Have you ever been to Bunbury, Western Australia? It’s a beautiful city and one of the largest in the state. The beach is stunning and the food just as good. But, did you know that just outside Bunbury is a little haven that takes you away from the city, away from the beach and into the heart of the hills?
Fergusson Valley is just this – a little haven and it’s a world filled with adventure, for the entire family. We started our journey into Fergusson Valley with a stop off at St Aiden Winery where we met the owner Phillip Smith who joined us as we enjoyed a delicious lunch. And by delicious, I mean AMAZING. If you have the opportunity to visit the restaurant here, the food is superb and I highly recommend the pork belly. While we were eating, we enjoyed a wine tasting as well – from the fresh flavours of chardonnay to the sweet bite of the liqueur.
Phillip is a rep for the region’s marketing company and was able to tell us all about the region itself, and show up some of the local hotspots that draw visitors throughout the year. He drove us through his vineyard and over to some local mountain bike trails in Wellington National Park, which consists of 17 000 hectares, where we took a short trip exploring, before we went to our accommodation for the night at Wellington Forest Cottages – a little getaway in amongst the forest, where you can observe the Kangaroo with their Joeys, and enjoy the calls of Lorikeets from the balcony of your little cottage. The owner Wendy is lovely and you can tell she takes a lot of pride in the place – she also cooks a mean beef burger! (stay tuned to Edition 53 for full details of the trip).
Waking up to the call of local birds, we left Wellington Forest early morning and headed to the nearby town of Collie – home to the Collie Adventure Race. The Adventure Race is a mix of paddling, mountain biking, swimming, road cycling and running – and what a turnout it was. Paddling was first and they took off from the start line with excitement and enthusiasm. It was a pretty amazing sight to see and I look forward to hearing about the winners at the end of the weekend.
Also in Collie today was the Collie Clan Gathering – a gathering of Scottish clans from around Australia with dancing, parade, costumes, archery, Mediaeval displays and a whole lot more. This is a great annual event that you should definitely take part in if you’re in the region – or book a trip here at the same time to get some great Scottish heritage!
From Collie we headed to the one place in this part of the world that you simply can’t miss seeing – Gnomesville. Have you heard of it? There are literally thousands of gnomes here beside the road and it is a mixture of funny, weird and a tad creepy – definitely worth the stop. (and the kids LOVED IT).
Wellington Dam was another great stop off along the journey and is an adventure playground. You can enjoy abseiling here at the Quarry, hire bikes and go for a ride, take one of the bush walks, or head into the dam for a swim! There’s loads of space here for camping or caravanning, or you might like to opt for Glamping instead at Potters Gorge or Honeymoon Pool.
After lunch we headed to our accommodation for the night – Evedon Park Bush Retreat. What a sight! With an apartment for 4, we have a two storey unit right on the water’s edge, with a balcony overlooking the dam. The apartment itself is modern and has plenty of space; and the dam allows you to go kayaking (which we plan on doing a bit later today) and fishing (which my hubby might do tonight).
Ready to relax for a bit now before taking to the water, followed up with some local wine and wood fired pizza at the restaurant tonight … and tomorrow we fly home to Brisbane after an amazing 10 days in WA with the kids!! Let’s be honest, it did get a little hectic at times with a 2 year old and 4 year old – but definitely worth the effort and I found everyone was really accommodating and friendly, which was amazing!