If you’re only in BunGeo for a short stay, you’re in luck. Here’s our super-charged itinerary for 48 Hours in BunGeo. Lose yourself and unearth some of the region’s best-known sights as well as explore some lesser-known treasures. default DAY ONE – PERTH TO BUNBURY Say goodbye to Perth and drive south to Bunbury on Forrest Highway. Allow 1 hour, 45 minutes to 2 hours. If you leave late morning you will be in the region by lunch time. There are plenty of great places to stop including the Crooked Carrot, not your average freeway stop, or try the Old Coast Road Brewery which has great beer, cider, food and even a mini-golf course! Where to Stay Check into Bunbury Hotel Koombana Bay. Located on the historic Bunbury Waterfront, forming part of the prestigious wheat silos development, with views over Koombana Bay, and only a five-minute walk of Bunbury’s CBD. It features 67 studio and deluxe studio rooms, two and three-bedroom apartments, an indoor heated pool, tennis courts. Your could search for other accommodation here. Once you are settled into your room take a stroll around the waterfront precinct or head up to Marlston Hill Lookout to get 360 degree panoramic views of the town, Geographe Bay, Koombana Bay and the Leschenault Inlet and if you are lucky a cracking sunset. You could carry on to the Back Beach and dip your toes in the ocean. Why not stop for a coffee at the Back Beach Café and drink in the views. Wander back to your accommodation to freshen up ahead of an evening out. Pre-Dinner Drinks Fancy a cleansing ale before dinner? Nip into Froth Craft Bunbrewery (12 Victoria St) and try out a locally made brew or two. They often have a band playing or a DJ so it’s a great place to hang out. If you are too comfortable to move stay for dinner, they have a great menu and very friendly staff. Table for Two We’d encourage you to check out Market Eating House in Victoria Street, described as a ‘destination restaurant’ – it’s the sort of place you plan your weekend around. The food is sublime, the service sensational, and the atmosphere relaxed and cosy. The drinks menu features so many local and WA brews, spirits and wines that you will be spoilt for choice. Many of the wines are from local Geographe vineyards without a cellar doors so make sure you try some. Before returning to his hometown of Bunbury, co-owner (with his talented wife Bec) Brenton Pyke was the head chef of George Calombaris’ Little Press & Cellar in Melbourne, and Perth small bar Andaluz. Put your faith in the kitchen and order the Feed Me or Feed Me More menu – who doesn’t like a surprise? Nightcap End your night at the ultimate hipster hang-out, Lost Bills – a tiny bar with a banging craft beer list, eclectic spirits, and some damn good wine. Lost Bills DAY TWO – BUNBURY There is so much to see and do in Bunbury! We have provided you with two options below. Option One: Be at one with nature or Option Two: Immerse yourself in Bunbury. OPTION ONE: BE AT ONE WITH NATURE It’s time to get up and close to nature in Bunbury – the City of 3 Waters. A group of around 100 to 150 dolphins are regularly seen in the bay and surrounding waters. Approximately 20 to 40 of these are considered residents of Koombana Bay, and there is a group of five or six dolphins that regularly visit the public interaction zone, with as many as 16 dolphins known to have visited at any one time. Dolphins visit the bay regularly in summer and autumn and can be seen very close to the beach. Volunteer guides help you to understand more about these intriguing creatures. A must-do, bucket list activity is the 8am Dolphin Discovery Centre Swim Tour. Accompanied by an experienced guide and trained volunteers you will venture into the open waters of Koombana Bay. Depending on dolphin sightings you will be guided into the water where the dolphins may elect to initiate interaction with you and your fellow swimmers. As they are wild dolphins interaction cannot be guaranteed. You’ll be supplied a wetsuit, mask, snorkel and fins. Bring a waterproof camera. (Note; subject to weather conditions) If you prefer not to get your feet wet, join the 12 noon Dolphin Discovery Centre’s Dolphin Eco Cruise tour in Koombana Bay. Dolphins can be seen frolicking, playing, sleeping and feeding. The informative commentary from the skipper of the boat will also keep you updated throughout the cruise. Afterwards, head into Australia’s premier dolphin centre which includes which included a $12million upgraded interpretive experience with themed aquariums as well as interpretation of the Koombana Bay environment and its history – geological, indigenous, marine and contemporary. Why not have Brunch at the Dolphin Discovery Centre cafe? (Note: check availability for tours outside summer. Swim tours run from November to April and the Eco Tours January to December minimum bookings, weather and conditions permitting. Packing a cruise with entry to the interpretive centre can earn you a discount) . Townhouse Explore Koombana Bay & Park Head across the road to Koombana Park to explore Australia’s southernmost mangroves and take in the view in the architecturally designed Koombana Park Lookout. Return beachside to have fun along the Koombana Bay Foreshore. Kids will love the playground and zipline. Next, walk along the pathways and pause at the stunning five and a half metre steel bust, Wardandi Boodja and onto the shipwreck inspired Koombana Footbridge. Stop for morning tea at