As most of you know, I recently went down to Denmark for a 4 day, 3 night stay to celebrate my birthday. In 2014 I went to the Margaret River Wine Region and so this year I thought we would head further south in Western Australia to where the climate is welcomingly cooler.
Travelling to Denmark
After dropping off Fizzy & Crackle at their cattery in Canning Vale we proceeded to make our way to Albany Highway which would be the road that would take us the majority of the way to Denmark. The trip was roughly 400kms which took us about 4.5 hours with a few break stops along the way.
There’s not a lot to see and do along Albany Highway. If you’re looking for a lunch stop I would hold off till you get to Kojonup as there are a few options in the small town as well as a few shops to browse if you need to stretch your legs.
We decided to hold off on a lunch stop till we got to Mount Barker, as the area is known for its wine production and I couldn’t think of a better place than a winery to stop at for my birthday lunch. On the way down I was tweeting with @greatsouthernwine who suggested the newly opened The Shed at Plantagenet Wines or Gilbert’s Winery and Cafe in Kendenup. I received the tweet after passing Gilbert’s, but it would have been a perfect stop as it’s located on Albany Highway before Mount Barker and the turn off for Denmark.
Therefore we ended up heading to The Shed. I won’t go too much into this as there will be a blog post coming with lots of pics, so stay tuned 🙂
From Mount Barker it’s about a 50km drive to Denmark. After our lunch we ended up arriving at our accommodation in Denmark at about 3pm. We stayed at the Celestine Retreat Spa Chalets about 3kms out of the centre of Denmark.
Denmark Travel Tips
- I think the biggest issue for us, was that our sedan car wasn’t really ideal for the roads in Denmark, there are many dirt roads and a lot of them are in dire need of being graded so it really made it hard on the car. If you have an SUV/4×4 you’ll have no issue at all. I think it’ll be hard to convince Mr. Spittoon to take our car down there again since it’s his pride and joy. Also if you are from Perth, you’ll notice fuel is more expensive than in the city.
- What tipped the iceberg off above was that I directed us down various dirt tracks to wineries which had open signs out on the main road, only to get the 7km down the dirt road (going a mere 30km/hr) to find out they weren’t actually open. A touch frustrating and after this happened 3 times we learnt to call ahead to the winery if we had enough service on our mobile phones.
- As mentioned above, cell service is not the best and GPS doesn’t work so well in the area therefore it’s best to make sure you have a good paper map. Everything in the area is sign posted really well which also helps getting around. It’s not a massive region so it would be hard to get lost and if you do just stop and ask, everyone we meet was so friendly and welcoming.
- It’s rare that we do many touristy things, we prefer to get off the beaten park away from the crowds or spend our time at wineries (surprise surprise) however we did visit Greens Pool (thank you for the recommendation Jacq from Kirbys at Rickety Gates) one afternoon and it was simply stunning. Such a beautiful spot, but just a pity it was a touch too cold for us Perthians to swim. As Mr. Spittoon said, it is the perfect type of beach for swimming, especially if you have kids.
- We really enjoyed our self-catered accommodation and would absolutely go for that option again rather than a hotel. We had full cooking facilities which meant we could save money on dining out and instead dine in so we can spend more money on buying wine to take home. As we stayed in such a beautiful spot it was also nice to be able to make up a cheese (make sure you try the local Dellendale cheeses, AMAZING!) or antipasto board at night and sit on our deck with a bottle of local wine and enjoy. There is an IGA supermarket in Denmark town for all your supplies and I’d recommend the Denmark Liquor Shop for stocking up if you haven’t had a chance to get to the wineries yet. Each day we had at least one meal at the chalet to break up all the going out meals.
- Denmark Bakery is a must visit if you love bakery food. This award wining spot lives up to its reputation, a touch pricey but the food doesn’t disappoint. I had a beef, cheese and bacon pie, the pastry was to die for, meat and gravy so super tasty and in my opinion the best mince and cheese pie in Australia!
Denmark Blog Posts:
- Visiting Plantagenet Wines in Mount Barker
- Accommodation options in Denmark, including a thorough review of Celestine Retreat where we stayed
- Visiting the Denmark wineries, specifically; Old Kent River Winery, Valley of the Giants Wines (and doing the treetop walk), Somerset Hill Wines, Apricus Hill, Rickety Gate Wines, Singlefile Wines, The Lake House Wines, Castelli Estate and Rockcliffe Wines
- Visiting Elephant Rock Cidery and the Toffee Factory
- Read all my Great Southern blog posts here
Stay tuned wine lovers for the upcoming blog posts and make sure you keep an eye on my 2015 Tasting Notes Album for details on all the delicious wines we bought on the trip.