Your Essential Guide to Bridgetown, WA: For the Good Life in Generous Portions

April 11, 2024

Serenity and peaceful country living are the best words to describe Bridgetown. This relaxed country town is situated on the banks of the Blackwood River and is surrounded by a lush perimeter of rolling hills with jarrah and marri forests. 

Unsurprisingly, the town is frequented by people seeking artistic inspiration from the local landscapes. 

What is the Best Time to Visit Bridgetown, WA?

Most people will tell you that South Western Australia is best enjoyed during the summer months between November and March when it doesn’t rain as much and the temperatures are high. 

While the broader South Western Australia region is a summer paradise, Bridgetown shines brightest in winter. Dubbed the “Winter Capital of Western Australia,” Bridgetown’s cooler months are ideal for those looking to escape the heat and enjoy the town’s seasonal beauty. Whether you’re visiting for the lush winter greenery or the cosy charm of local cafes, winter in Bridgetown is a season of wonder.

Top Things to Do in Bridgetown

Parks and Nature Reserves

Blackwood River Park

The Blackwood River Walk in Bridgetown, Western Australia, is a serene and picturesque trail showcasing the region’s natural beauty. As you meander along the path, you’re treated to stunning views of the Blackwood River, which winds through the landscape, providing a tranquil backdrop to your walk.

Starting from the heart of Bridgetown, the walk stretches for several kilometers, offering a gentle, accessible route for walkers of all abilities. Along the way, you’ll pass through varied landscapes, including lush bushland, open grassy areas, and riverside scenery, each offering a unique perspective of the Southwest’s natural environment.

One of the highlights of the Blackwood River Walk is the opportunity to observe local wildlife. Birdwatchers will delight in spotting species like parrots, wrens, and kookaburras, while the river itself is home to ducks, swans, and, occasionally, playful dolphins.

Two people walking hand in hand on a tranquil forest trail surrounded by towering eucalyptus trees, with the sunlight filtering through the foliage near Bridgetown, WA

Bridgetown Jarrah Park

Spanning several hectares, Bridgetown Jarrah Park is a haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat. The park’s well-maintained trails meander through dense forest, providing visitors with an immersive experience in the native bushland. The trails offer something for every fitness level, from leisurely walks to more strenuous hikes.

As you explore the park, you’ll be greeted by towering some centuries-old Jarrah and Marri trees. These forests are a spectacle of natural beauty and play a crucial role in the local ecosystem, supporting a diverse range of flora and fauna.

Museums in Bridgetown

Brierley Jigsaw Gallery

With over 340 complete, meticulously preserved, and displayed puzzles, the Brierley Jigsaw Gallery is one of the largest jigsaw puzzle collections in the Southern Hemisphere. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of jigsaws. These are not your ordinary puzzles; the collection showcases a wide range of themes, sizes, and complexities, including 3D puzzles and those with intricate designs and challenging intricacies.

Culinary Delights and Cosy Cafés

The Cidery is not just a place to savour award-winning beers and ciders crafted from local Pink Lady apples; it’s also a cosy spot for lunch. With a menu featuring delicious burgers and a warm, inviting atmosphere highlighted by a roaring fire in winter, it’s a must-visit for food and drink enthusiasts​​.

Sample some of the region’s freshest produce with a Ploughman’s platter at The Cidery. 

This picturesque spot partners with the Dardanup Butchering Company, Rokewood Olive Grove, Heritage Country Cheese, and other local producers to plate these delicious platters best enjoyed in the Cidery’s lush gardens.

For coffee lovers and breakfast enthusiasts, Barking Cow Café and The Mulberry Tree offer local Yallingup beans coffee, homemade bread, cakes, and a notable egg Benedict with homemade hash browns. Both spots are perfect for starting your day with wholesome food made from local produce.​

Wineries and Vineyards in Bridgetown

Sunnyhurst Winery

Just five minutes from Bridgetown in Western Australia, Sunnyhurst is a boutique winery established on the historic Sunnyhurst Homestead grounds. The homestead, dating back to 1896, has a rich history, including serving as the Red Cross headquarters during WWII. Since transitioning into a winery in 2000, Sunnyhurst has embraced traditional winemaking methods and organic-inspired viticulture under the stewardship of new owners Geoff Herbert and Marie-Pierre Dussault since 2017.

Sunnyhurst Winery is celebrated for its hand-picked quality grapes and premium wines, which encapsulate the region’s distinct flavours. The winemaking process includes onsite bottling and labelling with artwork from local artists, and the company’s dedication to quality has earned it numerous awards and favourable reviews.

Visitors can explore the estate’s romantic gardens, home to over 600 rare and heritage rose species and various fruit trees and cottage plants. The gardens were established primarily by the previous owner, Loraine Staniford. They are part of the annual Spring “Festival of Country Gardens” in Bridgetown. 

The Sunnyhurst cellar door, open Thursday to Sunday and on public holidays, offers a welcoming environment where visitors can sample the winery’s award-winning offerings and enjoy the serene views of the Mattamatup and Blackwood River valleys. 

