Bridgetown offers guests a relaxed country atmosphere with a good dose of serenity. So much so, many past visitors have made the ‘tree change’ to Bridgetown, setting up hobby farms, in search of that peaceful country living that Bridgetown has in spades.
Located on the banks of the Blackwood River, the town is surrounded by green rolling hills and tall jarrah and marri forests. With nature so close by, the changing seasons have a truly beautiful effect here. Experience enchanting misty mornings in winter, refreshingly cool summer nights, a blaze of colour through the deciduous trees in autumn and bursts of new colour in spring.
Winter may be the best time to visit however, as the town is self-dubbed the ‘winter capital of Western Australia’. The town celebrates with the three-month Bridgetown in the Winter Festival. Each winter weekend there’s a line-up of crafts, exhibitions and winter comfort food; most notably the Banquet on the Bridge, which is a popular annual sell-out.
The town was gazetted in 1868 and many of the first buildings constructed in that era including the post office and two hotels, are still standing today, lending a rustic charm to the main street, and cementing the entire town as a Heritage Town in 2000 by the National Trust. Farming and gold brought an increase in settlement to the town in the late 1800s, and as such the town has many heritage sites including Bridgedale House; the oldest building in town. The National Trust now administer the building, and guests can take a lovely walk through the gardens and along the banks of the Blackwood River.
Things to do in Bridgetown and surrounds
- Spend a lazy afternoon at The Cidery. In winter, there’s a roaring fire to sit beside, or enjoy the sun in the garden on a fine summer’s day. They produce real, all-natural apple ciders and handcrafted beers.
- Stroll the main street shops. There’s plenty of quirky shops to pop into, from the Christmas shop and Ooh La Lollipop to homewares and antiques. In between shopping, there’s plenty of spots to stop for afternoon tea and scones – a must while in the Blackwood River Valley!
- Visit the Jigsaw Gallery, where hundreds of jigsaw puzzles have been collected since the 1950s. Don’t miss the chance to visit, as you won’t find another gallery of this nature anywhere nearby; apparently, this is the only collection of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere!
- If you can’t visit during winter, plan your stay during one of the other annual events. Every November, the Blues at Bridgetown Festival that attracts thousands of music fans, while the ‘Festival of Country Gardens’ in autumn and spring attracts nature enthusiasts.
- Spend some time outdoors. There’s several walking trails around town, and the nearby Blackwood River offers up beautiful scenery from a canoe.
- Meet friendly farm animals. There’s several Farm-stay around Bridgetown, which make for great family accommodation. There’s usually daily feedings, and kangaroos come out at dawn and dusk.