Fine Food and Wine
Leave the big smoke behind and journey south. First stop in Harvey for wine and cheese tastings. Discover the Ferguson Valley near Dardanup where rolling hills are dotted with boutique wineries and breweries. Enjoy a vineyard lunch in the valley or in Capel just down the road. There are many hidden gems through the Geographe wine region – get a map and get exploring!
Further south is the Margaret River Region. Take a winery tour, sit back and relax while someone else does the driving! Treat yourself to delicious chocolate, fudge and ice-cream and visit some of the local art galleries or boutiques. You can gather your supplies for dinner right from the farm gate or enjoy a sophisticated meal at one of many restaurants.
South east is Pemberton, where karri tree forests form a stunning backdrop to many wineries. Try local fare such as marron (freshwater crayfish) and trout. Time permitting you can catch your own trout and have it cleaned and cooked for your lunch or take it back to your accommodation for later. If you have the time, book into one of the local cooking schools where passionate foodies bring you local delights to prepare and savour.
Make a bright and early start to head north to Manjimup visiting boutique wineries or participate in truffle hunt (in season) amidst beautiful rich countryside. Journey back, through the Blackwood Valley where you can pick up a pre-prepared picnic hamper before finding a tranquil spot to reflect on your galloping gourmand experience.
Spend the morning driving south to Pemberton. Enjoy a lunch of marron or trout at a local restaurant before exploring the majestic Karri forest from Northcliffe’s Forest Park – Bon, what’s this?. Those feeling adventurous can climb the 61m high Gloucester Tree or take a 4WD tour over the landlocked Yeagerup Dunes. Choose from a range of dining experiences - fine dining on local produce to more rustic pub fare.
Drive on to Walpole and Mandalay Beach on Day Two, before walking through the treetops at the Valley of the Giants. Grab some lunch and head back up the highway past Shannon National Park to Manjimup. Don’t miss the Four Aces or One Tree Bridge in beautiful forested landscape. Just north of Manjimup, take the time to walk or canoe along the Blackwood River in Bridgetown. Taste local cider and wines, wander around gardens and browse through antique shops. Enjoy a relaxed dinner in Bridgetown’s historic atmosphere.
On day three, head for the garden village of Nannup, take the wildflower walk (in season) or stroll along the river stopping at one of the many tranquil pools. Explore craft and antique shops before enjoying lunch. Follow the picturesque river to Balingup, stopping to taste wines along the way. Be tempted by sweet fruit wines and local produce before exploring the small hamlet of Boyup Brook. Enjoy the beautiful scenery on your way back to Perth.
Coast and Countryside
Relax into scenic motoring through stunning farmland areas of rolling green hills dotted with quaint historic towns, charming tea rooms and a multitude of fine art and craft galleries. Stop at the Place of the Stone Axe (Kojonup) and learn of the intertwined history of local aboriginals and white settlers. A little further south, the Stirling Range National Park is home to Western Australia’s highest peak in the south west (Bluff Knoll) and is one of the world’s biodiversity hot spots.
Albany is renowned for its history, whales and dramatic coastline. Take in the Natural Bridge and the Gap, the wind farm, Discovery Bay or enjoy a morning strolling around the pretty city. Make the most of the natural attractions and historical sites before travelling along the dramatic South Coast Hwy to the charming town of Denmark. It is flanked by towering forests on one side and a rugged coastline on the other. It is a haven for artisans and foodies and the scenery in and around the town is breathtaking. This is a nature lover’s paradise with walk trails along the coast or through forest. Or you could choose to enjoy taking in the scenery at one of the many fine wineries with a glass of wine and local produce. As you head north stop in at Northcliffe and enjoy the art trail “Understory” - a selection of world-class sculptures scattered through a bush setting. Meander back to Perth through many other picturesque towns and hamlets.