The towns of the Blackwood River Valley radiate an effortless charm that’s trumpeted in brochures, yet impossible to capture unless you’re actually there. Only a 2.5 hour drive from Perth, the Blackwood is the hidden jewel of the southwest, where winding country roads crisscross undulating green hills, wineries and ancient jarrah forests, with WA’s longest continually running river and only heritage listed town.
The valley townships offer truly quaint main streets, complete with tearooms serving scones, perfect planter boxes bursting with seasonal blooms, and fascinating, ingenious and sometimes bizarre street art. That’s in addition to the classic country pubs, where the local characters meet, and plenty of charming antique stores.
Between towns, winding country roads crisscross green hills and stands of ancient jarrah forest to sidle up against the beautiful Blackwood River – the ribbon tying the patchwork region together.
Changing seasons have a truly beautiful effect here – you can experience enchanting misty mornings in winter, refreshingly cool summer nights, a blaze of colour through the deciduous trees in autumn, and bursts of pinks, purples and yellows in spring.
When to go
The evenings in the Blackwood River valley can be rather cool, even in the summer, so be sure to pack a jumper or two! Don’t leave town without looking up! The stars, especially the Milky Way, are absolutely amazing.
Autumn | Deep, warm autumn hues decorate the Blackwood River Valley. With calm, mild weather, this is the best time to visit for bush-walking, mountain biking and other activities.
Winter | Unlike many areas, winter is a good time to visit the South West. Morning mists cover the landscape and the hills are a vibrant green. Cascading rivers and waterways can turn to raging torrents, and are a sight to behold. Winter flowers such as tulips create a blaze of colour, while cosy log fires in your accommodation, wineries and restaurants will keep you warm throughout.
Spring | This is the season of colour and festivals. Wildflowers bloom, Monet-inspired country gardens open their gates to the public, and event after quirky event will have you feeling alive while providing an insight into the region’s amazing people, wine, produce and art.
Places to stay
Most accommodation operations in Blackwood River Valley are family-owned operations providing an often hilarious personable experience.
Choose from private log cabins, cosy bed and breakfasts, luxurious cottages, fun farm stays and authentic historical Aussie pubs. Many are perfectly situated to take in sweeping valley views, or enjoy the native bush and the walking trails down by the river. Book well in advance over event weekends.
For a more nature centred stay, the campgrounds in each town are equally as amazing. If you’re worried about accommodation access, the Loose Goose Chalets provide a place to stay for those who may be physically challenged. Guests can enjoy specifically designed accessible farm animal and bird enclosures, and carpeted bushwalks during their stay.
From Perth, take the scenic South Western Highway to Balingup, and then Bridgetown, which is three hours drive from the city.To get to Nannup, take the Vasse Highway from Busselton or the new Mowen Road from Margaret River. Two coaches service the region daily.