Without a doubt, if I had to pick my favourite season in South West Australia it would have to be Autumn or Fall as it’s also known.
The weather cools, the days are generally warm and sunny, deciduous trees change colour, the grass becomes emerald green, and the buzzing heat of summer gives way to a stillness that defines the lead up to winter.
Sure we have rain, and sometimes wind, or cold fronts blowing in, but generally the shorter days in the months leading on from March to the end of May, before the rain really sets in, can be lovely.
As we were driving to Balingup yesterday for a walk in Golden Valley Tree Park we listened to the haunting strains of Vivaldi’s “Autumn” on the iPod, and I began to think about the things I most love about Autumn.
7 Things I especially love about Autumn in South West Australia
1. Autumn Leaves
2. Hot baths
3. Dappled sunlight
4. Country fairs
5. Putting the duck down duvet back on our bed
6. Calm days with no wind (aka the cooling ‘Freo Doctor’ winds of high summer)
7. Log fires
And arriving in the picturesque town of Balingup, we immediately as always headed for the Estate Agent’s window.
Looking at country cottages on rolling hills made me think of one of my favourite poems, “The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by W B Yeats as I dreamed about owning a little shack deep in the woods.
“I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.” W B Yeats
“Golden Valley Tree Park is a sixty hectare landscaped park set in the picturesque hills of Balingup. The heritage listed site has a collection of trees that was begun over one hundred years ago, and is now the largest arboretum in WA.
The Park is a great place for short walks amongst some of the loveliest rural countryside in the heart of the South West. The beautiful World Collection features many deciduous autumn colour favourites alongside rare and unusual specimens. Golden Valley’s Australian Collection showcases the wide diversity of Australian native tree associations from tall eucalypts through mallee woodlands to dry season deciduous species and a range of rare West Australian species. Many trees are labelled.” Courtesy of Golden Valley Tree Park.
The best time to visit the tree park is obviously during Autumn. We visited in the middle of May.
- You’ll find the park as you head south out of Balingup on the South West Highway.
- Entry is free but a gold coin donation is welcome
- The Park is open seven days a week.
- There are no camping facilities and camping is not allowed.
- There are toilets, wood barbeques, picnic tables and a large gazebo shelter.
- Walk tracks meander across the hillside and are clearly labelled with one or two information boards as well.
- It’s wonderful to find that many of the trees are labelled.
- You’ll find maps and lists at the information shelters.
- You can also access the park from the Bibbulmun Track.
There are many places around the globe that I’d like to visit during Autumn – and I’m wondering if you could tempt me to where you come from or live? What do you most love about Autumn in your part of the world?