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, on the banks of the Blackwood River, 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.
Updated December 2022.
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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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Bridgetown Police Station 1880 Museum
Bridgetown Police Station 1880 Museum (previously known as the Old Gaol) is open Saturdays from 10 am to 1 pm and from 9 am to 3 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.
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 for $20. The service was excellent and friendly. I highly recommend lunch here; the food, beer, and service were all spot on.
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.
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.
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, 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.
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. 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. Another option is Rentalcars.
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.
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 first European explorer to discover Bridgetown was Augustus Gregory in the 1840s. The area was settled in 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 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.
According to the 2016 Australian Census, Bridgetown had a population of 2,812.
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.
Save money planning your holiday
Click on the links which will take you direct to the website.
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 Kiwi.com and try different routes.
Travel Guides: As well as using online resources, like other travel blogs, I like to flick through a paper travel guide too. I either rent them from our local library or buy them from Bookdepository if I want to take it with me.
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. Another option is Rentalcars.com
Campervan 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: We use third-party sites Viator, Get Your Guide & Klook due to their free cancellation policies, instant confirmation, price guarantees, and mobile ticketing. We occasionally book through Red Balloon too.
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