Top 7 Things To Do in Bridgetown Western Australia 2023 Guide
If you’re looking for the best things to do in Bridgetown, Western Australia, this local’s guide provides tips on when to visit, how to get there, what to do, and where to stay.
Bridgetown (Geegelup), in the Blackwood River Valley, is the only heritage-listed town in the South West region of Western Australia. The quaint historic country town has forests, steep rolling hills, and the longest-flowing river in WA.
The Best Things To Do in Bridgetown
Bridgetown WA is a small picturesque country town with some interesting and quirky places to visit. This map will help plan your itinerary for your trip.
1. Bridgetown Walks and Trails
Bridgetown Jarrah Park is about 20 km from Bridgetown by Brookman Highway. There are four walks to choose from, varying from 20 minutes to 2 hours. During wildflower season, there are wisteria, yellow flags, wattles, hovea, coral vines and orchids. The trails take in Jarrah, Marri, and WA Blackbutt forest trees.
Some wildlife you may come across, if you are lucky, are kangaroos, western brush wallabies, honey possums, and western pygmy possums. Be aware of venomous dugite and tiger snakes, especially when they are most active in the warmer months. For birdwatchers, look out for honeyeaters, white, yellow, and scarlet robins, fantails, wrens, striated and spotted pardalotes, wattlebirds, ravens, kookaburras, red and white-tailed black cockatoos, golden and rufous whistlers, shrike thrushes, and purple crowned lorikeets.
The Town Heritage Walk is a 2 km easy walk through the historic town of Bridgetown town centre.
The Blackwood River Walk starts in Bridgetown in the Blackwood River Park. It’s an easy to moderate 5.7 km to 8 km walk, including a boardwalk detour through bush and wetlands. An 8-metre suspension bridge crosses the river. Western Australian wildflowers found here are native buttercups, peas, snowdrops, and orchids. It’s a lovely walk with plenty of wildflowers in spring. The kids enjoyed the suspension bridge, although it was stable, unlike the bridge at Beedelup Falls, Pemberton!
The Old Rectory Walk is a moderate to easy 1.7 km walk by the Bridgetown timber bridge. The trail takes you under the railway and timber bridges following the river. Standing under the bridge and seeing the construction and huge timber posts is amazing. The quaint 100-year-old church, St Paul’s, is in the town.
Walks are one of the most popular free things to do in Bridgetown and are very scenic. Download this booklet for more information, trail maps, and other walks.
There are also some great mountain bike trails in Bridgetown. With its stunning natural landscape, this region offers some exciting rides for any level of biker. The area features a variety of terrain, from rolling hills to steep climbs and descents, making it ideal for riders who love a challenge. The views are beautiful, with old-growth forests, wildflowers, and wildlife sightings adding to the experience.
The Warren Blackwood Stock Route is a renowned 320 km bridle trail. This iconic route served as a significant avenue for cattle drovers, connecting farming towns between Nannup and Walpole, including Bridgetown, Manjimup, Quinninup, Shannon and Willow Springs.
The trail traverses through stunning landscapes of dense forests, rolling hills, and scenic valleys, offering an authentic outback experience.
2. Bridgetown High Street
Bridgetown High Street has a few historic buildings, seen on the Bridgetown Heritage Walk (above).
There are shops, a bakery, The Bridgetown Hotel, The Rabbit Hole, and a Jigsaw Gallery. It would have been nice to stroll along, looking in the arty shops, but the weather was against us.
The Rabbit Hole (87 Hampton St) consists of artist studios, where art is created and for sale. Get lost down the rabbit hole and be amazed at the talented, creative artists.
Brierley Jigsaw Gallery holds the title of being the only public jigsaw gallery in the Southern Hemisphere. Jessie Brierley started the collection over forty years ago, which has been continually added to. The heritage museum and gallery are open Monday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm, and Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays, 10 am – 1 pm. There is a small entrance fee, but it didn’t appeal to us.
Paper Planes Co. is a treasure trove, perfect for gift shopping. Choose from roller skates, toys, shampoo bars, books, clothing, and lots more.
Totem Rustic antique shop features a rustic collection of barn finds, antiques, and vintage furniture.
3. Bridgetown Art Trail
Bridgetown is full of creative and accomplished artists who have day jobs here. The Bridgetown Art Trail was started with the idea of showcasing some of these artists around the town. A trail of artworks stretches along four kilometres of Bridgetown’s streets. The hope is for new pieces to be added and the trail to continue to grow.
Download an art trail map and detailed information on each piece here.
4. Bridgetown Police Station 1880 Museum
This museum (previously known as the Old Gaol) is open Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm and from 9 am to 4 pm on Wednesdays and Fridays. If you are visiting Bridgetown at this time, visit this museum for an insight into what it was like as a prisoner in the 1880s.
