With its main street lined with heritage buildings, cottage gardens dripping with blooms and easy access to one of the most winsome stretches of the Blackwood River, Bridgetown’s an instant charm overload.
It’s also a popular place year-round thanks to its distinctive seasons. Winter brings cosy fires and fog-wreathed mornings, spring sees its gardens and streetscapes explode with colour. Summer offers long balmy twilights, perfect for exploring the bush and river, while autumn blushes the landscape with dramatic reds and golds.
While every season has its charms, Bridgetown is forging a reputation as Western Australia’s winter capital. The annual Fridgetown Festival has played a large role in this: it boasts a packed three-month calendar of food, art and culture – everything from blind dinners and scavenger hunts to secret picnics, art shows and live performances. Other highlights of the annual calendar include the famous Bridgetown Blues Festival, the Festival of Country Gardens, and the lively Blackwood Marathon.
The region around Bridgetown in the South West was known as Geegelup to the Nyungar First Nations people. European settlers arrived in the mid 1800’s and established grazing land and apple orchards. A simple stroll down Hampton Street will take you past many buildings from these early years and it’s easy to see why Bridgetown is the only heritage listed town in the South West. For a deeper dive into the past, pick up a self-guided heritage walk trail map, visit the Police Station Museum or tag along on one of the Historic Society’s history walks.
Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll soon spot the sculpture and murals that are part of the art trail, while no trip is complete without also taking a meander along the river path, which also leads past the iconic bridge.
For those who prefer their exercise with a serve of retail therapy, the boutiques of Hampton Street await. There’s a good reason why people come from all over the South West to shop in Bridgetown. You’ll find everything from indoor plants, vintage collectables and homewares to locally made clothes, jewellery and kid’s toys. And when you’re ready for a break, there’s a diverse offering of produce-led cafes and restaurants on the main stretch – although a number of wineries and the famous cidery are also within throwing distance of the town centre.
Come and experience one of the state’s most beautiful and artistic towns; its down-to-earth community is looking forward to meeting you.