The South West is beautiful all year round. However, there are some particular locations that get that little bit more magical during winter.
Misty mornings, gushing rivers, green farmlands. There’s so much beauty in Balingup during winter. Couple that with plenty of cosy cottage accommodation and a quirky event line-up, and you’ve got the ultimate winter break. Be sure to check out the Balingup Medieval Carnival!
Augusta holds many accolades for such a charming little town. It’s the third-oldest settlement in Western Australia, the nearby Leeuwin Lighthouse is the tallest on mainland Australia and nearby Cape Leeuwin is the point at which the Southern and Indian Oceans converge. The top of the lighthouse is one of our picks for the best winter vistas in the South West too! Oh, and this is where the whale watching tours depart from between June and September annually.
A cute country town all year round, Bridgetown makes the most of winter, coining itself the ‘winter capital of Western Australia’. The locals have created a three-month celebration of the town’s people, businesses history and lifestyle, called Bridgetown in the Winter. There’s events every week, ranging from chess championships, craft fairs, and smoking workshops, to art trails, Christmas in July celebrations and the beautiful Banquet on the Bridge.
This pastoral area of the South West is best in winter due to one special activity you can only experience in this time; truffle hunting. Manjimup is the largest producer of black perigord truffles in the Southern Hemisphere, and truffières in Manjimup allow visitors to join truffle hunts in search of the black gold from June to August each year. In addition, you can sample fresh black truffle on the menus around the region, particularly at the Truffle and Wine Co.
The Great Southern is magical during the winter months. While the calm, protected waters of King George Sound are safe haven for boats, the strength of the ocean outside of the sound is a sight to behold, especially in winter. The powerful ground swells of the Southern Ocean hit the south coast of WA and make for an impressive and invigorating sight. A walk along Bald Head on a crisp winter’s day is must, as is a stop at The Gap’s new lookout and Wind Farm lookout, where you can see the waves crashing against the cliffs. The nearby blowholes work best on big winter swells.
Dardanup and Ferguson Valley
With plenty of cosy cottage accommodation options, beautiful green farmlands and a thriving wine region, the Ferguson Valley has all the elements for a perfect winter getaway. Plus, it’s only two hours from Perth. From here, you can day trip to surrounding country towns like Collie, Donnybrook or Harvey, and the café culture and boutique stores of Bunbury are just 30 minutes away.
The Blackwood River is the longest river in Western Australia and while it flows all year round, the winter rains mean you can canoe, kayak or go white water rafting over longer, uninterrupted stretches. There’s some fun rapids in winter too, from easy to intense. Bring your own, or hire canoes from Nannup or Bridgetown.
Learn more at winterdownsouth.com.