With five wine and produce regions located in Australia’s South West, foodies are spoilt for choice when embarking on a self-drive holiday in Western Australia.
The obvious destination for wine lovers is Margaret River, however there’s one region that’s cropping up on radars even closer to Perth. The Ferguson Valley, just 15 minutes from Bunbury has been gaining acclaim as a go-to destination for wine lovers. A drive along the steep, winding roads offers views of lush, green hills dotted with ribbons of grape vines. In nearby Harvey and Donnybrook, fresh citrus and stone-fruit can be purchased direct from the farms at roadside stalls and markets.
The Margaret River Wine region is one of the oldest wine regions in Western Australia and is home to some of Australia’s best quality wine. In fact, the region accounts for 20% of Australia’s premium wine export, and you can sample the good stuff straight from the cellar doors. Most wineries in the region have a restaurant on-site and many locals choose to spend their weekends enjoying a world-class progressive lunch at a nearby winery. Dotted around the region between grapevines grows numerous fruits, vegetables and olives, not to mention other delicious produce such as ice cream, chocolate, preserves and much more. Beers lovers can also rejoice – a growing number of craft beer breweries are popping up too!
After an unforgettable drive through the rolling hills of the Blackwood River Valley, a special treat of locally-caught marron and trout awaits on restaurant menus in Pemberton and around, as well as the highly prized black truffles dug up by specially-trained truffle dogs in Manjimup.
Further south near Denmark, the Scottsdale Tourist Drive offers an array of wine and produce on par with the Margaret River region, with cellar doors every few minutes’ drive interspersed between cheese factories, olive oil farms and other providores.
Set nearby the Stirling Range National Park and Western Australia’s highest peak at Bluff Knoll, the Mt Barker region offers up an extensive selection of red and white wine varieties including Riesling, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. This region is one of Australia’s fastest growing wine regions and not to be missed, as much for the beautiful scenery as it is for the grapes!