Add these Blackwood River Valley towns to your south-west adventure just 2.5 hours from Perth.
Road trips down south don’t always have to be coastal affairs. Go beyond the shores and get to the heart of the south-west by treating yourself to some enchanting getaways worthy of a storybook feature. From apple-green rolling hills, historical towns to cutesy tearooms worth inviting your nan along for the ride, towns Bridgetown, Nannup and Balingup – or otherwise self-described as Villages in the Valley take the crown when it comes to having a picturesque getaway.
Make your next road trip a wholesome affair with adding this trio of Blackwood River Valley towns to your south-west adventure just 2.5 hours from Perth.
Once upon a time, some 270km south of Perth lay Bridgetown, a town that is every bit full of countryside charm as it is with cider. Mmmm, cider. Bridgetown is home to one of the region’s most treasured boutique breweries, the traditional English-inspired The Cidery and Blackwood Valley Brewery. The cidery serves up all kinds of whacky yet creative concoctions that infuse the tastes of the region including treat-yo-self truffle cider and chestnut ale. If you are after the usual pub flair on tap too, they have you covered also – hearty pub grub included. (Go for the apple cider leek quiche!)
From apples to grapes, Sunnyhurst Winery Bridgetown is one to please any wine connoisseur and colourful garden aficionado. The vineyard has scored many awards over the years for its earnest drops with grapes all picked by hand, processed, bottled on-premise. Call on your lover as the boutique vineyard encourages customers to stroll and picnic in its romantic gardens, filled with more than 600 lush smelling roses, cottage plants and fruit trees.
Apart from what’s fuelling the Bridgetown’s thirst, the town is a hotbed of activity. It is a top spot to canoe along the Blackwood River, the ribbon that ties these three towns together or a place for an urban adventure along the town’s scenic Blackwood River – Town trail. Below ground is a hive of leisure activity too, with down-the-spiral-staircase, The Rabbit Hole a hub for artists within the region and home to nine working art studios.
Bridgetown Valley Lodge – a heritage-listed boutique lodge with a tranquil alfresco courtyard and homely café.
Oakhill House – A secluded country estate with old-style charm nestled in rolling hills, olive tree plantations and orchards.
Could Nannup be home to Australia’s most baffling migration?
Nannup might be known for its feathered local emus, but there is more to it than the resident giant bird to fill up your gram’.
This well-preserved historic town is a pleasant reminder of the life of yesteryear with its timber shopfronts and wide verandas providing Nannup with old-world allure. Its Tiny Tea Shop is significant proof of what makes Nannup such a special living relic, taking traditional tea time to the next level serving up to 60 different teas in its quaint quarters.
If the clock is past 12, head along the Blackwood River to have a toast to the town at Whimwood Estate Wines, a locally owned and operated vineyard stocked with award-winning drops. For those keen to find out more about sustainable farm movements, venture to Chestnut Brae. The mature organic sweet chestnut forest is set across 70 acres using regenerative agriculture and holistic approaches.
If wining and dining becomes all too much, work it off with a bike ride along the Timberline Trail or Munda Biddi Trail circuit or have a refreshing dip in one of Nannup’s natural pools, Barrabup or Workman’s.
The ultimate nature getaway out of the three.
This is the place to confuse Australia and Austria as these hills may as well be alive with the sound of music as Balingup has some of the most spectacular scenery in the region. Rolling green hills dominate the landscape and the best place to take stock of it all from Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages
Balingup isn’t all innocent. Oh no, it is also possibly one of the south-west’s quirkiest towns. Yes, even more so than cow-deck Cowaramup! Below the mist right at the foothills, the town is decked with scarecrows that appear to have an ever-changing wardrobe, showing off the town’s fun-natured spirit.
Before saying Bon Voyage to Balingup, tucker into an award-winning pie at The Mushroom @ 61, right on the main strip. Their hearty pies are sure to fuel you for the adventures that await exploring Golden Valley Tree Park – WA’s largest arboretum set on 60 acres and home to over 3000 trees, some over a century old. The park has over 500 tree species from around the world so you can get your fix of forests-from-all-four-corners.
Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages – six cottages across 46-acres of natural bushland just 1.5km from town.
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