Villages in the Valley Road Trip
Explore the hidden gems in the heart of Western Australia’s South West. Meander through the unique rolling landscape of the Blackwood River Valley. Only 2.5 hours from Perth, the Villages in the Valley Road Trip travels through the truly quaint historic towns of Balingup, Nannup and Bridgetown. Enjoy spectacular scenery, warm country hospitality, award-winning accommodation, cafes and tearooms, fascinating street art and a year round program of awesome events. Combine this with fresh produce, classic country pubs, charming antique stores, and some of the state’s most exhilarating mountain biking and walk trails. This biodiversity hotspot provides the fertile ground for stunning wildflower seasons and boasts arguably some of the best cider, wine and boutique beer in Australia. Homely cafe’s and restaurants dish up delicious and tasty treats to please anyone's palate.
Changing seasons have a truly beautiful effect here – you can experience enchanting misty mornings in winter, refreshingly cool summer nights, a blaze of colour through the deciduous trees in autumn, and bursts of pinks, purples and yellows in spring. Between towns, winding country roads crisscross rolling green hills and stands of ancient jarrah, marri and karri forest. The beautiful Blackwood River is the ribbon that ties this stunning patchwork region together.
Day 1 Perth to Balingup via Bunbury (230kms)
Take a leisurely drive to Balingup, the entrance to the Blackwood River Valley. Arrive for lunch in one of Balingup’s Café’s and take a stroll along Balingup’s quaint main street exploring boutique shops including the Tinderbox with its range of hand-made essential oils and aromatherapy products, Balingup’s Goldsmith, for exquisite handmade jewellery and the Village Pedlars for hand crafted artisan products. Pick up a bottle of port from Balingup Fruit Winery before checking into your accommodation - cosy B&B's to award winning self contained cottages. Unwind and watch the sunset over the rolling hills. At night stoke up the fire and marvel at the huge expanse of the night sky. Overnight Balingup.
Day 2 Balingup to Nannup (42kms)
Start your day with a ‘big breaky’ at Balingup’s award-winning Mushroom at 61 Café and grab a 'selfie' with one of Balingup's quirky scarecrows. A 'must see' is the magnificent 60 hectare Golden Valley Tree Park, WA’s largest arboretum. Voted one of the five top spots in Australia to see autumn colours.
Next, drive the spectacular Blackwood River Tourist Drive to Nannup, only 45 mins away. This route is recognised as one of the most scenic drives in Australia, winding through magnificent vistas of lush orchards, diverse farmland and tall jarrah and marri forests. Take time to pull over at Wright's Bridge for your first look at the Blackwood River, then stop in at Whimwood Estate to chat with the winemakers whilst tasting wines. Continue to Nannup and explore the main street, wander the Heritage Trail that celebrates the history of the area. Overnight in Nannup.
Day 3 Nannup to Bridgetown (45kms)
Rise early to explore some of the hidden treasures of the area including Cambray Cheese, that features sheep and cow's milk cheeses, Barrabup Pool which is set deep in the forest, the Tiny Tea Shop, Holberry Sculpture Walk and the Nannup Furniture Gallery before heading off to Bridgetown. If time permits, detour to Chestnut Brae Farm where you can visit a working farm that value adds chestnut products. On route to Bridgetown you will want to visit Donnelly River Village, where you will see emus and kangaroos wandering the streets.
Historic Bridgetown is the SW's only heritage listed town, with its stunning architecture reflecting its rich rural past. Stroll the vibrant main street and meet the welcoming locals. Checkout the passionate artisan store keepers and see why Bridgetown is home to a growing number of tree-changers! Having worked up a thirst, spoil your senses with lunch at the award winning Cidery & Blackwood Valley Brewing Company and their handcrafted artisan ciders, beer, wines and distilled beverages. Finish the day with a wine tasting at one of WA's most spectacular winery settings, Sunnyhust Winery, before settling in at your boutique accommodation. Overnight Bridgetown.
Day 4 Bridgetown to Perth (256kms)
After breakfast there are still so many options! Go kayaking on the mighty Blackwood River (canoes and kayaks for hire), checkout the spectacular walk trails, and discover the amazing Bridgetown Art Trail. On the way back to Perth, step back in time at the historic mining town of Greenbushes, mid way between Bridgetown and Balingup. Alternatively, head further south to immerse yourself in more of Western Australia's amazing south west, or head west to the coast and explore the Margaret River and Busselton regions.