Arrivals & Departures Tuck in to WA's new self-drive food and wine trails

Local produce on display at the Taste Great Southern event in Albany. <br />
Photo of Angie Tomlinson

There's a new way to experience West Australian food and wine, with a series of self-drive trails across the State. 

Juicy Albany strawberries, sweet Nannup honey, barrel-aged Swan Valley ciders and decadent Denmark chocolate and wine pairings are among the tasty treats that await on the new food and wine trails. 

Showcasing WA's great food and wine with trails of one hour to multiple days, the first crop covers the Swan Valley, the Blackwood River and all the way down to the Southern Forests, Mt Barker and Denmark.

By following the trails, food lovers can experience the best food and wine experiences available, says Tourism WA public relations executive Emily Andrews. A number of the trails are also themed, making for a fun way to experience local produce, she adds.

Tourism WA anticipates several more trails will be released throughout the year.

1. Albany Picnic Provisions Trail

Over the past few years, Albany has hit its straps as a tourism destination with great eating and drinking. This 125km trail encourages travellers to pack a picnic basket, pick up delicious produce and enjoy it from one of the region's scenic picnic spots.

The trail starts in town markets and gourmet and organic produce shops before heading out of town for wineries (Wignalls and Oranje Tractor), Wilson Brewing and a farm stand with fresh produce. There are also berries galore, with a strawberry farm and a blueberry farm.

2. Blackwood River Valley Food and Beverage Trail 

The Blackwood River Valley boasts an amazing array of locally grown produce. 

The 163km loop starts in Balingup with ports and liqueurs made from local fruit before heading to Nannup for local produce, arts and crafts, and a quick detour to the Sussex Forest for some Cambray cheese (time it right and you can even see the sheep being milked). 

Next stop is Donnelly River before Bridgetown, with a winery, cidery and cafe specialising in regional produce.

3. Blackwood River Valley Farm Trail

This 260km farm trail, starting near Donnybrook, will have you visiting orchards, buying eggs fresh from free-range chickens and watching cheese making. 

Then there's honey from Nannup Brook Farm, chestnut products including ice cream from a 1000-tree farm and olive oil and organic produce from Bridgetown. You can aksi call ahead for a farm tour of the home of Blackwood Valley Beef.

4. Denmark Food and Wine Trail

Denmark is home to some of the most divine beaches, forests and scenery you can find, along with delicious produce and wines that flourish in the cooler climate.

The trail starts in town at Mrs Jones Cafe with a delivious diversion to Pawprint Chocolate before heading to the Rockcliffe, Singlefile and Lake House cellar doors. Singlefile encourages visitors to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on their lawns, while Rockcliffe has free Sunday music sessions over summer and The Lake House has enormous platters and to-die-for relishes. A great full-stop to the trail is the Boston Brewery. 

5. Mt Barker Wine and Food Trail

This 104km trail is a testament to the great wines that can be found in the region. A detour north will lead travellers to family-run Gilbert Wines and Arcadia Wines before a loop takes you to Galefrey Wines, where winery dog Bruce greets visitors. Then there's the well-known West Cape Howe Wines, Poacher's Ridge and Windrush Wines and Cafe. 

6. Southern Forests Wine Trail

This 130km drive leads visitors through forests around Manjimup and Pemberton on the trail of great wines, truffles and gourmet food. 

Starting at Chestnut Grove Wines, head for Tall Timbers in Manjimup for more wine and great eats before heading through the forest to Pemberton, stopping at Mountford Wines and Tangletoe Cider, Silkwood Estate, Jarrahjacks Brewery and Woodsmoke Estate, Lost Lake Wines and 10 Chains Estate. Snuffle your way back to The Truffle and Wine Co before ending at Woodgate Wines.

7. Swan Valley Cider and Ale Trail

Closer to home for those that live in Perth, this trail is an easy 37km drive leaving from Guildford and stopping at Funk Cider to next door at Ironbark Brewery, the sprawling Mandoon Estate and Homestead Brewery, and Oakover Grounds, with its Sidekick Cider.

8. Swan Valley Temptations Trail

If cider and ale aren't really your things, be lead by your stomach on this trail with its artisan Swan Valley produce, from French macarons and nougat to nuts, cakes, chocolate, honey, fortified wines and moscato.

Top picture: Courtesy Amazing Albany.

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