Things to do in Donnybrook
So much to see, eat and do at a country fair in the South West. Mind you it was so hot that you could have fried an egg on the bonnet of that cute vintage car in the bottom right picture!

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!

things to do in donnybrook by jo castro

Oh dear, goodbye diet.

Things to do in Donnybrook
Ohh, aren’t they delicious … just to look at even.

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.

Things to do in Donnybrook
A leisurely picnic under the shade of trees by the Preston River

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.

Things to do in Donnybrook
Food, wine, and even oysters at the Donnybrook Food and Wine Festival

Fast Facts

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

  1. 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.
  2. In Springtime, go for the colourful blossoms that adorn the hills – and the wonderful displays of wildflowers in the fields and forests.
  3. Visit what must be one of the best second hand bookshops in the South West (along the main street).
  4. Try, or buy some local farm fresh produce: Marron, organic beef, olive oil, local fruit and vegetable produce.
  5. Take the kids to the park: Donnybrook boasts the “Biggest Free Entry Fun Park” in all of Australia.
  6. Delve into the history and fascinating tales of the goldfields, because Donnybrook once had a small goldfield.
  7. Walk along the peaceful path alongside the Preston River
  8. Visit a nearby Cider Factory complete with an old mine shaft and a museum filled with memorabilia.
  9. 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?

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  1. Pondside

    Well, Australia is definitely on my list of places to visit, and your post has given me even more reasons. Maybe next winter…….and I’ll be back for more inspiration and ideas.

  2. I’m glad to hear that! Thanks for popping by and hope to welcome you back again soon ?)

  3. Wonderful and fun times at the country fair. The cupcakes and wine tasting look and sound delightful. And what a pretty place for a picnic! Lovely images, thanks for sharing. Have a happy week!

  4. Mmm…Cupcakes and wine. Sounds perfect for me though I think I might leave a visit to Donnybrook until it’s a bit cooler.There’s so much to do there!

  5. Yes, Autumn when the trees turn golden and the days are crisp and clear – that’s the best time for Donnybrook. But cupcakes and wine – anytime Jenny 🙂

  6. Not fair putting up the photos of those cup cakes – you know I am dieting as well, and I guess you have to have photos of bottles of wine because of all the fantastic local vineyards, sigh… Good tip for travellers looking for seasonal work in the area.

  7. Hey Jan, I know the cup cake photos were pretty mean of me 🙁 But it’s been a week of derailment for me on the healthy eating stakes too. Yes, sigh, all these nearby wineries don’t make it easy either. Now Wwoofing, that’s interesting … popping over to look-see right now 🙂

  8. Ha Ha, Jade! I’m feeling exactly the same 🙂 Vegemite on Ryvita for me instead 🙁

  9. Seems like cupcakes are a big hit with people. Cue for more cupcakes on ZigaZag perhaps!

  10. Thanks Jackie – and yes, those cupcakes sure have a lot to account for 🙂

  11. It sounds like a great place to spend a weekend with so many fun things to do. It’s torture seeing those cupcakes when I’m about to go to bed. They look so delicious! I’ve never thought of cupcakes and wine but sounds like a wonderful pairing.

  12. Yes, wine and cupcakes is all good! Especially with a nice desert wine 🙂 Thanks Mary.

  13. I’d probably have to go on diet the day before cause I’d be heading straight for the wine and those cupcakes. They look scrumptious!

  14. Oh ghosh those cupcakes again. I wish I had baked them! And the wine? Ohhh that’s another thing!

  15. A beautiful look at a city in Australia of which I was previously unaware. Thanks!

  16. Looks like a great day out! I would have been sampling the wine. If I was home in Nova Scotia, I would say Mahone Bay. Based in Korea now, I would say Daecheon Beach. I never say no to a day at the beach.

  17. Yes, Nancie, sampling the wine is both enjoyable and interesting in WA. Daecheon Beach sounds like a great place for a day at the beach!

  18. Oh Dick! Everyone is after those cupcakes! Thanks for popping by 🙂

  19. That’s interesting Debbie – I wonder which area? Yes, fruit off the trees is such a different experience to a supermarket! And you! Someone else after those darn cupcakes!!

  20. Thanks Amy! Donnybrook is quite tiny in reality – I hope I didn’t give the wrong impression. Thanks for popping by 🙂

  21. I just keep learning about more and more places that I want to visit in Australia! Those cupcakes look almost too beautiful to eat!!

  22. Great, thanks and hope to see you here one day! Those cupcakes are masterful, aren’t they. Wish I could say I made them !!!

  23. another great post from you Jo promoting out wonderful south west corner. Aren’t we so lucky to live in such an amazing place. Field days are such a wonderful way to sample local produce and buy unique gifts. And I love the wines from the Geographe Region.

  24. Thanks, Jill and yes we are so lucky to live in this little unspoilt corner of the world.

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