Food and wine festivals, country fairs, small farm days and even the occasional Medieval get together are all part of the fabric of South West Life, and they are vibrant shows of community spirit along with an awesome choice of fresh local produce.
So this Saturday, He Himself and I trotted off to Donnybrook, a small town south of Bunbury that’s known for its fruit orchards, and where in season, if you are so inclined, you could get casual work as a fruit picker (Grey Nomads and Back packers – the fruit picking season is from November to June).
The festival was heaving with people which seemed amazing because Donnybrook is normally such a sleepy little town, but today they came from the regions and Bunbury, flocking to the promise of a fun day out with lots of local delicacies to be tasted.
There was heaps of locally grown produce from the Donnybrook Region on offer, from gourmet food to home-grown bathtime and health products. Not sure if I can count these lovely cupcakes as health products but anyway!
Oh dear, goodbye diet.
There was a row of tented wine tasting booths with some of the top Geographe Region wineries showcasing their latest vintages.
I spotted John Small from Smallwater Estate.
“Hope you’re going to come and taste some wine,” he said with a smile. “Isn’t it hot today?”
I was wilting in the heat. Dashing for shade whenever possible. It must have been one of the hottest days of the year so far, when eggs could have been fried on car bonnets and you remember why the West Australian beaches are so appealing in February.
In fact those sitting sitting around and picnicking under the shade of tall gum trees on the banks of the river definitely had the right idea.
But we had wine to taste and food to sample so wiping mascara out of my eyes I dispensed with cool glamour and sweated it out with the best of them.
And those wineries were doing good business and yes, we came away with purchases, so there will be a post on the raunchy reds we most enjoyed very soon. Watch this space if you enjoy Australian wine for three very unusual and special drops of the good stuff and hint, you might see a clue below.
Donnybrook is situated between Boyanup and Kirup on the South Western Highway about 210 kms south of Perth.
It’s the centre of the Apple industry in Western Australia.
If was first settled in 1894 and named after a suburb of Dublin in Ireland. There is also a portion of the town known as Irishtown.
in 1897 Richard Hunter discovered gold just outside of the town.
Apples are harvested between March and May, and the apple blossoms are best around October.
9 things to do in Donnybrook
- Munch an apple or two! Donnybrook’s known as the apple capital of the West, so you can bet your bottom dollar that your Doctor will be pleased you’ve visited.
- In Springtime, go for the colourful blossoms that adorn the hills – and the wonderful displays of wildflowers in the fields and forests.
- Visit what must be one of the best second hand bookshops in the South West (along the main street).
- Try, or buy some local farm fresh produce: Marron, organic beef, olive oil, local fruit and vegetable produce.
- Take the kids to the park: Donnybrook boasts the “Biggest Free Entry Fun Park” in all of Australia.
- Delve into the history and fascinating tales of the goldfields, because Donnybrook once had a small goldfield.
- Walk along the peaceful path alongside the Preston River
- Visit a nearby Cider Factory complete with an old mine shaft and a museum filled with memorabilia.
- Walk along the main street and enjoy the old architecture – visit the visitor centre in the old railway station too.
This post appears at Travel Photo Thursday – why not pop over and have a look at some other awesome travel pix and stories?
Do you have a favourite regional town where you live? What’s so special about it?