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Things to do in the Great Southern

Great in every way, this internationally renowned biodiversity hotspot is the region of soaring mountain ranges, massive seas, stunning beaches, ancient forests and edge-of-the-earth towns. As WA’s oldest port it is steeped in history and has since become the food bowl of the state producing world-class wines, whisky and locally grown and caught produce. Welcome to nature and adventure-lovers paradise. A visit to the Great Southern is not just about the region’s spectacular and unique natural environment, it is also about wine, food, history and indulgence.

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This region is that little bit further away along a slightly less-trodden track, but isolation has given the Great Southern an opportunity to develop its own niche, true to the unique soul of the ancient land. Its inhabitants range from the Noongar people, the mariners and fisherfolk, to the many hundreds of thousands of native animals who live in the forests, and the close-knit farming communities who work the land and spend summer on the shores of the Southern Ocean when the harvest is done, year after year, generation after generation.

There are so many reasons to pounce upon this unsuspecting corner of the world. A love of great food and wine is intrinsic to the culture. With the pristine seas delivering seafood, and the prime agricultural land acting as a food bowl for the state, the region’s chefs are serving up inspired fare. The Great Southern has been doing great wine for a lot longer than most realise, across five sub- regions, each with a distinct terroir. Mt Barker has celebrated 50 years of grape growing, and at the QANTAS.

Wine Show of Western Australia, Mt Barker wines were hot-ticket items. Connoisseur travellers are well rewarded with fantastic scenery and perfectly matched cuisine. The Great Southern’s spectacular coastline, forests and mountain wilderness are some of the most amazing you’ll see. Attractions like the Gap and Natural Bridge in Albany, and the Granite Skywalk in the Porongurup Range join the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk atop any nature lover’s bucket list.

Board a charter from Albany during whale-watching season. Humpbacks and southern right whales gather in sheltered bays along the south coast, visible also from sighting platforms along the cliffs. To the east of Albany in Bremer Bay, an enormous pod of killer whales congregates over a deep- sea hotspot in the early months of the year. A tour is not to be missed!
The Great Southern region is big, so if you can, add a day or two to your travel plans, take a detour from the Albany Highway at Beaufort River and head on a journey through five of the Great Southern region’s Hidden Treasures – hinterland towns that include inland Katanning, and loop you back onto the highway at Cranbrook.

When to go

Locals will tell you their favourite time of year is autumn. The region has a stillness that sets the scene for alfresco winery lunches, mountain biking, bushwalking and coastal treks. Winter is spectacular, as the Southern Ocean unleashes all its fury. Whales are about in large numbers from June to October. Some days are gloriously still and sunny, and yes, others can be cold and wet. If a big front comes in, outdoor activities are delayed in favour of roaring log fires, big reds and hearty meals. Spring is the season for wildflowers, with thousands upon thousands of species blooming. Many birds, including the splendid blue wren, are in full song. Mild southern summers offer a lovely reprieve from the northern heat, and are great for a cool swim after hiking through shady forests, or mountain-biking the pristine trails.

The hidden treasures

Bloom Festival Sep – Oct

If you’re heading through the Great Southern in springtime, don’t miss the fabulous annual Bloom Festival. Comprising more than 40 colourful wildflower- and spring-themed events scattered throughout the Hidden Treasures towns, the festival offers self-drive trails through fields of flowers, and an array of secret wildflower and orchid beds. It’s a great chance to spot rare flowers endemic to the Great Southern region.

Top wildflower locations

  1. Myrtle Benn Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, Kojonup
  2. Farrar Dam Reserve, Kojonup
  3. Stirling Range National Park, Borden
  4. Fitzgerald River National Park, Bremer Bay
  5. Lake Magenta Nature Reserve, Pingrup
  6. Corackerup Nature Reserve, Jerramungup
  7. Chinocup Lake, Pingrup
  8. Banks of the Gordon River, Tambellup
  9. Broomehill Golf Club & Boot Rock Reserve
  10. Cranbrook Wildflower Walk

Guides


Taste Great Southern

A festival that celebrates award winning wine, delicious fresh produce and amazing flavours of the Great Southern.

