A gorgeous drive...
An incredibly scenic 35 minute drive into the neighbouring Shire of Donnybrook / Balingup brings us to the Apple Fun Park. Opened in 2018 – the park was (and may still be) the biggest free playground in Australia. A clear favourite for families in the region and it’s no wonder why. With a features list as long as your arm, it’s got something for kids of all ages and abilities. Fully fenced, parents can sit back and relax under the shaded shelters at the picnic tables flanked by free BBQ’s and a great coffee shop across the road.
Make no mistake, this is Orchard country and the road into town is stunning. Collie locals may well take it for granted to pop down to Donnybrook and pick up some fruit, straight from the Orchard in those cute little huts by the side of the road. Pop your money in the honesty box, pick up your fruit and get back on the road. Our pick is Athertons, but there’s plenty to choose from, most offering different fruit to the others so you may want to stop a few times!
It’s something pretty special driving through the apple and stone fruit orchards in full blossom on a sunny day. Magic.
Fruit lovers aren’t the only ones treated along the road between the two towns. There’s a number of wineries too. Take your time, you may need all day!
When the tummies rumble...
It won’t be long and the little ones will be ready for some food after all that running, jumping and climbing all over the fun park. Lucky for us there are plenty of options available. The main street of Donnybrook is lined with cafes, bakeries and the Donnybrook Hotel. Our choice, the Donnybrook Snack Shack was directly opposite the park on Collins Street. We can vouch for the kids Fish & Chips $12 (huge) and a terrific regular coffee for me $4.90. We went back across to the park whilst we waited for our food and before we knew it the friendly lady who served us was crossing the street with our order! Now you can’t beat service like that!
Another great option for lunch is to make use of the many free BBQ’s on offer. With two units under each Shade Shelter there’s plenty of room to throw a few snags on. PRO TIP: Get there earlyish to beat the crowds on a sunny weekend. We arrived about 10am and by 11am it was getting busy with most of the picnic tables snapped up.
Well that’s another day trip completed. Stay tuned for more great ideas to keep you busy in the region. You never know where we’ll take you next. Suddenly that day trip to the Collie River Valley becomes a weekender, many come for a few days and need a week to fit it all in. For clean affordable accommodation whilst visiting we recommend The Colliefields hotel or if you prefer a cabin or have your own caravan / tent you can’t go past the Collie River Valley Tourist Park. See you soon!