Dome at the city end of the bay next to Taffys, a sweet delight – so many lollies so little time, and if you time it right you may see owner Sam stretching the taffy in his ancient taffy pulling machine! Need More Nature OK, if you’re not done with Bunbury’s great outdoors and its beautiful inhabitants then here are a few more suggestions – learn to surf at Bunbury Surf School, or take a selfie with our ultra-friendly kangaroos at the Bunbury Wildlife Park (you may meet a quokka too!). There is also an amazing accessible playground at Big Swamp next to the Wildlife Park as well as some beautiful nature walks. Seek out a turmeric latte, cold press juice or Mano a Mano coffee from boutique coffee house and café, Townhouse Bunbury at 39 Victoria Street. If the sun is shining, head to their banging backyard featuring wall murals by local artists. Alternatively try Coffee and Flour Café at 50 Spencer Street or the Butcher’s Café at Bunbury Plaza. OPTION TWO: IMMERSE YOURSELF IN BUNBURY Breakfast of Champions Start your day by venturing down Central Arcade off Princep Street to La Pause Miam, a Parisian café with Scandi style. Expect everything from Parisian croque monsieur, to duck burgers, bacon and eggs, and stacked pancakes. The pastries are baked fresh and melt in your mouth. Locals vote their coffee as the best in the city! Or, if you are on a health kick visit Plant Organic Café & Market for a green smoothie with home-made almond milk and a famous choc spirulina superfood ball. Shopping Time Victoria Street is full of little boutique stores that are big on style. Start at Sabotage. You’re destined to do some damage here, with the leading Australian labels – think Assembly Label, Stevie May, Neuw Denim, One Teaspoon, and more. Life and Soul Boutique has some of our favourite brands (Auguste, Arnhem, Nobody Denim, Camilla & Marc, Thurley, and Empire Rose, to name just a few), as well as talented up-and-coming designers to discover. Seek out their collection of ByHelo jewellery. Canadian born, now Bunbury local, Heloise Fitzpatrick makes superb architecturally influenced designer pieces. Source beautiful children’s clothing, gift and toys at Kidd & Co for babies to 8-year-olds. Mums Emma and Ally have created a divine collection with a strong emphasis on organic clothing and products. From Pap & Nimmy Organic, Bebe, Coco and Ginger, to Melbourne-based brand Designer Kidz, you’ll be oohing over the super-cute product. Culture Up Not into shopping? Pick up a copy of the Bunbury’s new CBD Mural Trail Map by Six Two Three Zero from the visitor centre at 13 Princep Street, and discover the city from a different perspective. Bunbury is home to the largest collection of street and public art in regional Australia. Canvases are everywhere you look in BunGeo, which teems with vibrant street art. Spot everything from abstract, commissioned works, restaurant themed façades and lots more in Bunbury. Find the whimsical characters painted by leading WA artists on 20 electrical boxes scattered through the CBD. Bunbury Street Art Take some time to explore the Bunbury Regional Art Gallery – housed in a very distinctive pink building on Wittenoom Street which used to be a convent. It’s free to explore and the perfect backdrop for an Insta pic. BRAG is home to the largest collection of public art in regional Western Australia and offers a program of art exhibitions. Bunbury Regional Art Gallery (BRAG) Late Lunch Grab a quick bite to eat at Benesse their fresh flavourful dishes will satisfy you and if you can squeeze it in, head to The Bean & Cone for handcrafted ice cream made fresh every day. Artisan ice cream maker Margaret loves experimenting with new flavours and techniques. Benesse Coffee and Flour Dinner Start your night with a wine in Mojo’s streetside sea container. Mojo’s Kitchen, Bar & Bottleshop has one of the biggest wine lists in the region, including local Geographe wines, and museum wines from their cellar. Sommeliers, Jake Atkinson oversees the selection and runs the craft and local beverage driven bottleshop. Meanwhile, Chef Lee Collins puts his brew food expertise to great use with dishes such as Beef Brisket braised with Rocky Ridge beer, or a Chocolate Stout mousse. Martini Time Small bar come restaurant, Yours or Mine recently won Regional Small Bar of the Year with its eclectic wine list, craft beer and a knock your socks off espresso martinis. If you’re still hungry it also serves incredible South American food Devour pulled pork tacos, grilled marron with chimichurri. Mojos Yours and Mine Espresso Martini DAY THREE: COLLIE AND THE FERGUSON VALLEY Get Outdoors Pick up a coffee in Collie at the Wagon, a pop-up café located in a heritage train wagon, that is reinvigorating Collie’s food scene. People rave about the coffee sourced from the Margaret River Roasting Co or try a cold-pressed juice, green smoothie, turmeric and beetroot lattes, and gluten-free cupcakes. Then it’s time to go bushwalking in the Wellington National Park. Or if you are more adventurous, find a friend to drop you upstream from Honeymoon Pool and then float on a tube down the beautiful Collie River. You may encounter some rocky parts – dependant on rainfall and dam releases – but that just adds to the fun. Be prepared to be invigorated – even in summer the water is cool and refreshing. Honeymoon Pool itself is a wide pool in the river surrounded by graceful peppermints, and Jarrah and Marri