15 February 2018
10 Must Dos in Ferguson Valley
Overflowing with fab restaurants, renowned wineries, charming boutique accommodation options and a rich history, there’s plenty to keep you entertained in the ‘Fergie Valley’!
And, it’s spectacular views are sure to impress.
Wine Tasting is a must in the Fergie Valley with more than 20 vineyards and wineries producing awesome small-batch wines. Arguably, the most impressive winery in the region is Willow Bridge Estate - a 5 red star James Halliday winery. However, don’t discount the small guys. Boutique producer Talisman is taking the award-scene by storm (The WA Wine Guide Small Producer of the Year 2017, 5 Stars James Halliday, Gold Perth Royal Wine Show and more), and many others are hot on their heels. On your wine journey, don’t expect to drink and dash; our winemakers are passionate souls who love sharing their time with you. For the none wine lovers, two breweries in the region will tantalise your palates.
No trip to BunGeo 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 community driven-gnome village with over three thousand inhabitants. Bring along a Gnome and add it to the collection. Before you go, pick up a copy of the recently released, super-cute children’s illustrated book, Gnomesville – the real story by Lesley Geers.
Be awed by nature with a visit to the King Jarrah Tree – it is the most accessible, largest tree in the BunGeo. This majestic Jarrah tree is estimated to be between 300 and 500 years old. Standing about 36 metres tall, it has survived bushfires, storms, lighting and insect attack. Afterwards, head off on a walk through beautiful gum forests to shake out your limbs.
Get the cogs turning at the Mount Lennard Mountain Bike Network, near Pile Road in the Wellington National Park. Mount Lennard or Pile Road as it’s known to the majority of mountain bikers is a fun area of trails that are for the most part built on a very gentle slope. The singletrack Grizzly trail is one of the more popular and technical trails of the collection; it weaves through the Jarrah forest providing more than enough obstacles, jumps and berms to keep even the most experienced riders on their toes.
A few foodie options to get you started; for a fab five-course degustation 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. Down the road is St Aidan’s Winery; their European trained Chef has a resume that will blow-your-mind. Small’s Bar Eaton has a team drooling in talent that have roamed the region for the best of the best local produce. If you’re after something simple, visit Ferguson Falls Wine Cafe, home to WA’s Best Pizza Gold Plate Award! Or, if you a pie-lover, Dardanup Bakery is one of the best.
Visit one of the local galleries for unique artwork, ceramics, glassware, and jewellery. The best time to find them is during the Dardanup Art Spectacular and Trail when acclaimed artists such as Russell Sheridan and Linda Skrolys open their galleries and studios to the world.
The Dardanup Heritage Park houses one of Australia’s finest collections of historic agricultural and industrial items with more than 20 sheds full of beautifully restored gems. Next, it’s time to wander through the 15 heritage sites on the 2.5km Dardanup Heritage Trail, including the first Catholic Church in Western Australia outside the metropolitan area. Stop for lunch along the way at the historic Dardanup (aka The Dardy) Tavern built in 1905; it has bags of character.
We’re not bragging, but the majority of places in the Ferguson Valley are blessed with exceptional views. A BunGeo favourite is Green Door Wines along the spectacular Henty Road. Green Door produce Spanish and Italian wine varieties served in cute carafes. Don’t miss tasting the Tempranillo – it’s the best in the Geographe, and The James Halliday Wine Companion 2018 rated it 95/100. Their wines are preservative free = minimal hangover. Order their 100 Mile Platter with sheep’s milk cheese from Roelands, mixed olives from Boyup Brook, fruit loaf from Dardanup and much more, and take in the panorama. Prefer a view over water, try Evedon Park.
Ferguson Farmstay offers gorgeous rammed earth accommodation on 45 hectares with uninterrupted views to the Indian Ocean, and a plethora of farm activities to keep the kids enthralled. If you’re in need of some adult time, Peppermint Lane Lodge is a bed and breakfast, private adult retreat located in Wellington Mills. Stay with the one you love or grab the girls for a weekend escape. And, the options don’t stop there...
Eaton Foreshore Walk meanders for five kilometres along the picture-perfect Collie River. You will quickly forget you are so close to urban influences. Between Dardanup and Boyanup, are the ever-popular Crooked Brook Trails. The Forest Path at Crooked Brook is a hidden jewel for those with limited mobility, providing easy access to an area of natural bushland with interpretive signage about the flora and fauna and plenty of bench seats. Its beauty excels in spring, when wildflowers come into bloom.
The kangaroos are so friendly at Wellington Forrest Cottages that they'll even pose for a selfie - they love attention. Say hi over a fab coffee at this rustic but stylish cafe and accommodation property in the Wellington Mills forest.