Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 018 Contents 178 Scoop Traveller June-December 2010
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Blackwood River Valley insider
Region size: 2450 sqkm
Distance from Perth: 230km
Cool days and cold, crisp nights...
it’s winter, so snuggle up in front
of a roaring fire at one of the many
guest houses or B&Bs. Enjoy
beautiful country drives through
verdant countryside, ramble along
delightful bush or river walks. Trek
through jarrah and karri forests,
play a spot of croquet or take
your golf clubs to enjoy a game
at Bridgetown Golf Club, where
you might see the odd kangaroo.
If rain clouds are looming, drop
into a winery to warm up with a
glass of red wine, or head to a cafe
for a Devonshire tea. For dinner,
enjoy delicacies such as marron
and trout at one of the many
restaurants. Alternatively, why
not catch and cook your own?
As August comes around, take in
the spectacular displays of wattle
blossom on the Wattle Walk from
the Greenbushes Discovery Centre.
Then in September, look out for
vivid wildflowers - the peak time
is late spring. Ask the local visitor
centre for location tips. In gardens,
tulips and daffodils appear, then
roses and perennials: the Festival
of Country Gardens offers the
chance to wander among them.
In November, rock on at the Blues
at Bridgetown festival, and in
December, have a cooling swim at
a river pool such as Red Gully.
Winter mists between steep green gorges
bring a touch of drama to the landscape.
REASONS TO GO
Stretching 1000km from Perth to
Albany, the Bibbulmun Track covers
some of the most magnificent forest
and bushland in Australia. The course
passes directly through Balingup, with
several sections to suit a range of
fitness levels. Families should try the
trail just south of Balingup where it
climbs through the Golden Valley Tree
Park, which boasts the largest variety
of trees in Australia. There are also
several picnic spots here where you can
stop for lunch. For something more
challenging, try an overnight return
walk from Balingup to the Blackwood
campsite. Visit bibbulmuntrack.org.au.
MUNDA BIDDI TRAIL
Meandering past scenic rivers, valleys
and magnificent forest, the Munda
Biddi Trail presents a world-class cycling
experience. The best section to access
in the Blackwood region is the Sidings
Rail Trail, which covers a distance
of 26km between Jarrahwood and
Nannup. Along here, you’ll see parts
of the old railway line used to transport
timber to Busselton in the early 1900s.
Serious riders will want to experience
the whole course, and can camp
overnight at Jarrahwood. Those cycling
with children may want to try a small
section and return to accommodation
in Nannup. Visit mundabiddi.org.au.
A relatively well-kept secret until now,
the Greenbushes Pool makes an idyllic
day-trip for families. It’s just out of the
town centre on Spring Gully Road and
has picnic tables, a playground, gas
barbecues and a viewing deck all on
hand, along with a new boardwalk and
interpretive signage of the area. There’s
also a canoe ramp, making it a great
place to paddle. If you like bushwalking,
you can start the 15km Greenbushes
Loop track, which links with the
Bibbulmun Track, here at the pool. It
will take you past heritage mining areas
and old-growth mixed forest. Say hello
to the chatty cockatoos.
JUN JUL AUG SEP OCT NOV
A touch of English countryside in our
own backyard; rolling green hills, quaint
cottage gardens and a small-town feel.
On the outdoor side, find activities from
canoeing to hiking. At its lushest from
July to August, when wildflowers erupt
in spring, with several garden festivals.
ENJOY... walking or cycling on two
of WA’s most famous trails or driving
through picture-perfect scenery.
• More than 50 vineyards and 16 wine
producers, some with cellar door.
• About 50 places to eat out, including
restaurants, cafes and teahouses.
• In spring, 10,000 lavender plants and
their oil at Balingup Lavender Farm.
• Has WA’s only sheep’s cheese
producer, Cambray Sheep Cheese.
• Home to The Cidery, which makes
cider and award-winning beers.
• The mine at Greenbushes supplies 35
per cent of the world’s tantalum, used
in the manufacture of computers.
• Home to Darling Scarp’s highest point.
CLIMATE Similar to Perth: a bit colder
in winter with a layer of frost in the
mornings, but it warms up in the day.
THINGS TO DO
Blackwood River Valley | July to December 2010.
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