Balingup is a gorgeous, tiny town with its own very quirky style. Blink and you have driven right through it, but before you do, you’re likely to spot scarecrows, jester heads, medieval horses and riders, or even an old-fashioned St Nicholas, and an eclectic mix of shops. On the outskirts are old-growth forests, winding rivers and hills, wineries and local producers.
The Bibbulmun Track runs down the main street (past the visitor centre) so Balingup is a common halfway stop for walkers, and many of the nearby accommodation operators offer pick-up and drop-off services.
The Oak Grove Walk is a great option for those who aren’t keen to walk too far. It’s a 1.5km loop through the heritage-listed Golden Valley Tree Park, with trees from all over the world, and a top picnic spot, as is the village green, with its kids’ playground. Transit Park is a good choice for campers, meanwhile. The three parks have barbecues, toilets and shaded areas.
Aside from walk trails, active visitors can try their hand at croquet (Sundays at 9am in summer and 10am in winter) or lawn bowls (Sundays at 1.30pm). There’s also the local golf course and the tennis courts (court hire is available from the General Store). If you’re keen for fishing, the locals suggest dropping a line in along the Balingup Brook for redfin perch, but don’t forget to grab a freshwater angling licence from a local Australia Post Office first.