Tourism Western Australia
Western Australia
BalingupCool misty mornings, cosy winter fires, the sound of kookaburras and cockatoos at dusk, and the smell of clean air and eucalyptus greet you as you roll into this picturesque town.
Set in the picturesque upper reaches of the Blackwood River Valley, Balingup is an inspiration to many artisans, from artists and crafts people to wine makers and providors of gourmet produce. Follow one of Western Australia's top tourist drives, or take to the walking trails to sample the riches this region has to offer. Take the two hours and 40-minute drive south of Perth to reach the forests, winding rivers, rolling hills, vineyards and lush orchards of Balingup. Or, enjoy the journey at a slower pace, walking the Bibbulmun Track - one of the world's greatest long-distance trails, stretching almost 1,000 kilometres from Kalamunda in Perth to Albany on the south coast. The track meanders through Balingup's Golden Valley Tree Park - a six-hectare collection of trees from around the world that forms the largest arboretum in Western Australia. Here, you can find beauty in every season, from moody winter mists, to spring blossoms and the golden glow of autumn leaves. Venturing further afield, the top rated Blackwood River Tourist Drive takes in some of the region's most scenic landscapes, fascinating historical landmarks, top fishing spots and pretty picnic areas. The best of the Blackwood's art, craft, handcrafted pottery, jewellery, sculpture, alpaca knitwear, herbal products, antiques and collectables can all be discovered in and around the village, not to mention a tempting array of cafes, bakeries, restaurants, fresh produce and local wines. You'll be just as spoilt for choice if you decide to make Balingup your base for a country escape, with a wide range of family-friendly accommodation and romantic retreats to choose from.
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Golden Valley Tree Park
Explore Western Australia’s largest arboretum at Golden Valley Tree Park - a 6-hectare collection of trees from around the world, providing picture-postcard photo opportunities all year round. Just south of Balingup, and around 80 kilometres from the regional hub of Busselton, the park is a 2 hour and 40-minute drive south of Perth via the Forrest Highway, set in the heart of the South West’s rolling rural hinterland. You can also take the Bibbulmun Track - one of the world's greatest long-distance walking trails - which traverses Balingup and the park on its 1,000-kilometre journey from Perth to Albany on the south coast. Watch ethereal mists sweep over the landscape and through the trees in winter. Witness the colourful blossoms and blooms of spring. Bathe in the golden glow of autumn as the deciduous trees mark the end of summer. Each season brings its distinctive sights, sounds and smells. Join one of the many waymarked paths to enjoy the best of the park’s scenery and tranquillity. Enjoy lunch in these magical surroundings at the picnic areas and barbeque facilities. Entry is free, but donations are gratefully received.
Follow the food and beverage trail
The Blackwood River Valley is the heart of food production in the south-west. Meander around three historic towns. Bridgetown, the winter capital of Western Australia; Nannup, one of the best-preserved 1950s towns in the State; and Balingup, famous for its Medieval Festival held every August. Every season brings a new look to the Valley. From March to May experience one of the five best places in Australia to see autumn colour as recognised by QANTAS; in winter (June to August) enjoy a log fire in one of the many accommodation venues; in spring (September to November) marvel at the wildflowers and in summer (December to February) see why the area is often called the Tuscany of the south-west. Stay a night or a few days and explore the farms, gardens, restaurants and forests. Enjoy all the Blackwood River Valley has to offer.
Take the Oak Grove Walk
The premier Top Trail, Oak Grove Walk, is an easy 1.5-kilometre loop walk through the heritage-listed Golden Valley Tree Park, the largest arboretum in Western Australia featuring tree species from around the world. The 60 hectares landscaped park is set in the picturesque hills of Balingup, three hours south of Perth. The collection of trees began over 100 years ago, amongst some of the loveliest rural countrysides in the heart of the south-west. The beautiful world collection features many deciduous autumn colour favourites alongside rare and unusual specimens. Golden Valley's Australian Collection showcases the wide diversity of Australian native tree associations from tall eucalypts through mallee woodlands to dry season deciduous species and a range of rare West Australian species. Many of the trees are labelled, with maps provided at the information shelters. Given the different variety of trees and the Balingup climate, this is a walk for all seasons with spectacular colour being provided all year round. The Oak Grove Walk is one of six trails in the park which's a few minutes drive or an easy two-kilometre walk out of town along the Bibbulmun Track which passes through the park as it heads south.
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