Valley wins praise as ‘easy escape’

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
Shire president Mick Bennett was stoked but not surprised.
Camera IconShire president Mick Bennett was stoked but not surprised. Credit: Stu McGuckin

The Ferguson Valley has been named by the RAC as one of WA’s best “easy escape” destinations in the most recent edition of its Horizons magazine.

Much to the delight of locals, the valley was listed alongside Cervantes, York, New Norcia, Dwellingup and the Perth hills as one of the State’s “most amazing places” for its wineries, walking and mountain bike trails, rolling countryside and iconic settlement, Gnomesville.

Ferguson Valley marketing chairman and St Aidan Wines owner Phil Smith described the inclusion as fantastic and said it was great people were beginning to recognise the valley as a note-worthy destination.

“There has been an increase in recognition of the area and people are, clearly, starting to talk about it more,” he said.

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“When people come here, it (the valley) really delivers because it’s got the beautiful countryside and lots of things to do and see.

“It’s interesting when people come here because they’ve never heard of it but then think ‘wow, why haven’t we ever heard of it?’ and then they tell their mates.”

The article featured prominently on the second page of the miniature travel guide and championed the existence of Gnomesville as the major drawcard, but also acknowledged the other attractions.

“There are now many thousands of gnomes which attract visitors from all over the world,” wrote Wendy Caccetta.

“But while Gnomesville may have grabbed the headlines, there’s so much more to this picturesque location, just two hours drive from Perth.”

Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett was thrilled with the valley’s inclusion but said he was not especially surprised.

“It’s being marketed a lot more which means people are looking at it more,” he said.

“Our biggest drawcard both nationally, internationally and Statewide is Gnomesville, but following that we have some great wineries and spectacular scenery.

“It’s genuinely a great, feel-good place to come to.”

Horizons magazine is distributed bi-monthly to more than 600,000 RAC members and is available to view online via the RAC website.

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