Balingup is a great place to visit and a very special place to live
Balingup is a small but vibrant Australian community - home to the largest arts and craft centre in the southern hemisphere, an award winning winery, art galleries, antique and other boutique shops, a master craftsman jeweller, numerous cafés and a lavender farm. Situated on the South Western Highway in Western Australia, just two and a half hours drive due south of Perth, the area has a population of approx 550 people, with 300 people living in the town itself.
There is plenty to do and see in Balingup; awaken to misty mornings unfolding into crystal clear days, walk the Bibbulmun Track or explore the hidden beauty of the Golden Valley Tree Park . The orchards of the area provide a mass of blossom in spring, and many deciduous trees give a rich and colourful display in the autumn months.
Here are just a few examples of what is on offer in this extraordinary town.
Today, Balingup is a self reliant and innovative community - prepared to create its own future and get things done. The local residents are not afraid to put together committees to run major events such as:
The scarecrow emblem of the town is typical of the 'whimsical' style of this community. The annual scarecrow competition (leading up to the Field Day) gives locals the opportunity to demonstrate their creativity and humour. And where else would you find over 100 residents prepared to don costumes for a medieval street parade?
Balingup is a great place to visit - and a very special place to live.
Walking The Area
With the realignment of the Bibbulmun Track, Balingup has become a popular stop over point for weekend hikers and 'end to enders', to enjoy some country hospitality in one of the numerous B&Bs and cottages situated in and around town.
Balingup Progress Association
The BPA was formed to fight the issue of planting pines on former farming land. Established in 1979, the Association enjoyed a major victory when they negotiated with CALM to have land vested in the Balingup Community for the development of the Golden Valley Tree Park.
The BPA has evolved into a 'community committee' that meets monthly to discuss any proposals affecting the town. Any resident of Balingup-Mullalyup can become a member of the Balingup Progress Association.
The Balingup Community does not rely on handouts. The Recreation Centre is a fine example of what can be achieved with vision and determination.
In 1988, under the Small Town Self Help Program, the community identified nine major areas for development. Below is a list of some of the outcomes achieved by working committees:
Home and Community Care program was established (HACC).
Project to restore the Golden Valley Homestead was initiated.
The Workspace and Community Centre were established.
It also took great community vision and cohesiveness to 'create' the Small Farm Field Day.