Things to see and do in and around Binningup
This Easter long weekend we joined the annual migration to the southern region of West Australia for a quiet weekend in the country. It’s been a couple of years since we’ve taken advantage of the longest holiday break in the WA year, to escape the city and become the annoying out of towners! Suffice to say we were excited for our little road trip and catching up with friends.
Binningup is a small coastal town north of Bunbury and one that’s easily accessible from Forrest Highway. It’s only 1.5 hours south of Perth, a little hard to believe as honestly it felt like a world away. The town itself has a golf course, general store, two fuel bowsers and an air pump accompanied by a line of cars, because 4WD is the thing to do in the area (with some good 4WD tyres, that is because we tried to take our suburban SUV out and well that’s a story that doesn’t end very good but thanks to two guys we were towed back – in our defense the sand was choppy). So our home away from home, my friend found on a short stay website. The place was uber comfortable and modern, the pool table and dishwasher were the most utilised mod cons, especially when Easter Sunday lunch rolled round and it was time to fire up the BBQ and toss the chicken in the oven. I have to say though, the holiday atmosphere in the town, almost made me feel like camping or playing cards in an old beach shack.
Binningup beach is pretty wonderful – picture perfect actually. I’ve probably spoken these words too many times on this blog and here I go again – West Australian beaches are pure magic. Vast spaces. Clean white sand. Cold salty blue waters. I thought I would entertain you with a historical fact or more accurately an event – in the 1980’s, a small meteorite fell on Binningup beach and luckily missed two sunbathers. Don’t worry, the chances of a meteorite hitting you is 1 in 1,600,000.
Like most ‘down south’ trips, we piled ourselves into the car and set about exploring the surrounds. Ferguson Valley located inland from the coast is close to Binningup for the odd day trip or two. Winding roads cut through deep river valleys and tall dense forest. Breweries, wineries, farm stay, forest hiking, biking trails, a random Gnomesville and even an epic coal mine shovel entertain travellers who pass through. There’s probably even more to see. The sunburnt colours of the land is beginning to change to green shades as winter approaches in a couple of months. I was snapping photos with each opportunity, the area is incredibly picturesque.
We stopped in at two places – Gnomesville and Honeymoon Pool, but we passed so many places worth checking out next time.
Gnomesville is a quirky unofficial tourist attraction in the valley, and what started out as one gnome placed on the side of the road has now turned into hundreds and thousands of them. Try telling a child not to touch, actually, try telling an adult the same thing. It’s incredible, all those gnomey eyes looking up. Gatherings of gnome societies from a near and a far (Scotland inclusive). You may think it’s bullocks or you may be entranced and want to walk very slowly through. I say, worth a visit and find your favourite one! Watch out for the nudie rude ones hahah. I chuckled at a few of the Aussie bogan ones.
Honeymoon pool, harks a romance novel and aside from the unavoidable peak season camping crowd it’s a beautiful little section of forest, possibly a little romantic too. The area is rife with big old peppermint trees and where the forest shields the sky. Faint sounds of the Collie river flowing into a natural pool overlooked by the tenting campsites. I’d love to return and camp at this place. To reach the secluded campsite we took the scenic Lennard Drive, 5km in length along the gorge with views of the flowing rapids below.
As I said there were many places we didn’t get too and I’m listing a couple here. Have you been to the area? I would love to hear where you went and what you saw.
Mt. Lennard, 40 km mountain bike trails
Coal shovel, 900 tonne
Crooked Brook Forest Hiking Trail