Harvey is nestled on fertile, irrigated plains beneath the rolling hills of the Darling Scarp, in the heart of dairy country. This thriving town has unique Italian heritage and has developed a fine reputation for its high-quality orange juice, beef and increasingly, its wine. Citrus orchards and viticulture flourish, and Harvey’s dairy farming provides the bulk of Western Australia’s milk supply. The inland route from Perth to Bunbury takes in Harvey and the surrounding green farmlands making it an ideal alternative to the main highway.
One of the town’s main attractions is Stirling Cottage, which was originally built on the banks of the Harvey River by the first Governor of Western Australia, Governor Stirling. The cottage was lived in by many pioneering farming families, but most famously was the home of May Gibbs, author of beloved children’s storybook characters, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. The original cottage fell into disrepair and a replica was built 500 metres downstream. The site now features extensive gardens to explore, a tearooms and gift shop. The visitor centre is on site too, and includes as dedicated display area to May Gibbs’ stories.
Top things to do in Harvey
- Find out where May Gibbs found her inspiration for Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in Harvey’s surrounding forests.
- Sit down to tea and scones at the replica Stirling Cottage, followed by a stroll in the landscaped gardens.
- Enjoy a walk through the jarrah forests surrounding the town, which come alive with wildflowers during spring.
- Pack a picnic and head for Harvey Dam. There’s barbecues, an amphitheatre, walking trails and playground. Trout and perch fishing are also popular here between September and May (license required).
- Visit one of Australia’s ‘big things’ – the Big Orange, set among orange orchards which the region is known for farming.
- Enjoy a glass of wine at one of the surrounding cellar doors.
- Sample the range of award-winning cheese at Ha Ve Cheese.
- Sit down to a pub meal and enjoy the region’s renowned Harvey Beef.