  • Dates:Mar 26 - Apr 5
  • Venue:Great Southern Region
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern,All Festivals

Details

  • Hosted By:CMS Events
  • Venue Address:Great Southern Region
  • Type:Festivals,Food & drink,Travel,Winery Events
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Beer,Celebrity Chef,Cider,Festival,Food Event,Food Market Events,Restaurant Events,Wine

Description

11 days, 30+ culinary experiences, 20+ chefs

A festival that celebrates award winning wine, delicious fresh produce and amazing flavours of the Great Southern. Located along the pristine southern coastline and expanding into the farming hinterland it includes major centres Albany, Denmark, Mt Barker, Kojonup and Katanning.

With 20+ chefs including local stars, Perth talent and the inaugural MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin and fan favourite Derek Lau across 30+ not-to-be-missed culinary experiences, this festival will be home to a music festival, a wine and food festival, long lunches, degustations, premium pairings, community markets and free events.

Great Southern produce is fresh, seasonal and exceptional. Foods like oysters and seafood, chicken, beef and lamb, heirloom vegetables and cheeses all excel on the south coast. You can indulge in all the delicious fresh produce and amazing flavours at many of the events.

The award-winning wine, winemakers and breweries of the Great Southern will also feature across the program. You can expect to sip, taste and savour wine varietals such as Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Riesling, alongside craft beer made locally in the Great Southern.

Feast on the amazing culinary creations from the very talented local stars as they team up with Perth talent and our Australian Guest Chef while they host a range of smaller intimate gatherings to larger events.

Choose from several self-drive adventure packages and include the beautiful natural attractions such as Walpole’s Tree Top Walk and The Gap as well as manmade attractions. With Easter the following weekend, why not stay longer in the Great Southern!

Indulge. Feast. Savour. Adventure

Taste Great Southern is the heart of Western Australian food & wine!

Beef It Up

Due South with Stirling Ranges Beef and Derek Lau invites you to join them for a 3 course long table dinner.

  • Dates:Apr 3
  • Time(s):6-10pm
  • Venue:Due South
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:6 Toll Place, Albany
  • Ticket Price:$120
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Restaurant Events

Description

Due South invites you to join their incredible chef Nic Lancaster and MasterChef 2019 Fan Favourite, Derek Lau for a delicious three course long table dinner. The menu will been crafted by Nic Lancaster and Derek Lau to showcase the best fresh produce available from the Great Southern region and feature Stirling Ranges Beef. Each course will be paired with a premium museum wine from award winning wineries, The Lake House Denmark and Plantagenet Wines.

The dinner will be MC'd by Dianne Bortoletto, a passionate traveller, food lover and freelance writer. Hear from Derek Lau and Paul West, previously from River Cottage Australia as Dianne interviews them on all things food, beef and local produce!
Due South is located on the waterfront of the Princess Royal Harbour and boosts pristine views, the perfect backdrop to an amazing evening of high quality food, wine, chefs and good company!

Ticket includes three course dinner by Nic Lancaster and Derek Lau matched with premium wines from The Lake House Denmark and Plantagenet Wines, MC'd by Dianne Bortoletto and appearance and interview from Paul West.

Great Southern Wine Journey

Don't miss your chance to discover the sub regions and learn more of what makes them special in a tasting masterclass led by a guest presenter!

  • Dates:Apr 2
  • Time(s):6-8.30pm
  • Venue:NLV Clubhouse
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:20 Alison Parade, Albany
  • Ticket Price:$75
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Wine

Description

The Great Southern has five distinctive wine subregions which is unique in Western Australia! The subregions of Albany, Denmark, Frankland River, Mount Barker and Porongurup all boast award winning wines that are being recognised across the globe!
 
The Great Southern is well known for their Riesling and Shiraz and in this Masterclass you can taste, compare and contrast one Riesling and one Shiraz from each wine subregion. While getting to know Great Southern wine, Derek Lau, MasterChef’s ‘Dumpling Master’ will be dishing up amazing canapes to round off a night of great wine, great food and great company!
 
If there’s a wine you love, there will be order forms on the night so you can get your favourites delivered after the event!
Ticket includes return transport from Albany, Riesling and canapes on arrival, five tastings of the 2 varietals from Great Southern wine subregions, presentation and substantial canapes, cheese and a glass of wine to finish. All food by Derek Lau.

Lustre: Pearling & Australia Touring Exhibition

The use of the pearlshell in Australia dates back over 20,000 years. It is a story full of wonder, intrigue and the ill-effects of greed.

