By a local…. Kim Tyrer CEO & Winemaker
Hiya- I am writing this post to give people a better idea of what is available in my hometown. As a tourism town we are often overlooked for Albany and Denmark. I also get frustrated as most people don't know what's available in town so wanted to write a post about a few touristy things. Please note these are my opinions only and I am not linked to any tourism organisation.
- 1.Bush Walks
There are so many bush walks in town. Too many to list so I am just gonna mention a few.
- Granite Skywalk- probably the most well-known. Great facilitates at the car park. Approx. 2 hours walk steep hill. Lots of rest points. 2 lookouts at the top. Extremely beautiful and well worth the effort
- Bluff Knoll- technically not in Mount Barker area but often associated with so I am including it. This is a harder walk 3-4 hours up hill 1 hr back down. Take the whole morning to do it and you need to be somewhat fit. Great Café near by Bluff Knoll Café- lovely owners, sit down and enjoy a bite to eat or coffee. Also, great caravan park Stirling Range Retreat to stay nearby. Another great Caravan park is Mt Trio Bush Camp.
- Porongurup- Devils Slide. This is an easy bush walk taking in the beautiful trees and outlook. Be warn- there are two walks here- one to the left- is worth a quick look to see the tree in the rock however if you continue this track it's a 3-4 walk. Good thing about that walk it is relatively even as oppose to a straight up hill walk. This one takes you around to devil slides. Or just turn right a car park easy short walk to devils' slide. Great look out and walk.
- Mount Barker Hill Lookout- technically not a walk but this is great for those who can not do a large walk. Simply drive up to the Mount Barker hill, short walk to lookout and take in the views all the way to Albany. Easy and beautiful- THIS IS A MUST!
- Wildflower walks- there are plenty but there is an easy one just past the hospital there is a car bay with a bush fire track gate- simply wondering up the track and there are heaps of local wildflowers to look out. Great small walk.
- And I am sure there are many more I haven't mention. Simply check out the …for more details
- 2.Vintage finds
- Who knew but Barker has a few vintage shops great for a Saturday morning fossick. Both are in the main street down near the bottom pub. One in the old Bank Building has some much stuff including lots of books and records. In fact, in you like records check it out. There are all sorts in this shop. My Fav is the vintage glassware. It's called Georges books records and collectables.
- Across the street is Coco's Collectables which has lots of homewares style vintage. Again, a large shop with so much to offer. We also have 2 op shops- Red Cross and Anglican Op Shop. Small but who knows what's in there.
- Plus, while not vintage but Gardening Strike me Pink is worth a mention. All sorts of garden pots, furniture, arty things, plants and trees. Another great shop to browse.
- And Stranded Mt Barker which is also a gallery with workshops time to time.
So many Art options and even more during Arts Trail in Sept/Oct School Holidays
- The library has a great art collection. Technically it is the Shires and display at the library and shire foyer. Free to enter and look. Some famous artist names too. Well worth the look. Shire foyer has free WIFI and is in centre of town too!! Here is the collection online.
- The Plantagenet Art Council often has exhibitions at the Mitchell House. 9x5 exhibition is a major attraction as is arts trail and Plantagenet Art Prize. If something is on well worth the look
- The Stranded Mt Barker- local art gallery showing local artists and has regular workshops
- The Corkscrew Gallery- local artist Gorge Cork is amazing!! This gallery flies under the radar a bit but the quality of artwork is off the charts- search this one out
- Mt Barker Visitor Centre- has a gift ware gallery style shop. Lots of local produce to look and buy in here!
- Mt Barker Mountains and Murals- 6 Murals around town to which you can go on a guide walk. There is also a great selfie mural for your social media!! Maps available at local Co-op or visitor centre or simply ask a local.
- Art in the Park- Porongurup- Easter time.
- do I even need to mention this one?
- The Great Southern produces approx. 30% of WA production and most of that is grown in Frankland and Mount Barker. There is a heap of cellar doors open and I will break down into open daily and open weekend only
- Plantagenet Wines- café and great kids' playground
- West Cape Howe Wines – great coffee and platters
- Galafrey Wines
- Iron wood Wines- café (closed mon/tues)
- Castle Rock Estate
- Dukes Vineyard
Open on weekends only
- Windrush Wines- cafe
- Gilberts Wines- cafe
- Poacher Ridge Wines
- Zarapath Wines- café
- Abbey Creek Wines
- 5.The Police Museum
This is one of the best Historical Museums in the state. And take a good 4 or so hours to see it. There is lots to see regarding our history and you are guided throu by a local volunteer. Bremer Bay also has a great but smaller history museum. This is well worth a look! Weekend only
- 6.The Mount Barker Bakery
Does this really need a mention? It is sooo popular. The Mt Barker Bakery have won many awards and have something for everyone- coffee, cakes, pies, bread and so on. I often get my bread there and love the artisan sour dough loaf. Excellent hours of 6am-6pm but by 3 most things are gone for the day. So, get in early.
Some other places to eat
- In town coffee/café- Nic's Café and the Grocery Store.
- Maleeya Thai in Porongurup- lunch and dinner weekends only- this is excellent!!
- Bottom Pub aka Plantagenet Hotel- can't go wrong with a steak dinner 6-7pm. Sunday Roast also good.
- Wineries doing food- Windrush, Gilberts, Plantagenet, West Cape Howe, Zarapath, Ironwood
- Porongurup Tea Rooms- Devonshire tea anyone?
- Karri Bank Bar- does Pizzas and sorts on the weekends.
- Kendenup Lodge- does Pizzas and sorts on weekends.
- Plantagenet Butchers- while you can't eat there you can grab local produce and takeaway to the nearest BBQ. They also have a range of local provedore like Porongurup Pure cheese, real milk, fermented products, smoked meats etc. Recommended.
- 7.St. Werburgh's Chapel
A short drive from town St Werburgh's Chapel. A historic landmark featuring a chapel and graveyard. Great picturesque spot and the drive there equally good. I love this drive during wattle season (sept) as it is extra beautiful. Self-guided.
Depending on when you are in the area there is so many events to take in. Here are a few
- Grapes and Gallops Jan Wine and horse racing
- Graze Mount Barker- wine and food March Long Weekend
- Porongurup Festival- wine, food and local produce- March long Weekend
- Taste Great Southern- wine and food- March/April
- Southern Arts Trail- Sept/ Oct School holidays
- Mountains and Murals- Nov- Art and community festival
- Markets- Kendenup, Porongurup and Anglican Church has regular ones.
- There are also lots of sporting events like campdraft, speedway, football and so on.
- Bloom Festival- Sept
- 9.For Kids
- This one a little tricky but here we go
- The main park and playground- a nature park style playground. Plenty to entertain. Bike path and stake park nearby. BBQ facilities
- Bakery has plenty of food for the kids and Grocery store too as well as Nic Café. All kid friendly
- The bush walks- most of them are kid friendly and easy for them to do. BYO water snack etc
- Mt Barker Pool- seasonal but the only 50 m pool in GS. Well kept and heaps of fun for kids.
- Library has a great kid's play section. Sit down and read area too.
- A lot of the wineries have kids corners, playground and so on.
there are probably more things I have missed so please add comments and website links and lets make this post an accessible resource for all.