Balingup sits at the northern entrance to the Blackwood River Valley, surrounded by undulating countryside, forests, farmland and orchards. This charming small town offers guests a glimpse at relaxed, country life.
In the twentieth century, Balingup was known for fruit and vegetable growing and more recently for beef cattle and dairy farming, however these days the town is steadily becoming known for its locally handcrafted pottery, herbal skincare products, arts and crafts, annual open gardens and festivals.
Bailingup is known for its friendly scarecrows, which are outfitted differently throughout the year according to the next regional festival.
One of the quirkiest is the Balingup Medieval Carnivale, held in August every year. Everyone is encouraged to dress in medieval-themed costume to enhance the experience. Each year the festival kicks off with a gluttonous feast and then continues with music, dance, a parade and games, all in medieval style.
Things to do in Balingup and surrounds
- Take a wander through the 60-hectare Golden Valley Tree Park; Western Australia’s largest arboretum which begun over 100 years ago. The park is lovely all year round, though it’s particularly stunning in Autumn when the leaves are changing colour.
- Take a charming country drive. Balingup is well placed in the Blackwood River Valley between Bridgetown, Donnybrook and Nannup. The roads between these towns offer some of the most stunning scenery in the region, especially in winter when the hills are green and forests glisten with rain.
- Visit Southampton Homestead; a triple-heritage listed Victorian-Georgian homestead located on the banks of the Blackwood River. Construction of this mud-brick property started in 1862 and due to a lack of refurbishment or restoration in early years, the building has managed to retain much of its original charm.
- Spend a couple of hours wandering the main street’s many specialty shops and galleries before stopping at a quaint café. Renowned skincare company Tinderbox hails from Balingup and there’s an eclectic mix of vintage and second-hand stores to browse too.
- Sample produce along the Harvest Highway. Located along the South-Western Highway, the idea is to explore the fresh produce offerings along the way. There’s vegetable and fruit stalls dotted along the route, and some farms left visitors pick their own produce.