be wowed with epicurean dishes prepared with seasonal produce. Pair your lunch with the estate’s classic Western Australian wine varieties – Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Verdelho, Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot – to make it lunchtime that extra bit merry.
Afternoon – Early Evening
Cap off your day with watching the sunset at Harris River Estate. This estate is a jack-of-all- trades, and it certainly does not lack choice with the estate producing both wine and cider. Just recently, it released Boodja Gin, a gin that aligns botanical flavours with the Noongar six seasons and beer with Beelagu Mort, a fully owned and operated Aboriginal company in Collie’s Noongar Wilman Country.
After your drink pick, perch yourself up on the outdoor spacious wooden decking that overlooks the estate. Sip and snack on a very generous grazing platter while watching kangaroos hop between vineyards at sunset. Here you will realise that the Ferguson Valley never ceases to amaze with such natural beauty at all hours.
If you are a hiking fanatic, prepare for physical exertion with Wellington National Park’s brand-new world-class Wiilman Bilya Trail. The full-day hike stretches 20km from Wellington Dam north to end at Coalfields Highway, meandering through blackbutt trees, jarrah forest and past granite outcrops. If choosing this option, reward yourself with a great feed and afternoon toast at Harris River Estate – a perfect excuse to replenish those energy levels over a picturesque sunset.
Top tip: Pack lunch and enough water for the day as you will need it!
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 wallet.
Honeymoon Pool Campground – Go back to holiday basics with a tee-pee stay at this campground located in Wellington National Park. The newly-upgraded Potters Gorge is also nearby. Book in advance.
Kiosk at the Dam’s Glamping – Enjoy barefoot luxury at this scenic glamping getaway amongst Wellington National Park’s forest surrounds.
Ferguson Farmstay – A perfect getaway for families with vistas over Bunbury and the Indian Ocean. Let the young ones participate in farm life with feeding the animals, collecting eggs and going on pony and tractor rides.
Peppermint Lane Lodge Bed and Breakfast – This adult-only retreat is a tranquil getaway with self-contained studios overlooking the Ferguson River and lush gardens with artful sculptures for maximum relaxation.
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.
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