Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents January - June 2012 Scoop Traveller 159
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he bright clear days of
summer are wonderful
for exploring the
Blackwood River Valley’s
spectacular bush trails, waterholes
and tranquil stretches of river.
Make no mistake, it gets pretty
hot around here in summer, so
what better time to take a dip in a
natural freshwater pool?
And don’t think that if you’ve
seen one Blackwood River Valley
town you’ve seen them all. They
all have their own distinctive
town ‘personalities’ and reasons
to get to know them better. Kirup,
for example – known for its
‘infamous’ syrup – might be a
tiny dot on the map by the South
Western Highway, but it’s also
home to organic fruit and veg
growers who sell their wares at an
amazing shop on the highway.
Its famous tavern boasts
homemade pies and several
tipples. Camp or park your
caravan behind the tavern to
explore the surrounds.
Continue along the highway to
Balingup, a hub of art and craft,
and a haven for ‘tree changers’.
Many artists now call the town
home, displaying their work in the
From there head south-west
on the scenic (but winding)
Balingup-Nannup Road to
charming Nannup, or south-east
towards Bridgetown. Look out
for the turnoff to Greenbushes, a
fascinating small town located at
the highest point of the Darling
Scarp and surrounded by forest
and farmland, yet home to one
of the oldest operational mining
tenements in Western Australia.
Head to historic Bridgetown –
autumn is the best time to marvel
at the glorious gardens, as the
leaves change colour.
Then it’s north to Boyup Brook.
This historic town’s population
swells as thousands arrive for
the Country Music Festival in
February, and rodeos later in the
year. Discover the extraordinary
holographic sculptures and visit
the town’s fascinating museum.
The Blackwood River Valley is
also home to 19 wine producers
and 50 vineyards. The winemakers
claim it is the most scenic wine
region in the state. Perhaps it’s
time to see for yourself.
“Take me to the river and back to
nature... cool waterholes, country
music and beautiful bush trails”
Getting back to nature
Discover wonderful walks through
the St John Brook Conservation
Park just outside Nannup. The
Perup Ecological Centre, 42km
south-east of Boyup Brook, is
home to chuditch, woylie, tammar
wallaby, ringtail possums and
southern brown bandicoots.
Five fascinating walks give
you the chance to see these
native creatures. Get up close
to orphaned kangaroos at Roo
Gully, just out of Boyup Brook,
where university students
volunteer to work with and study
the animals. There are short and
long walks around all the towns,
suitable for the adventurous to
the semi-sedentary, the ultimate
challenge being the Bibbulmun
Track which runs right through
Balingup. And if you’re into
pedal power, the Munda Biddi
Trail runs parallel to Vasse
Highway through glorious
bushland to Nannup, before it
meanders on towards Manjimup.
Making a splash
The Greenbushes Pool – accessed
from Spring Gully Road – has
a lovely picnic area and a
making the experience one
that’s accessible to everyone.
Workman’s Pool and Barrabup
Pool near Nannup are also
popular swimming spots. The
Blackwood is a magnet for
canoeists and kayakers, and
while some parts of the river
can get pretty low when there
hasn’t been rain for a while,
there are long wide stretches that
are popular for paddling, even
though it might only be for a
kilometre or so.
Following the wine trail
Take the opportunity to drive
through the Blackwood River
Valley in February and March
and you’re likely to see the
latest vintage being picked
from the 450ha of vines,
including cabernet sauvignon,
shiraz, merlot, chardonnay,
sauvignon blanc and semillon
grapes. The unique flavours of
the area are characterised by
earthy undertones in the
cabernet and shiraz, and golden
honey flavours in white-wine
varieties. Call in to winery cellar
doors where owner-winemakers
will wax lyrical as you taste the
fruits of their labours.
The Blackwood River (Photography
Bridgetown Visitor Centre).
Balingup town (Photography Cynthia Dix).
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