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Blackwood River Valley
NANNUP TO BALINGUP
If you love beautiful gardens, the drive from
Nannup to Balingup is one of the nicest in Western
Australia. Winding through valley alongside the
Blackwood River, it is a scenic tour past rolling
hills, forest and green pastures. Don't leave
Nannup without visiting Holberry House, where
there are 1.6-hectares of perfectly manicured
gardens complete with a creek, an abundance of
birdlife, resident rabbits and a mix of interesting
sculptures. The accommodation itself is in the
style of an elegant English manor, with seven
comfortable ensuite rooms. It is by far the best
place to stay in the area, and just a short walk
Your first stop on the road to Balingup should
be at Tathra Hill Top Retreat where you can enjoy
lunch, tea or coffee and walking trails covering the
stunning 60ha property. Ellis Cottage -- the original
cottage built on the farm in about 1870 -- remains
a historic attraction furnished with artefacts
from its era. Tathra is also a lovely place to stay
with two apartment style rooms, both beautifully
appointed, private and with exceptional views.
Closer to Balingup is is the Balingup Lavender
Farm. This splendid English-style garden is small
but extraordinary, and you are free to walk
through the grounds or settle in for a picnic. There
are 35 varieties of lavender in the formal garden,
and the lavender oil distillation process is available
for viewing with an explanation when in season.
A small shop is set up with beautifully packaged
lavender-based (and other) products.
After you arrive in Balingup it is a short drive to
the Golden Valley Tree Park just 2km out of town.
This fabulous arboretum is heritage-listed and
contains the largest collection of trees in Western
Australia. The Bibbulmun Track passes through
here and there are circular walking trails offering
treks of 15 minutes to several hours. The park
is renowned for its autumn display of deciduous
trees, with spectacular colours appearing in March
and intensifying in late April and early May. There
are plenty of picnic facilities as well, so it's a great
place to enjoy lunch or a late breakfast.
There are also plenty of places to pick up
a lovely lunch in Balingup, including the ever-
popular 100 percent gluten-free Balingup Bronze
Gallery and Cafe and the authentic Fre-Jac French
Bakery at the Packing Shed in the middle of town.
FESTIVAL OF COUNTRY GARDENS
Several times a year, locals of the Blackwood
River Valley open their garden gates to visitors
for this horticultural spectacular.
From Nannup to Boyup Brook and everywhere
in between, you can walk through the blooming
backyard beauty of a region famous for its sleepy
valleys and pretty country scenery.
Don't miss these dates in 2010 (see above).
GARDEN DELIGHT: (clockwise from left) Golden
Valley Tree Park (photo courtesy of Tourism WA);
Balingup Lavender Farm (above and centre); (below)
"Autumn Delights" Festival: April 30 - May 2.
Prelude: October 8 - 10.
Festival of Country Gardens: November 4 - 7.
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