Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents BLACKWOODRIVERVALLEY|TOWNGUIDES
homesteads along South
Western Highway on
the way to Bridgetown,
and the spectacular view of the
town nestled in the valley as you
come over the hills, give you a
taste of things to come. Steeped
in old-world charm, this is a Top
Tourist Town. Visit Bridgedale, set
in beautiful gardens overlooking
the town’s iconic bridge. See
a wonderful collection of local
memorabilia at the Visitor Centre.
The Brierley Jigsaw Gallery is said
to be the largest collection of its
kind in the southern hemisphere.
Park your caravan or camp at the
well-appointed facility down by
the river, or stay at a heritage hotel,
motel or one of the many B&Bs in
and around the town.
Hampton Street | A natural extension of South Western Highway,
the heart of town is where you’ll find fascinating old buildings
featuring interpretive signs narrating their history. Visit the Old
Gaol, dating back to 1880 (open Saturdays 10am-2pm). There are
a few hotels in town, one of them awarded Best Steak Sandwich in
WA 2010. Blechynden Butcher, built in 1898, is still the butcher’s
shop today. Along the street you’ll find craft shops, cafes, gift
shops and galleries. Take your time and wander the length of the
street where it divides to the right, to Eedle Terrace where Ford
House (1898) is often open to the public. For those planning a
paddle, there is a great shop on the street that has everything for
wet-and-wild river adventuring.
THE BLACKWOOD TRAFFIC
BRIDGE | Built in 1981 using
traditional timber technology and
large jarrah sections.
BRIDGEDALE | The original
home of early settler John
Blechynden and the first house
in the Bridgetown townsite.
his picturesque little town
boasts pretty gardens and
quaint timber cottages
lovingly maintained over
generations. The town’s name,
believed to be taken from the
Nyoongar language and meaning
‘a place to stop and rest’, was first
settled by Europeans in 1857 and
developed as the crossing point of
the Blackwood River. Today it’s
the low-key crossroads between
the peaceful Blackwood and the
Warren Road | The town’s main street, with cafes, craft shops,
a bakery offering free sauce with your pie, and a fish and chip
shop next door.
Walking and cycling | The Munda Biddi Trail, which traverses
right through the town, brings many riders who choose to camp
in the caravan park in town. From town, you can also ride or walk
the trails through the St John Brook Conservation Park, where
there are camping and picnic facilities, toilets and barbecues.
Take the 2.5km river walk around the river foreshore from behind
the Visitor Centre, which loops back through the town. The Old
Timberline Trail is a 22km walk and cycle trail following the old
railway line between Nannup and Cambray Siding. The Sidings
Rail trail (now part of the Munda Biddi Trail from Jarrahwood to
Nannup) meets the Old Timberline Trail at Cambray Siding, which
can be followed in a 37km loop back to Nannup. Kondil Park’s
trails (just out of town) meander through native bush, past birds
and animal life and spectacular wildflower displays in spring.
bustling Margaret River Wine
region to the east. In the dry hot
summer, cool off with a visit to the
sparkling freshwater Workman’s
and Burrabup pools in the St John
Brook Conservation Park, 7km out
of town. In the cool of autumn, the
turning leaves on the deciduous
trees of the town’s gardens and
Arboretum are just spectacular,
and come spring the lovely gardens
draw crowds during the town’s
spring tulip festival.
Bridgetown, Hampton Street
(Photography Cynthia Dix).
Farm scenery on the
(Photography Tourism WA).
January - June 2012 Scoop Traveller 161
Explore WA scoop.com.au
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