  • Dates:Sep 21 - Feb 2 2020
  • Time(s):10:00am – 4:00pm
  • Venue:Museum of the Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Museum of the Great Southern
  • Venue Address:Residency Rd, Albany WA 6330
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Free,Museum events
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:WA Museum
  • Event Venue:Museum of the Great Southern

Description

Lustre: Pearling & Australia explores the gritty human story of pearling, weaving together intersecting trends of Aboriginal, Asian, and European histories to reveal insights into one of our oldest industries.

Discover the stories behind Northern Australia's unique and ancient pearling tradition. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the shell itself, its evolution and habitat, and the people who have collected and harvested these treasures for time immemorial.

This exhibition was curated in 2015 as a dynamic partnership between the WA Museum and Nyamba Buru Yawuru–the native title holders of Broome. After an acclaimed tour of the eastern states, Lustre returns to Western Australia for its premiere regional tour.

The Antarctica Experience In The Great Southern

After a sell-out season at the WA Maritime Museum and at the National Museum of Australia, The Antarctica Experience is coming to Albany!

  • Dates:Dec 14 - Feb 9
  • Time(s):Session times vary
  • Venue:Museum of the Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Museum of the Great Southern
  • Venue Address:Residency Rd, Albany WA 6330
  • Ticket Price FROM:$7.50
  • Ticket price TO:$40
  • Type:Museum events
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Produced By:WA Museum
  • Event Venue:Museum of the Great Southern

Description

This is your chance to experience a day in the life of Antarctic scientists as they research this mysterious continent.

You will see first-hand the work that goes into understanding climate change, managing ecosystems, researching sustainability and conserving wildlife.

Along the way you will:

Explore Antarctica from a helicopter cockpit
Visit the resident penguin colony
Meet the researchers at Davis Station
See the spectacular Southern Lights
With 360-degree camera control and stunning 4K footage, this is Antarctica as you’ve never seen it before.

Tickets are on sale now! Discounts available for education and family groups.

TWENTYTWENTY

TWENTYTWENTY an exciting new collection of contemporary art at Blush Retail Gallery

  • Dates:Jan 15 - Feb 29
  • Venue:Blush Retail Gallery
  • Time(s):Generally 10am-3/4pm

Details

  • Type:Art Exhibitions,Free
  • Visual Arts:Drawing,Historical,Painting,Photography
  • Ticket Price:Free

Description

We are excited to present our new TWENTYTWENTY collection of artworks.
Award winning artists Racquel Cavallaro andJohn Manson combine to bring us a very contemporary collection to see us into the new decade, with an exciting fresh look at familiar scenes.
Racquel's beautiful framed oils and wax artworks "... are images seen in passing, a dialogue between light, form and colour that looks to reveal the inherent rhythmic structure of the universal in the familiar."
John focuses on everyday objects and scenes around his Albany hometown, and presents them anew in a semi abstract form "... so they become appealing and in this sense, the design becomes everything."
This collection is on show from 10am Wednesday 15th January, to view and purchase.

Porongurup Festival

A day of live music, superb local wines, numerous food stalls and entertainment for the whole family set against the stunning backdrop of the Porongurup Ranges.

  • Dates:Mar 1
  • Time(s):11am-5pm
  • Venue:Karridale
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:153 Woodlands Road, Porongurup
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern

Description

There will be cooking demonstrations and the annual Grape Stomp (which is always hotly contested). Kids activities include a bouncy castle, train rides and face painting.

Accompanied children under 18 years enter for free. Wine, food and other drinks are available for purchase. Cash is recommended as EFTPOS may be unavailable at some stalls and ATM facilities are not guaranteed.

No pets allowed (guide dogs excepted).

Ticket includes entry and access to local wineries, food stalls, live music and entertainment including cooking demonstrations and the annual Grape Stomp.

For more information on the event, please contact Porongurup Festival on 08 9853 1136 or [email protected]

MSWA Albany Ride

By popular demand, the MSWA Albany Ride returns for another year on Saturday 14 March 2020.

  • Dates:Mar 14
  • Time(s):From 6am
  • Venue:Emu Point, Albany

Details

  • Hosted By:MSWA
  • Venue Address:All rides start/finish at Emu Point, Albany
  • Ticket Price FROM:$20 for 10km Family Ride early bird registrations
  • Ticket price TO:$120 for 135km Challenge on the day registration
  • Type:Sports
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,For seniors
  • Sports:Cycling

Description

After great success over the past two years, and an overwhelming show of support from the local council and community, the MSWA Albany Ride is set to return for another year, on Saturday, 14 March 2020.

