The first weekend of winter here in Western Australia, and also the “W.A. day” public holiday. We packed up the camper and headed south to Maranup Ford, a spot not far out of a town called Greenbushes and near to Bridgetown (or perhaps fridgetown, it was cold!)
We spent the weekend mostly around camp, enjoying the camp fire and the nice gardens of the property.
If you love the south-west, you need to check this place out, very relaxing, great amenities, lovely owners, we will be back!
From their website:
Maranup Ford has been owned by the Browne family since purchased as a freehold from the crown in 1898. There are currently 3 generations of the family living on the property.
The main Blackwood River crossing, for traffic going from the Warren (Manjimup) to the port of Bunbury, was at the Maranup Ford, until 1862 when the bridge was built in Bridgetown. Maranup Ford has always been a district hub with a school established in the 1920s and evensong church services held in the homestead since 1918.
In the present time, Maranup Ford is a working farm producing beef cattle and timber. Over the past century it has been a productive farm involved in dairy, fruit orchards and sheep farming.
The main homestead was built in 1917, using bricks handmade onsite. Hospitality has been offered in the Homestead for visitors since the 1920’s. Many post war immigrating families began their Australian adventure at Maranup Ford in The Schoolhouse and some of these visitors are still in contact with the Browne family today.
The Blackwood River winds its way through the property and around the steep hills giving 6kms of river frontage and scenic lookouts. The pastured hills and forest areas offer an attractive mosaic to the eye and a challenge for the physically adventurous.
From the ground up there is something for everyone, here are some suggestions:
- Birdwatching, the birdlife is prolific and gives pleasure to those relaxing and serious birdwatching opportunities to “the twitchers”. (identification and recording books available)
- Photography, if you are into riverscapes, landscapes, flora or birdlife there are countless opportunities for great shots
- Stargazing, an amazing night sky awaits – just look up. (The Lodge has a telescope and the deck is the perfect place to set up)
- Walkers, enjoy gentle strolls or more vigorous hikes. The Bibbulmun Track is a short distance away (drop offs/pick ups can be arranged)
- Bike riders either on the bitumen roads or go offroad and cross country. There is a Mountain Bike Park a few minutes down river
- Canoeing bring your own kayaks or we have Canadian canoes for hire. Launch points up river or from the ford.
- The ford has a picnic table and places for children to paddle or skim stones. The more adventurous can swim in the large pool near the bridge
- Horseriding, bring your own horse for a whole new riding experience. Horses are a big part of our history and we are all experienced horse riders and can give you some great trails to follow
- Rock hunters, some interesting finds have been made in the stony river fords and on hilltops