LOCALS SHARE THEIR WINTER TO-DO LIST WITH YOU

No one knows the south west better than the people who live there. They’re on one permanent holiday. We’ve asked the locals their favourite way to spend a winter’s day down south and they’ve shared their must-dos with you. Hint: they all involve eating!

If you’re around Manjimup (aside from doing one of our truffle hunts of course,) my ideal winters’ day would include red wine tasting at the local wineries (Truffle Hill and Woodgate Winery – you can speak direct with the winemaker), then follow it up with a long lunch at Silkwood Estate or the Truffle and Wine Co. For dinner, Tall Timbers Restaurant (pictured above) is the place to be. They’ve got fires going all winter and it’s a good place to watch a game of football. They’ve got a great wine list too!

Deb, Tour Manager
Truffle and Wine Co, Manjimup

Winter in the South West. She can be raw and wild and cosy and calm and you can wear uggboots all day. If you find yourself in Margaret River, drop by the Margaret Rivermouth and say hi to Freddy and crew at Combi Coffee, followed by a visit to the Margaret River Bakery in town – it’s amazing. If you’re feeling adventurous check out Wilyabrup Beach – you’ll need a 4wd but once you arrive you are treated to a breathtaking valley winding to the sea. Swings Taphouse is a favourite wine bar of mine. They do great wood fired pizzas for a cosy evening. My advice – get a map from the local visitor centre and just go explore, you’ll love what’s around the corner.

Luke Fox, local musician

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We love Albany in Winter. It’s the perfect time for whale watching, with high frequency sightings close to town. The cooler weather and ancient coastline of the Amazing South Coast offers dramatically stunning sunsets that can be viewed from many locations such as Sand Patch (The Albany Wind Farm); Stony Hill; Mount Melville Radio Tower; The Albany Heritage Precinct; Marine Drive and The Gap and Natural Bridge (of course!). Loads of indoor activities are available during wet weather – the Boatshed Markets offer fantastic local art and craft (perfect souvenirs), food and coffee for a lazy Sunday morning. The Sandalwood Factory’s unique “Gong” experience relaxes the mind and body and the award winning National Anzac Centre provides a deeply moving insight into an important focal point in Australian history.

Ailan Tran, Quality Suites Banksia Gardens in Albany

We start the day with a morning stroll to the lookout. Watching the sun rise over Balingup is magical…particularly as the mist rolls over the green orchards and up the valley. Then it’s time for a morning coffee. No shortage of choice here. Will it be The Mushroom Café, The Taste of Balingup or the Old Shed Café? Today it’s the Old Shed Café.. sitting outside on the patio in the quaint town of Balingup, under the warm winter sun, is delightful. Next stop, the stunning Golden Valley Tree Park. A stroll through the magnificent and colourful trees in WA’s largest arboretum is spectacular. Now that’s a magical morning in Balingup!

Deb & Brian Vanallen
Balingup Heights Hilltop Forest Cottages

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When I’m not caring for the animals at the Bunbury Wildlife Park, I like to spend my winter days enjoying Bunbury’s crisp winter air with my family. Winter is a still a great time to go bushwalking through Maidens Reserve and Manea Park and we love to finish the outing off with a babycino or two on the Victoria Street café strip. If the weather is on the wet side, we’ll head to the Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre where there is always a show that suits out tastes, and when we have a babysitter, a visit to the Bunbury Regional Art Galleries is on the cards followed by a drink or two at one of the new bars in town; we head to Yours or Mine then Lost Bills when we’re without the kids.

Chris Parker – Wildlife Attendant
Bunbury Wildlife Park

A winning combination that I can’t go past is a glass of red wine, a fireplace & the sound of the rain on a tin roof, so check that your accommodation ticks these boxes! My ideal day would start with a morning walk along the Cape to Cape track to a waterfall. Winter is the only time to see truly beautiful waterfalls in action, such as Quinninup Falls near Moses Rock, or Meekadarabee Falls at Ellensbrook House. Then I love a long lazy breakfast, usually at Barnyard 1978 (pictured). Or I stock up on provisions at the Margaret River Farmer’s Market, to bunker down at home & indulge on cheese, fresh bread, cured meats etc. A lazy afternoon drive through the Boranup Forest is breathtaking – even better with some picnic provisions in tow. In the evening for an extra special treat, Cape Lodge is the perfect place to spoil yourself with some fine dining.

Emily Bromell – Cellar Door Manager
Howard Park Wines, Cowaramup