This site was the town’s police station and lock-up from 1880 to 1973, with remains of the first courthouse to the left and police housing to the right.
It can be seen on the historic walk along the town’s main street.
Entry is A$2 per person.
5. The Cidery Bridgetown
The Cidery specialises in producing premium boutique ciders and beers.
If you’re looking for what to do in Bridgetown when it’s raining, head here for lunch. In winter, sit by the roaring fire to enjoy one of their multi-award-winning beers. They are outstanding.
The interior is crafted from local wood, including Jarrah, Marri, Blackbutt, and pine timbers. Partner Peter Vowles handcrafted the Jarrah tasting bar and the dresser.
Their ciders use Pink Lady apples to produce 100% natural ciders and apple juice.
Award-Winning Ales and Stouts are produced by Mark Hollett, winning over 25 International and State awards since 2007. We decided to try the Tasting Paddle, which included five 350ml drinks for $17-50. I chose the Special Bitter, Irish Red Ale, Blackwood Nut Brown, Blackwood Stout Porter, and Bitter Sweet cider. I loved all the beers, they reminded me of the great bitters and stouts we have back home in the UK, but I wasn’t that keen on the cider (although I’m not a huge fan of cider anyway).
Lunch is available from 12 – 2 pm on weekdays and 12 – 3 pm on weekends. Bookings are recommended as numbers are limited (telephone 9761 2204).
We had the Burgers, which were delicious and great value. The service was excellent and friendly. I highly recommend lunch here; the food, beer, and service were all spot on.
6. Ford House & Wag Walters Emporium
Ford House is a luxurious retreat on 5 acres of gardens on the Blackwood River’s edge. The history of the house can be found on the Ford House webpage.
Don’t despair if you can’t stay here, though, as visitors are welcome to their shop.
Wag Walters Emporium is a homeware and gift store with a beautiful selection of gifts and unique treasures.
7. Sunnyhurst Winery
Suunyhurst is a boutique winery – grapes are grown, hand-picked, processed, and bottled (a local artist designed the labels). Visit the cellar door Thursday to Sunday and public holidays from 11 am to 5 pm to sample some of their award-winning wines and chat with the owner and winemaker Marie-Pierre Dussaul. The Bordeaux-style vineyard grows French varieties like Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petit Verdot.
Blues at Bridgetown
10th – 12th November 2023
Blues at Bridgetown is one of Australia’s longest-running music festivals held in spring. The town comes alive over three days of acoustic and electric blues.
Check the Blues at Bridgetown site for information on the artists playing this year.
6 to 7 May 2023
This annual country garden festival showcases the local gardens of Bridgetown, Balingup and Greenbushes. Tickets this year are A$45 which allows you to visit all the gardens over the two days of the festival. There are 6 gardens plus one organised garden tour.
Accommodation in Bridgetown
Have you booked accommodation?
We use Booking.com for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on many properties and have a price match guarantee. We book through Stayz (part of VRBO) for private accommodation as we find it is often cheaper than Airbnb.
Tip: Accommodation gets booked quickly, especially during the WA school holidays. To avoid disappointment, book early.
We have only visited Bridgetown en route to Pemberton or on a day trip from Ballingup. Therefore, I can’t recommend any accommodation that we have stayed in. However, as a planner, I have researched where we would stay when revisiting Bridgetown.
Bridgetown Caravan Park is a family-owned park on the banks of the Blackwood River. As of September 2020, powered sites start at A$35 a night for two people and unpowered at A$30. Cabins are also available.
Thistle Do Bed & Breakfast has a private ensuite, views over the valley and includes a complimentary continental breakfast. It has an exceptional rating of 9.9 out of 10.
Rickaty on Blackwood is also a Bed & Breakfast overlooking the Blackwood River. The large double bedroom has a private bathroom and a balcony with views of the garden and river. A cooked or continental breakfast is included.
Read more about this property here.
Private Holiday Rentals & Family Accommodation
Stayz has a lot of private accommodation in or near Bridgetown. They offer places to stay for couples, families, and people travelling with their dogs.
How To Get To Bridgetown & Distance from Perth
Bridgetown is in Western Australia’s South West, about 270 km south of Perth.
International and domestic visitors will fly into Perth Airport. Find details about visas, prohibited items, currency, and safety in this Australia Travel Guide and tips on arriving into WA and other essential travel information in this Western Australia Travel Guide.
There are car hire booths at Perth airport, but it’s best to pre-book your car rental.
To compare Australia car hire prices, Discover Cars is an award-winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are have a high rate of customer satisfaction.
Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Compare Rental Cars Here.
Bridgetown is a 3-hour drive along State Route 2, then National Route 1. Once off the main highway, it’s a beautiful drive through the countryside and farms.
