I am a stay at home mum trying to be a freelance writer - or a freelance writer trying to be a stay at home mum. I enjoy getting out and about with my two little girls and am Chief Editor of Perth Mums Group perthmumsgroup.com.au
Published May 24th 2018
A heap of hidden gems tucked away in the Armadale foothills
Even if you've never heard of Bedfordale, chances are that you have driven past it at some stage, especially if you've been to Albany. This semi-rural, sparsely populated suburb in the Armadale foothills may just look like a lot of bushland with a few 'Alpacas For Sale' signs dotted around and not much else, but it is actually home to some natural hidden gems and activities for families. There's so much more to Bedfordale than being 'North Albany' and here are ten awesome things to see and do.
Have a picnic and play at Churchman Brook Dam Where? 96 Churchman Brook Road, Bedfordale When? Open daily until 6pm (5pm during May to September) Website
Churchman Brook Dam is an earth-fill embankment dam that is a lovely spot for a picnic. Not only can you enjoy views of the dam itself, you can also marvel at the surrounds below. It's a fairly easy walk up to the lookout point, or you can drive up there. July to November is one of the best times to visit and marvel at the stunning wildflowers in all their blooming glory.
The dam has a children's playground, including a tunnel for the kids to run in and out of. There are gazebos, shaded picnic tables and grassy areas, plus public barbecues and toilets.
Explore Wungong Dam Where? Admiral Road or Springfield Road, Bedfordale When? Open daily until 6pm (5pm during May to September) Website
Yep – Bedfordale is home to another expanse of water, Wungong Dam, which is a great spot for a peaceful kayak. Like Churchman Brook Dam, there are picnic spots, barbeques and gorgeous views from the top.
The delightful Bedfordale Bush Market is a monthly market to support local businesses and connect them with community members and visitors. Each market centres on a theme, including the Motorbike and Car Show in May, which features some beautifully restored and maintained classics, while June is the Citrus Festival and July is of course, Christmas in July. At each market, you can buy local, fresh produce and handmade goods and gifts, and the kids can take part in free activities.
Take a bushwalk through Bungendore Park Where? Access via Admiral Road or Albany Highway, Bedfordale Website
This almost 500-hectares of bushland is part of Wungong Park and has four walking tracks that are marked with tree tags. Along the way, you might meet some Western Grey Kangaroos or, Western Brush Wallabies or an Echidna, along with eight different species of bats! The park is also home to around 100 species of birds, including threatened and priority.
Dine at The Last Drop Elizabethan Pub Where? 25 Canns Road, Bedfordale When? Open for lunch and dinner daily Website
The Last Drop Elizabethan pub is a charming, Tudor-style tavern that serves delicious, hearty meals for lunch and dinner. You can enjoy a meal or sip on one of their own speciality, hand-crafted beers brewed on site, either in the lovely, shaded courtyard or while marvelling at the array of local and international beer coasters lining the timber beams above your head in the main bar.
View local art at Waterwheel Gallery Where? 8 Waterwheel Road, Bedfordale When? Friday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm, or by appointment Website
Do you love local art? The Waterwheel Gallery showcases work from talented locals and includes oil, watercolours and mixed media works, along with a range of sculptures. You can even come along and meet the artists at exhibition openings, and have opportunities to purchase their work. The gallery can also host functions and concerts!
Explore Armadale Settlers Common Where? Observation Circle, Bedfordale Website
If you are into hiking or orienteering, Armadale Settlers Common is over 350 hectares of bushland that has a network of walking trails that are just perfect for these activities. There are picnicking areas and views of the city to enjoy, plus a wide variety of plants and animals to spot.
Pick Persimmons! Where? 7 Waterwheel Road, Bedfordale When? Between 10am and 4pm during the season Website
Call me uncultured, but I had never heard of the persimmon before visiting Bedfordale. This soft, jammy fruit isn't exactly popular in Australia, but it can be used in a salad or even stewed with cinnamon and ice cream. Delicious! You can visit the Waterwheel Orchard on Waterwheel Road between 10am to 4pm every day during the Persimmon season.
Have a gathering at Rocksgate Winery Where? 171 Canns Road, Bedfordale When? Sundays 12pm to 5pm for small group bookings or functions and open Monday to Saturday by appointment to purchase wine. Website
Red wine lovers can have their pick of the bunch at this boutique winery, which is so exclusive it only opens for small parties and functions. Choose from shiraz, cabernet and merlots while indulging in wood fired pizzas – you can hold a small group booking or function at the winery from 12pm to 5pm on Sundays, or you can make an appointment from Monday to Saturday to purchase wine.
Bedfordale is great for families with young children!
Relax at Kookaburra Yoga Where? 210 Carradine Road, Bedfordale When? Timetable details are available here Website
Kookaburra Yoga is hidden away in the Bedfordale hills, making it a tranquil retreat for relaxing yoga. The centre offers a huge range of yoga classes, including Hatha, Vinyasa, Yin and Raja, plus pregnancy, post-natal yoga and even kids yoga. You can even practice meditation and Yogic Mindfulness. They also offer courses, training and retreats.
So take a trip 'up the hill' and enjoy all the spoils this delightful 'bush' suburb has to offer.
Great article Bec,
You have captured the essence of this fantastic Hills area, full of hidden and unexpected gems, and well worth a drive and look see (there is something for everyone).
I can vouch for the Bedfordale Bush Markets, as with all markets generated by the community, they have their finger on the ‘pulse’. From the time you park it feels like a hidden place in the bush.
PS: thanks for the link:)