Dardanup and the Ferguson Valley’s rolling pastures, forests, spring wildflowers and rivers form a beautiful backdrop to award winning wineries, boutique breweries, fine restaurants, country retreats and a lively arts and crafts scene. Bushwalks, cycle trails, nearer to nature experiences and wine and dine indulgences await.
Just 15 minutes from the regional hub of Bunbury, or a two hour drive south of Perth, Dardanup is situated in the heart of the Ferguson Valley, making it the perfect base for exploring the undulating countryside, forests and bushland.
Take your pick from the many walking trails or pretty picnic spots of Wellington Discovery Forest and Crooked Brook Forest, where you can enjoy peace and tranquillity among the jarrah, marri and karri trees. Or take two wheels for a spin on 40 kilometres of beginner and advanced mountain bike trails at Mount Lennard.
Traditionally dairy country, today the Ferguson Valley is increasingly known for its burgeoning wine industry. Take a drive or tour through the rolling hills, hopping from winery to winery to indulge in tastings at cellar doors. If you’re a beer lover, you’ll also find boutique breweries along the way, as well as art galleries, shops, markets and eateries where you can sample fresh local produce.
For a taste of the region’s colourful settler history and Irish dairy farming heritage, head to Thomas Little Hall, commemorating Dardanup’s earliest settler and beneficiary. Built in the early 1850s, the hall was originally the Church of Immaculate Conception – the first Catholic Church in Western Australia, outside the metropolitan area.
For something a little out of the ordinary, stop by Gnomesville – a free and quirky must-see gnome village. The first of the 3,000 plus gnome inhabitants arrived in 1998. Since then, locals and visitors from around the world have added gnomes of all shapes, sizes and characters to the collection. Adding your own gnome is said to bring good luck.
If you’d like to stay a while, there’s a variety of options available, including bed and breakfasts, farmstay accommodation and luxury lodges.