TransWA runs buses to Pemberton that stop in Bridgetown. However, it’s easier to get around this region with a car. SouthWest Coachlines also have a service from Elizabeth Quay in Perth to Manjimup that stops in Bridgetown.
The Ultimate South West Road Trip
Jump in the car, or campervan, and explore what Western Australia’s South West has to offer. This Perth to Albany road trip itinerary is flexible so you can choose the length and where you want to go with handy tips to make the most out of your travels.
Bridgetown Forecast & Weather
The hottest months are January & February, where the average highs are 29 degrees, and still a lot cooler than Perth.
The coldest months are from June to August. During this time, the temperature will be around 15 with a minimum of 5, although it can get down to -1. Being so cold has earnt it the nickname Fridgetown, with its winter festival being called Fridgetown Fest. If you like cosying up by a log fire and being surrounded by lush green hills, winter would be an ideal time to visit Bridgetown.
The most rain falls between May and August, with December to February being the driest months.
My favourite time of year is September/October when it’s cool enough to hike but not too cold, the wildflowers are out, and the grass is green. There may be some rainy days, though.
See the detailed 7-day forecast at the Bureau of Meteorology.
Brief History & Settlement of Bridgetown
First, I’d like to respectfully acknowledge the Nyungar People, the Traditional Owners, and First People of these lands. I would like to pay my respect to the Elders past, present, and future, for they hold the memories, the traditions, the culture, and hopes of the Nyungar People.
The area was originally known as Geegelup, which is thought to translate to “place of gilgies” in the Noongar language, referring to the fresh water lobster that lives there.
The first European to explore the area was Thomas Turner (an Augusta settler), who traced the Blackwood River upstream to its junction with the Arthur River in 1834. However, it wasn’t until 1845 that a party led by Augustus Gregory officially scouted the region and returned to carry out a survey in 1852.
The area was first settled in 1857 when Edward Godfrey Hester and John Blechynden bought land. In 1868, the government obtained a portion of Blechynden’s land, on which the town now lies.
On June 4, 1868 the town was officially named Bridgetown after the barque (ship) “Bridgetown” which carried the first exports of the region back to the United Kingdom.
The surrounding land was developed into farms and orchards, but the town was hit by problems from the 1960s to the 80s. This included the codling moth, which forced orchardists to uproot all their apples and pears.
This made the town rethink and turned it into today’s tourist destination, with many annual events.
Bridgetown was granted Historic Town Status and listed by the National Trust in 2000, marking it as only the eighth town in Western Australia to receive such recognition. Both Greenbushes and Bridgetown have made significant efforts to preserve the integrity of their architectural heritage, earning recognition at both the state and national level.
FAQs for Bridgetown Western Australia
What is the population of Bridgetown Western Australia?
According to the 2021 Australian Census, Bridgetown had a population of 3,168.
What are some popular tourist attractions in Bridgetown WA?
Some popular tourist attractions in Bridgetown include the Blackwood River, Wag Walters Emporium, Ooh La Lollipop, and The Cidery.
Is Bridgetown WA a good place to live?
Bridgetown is considered by many to be a great place to live due to its friendly community, beautiful scenery, and relaxed lifestyle.
What are the popular events in Bridgetown throughout the year?
Some popular events in Bridgetown throughout the year include the Blues at Bridgetown music festival, the Country Garden Festival, and the Bridgetown Agricultural Show.
Western Australia’s South West Travel Guide
This detailed travel guide provides information on all the regions that make up Australia’s South West. Read about the destinations, including what to do and where to stay.
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Click on the links which will take you direct to the website.
We usually fly Virgin Australia domestically due to their competitive prices and fantastic customer service and fly with Qatar Airways to Europe.
We mainly use Booking.com for accommodation as they consistently have the lowest rates with free cancellation on most properties. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are usually cheaper than Airbnb.
Car Rental 🚘
To compare rental car company prices, we use Discover Cars, an award winning car rental comparison website. They offer competitive pricing in over 10,000 locations worldwide and are highly-rated.
Campervan/RV Rental 🚐
Drivenow is a good resource to compare campervan hire in Western Australia as it includes all the large companies like Britz, Maui, Jucy as well as smaller ones.
Tours & Attractions 🎢
We book direct and use a mixture of third-party sites Viator, Get Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing.
Accessing Money 💵
We recently started using Wise to access funds internationally, including trips to Bali and Malaysia. They offer a debit card in 50 currencies and transfers are fast and free from hidden fees and exchange rate markups. Funds can be accessed through ATMs too. Wise has saved us a lot of money compared to our usual credit card and debit card.
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Cover-More and Travel Insurance Direct are our preferred travel insurance companies for domestic and international travel.
See this Travel Insurance for Australia guide for more information.
Western Australia Travel Guide
For other ideas on where to visit in Western Australia along with the best things to do, where to stay, how to get around, and other essential information, click on the link below.
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