The Bunbury Geographe region of Australia’s South West is the closest region to Perth, just one and a half hours south. With its proximity to the State’s capital, the region is ideal for short getaways. Bunbury is the central hub and is an emerging creative industry. Cafes and boutique stores sit side by side, and a recent street-art project has given the city centre an edgy feel.
Further inland, the region provides plenty of space for outdoor adventure, with numerous mountain bike and hiking trails signed posted throughout national parks and state forests, several inland lakes are used for water skiing and boating, and picturesque waterside camping sites throughout the national parks.
Fresh produce and wine
Much of the State’s citrus and apple production occurs in the inland Geographe region, and guests can pick their own at some orchards. The first Granny Smith apple tree was planted in Donnybrook, and the town is now considered the apple capital of the west, while Harvey is renowned for their oranges and beef. The Geographe Wine Region is fast developing into one of the country’s most exciting new viticultural areas, with new wineries and boutique breweries putting the region on the map.
A stroll around Bunbury delivers some charming historic sites such as Kings Cottage and the Rose Hotel, while Dardanup has more than 15 historic sites within the small town site, including the impressive Dardanup Heritage Park. Collie was built on coal mining, and there’s a replica mine to explore, as well as the old railway station.
The star of Bunbury’s waterways are the wild bottlenose dolphins who frequent the shores to interact with visitors, while offshore the purposely sunk Lena Dive Wreck makes for a good dive or snorkel. Surfers can sometimes catch a swell at Bunbury’s Back Beach, and further afield in Peppermint Grove, Binningup or Myalup, the relatively untouched beaches are great for an off-grid getaway.
Top ten things to do in Bunbury Geographe
- Wade, cruise or swim with the wild bottlenose dolphins in Koombana Bay.
- Pack a picnic and head for the hills. Wellington National Park, Honeymoon Pool and Minningup Pool offer great spots for bushwalking, canoeing, mountain biking and swimming.
- Hire a kayak and explore the Leschenault Inlet in Australind. Teeming with bird life and native animals, it is a nature lover’s ideal outing.
- Visit one of the Australia’s ‘big things’ at The Big Orange in Harvey.
- Take the little people to visit a village of ‘little people’ at Gnomesville in Dardanup.
- Discover the growing line-up of galleries, wineries and breweries in the Ferguson Valley.
- Get out on the water. Choose from water skiing at Lake Stockton, stand up paddle boarding on Koombana Bay, kite surfing, white water rafting, beach or river fishing, or swimming in rivers, natural pools or the ocean.
- Dive or snorkel the purposely-sunk Lena wreck off Bunbury.
- Visit the replica home of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie’s author, May Gibbs, in Harvey
- Enjoy a few hours of fun at the Donnybrook Apple Fun Park – Australia’s largest free entry playground