The Best Things To Do in Bridgetown Western Australia 2022

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 is the only heritage-listed town in the South West region of Western Australia. It’s a quaint country town with forests, steep rolling hills, and the longest flowing river in WA. This historic town is on the banks of the Blackwood River.

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trees lining the banks of the blackwood river one of the things to do in bridgetown western australia
Blackwood River, Bridgetown WA

The Best Things To Do in Bridgetown

Bridgetown is a small picturesque country town with some interesting and quirky places to visit. This map will help plan your itinerary for your trip.

Bridgetown Walks and Trails around town

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 vine and orchids. The trails take in forest trees of Jarrah, Marri, and WA Blackbutt.

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. Pick up an information booklet at the Visitor’s Centre for details or download the map at the bottom. As it was raining, we only did the part along the High Street, stopping at the historic buildings.

historic country pub in bridgetown western australia
The Freemasons Hotel built in 1904

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. 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!

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. It’s amazing to stand under the bridge and see the construction and huge timber posts. The quaint 100-year-old church, St Paul’s, is located 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.

the blackwood river as seen on the river walk
Blackwood River Walk

Bridgetown High Street

Bridgetown High Street has a few historic buildings, seen on the Bridgetown Heritage Walk (above).

There are also shops, a bakery, The Bridgetown Hotel, The Rabbit Hole, and a Jigsaw Gallery. It would have been nice to amble along, looking in the arty shops, but the weather was against us.

The Rabbit Hole 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 for being the only public jigsaw gallery in the Southern Hemisphere. Jessie Brierley started the collection over forty years ago and it has been continually added to. The gallery is open Monday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm, Saturday 10 am – 3 pm, Sun & Public Holidays 10 am – 1 pm. There is a small fee to enter, but it didn’t appeal to us.

the entrance to a shop called rabbit hole in bridgetown with a drawing of a rabbit on the wall
The Rabbit Hole

Bridgetown Art Trail

Bridgetown is full of creative and accomplished artists, many of 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 a map of the art trail along with detailed information on each piece here.

a piece of street art on the bridgetown art trail
Bridgetown Art Trail

Bridgetown Police Station 1880 Museum

Bridgetown Police Station 1880 Museum (previously known as the Old Gaol) is open Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm. 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.

the old police station building in bridgetown with a bench in front
Bridgetown Police Station 1880 Museum

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 really 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 are made using 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 for $20. The service was excellent and friendly. I highly recommend lunch here; the food, beer, and service were all spot on.

inside the restaurant area of the cidery in bridgetown with people eating lunch
The Cidery
burger chips and salad
Burger @ The Cidery

Ford House & Wag Walters Emporium

Ford House is a luxurious retreat set 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 full of beautiful and unique treasures. It’s the perfect place to find a unique gift.

the exterior of a curisoity shop in bridgetown called wag walters emporium
Wag Walters by Tourism Western Australia

Events in Bridgetown

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 when the next festival is being held and the artists playing.

Festival of Country Gardens is another spring festival showcasing the local gardens. It costs A$8 per garden you visit, which is payable at the gate of each property.

Accommodation in Bridgetown

We use Booking.com for most accommodation bookings as they offer free cancellation on most rooms, have a loyalty program (Genius), a price match guarantee, the site is user-friendly and they have great customer support. We also book through Stayz for private accommodation as they are often cheaper than Airbnb.

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, being a planner, I have researched where we would stay when we revisit Bridgetown.

Camping

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 A$30. Cabins are also available.

Budget

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.

Click here to view prices.

Mid_Range

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 a variety including places to stay for couples, families, and people travelling with their dogs.

How To Get 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. Choose from Avis, Budget, Europcar, Sixt, Hertz, Enterprise, and Thrifty.
To compare rental car company prices, I use Discover Cars, 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.

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Bridgetown is a 3-hour drive along State Route 2, then National Route 1. Once off of 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 hard to get around this region without 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.

the view of the peninsula with ocean either side on bald head trail albany

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 cozying up by a log fire and being surrounded by lush green hills, then 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, and 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.

a wooden bridge over the blackwood river bridgetown
One of the last wooden bridges built in Western Australia

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 first European explorer to discover Bridgetown was Augustus Gregory in the 1840s. The area wasn’t settled until 1857 when Edward Godfrey Hester and John Blechynden bought and leased land.

The land was developed into farms and orchards. However, the town was hit by a series of problems from the 1960s through 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.

Population

According to the 2016 Australian Census, Bridgetown had a population of 2,812.

view of sugar loaf rock off the coast near dunsborough

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.

Western Australia Travel Guide

Save money planning your holiday

Flights: We use different sites to get the best possible price for flights. Check matrix.itasoftware.com to get an idea of the cheapest dates, but you can’t book through this site. Compare the cost of flights with Trip.com and try different routes.

Accommodation: 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.

Tours: We use third-party sites ViatorGet Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.

Travel Insurance: Cover-More protects the travel dreams and experiences of more than 15 million people worldwide every year (including us!). Part of Zurich Insurance Group, they cover 22 countries across five continents with leading positions in the USA, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Ireland, India and New Zealand. Protect your trip against several COVID-19 scenarios during the current coronavirus pandemic. 

The Best Things To Do in Bridgetown Western Australia 2022

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24 thoughts on “The Best Things To Do in Bridgetown Western Australia 2022”

  1. Woww!! No other guides are needed with this one! Everything is here!.
    When I read about that in the past apples and peres were growing I thought, they probably drink cider!. And indeed 😁😁.
    I will be a little afraid about driving on the right , we will use the guide but not drive hehe.
    Great work!

    Reply
  2. Always interesting to learn about your part of the world. Plus the Southern Hemisphere’s only public jigsaw gallery!! Just for fun, I looked on google for the Northern Hemsiphere’s jigsaw galleries, but haven’t found one yet….

    Reply
  3. Seems an interesting place to visit Wendy. Good post filled with lots of local, interesting information. I’m partial to a drop of cider, so I will def be heading for the Cidery😁

    Reply
  4. Bridgetown seems like a great place!! I love the variety of walks and trails available. and Bridgetown Jarrah Park sounds so good with the wisteria, wattles and orchids. I’d love to visit the Cidery or walk along the Art Trail. So much to do! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Reply
    • Unfortunately snakes are a part and parcel of WA. You just need to be aware that they are there and make a bit of noise when you walk. That’s usually enough to scare them away. If not, leave them alone and they will leave you along (just don’t go too close).

      Reply
  5. I really love small country towns! Bridgetown sounds perfect, Wendy! The parks, walking trails are right up my alley. I’d also love the browse Bridgetown High Street, but oh that Art Trail would be fabulous!

    Reply
  6. I think I must be having deja vu….could have sworn I had already read this post, but glad I revisited to check. What an interesting place to visit! Seems like those pesky moths did the tourist industry a favour – I would definitely like to explore Bridgetown. I love the combination of countryside parks/hikes and an interesting town. Arty places like the Rabbit Hole always beckon me in and yes, I can easily lose myself in places like this!

    Reply
  7. So many cool things to do in Bridgetown. I would love to check out those hiking trails especially. I also love how you recognize the first people of the land. You’ve inspired me to adopt similar language in my historical posts.

    Reply
  8. Great info and tips on visiting Bridgetown as it looks like a lovely small town to visit! I like that all of the walks aren’t too long and are secenic with so much wildlife. Be very cool to see a kangaroo too! And of course I’d very much enjoy a pint of cider rain or shine!

    Reply

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