This unique, family friendly event now includes four ride distances to cater for people of all ages and capabilities. It follows some of the most beautiful scenery in the Great Southern region, starting and finishing at Emu Point, Albany.

The routes will take riders through scenic Albany, and the various courses explore some of its most iconic spots including the National ANZAC Centre, the Historic Whaling Station, the Wind Farm and Middleton Beach – the new 135km Challenge heads all the way to Denmark and back!

  • 10km Family Ride
  • 40km Ride
  • 80km Challenge
  • NEW 135km Challenge

The event allows participants to not only experience the stunning region, but also help make a real difference to people living with neurological conditions in the Great Southern region. This includes people living with multiple sclerosis, stroke, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease, Motor Neurone Disease, and acquired Brain Injury, to name a few.

Women of the Region Dinner presented by Moss Conveyancing

Put on your best outfit, get your friends together and book a table to enjoy canapes on arrival and a four-course banquet by award winning local chefs and one of WA’s leading chefs from Perth!

  • Dates:Mar 26
  • Time(s):6:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Venue:Princess Royal Sailing Club
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:57 Chipana Dr, Little Grove WA 6330
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Celebrity Chef,Food Event,Wine
  • Ticket Price FROM:$116
  • Ticket price TO:$145

Description

Women of the Region Dinner presented by Moss Conveyancing.

Ladies and gents come celebrate the amazing women behind this great region in a charity dinner at
the Princess Harbour Sailing Club overlooking the stunning harbour and City of Albany.

Put on your best outfit, get your friends together and book a table to enjoy canapes on arrival and a
four-course banquet by award winning local chef Amy Hamilton, Sally Francis from Runes Catering, a
local favourite and tv presenter Anna Gare and one of WA’s leading chefs Melissa Palinkas from
Young George in Perth.

During the evening hear from our celebrity guest Julie Goodwin, winner of the first MasterChef; MC
Benita Cattalini, the new CEO of the Albany Chamber of Commerce; and award-winning winemaker
Kim Tyrer as they share their stories on success, food and wine.
The event will help support Food Bank Albany and ensure that women and men in the region have
the ability to put good food on the table for their families all year round. $10 from each ticket sold
will be donated along with all proceeds from the silent auctions!

Help us help support the women of the region and Food Bank Albany while enjoying great food,
wine, live local music and fabulous company!

Ticket includes canapes on arrival and a four-course dinner, wine & beer, silent auction,
presentations from Julie Goodwin, Kim Tyrer, Amy Hamilton and MC Benita Cattalini, live music and
transport from the Albany city centre.

High Cheese

Back by popular demand with a twist Swiss flare! Raclette comes to the Amazing South Coast!

  • Dates:Mar 27, Apr 3
  • Time(s):5.30-8.30pm
  • Venue:The Beach House at Bayside
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:33 Barry Court, Albany
  • Ticket Price:$65
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Food Event

Description

The Beach House at Bayside will once again be showcasing a range of un-brie-lievably delicious cheeses highlighting Great Southern producers in a fine spread of sweet and savoury items of the High Cheese variety … and are also thrilled to be bringing a fun raclette experience to this years event - think melty, gooey, cheesy, savoury .. YUMMY!

Top that with a welcome glass of  premium Great Southern wine in the gorgeous surrounds of Albany's National Tourism Award Winning Boutique Hotel - The Beach House at Bayside.

Book early - it's going to be grate!

Ticket includes a cheese themed high tea with raclette experience and a glass of wine on arrival. Additional drinks available for purchase.

For more information on the event, please contact The Beach House at Bayside on 08 9844 8844 or [email protected]

Grandeur

A magical night of splendour at Phillips Brook Estate!

  • Dates:Mar 27
  • Time(s):6:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Venue:Phillips Brook Estate
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:Phillips Brook Estate Lot 118 Redmond Hay River Road, Albany WA 6327
  • Ticket Price:$160.00
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Food Event,Whisky,Wine

Description

Treat yourself to a magical night of splendour at Phillips Brook Estate, with MC Magnus Danger Magnus, along with entertainment acts Lil Miss Squeeze and The Piano Man! Enjoy an evening at the beautiful Phillips Brook Estate, with local food spits and fire roasted delights from Woodfired Catering Co, accompanied with Great Southern wine from Bunn Vineyard and Freehand Wines, or enjoy Gins and Whiskey from Limeburners.
 
