Our Ultimate Guide to the Ferguson Valley
The Ferguson Valley is an idyllic location breathtaking in its natural beauty. With undulating green hills, crooked creeks, grazing livestock, fantastic restaurants, iconic wineries and charming places to stay this hidden gem offers an escape from city life.
Where is the Ferguson Valley?
Located just under two hours from Perth, the Ferguson Valley extends from Dardanup, just 15 minutes inland from Bunbury, to the rural and mining town of Collie in the east. From Perth, there are two routes you can take. Drive south on the Kwinana Freeway and Forrest Highway towards Bunbury, then turn left off the Highway on to Hynes Road, right on to South Western Highway, and at Picton take the to Boyanup-Picton Road to reach Dardanup. Alternatively, head south from Perth on the South Western Highway, via Pinjarra.
What to do and see in the Ferguson Valley
Just a short distance from Western Australia’s popular south coast, this agricultural Valley with its almost “English countryside” feel, is truly a hidden gem in a State otherwise known for its expansive beaches, deserts and wheat fields.
Whether you want to experience a forest hike, a wine-tasting adventure or simply a moment of peaceful contemplation amidst the rolling hills, the Ferguson Valley is sure to leave an indelible mark on all who visit. Here are our favourite things to see and do in the region:
Visit a Ferguson Valley Winery
Once a cluster of agricultural villages, the Ferguson Valley has a boutique wine region producing some of Australia’s best alternative wine varietals. These vineyards not only produce quality wines (a great excuse to stop and sample) but they also add to the aesthetic appeal of the Valley with their neat rows of grapevines and charming cellar doors.
Known for cultivating some fantastic alternative varieties and small-batch wines, Saint Aidan Wines, Talisman, Green Door Wines, Willow Bridge Estate, Ferguson Falls Winery (try their famous Pizza), and Hackersley Estate are some of the highlights that we recommend visiting when in the Ferguson Valley.
Take a Scenic Drive in the Ferguson Valley
Every hill and corner will capture your heart with breathtaking landscapes aplenty in the Ferguson Valley. Take a drive along Ferguson Road or Pile Road for views of the beautiful green rolling hills, especially after the winter rainfall. Pull in to the bays and stop for a photo at the Pile Road Scenic Viewpoint with its unique curved sculpture! Created by South West multi-disciplinary artist Andrew Frazer this sculpture was inspired by the convergence of features which make the Ferguson Valley such a beautiful location to visit and live in.
Eat a Pie or Donut from Dardanup Baker
Located on Charlotte Street in the historic town of Dardanup, it’s not hard to see why the Dardanup Baker is a favourite with locals. Awarded the Best Pie in the South West in 2023, this spot isn’t just for your humble old meat pie! They feature weekly or weekend specials like their Pork Belly Pie with Apple and Crackle. And their sausage rolls, pasties and other savoury items are incredible too.
With a European born baker, you know that their pastries and sweet treats are going to be amazing. Our favourite is their famous donuts – choose from lemon curd filled, berliner jam, vanilla custard, or good old cinnamon sugar (without the hole please)!
Visit Wellington National Park
Located near the town of Collie in Western Australia, around two hours south of Perth, Wellington National Park covers 17,000 hectares of beautiful jarrah, marri and yarri (blackbutt) forest. Boasting the beautiful Collie River Valley, an ancient valley gorge featuring raging rivers, rocky outcrops, waterfalls, rock swimming holes and pristine wilderness the area is popular all year round for camping, picnics, hiking, swimming, canoeing, mountain bike riding and fishing. And in spring the Park comes alive with magnificent shows of over 300 species of colourful wildflowers.
See the Gnomes at Gnomesville
On Wellington Mill Road, you will stumble across a most bizarre sight – a mass of garden gnomes of all shapes and sizes gathered in a bushland setting. Gnomesville is one of those places that you just have to see with your own eyes. An iconic Western Australian and Instagrammable tourist attraction, visitors come from all over the world to add to the gnome community. It’s very curious and a little quirky.
Take a photo of the Wellington Dam Mega Mural
The Wellington Dam Mural put Collie on the map as a major tourist destination in Western Australia. Opened in 2021, it features images of Collie mine workers, families playing in the water, Aboriginal children and other scenes and was inspired by local stories and photos. Painted by internationally renowned artist Guido Van Helten. The scale is immense, it’s truly an incredible work of art that is amazing to photograph. You can now also walk along the top of the 367-metre dam wall giving a unique perspective of the iconic artwork. (NOTE: The dam walkway is only currently open on weekends, public holidays and school holidays)
See the 300+ year old King Jarrah
Standing around 36 metres in height, King Jarrah (in the Wellington National Park) is thought to be between 300 and 500 years old. Having survived bushfires, storms, lightning and insect attacks – not to mention a century of prolific saw milling – this dishevelled old man of the forest seems determined to keep going.
Access to the King Jarrah Tree is off King Tree Road in Wellington Forest. It is accessible via a short flat bitumen walkway from a small gravel parking area, and viewing is from a decked area with seating, as well as a picnic area.
Where can I stay in the Ferguson Valley?
Whether you’re interested in a family farmstay, self-catered luxurious cottage or keen to camp in the forest, you’ll be delighted at the range of accommodation options in the Ferguson Valley! Whatever your choice, you can be assured of waking up to foggy winter mornings and nothing but the sound of birds calling. In Ferguson Valley time slows, giving you a chance to exhale.
Here are a few of our favourite options:
Skating Goose Farm
Located near Lowden in the beautiful Preston Valley, Skating Goose Farm offers secluded and modern ‘escape pods’ on their farm surrounded by marri forest. It’s an ultimate luxury retreat for couples, and the pods are beautifully fitted with high quality furnishings and bedding. Soak in the bathtub with stunning views over the forest and spot a kangaroo or two, or enjoy a bottle of local wine whilst snuggling in front of the double sided gas fireplace. Completely off-grid, the pods are earth friendly in an authentic way, with hand crafted toiletries (soap, bar shampoo) sourced from local businesses, compostable coffee pods and organic tea. We absolutely loved our stay at Skating Goose Farm.
Camp at Honeymoon Pool
This popular tent camping and picnic area in the Wellington National Park is located on the lower part of the Collie River. It’s ideal for a relaxing weekend getaway or a base for adventure activities. There are three campgrounds to choose from all within walking distance of Honeymoon Pool picnic and swimming area. The facilities at Honeymoon Pool Campground include a camp kitchen with sink, gas BBQs and flushing toilets and a fire pit per camp site. Camp fees are applicable, and bookings are essential.
Van Stay at Potters Gorge
Situated on the shore of Wellington Dam in a shady setting, Potters Gorge is a world-class campsite with recently upgraded amenities. Managed by the Kiosk at the Dam it has 54 unpowered sites for larger vehicles, caravans, trailers, tents and swags. The facilities include a sheltered dining area with gas barbecue, food preparation surfaces, dishwashing sinks with cold rainwater only (not guaranteed year-round), picnic tables and non-flush pit toilets. There’s also a chemical toilet dump point, and all campsites have a picnic table and a fire ring. Camp fees apply and booking is essential.