Have you seen more than 50 shades of gray outside and are experiencing some major winter blues?
This winter, trade that all in for turquoise blue beaches, horseback riding in the Indian Ocean with dolphins, warm summer temperatures, cool glasses of superior wine, fantastic foods after a long bush ride and a laid-back atmosphere and culture where when we say- “No Worries Mate”, we really mean it!

Horseback Riding on Forrest Beach Photo-C.Goddard

Come to the Southwest of Western Australia! Western Australia is famous for its long days of sunshine and diverse landscapes. The southwest is well known as an agricultural area filled with over 300 wineries to visit and a growing food lovers paradise!

Image Credit: www.australia.com

You will make plans to fly into the capital city of Perth in Western Australia to start your dream horseback riding vacation. From Perth, you will have a short drive and travel along the Forrest Hwy for 2 hours south to the Southwest. See that “hook” on the map above? That’s where you will park yourself for a truly amazing stay! I suggest at least 10 days of vacation planned.

Places I suggest you check out and visit:

Plan to explore a day in the city of Bunbury, WA. In my opinion, this is the gateway to the Southwest. An equestrian must is to stop by the local tack shop when you are visiting! Horseland Bunbury on 12 Sandridge Rd in Bunbury, WA, has a very friendly knowledgable staff that will give you a great taste of Australian Equestrian Trends in rider clothing, horse equipment, and overall Australian country style and fashion. The USA Dollar is extremely strong against the Aussie Dollar. So pack less clothing and an empty bag to fill it up with Australian Equestrian brands such as RM Williams, Thomas Cook, Bates, and Dublin at Horseland Bunbury!

Photo Credit: Horseland Bunbury

Find them on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Horseland-Bunbury

Be sure to check out the centre of the city while you are shopping. Victoria Street- is a beautiful stretch of historic buildings with trendy shops and restaurants to enjoy. It is within walking distance of the beach, where you can soak your tired feet in the warm salty Indian Ocean.

Another great way to get a taste for the local foods is to go to a farmers market! Plan to be in the area on the 3rd Sunday of the month. I highly recommend that you continue your travels to the quaint town of Boyanup, WA(15minutes south of Bunbury) and between 8am-noon on the 3rd Sunday of each month, stroll around a great little Farmers Market in the centre of town. Pick up some local treats to eat for lunch. Great breads, yummy cheeses, amazing sweet juicy fruit & veggies, beautiful jams and chutneys, and great pickled seafood. Then head to one of my favorite wineries, Bonking Frog Wines, about five minutes up the road, which conveniently opens at noon.

The Bonking Frog has a beautiful cottage on site and I highly recommend that you book in from Thursday to Sunday to explore this area. Relax in the stunning Australian gardens of the winery, under beautiful shade trees and enjoy fantastic wines and maybe you’ll get to taste their Merlot Sorbet that they have been offering to visitors this year. Oh and get this….The proprietors of Bonking Frog Wines are true equestrians, so you will be able to have enjoyable horsey talk with the lovely owners of this magical place.

Photo Credit: Bonking Frog Wines

Next on my horseback riding dreamcation for you:

You need to make contact with Jesters Flat Equestrian Centre. They are located in Margret River where you should travel to next and stay for the remainder of your Horseback Riding Equestrian Vacation. Paul & Fiona Brennan, owners of Jesters Flat could not be nicer people to guide you through a truly amazing horseback riding experience. www.jestersflat.com

Ask for Paul and tell them that Jessie from The Equestrianista sent you. Plan to meet them on a Monday at Forrest Beach which is 20 minutes drive from the Bonking Frog.

Looks like Heaven? Yes, well it’s pretty close! Meet the equestrian guides at Forrest Beach for a truly amazing beach riding experience. Cool off afterwards by dipping in the waters on horseback & you may be lucky enough to swim with the dolphins as well!

Horseback Riding on the Beach in Western Aus. Photo Credit -Jesters Flat Equestrian Centre

Follow the horse truck back to Jesters Flat and stay in one of their luxury accommodations that they recommend which are only 1km away from the equestrian centre. What better way to see the country than on horseback? Plan to go on a bush ride later in the week with Jesters flat to see the land in the saddle.

From there I suggest that you get a wine map of Margret River and talk to the locals for places to visit, wines to taste and foods to try.

Top on my list:

Voyager Wineries– one of the oldest and most beautiful wineries in the region. A great place to start. Caves Road has numerous fantastic wineries all very close to each other up in Cowaranup, WA- which is a part of Margret River. Favourites are Swings and Roundabouts-great white wine. Laurance Wines – www.laurancewines.com/ – Beautiful place and great wines. Howard Park Winery- https://www.burchfamilywines.com.au- Another beautiful place and huge selection of several lines of wines- come in January for their Oysters, Chardonnay and Music Event. Vasse Felix- http://www.vassefelix.com.au- They just keep coming in great places! Really, it would take a year to visit all the fabulous places and you really can’t go wrong with any place you stop. Travel to Dunsborough, WA at the top of Margret River Region for lunch at Occy’s and go to the beach at Castle Rock. They use great local in season produce- check out this grilled fig goat cheese salad.

Occy’s Restaurant Lunch – Photo Credit: J.Spark

Castle Rock Beach- Dunsbourgh, WA Photo Credit-J.Spark

Have breakfast on the beach in Yallingup, WA one morning- Pick up local sweet breads at the Yallingup Woodfired Bakery http://www.margaretriver.com/members/yallingup-woodfired-bread/ and a perfect strong coffee at the Postoffice-Yes I said Post Office, trust me! Then drive down towards the beach, there are parking lots along the coast and benches to park yourself on and watch the surfers, paddle boarders and windsurfers catch the waves.

Yallingup Beach- Photo Credit: J.Spark

I could go on, but I leave you in good hands with fantastic places & friendly faces to visit & meet!

Enjoy the Southwest with this horseback riding dreamcation created by The Equestrianista– Equestrian fashion blog – visit for more travel advice, equestrian fashions and trends, and a whole lot more. This is a guest post by Jessie Reed.