forest. Sunbake on the wooden platform or find your inner child and try out the swinging rope. Honeymoon Pool This region is mountain bike (MTB) heaven. Download a copy of our Collie River Valley and Wellington National Park MTB pocket map for 25 pedal action trails. You can hire a bike and gear from Melo Velo in Bunbury, Kiosk at the Dam in Wellington National Park or Crank ‘N’ Cycle in Collie plus tour and adventure specialist TraaVerse can be hired to drop you off at your destination (they hire kayaks and SUPs too). Find a Black Diamond Take a drive through the forest to Black Diamond Lake, near Collie. Rated as one of WA’s Top 10 Instagram spots, a trip to the lake is a must with its vibrant, crystal clear turquoise blue waters creating a photo frenzy. Black Diamond was formerly an open cut mine site that ceased operation in the 1950s – so check the water quality before diving in! Otherwise, it’s perfect for a dip, SUP, canoeing and kayaking. The lake has also become extremely popular with visitors bringing inflatable floats, because who wouldn’t want to lay back and enjoy the beauty? ED Note: If you love vibrant blue water, we also suggest checking out nearby Lake Stockton. Black Diamond Lake Hiking in Wellington National Park Collie Mountain Biking LUNCH OPTION ONE For a fabulously lazy long lunch, head to Hackersley Estate. Low key and a little arty, Hackersley sits in a cute cottage overlooking a lake with cows grazing in the background. Aaron and Adrie Devitt serve up a sensational 4-course degustation. Start with a glass of Verdelho but finish with the Merlot (a #BunGeo favourite). Between courses chill out on the lake’s grassy bank with a glass in hand. (Open Thursday – Sunday from 10am) BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Hackersley Estate On the way, be sure to stop at St Aidan Winery for a quick wine taste. The name derives from the district’s historic church that sits on its boundary. Phil Smith, an anaesthetist, and his wife Mary purchased their 10-acre property in 1991. Their Zena Liqueur Muscat is the Geographe’s Best Fortified. Enjoy it with a morning tea ‘sweet bite’ from their European trained chef in their rammed earth cellar door and function centre. In summer, they have Films on Ferguson – a season of movie nights under the moon and stars with a full-screen open-air cinema on the lawn adjacent to their cellar door. Might be worth booking in an extra night’s stay. ED Note: Don’t drive, why not take a tour or hire a chauffeur – we have a range of options from vintage Mustangs with Pop a Cork Tours to luxury buses with Hinterland Escapes or Good Vibes Tours. No trip is complete without a visit to the very quirky Gnomesville. It’s a special place where a gnome can join thousands of other gnomes to live happily ever after! Gnomesville is a community-driven gnome village with over three thousand inhabitants. Bring along a gnome (available from the Ferguson Valley Visitor Centre, Dardanup) and add it to the collection. Gnomesville LUNCH OPTION TWO If you’re after something simpler, head to Ferguson Falls Wine Café, home to the Best Pizza in WA (Gold Plate Awards)! In a small, intimate venue run by the Giumelli family (of course, they are Italian-Australian with some American thrown in too), you will unearth mouth-watering stone-baked pizza topped with farmhouse cheese. Savour while sipping a glass of their award-winning Chardy. Next, head to Green Door Wines along Henty Road for some of the best views in the region. Green Door produce Spanish and Italian wine varieties served in cute carafes. Don’t miss tasting the Amphora Reserve Tempranillo – won a gold medal at the 2021 Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show. P.S. their wines are preservative-free = minimal hangover. Still hungry? Order their 100 Mile Platter with sheep’s milk cheese from Roelands, mixed olives from Boyup Brook, fruit loaf from Dardanup and much more. Love beer? You will love Bush Shack Brewery, Wild Bull Brewery and Harris River Estate (which has food, gin and wine too)! Green Door Wines Then it’s time to head home down the picturesque Coalfields Highway which boasts sensational views of the coast and the City of Bunbury. Produce-driven Drive Home On the way back to Perth drop into the Crooked Carrot near Myalup on Forrest Highway for a roadside stop oozing local quality produce. Try the trio tasting plate, venison pies and other delectable delights. If you prefer a more scenic drive home, we suggest you take the South West Highway which follows the Darling Scarp and is dotted with historic farmland and equestrian properties. Pit stop at Ha Ve Harvey Cheese for great larder provisions and award-winning cheeses. Indulge in one of the Cheese Cellar tastings to help you decide. As you drive through Harvey, keep an eye out for roadside stalls selling oranges, mandarins and other local produce (in season). Surrounded by rich, irrigated plains on the banks of the Harvey River, Harvey is one of Australia’s prime producing regions with a rich Italian heritage. Stretch your legs with a climb up the Big Orange, nestled in the grounds of Harvey River Estate winery. Owned by the Sorgiovanni family (who established Harvey Fresh before recently selling), Harvey River Estate features a great cellar door for tastings and last minute gifts. Harvey River Estate – Big Orange Geo Vino Harvey Cheese There’s still so much to see and do so make sure you book a return trip soon!