Discover the Ferguson Valley, just 90 minutes from Perth. Discover award winning wines, micro-breweries, gourmet foods, local arts and our heritage, and go bush walking and mountain biking.
Here are the top experiences in the Ferguson Valley and the Shire of Dardanup:
In a leafy glade, among rolling, green hills in the upper Ferguson Valley is the quirkiest free attraction in Australia—Gnomesville. From humble beginnings 14 years ago with just a single gnome placed by the roadside by a local resident to watch over new roadworks has developed a whole village of some 3000 garden gnomes of all shapes, sizes and characters. Placed there by locals and visitors from all over the world, the gnomes are said to bring good luck to those who leave one there; while those who damage or hurt them are liable to have bad luck follow them. The resident gnomes have some wry names, too— Greg Gnoman, Gnome on the Range, Astrognome, Gnome Alone, Gnome-de-Plume, Gnoman Empire Soldier and so on. Gnomesville is an ‘open’ attraction, no admission fees.
Taste Wine, Beer and Food
Ferguson Valley — part of the Geographe Wine Region — is an emerging wine producing area with a number of cellar door tastings on offer. Virtually all the producers are small, family affairs, making small quantities of hand-crafted wines. Two micro-breweries add variety to the experience, offering boutique beers brewed on site as well as light meals. Local gourmet produce also includes cheeses from local cows, home baked cakes and lavender products. Several country-style restaurants and cafes are dotted through the area.
Discover Ferguson Valley art:
The Ferguson Valley is well known for the creative and industrious people who make beautiful artworks for display and sale at galleries, shops and markets scattered throughout the area. The annual Dardanup Art Spectacular every May is both a competitive art show for local people as well as a multi-venue exhibition.
Enjoy a country event:
Spend a day in the valley with wines, local produce, delicacies and live music. There are several free and ticketed events happening throughout the year. Best known is the annual one-day Bull and Barrel Festival each October in Dardanup, celebrating the area’s dairying and wine-making industries, which attracts more than 10,000 people. The 2011 festival theme will be “It’s a Small World”. A highlight of the festival is the night-time “burning of the bull” fire sculpture.
Acquaint yourself with nature:
Experience the best of nature in the Ferguson Valley’s national parks, forests and riversides. Mt Lennard Mountain Bike area has about 40 kilometres of trails of varying difficulties for mountain bikers of all abilities. Wellington Discovery Forest offers an educational experience in the jarrah forest with self-guided walks along forest trails. Crooked Brook Forest has four designated walk trails and the opportunity to see western brush wallaby, Gould’s monitor, grey fantails and the rare red-tailed black cockatoo. One of the trails is suitable for wheelchairs. Bring your canoe or kayak and paddle along with the birdlife lining the Collie River, or go whitewater rafting (in season) on the lower Collie River valley. Wellington Dam has picnic sites and is popular in late winter when the dam overflows.
A peaceful rest
Nestled amongst vineyards, overlooking rivers, creeks and lakes, perched on hilltops, are an array of cabins, chalets, bed-and-breakfasts, resorts, cottages and caravan parks. Set in harmonious surroundings, they offer privacy in peaceful locations. From budget to unforgettable, you'll find the perfect combination of country hospitality and service to suit your expectations.
Canoe the Collie River
With great access to a wide variety of water activities, Eaton is the waterside gateway to the Ferguson Valley. Bring your canoe or kayak and paddle along with the birdlife lining the Collie River in the salt marsh vegetation. Pelicans, kingfishers and ducks frequent the area as well as bottlenose dolphins. Boating and fishing is also popular along the Collie River on Eaton Foreshore.
Head outdoors with your picnic basket to areas in the scenic Wellington Dam area. BBQ and picnic facilities can be found at the dam, Honeymoon Pool and Potters Gorge. Other picnic areas include Crooked Brook Forest, along the Eaton Foreshore, Gnomesville, and some of the local wineries.
Roam the food trail
Explore the local gourmet produce such as cheeses, home baked cakes and delicacies, or enjoy a light lunch at one of the wonderful venues set among the rolling green pastures. Pick up farm-fresh produce and other food goodies at the weekly Sunday morning farmers’ market at Eaton.
Step back in time:
Follow the heritage trail around Dardanup to unveil a collection of historic buildings that relate the history of Dardanup and surrounds.
For all your shopping needs and business requirements, head to the Eaton shopping area and adjacent business park.
Explore Surrounding Areas: South West > Geographe / Bunbury > Ferguson Valley Area > Dardanup