When the weather drops in Australia’s South West, things get a little cosy and a lot more intimate. Make the most of the cooler weather by feasting on hearty comfort food, glugging down tasty tipples and snuggling up to loved ones by the wood fire or at a tranquil winter retreat. Heading south? Here are our top picks of things to do, June through to August.
Top 10 Things to Do in the South West this winter
1. Hunt for truffles.
If we had to pick one piece of fresh produce to sum up winter in the South West, it would have to be the black Périgord truffle. This prized delicacy, known for its pungent smell and ability to bring the best out of all forms of dairy, sees droves of fungi enthusiasts heading down to Manjimup just for a taste. Find out what all the fuss is about by visiting one of the region’s trufferies. Here you can discover where truffles grow and how they’re harvested, and of course, what they taste like and how to eat them, too!
2. Warm up by the fire.
Whether it’s a campfire, bonfire or indoor woodfire – there’s something oh-so-mesmerising about watching a fire’s flames dance. One of our favourite pastimes, chilling by the fire is made all the more enjoyable spent with loved ones, a couple of board games and a big bag of marshmallows.
3. Go whale watching.
The South West has one of the longest whale migration periods in the world! During winter, humpback, southern right and blue whales come out to play in Augusta. You can spot these majestic beasts from the shoreline, or go on a whale watching tour for the ultimate ocean experience.
4. Attend a winter event.
Winter signals hibernation – if you’re a bear! Here in the South West, we’re not about to let a little rainy weather get us down. In fact, we’ve decided to make it one of the busiest times of the year. How? With plenty of winter events to suit foodies, film buffs, sports freaks and more.
5. Drink red wine.
Winter brings about the kind of weather that’s perfect for red wine. The favoured accompaniment to slow cooked lamb shanks and beef bourguignon, red wine is practically a dinner time staple for all South West foodies. It’s easy to see why – with five wine regions in the South West, you’re guaranteed a fine wine almost everywhere you go!
6. Escape the city for a tranquil winter retreat.
Been cooped up inside your office for too long? Now’s the time to roam free. It’s as easy as booking a winter retreat beachside/treeside, ditching your phone, and getting back to nature. Look up Shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) for some inspiration!
7. Feast on nature's pantry.
The South West is nature’s very own pantry and its farmers markets, the fridge. No winter getaway is complete without a trip to one of the region’s farmers markets, where you’ll find the best of fresh produce. Stock up on fruit, vegies, meat and condiments before feasting on your market finds.
8. Get crafty with a workshop or masterclass.
Ever wanted to know how to make those macramé hangers, or how to properly taste wine? Winter’s the perfect time to learn, and the South West is the perfect place to start. We’ve got all sorts of workshops and masterclasses to try, including olive oil tastings, make-your-own lip balm workshops, wine and cheese pairing masterclasses, pottery tutorials and much more, so head on down for a fun-filled crafty adventure designed just for you.
9. Discover the South West's rich Aboriginal, colonial, agricultural, maritime and wartime history.
From the first inhabitants of Australia and the first European settlement, to the first whale chasers and the first World War – Western Australia has a diverse and interesting history. Discover the role the South West played in forming Western Australia into what we now know and love, by going on an Aboriginal tour, learning about the legend of the ANZACs at the National Anzac Centre, or checking out the many heritage parks and museums found throughout the South West.
10. Explore the South West's inland lakes and rivers.
Our inland rivers, lakes and creeks really come to life in winter. An influx of water fills once-dry riverbeds, turning our waterways into a water lover’s playground ready for exploring. Hire a kayak or canoe and hit the water for a fun day in the great outdoors. Our tip: Head down the beautiful Blackwood River, where you’ll get a different view of the magnificent forest found in this part of the world.
For everything cool, visit Winter Down South.