Local Shopping in Bridgetown

Bridgetown’s high street features unique stores like Barney & Fleur for fashionable finds and Ooh La Lollipop for a nostalgic trip to an old-fashioned sweet shop. Each store contributes to the charm and character of Bridgetown, making shopping an enjoyable part of the visit.

Festivals and Events in Bridgetown

Fridgetown Fest is a vibrant winter festival celebrating the region’s culture, history, and lifestyle. Initially launched in 2011 as the Bridgetown in the Winter Festival, it has since been rebranded to Fridgetown Fest, inspired by Bridgetown’s nickname “Fridgetown” due to its chilly winter temperatures. The festival offers a variety of activities, including art, music, food, and outdoor events, making it a cosy and engaging destination during the winter months.

Art and Culture

The Bridgetown Art Trail showcases an eclectic mix of local artists’ sculptures, murals, and interactive pieces. A highlight is The Rabbit Hole, a hub of artist studios featuring various paintings and optical illusions. This trail weaves through vibrant streets, parks, and gardens, offering a unique way to experience the local art scene.

Take a Local Day Trip

Here’s a curated selection of day trips from Bridgetown, each offering its own unique experience:

Balingup: Just a 30-minute drive north of Bridgetown, Balingup is known for its quaint charm, artisan shops, and scenic landscapes. The town is famous for its seasonal festivals, like the Small Farm Field Day and the Medieval Carnivale. Visitors can enjoy the lush greenery, explore local art galleries, and taste fresh, locally-produced food and wine.

  • Nannup: Approximately a 50-minute drive west of Bridgetown, Nannup offers a peaceful retreat with its beautiful gardens, heritage buildings, and the meandering Blackwood River. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers, with opportunities for bushwalking, bird watching, and cycling along the scenic trails.
  • Manjimup: Around an hour’s drive south of Bridgetown, Manjimup is at the heart of the Southern Forests region. It’s a food lover’s paradise, renowned for its truffles, wineries, and fresh produce. Visitors can explore the Timber and Heritage Park, enjoy the local culinary delights, or venture into the surrounding forests for truffle hunting experiences.
  • Donnybrook: Located about an hour’s drive north of Bridgetown, Donnybrook is known as the apple capital of the South West. This town offers picturesque orchards, vibrant fruit markets, and the famous Apple Fun Park – the largest free-entry playground in Australia. It’s an ideal destination for families enjoying outdoor activities and farm-fresh produce.
  • Pemberton: A bit further away, approximately 1.5 hours south of Bridgetown, Pemberton is nestled among towering karri forests and offers a cooler climate with misty mornings. The area is perfect for hiking, canoeing, and fishing in the national parks. Visitors can also climb the famous Gloucester Tree, tour local wineries, and enjoy the serene natural beauty of Western Australia.

Accommodations in Bridgetown, WA

Two people walking hand in hand on a tranquil forest trail surrounded by towering eucalyptus trees, with the sunlight filtering through the foliage near Bridgetown, WA

At Exclusive Escapes, we strive for the best selection of family-friendly holiday homes in some of Australia’s most popular tourist destinations in the South West. When it comes to accommodations in Bridgetown, WA, our selection includes three glamping options in Serenity Gully, an accredited Quality Tourism Business & Sustainable Tourism Business offering a unique and luxurious off-the-grid, eco-glamping getaway. 

Each of the three luxury glamping tents offers breathtaking views and is hundreds of metres apart to ensure utmost privacy. You have full access to the 478-acre property to wander and explore the open fields and towering jarrah forests, filled with wildflowers, banksia, and grass tree groves.

All tents enjoy a unique outlook and a welcoming luxury interior. The glorious stone bathtub sits on the generous outdoor deck, an extraordinary place to view golden sunsets or soak beneath a star-filled night sky.

After a day of bush walks, you’ll sleep peacefully surrounded in comfort. The two-seater lounge offers the perfect spot to curl up with a book, and the flickering wood-burning fireplace provides cosy warmth and ambience. A designer café table, sideboard, and other delightful furnishings, from cushions to bed throws to lamps, will make you feel right at home.

Bridgetown, WA, is more than just a destination; it’s a journey into the heart of Western Australia’s countryside. From its natural beauty to its thriving local scene, Bridgetown offers a slice of the good life in generous portions. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or artistic inspiration, Bridgetown welcomes you to explore its many treasures.

Frequently Asked Questions about Bridgetown, WA

How far away is Bridgetown from Perth?

Bridgetown is approximately 270 kilometres (about 168 miles) south of Perth in Western Australia. The drive typically takes 3 to 3.5 hours, depending on the route and traffic conditions.

What is Bridgetown, WA, known for?

Bridgetown, Western Australia, is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, historic charm, and vibrant arts scene. Nestled in the heart of the South West, it offers a blend of natural beauty, gourmet food, and wine, making it a popular destination for tourists seeking a serene getaway.

What is the best time to visit Bridgetown, WA?

The best time to visit Bridgetown is winter when you can enjoy the Bridgetown Fest. Spring(September to November) or autumn (March to May) are also great times to visit!

Bridgetown Busselton Eagle Bay events Family Holiday margaretriver Margaret River Pemberton Pet-Friendly romantic getaways southwest south west southwestregion Wilyabrup winter Yallingup beaches