Ticket includes transport from Albany, entertainment, local treats from Woodfired Catering and complimentary wine, gin and whiskey throughout the evening.

Frankland River Cellar Door

Enjoy a tasting experience with amazing food and world recognised wine right in front of the rolling hills at Frankland Estate!

  • Dates:Mar 28
  • Time(s):1:30pm - 7:00pm
  • Venue:Frankland Estate
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:Frankland Estate 530 Rocky Gully-Frankland Rd, Rocky Gully WA 6397
  • Ticket Price:$85
  • Type:Winery Events
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Food Event,Wine

Description

<p> As one of Western Australia’s best kept secrets, Frankland River a wine subregion of the Great Southern is fast becoming one of the State’s most successful wine regions. With a diverse range of grape varieties grown, it is most noted for its Shiraz and Riesling. Other varieties gaining world recognition include Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc.</p> <p> Take the bus to Frankland Estate, one of the successful wineries from the region and enjoy a tasting experience with amazing food while overlooking the rolling hills. Start off with a wine tasting from Frankland Estate, Alkoomi Wines, Ferngrove Wines, Lange Estate, Swinney Vineyard and Cherubino Wines, each showcasing what makes this region so amazing and hear from Foni Pollitt, WA Good Food Guide 2018 Sommelier of the Year on the varieties on offer.</p> <p> Then enjoy a glass of wine with canapes by Wheels & Peg Catering with local produce before going on a cellar door tour of Frankland Estate. To finish off, you can buy a bottle of your favourite to enjoy later or order a case to be delivered after the event!</p> <p> <br /> Ticket includes return transport from Albany or Denmark, wine tasting from four Frankland River wineries, presentation by Foni Pollitt, WA Good Food Guide 2018 Sommelier of the Year, canapes and cellar door tour of Frankland Estate.</p>

Dinner By The Lake With Julie Goodwin

The Lake House Denmark is the perfect place to relax in nature, reconnect with friends and enjoy a fabulous dinner prepared by MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin.

  • Dates:Mar 28
  • Time(s):6-10pm
  • Venue:The Lake House Denmark
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:106 Turner Rd, Shadforth WA 6333
  • Ticket Price:$135
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Celebrity Chef

Description

Julie's family-focused style of cooking and ‘mum next door’ persona made has turned her passion into a hugely successful career, with six successful books, TV appearances, Australian Women’s Weekly column for over 8 years and many successful partnerships and appearance throughout the nation.

Enjoy a memorable dining experience with Julie Goodwin and MC Verity James in a night of great food, wine and company. 

Ticket includes three course dinner and a glass of Lake House Denmark wine of your choice.

Shop Local | Eat Local With Julie Goodwin

Spend a day with MasterChef winner Julie Goodwin as she showcases the very best local produce the Great Southern Region has to offer!

  • Dates:Mar 28
  • Time(s):9-10am
  • Venue:Albany Farmers Markets
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:Collie St, Albany WA 6330
  • Ticket Price:Free
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly,Wheelchair Access
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Celebrity Chef,Food Market Events

Description

Roam with one of the nations’ favourite home cooks and inaugural winner of MasterChef, Julie Goodwin through the Albany Farmers Market as she experiences the very freshest seasonally available fruits, vegetables, farmed meat, dairy, cheese, fish, seafood and much more all from the Great Southern Region.

Then watch as she prepares something spontaneous and tasty for visitors on the day from the produce bought at the markets that morning. It is bound to be something special!

Big BBQ

Everybody loves an Aussie BBQ. The Due South kitchen team will host the Big BBQ again.

  • Dates:Mar 28
  • Time(s):12-4pm
  • Venue:Due South
  • Festivals:Taste Great Southern

Details

  • Hosted By:Taste Great Southern
  • Venue Address:6 Toll Place, Albany
  • Ticket Price FROM:$20
  • Ticket price TO:$92
  • Type:Food & drink
  • Audience:Adults,Family-Friendly
  • Produced By:Taste Great Southern
  • Food & Drink:Food Event

Description

Your taste buds will be delighted with smokey BBQ meats prepared in our very own Thomas the Smoker. Complimented by fresh house made salads and breads. 

This truly family event is a fantastic opportunity to get together with family and friends at this waterfront venue and take in the spectacular views of the Princess Royal Harbour.

Ticket includes a selection of BBQ meat, salad, bread and condiments.

For more information on the event, please contact Due South on 08 9841 8526 or [email protected]

SCOOP