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TIPS AND HOT SPOTS
With more and more infrastructure being added to this incredibly
attractive area, the options for visitors to the Ferguson Valley are growing.
The town of Dardanup, just a 15-minute drive from Bunbury, marks the
beginning of the region, which is renowned for its steep, winding roads
and its breathtaking scenery. It’s also an emerging wine region where
there’s the opportuity to visit many cellar doors and taste the wines,
including several award-winning ones.
A visit here isn’t complete without a stop at Gnomesville, a secluded
retirement community for many of the world’s gnomes. This village
was started as a protest by one of the locals to the installation of a
roundabout, and is now populated by thousands of gnomes left by
visitors from around the world. Described as a place “of wonderful
sentiment and humour” and “an overwhelmingly positive experience,”
Gnomesville is certainly a different attraction at which you can while
away an hour or two. Take along a gnome to leave behind, but don’t
expect an entry fee, an ice-cream or infrastructure of any type when
you visit this well-loved village.
Henty Brook Estate
Willow Bridge Estate
Ferguson Farm Stay
St Aidan Wines
Ferguson Hart Estate
Evedon Park Bush Retreat
King Jarrah Tree
Moody Cow Brewery
Forrest Cottages &
& Local Store
A quiet road in the Ferguson Valley.
Geographe provides some fantastic fishing, but check the rules and
obtain the right licence if you want to catch the marron and trout. If
you’re over 16, you can get a licence (sold at all post offices or from the
Department of Fisheries) for freshwater fishing. Visitor centres are happy
to help and once your marron is in the pot, you’ll be glad you bothered.
Marron season starts on January 8 and ends at midday on February
5. The Harvey and Logue Brook dams are good options, with the Harvey
Dam categorised as ‘trophy waters’, allowing you to catch larger
‘trophy’ marron. Rainbow and brown trout are in season until the end
of April. There are no bag or size limits for redfin perch because they’re
major predators of juvenile marron and, if caught, shouldn’t be returned
to the water. In the summer months, the Leschenault Estuary and The
Cut in Australind have flathead, flounder, gardies, prawns and herring.
Blue manna crabs, from November to March, need no licence, but don’t
forget the bag limit of 10 crabs per person, per day.
King George whiting and mulloway also run all year, salmon from about
April. The Collie River in Australind is good for black bream, mulloway
and silver bream. Beach fishing doesn’t require a licence. Head to Myalup
Beach for tailor, herring flathead, sand and yellowfin whiting, flounder,
gardies, small shark, salmon, silver bream. Binningup Beach has a ramp for
excellent boat fishing for dhufish and pink snapper.
For the active, the beautiful winding roads of the valley are perfect
for road bikes. Riding the quiet back roads of the region, taking in the
rolling farmlands, forests and vineyards (the area is known for its shiraz)
is a huge attraction for cyclists.
For those on foot, marked trails give walkers a range of options, with
signs to help identify the flora and fauna along the way. The walks range
from a 650m stroll at Crooked Brook, which includes a wheelchair-friendly
pathway, to a half-day hike around the Wellington Discovery Forest.
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