Originally a timber mill settlement on the banks of the Preston River, Donnybrook became the scene for one of the nation’s smaller gold rushes in the late 19th century.
Disappointed miners who remained after the excitement had died down turned their skills to growing fruit, giving birth to an industry that saw Donnybrook and the Preston Valley come to be established as the apple capital of the west. Others recognised the beauty of the local sandstone, which has subsequently graced not only local buildings, but landmarks including the GPO in Perth, and Federation Square in Melbourne.
Later generations are venturing into aquaculture, and turning the valley slopes and warm climate to advantage in producing wine grapes, olives and nuts. No surprise then, that visitors can enjoy fine wines rivalling the best in the country, or slake their thirsts on crisp, refreshing ciders and apple juice. Culinary delights on offer include farm fresh marron, organic beef, rich olive oil, local fruit & vegetable produce, nuts and the sweet taste of sun dried fruits. A backdrop of natural jarrah and marri bushland remains, abounding with wildlife, with clear running streams in Winter and wildflowers in Spring.
With such a diversity of heritage, taste sensations and natural beauty, it was inevitable that a tourism industry followed; accommodation options including secluded retreats, cosy B&Bs, and budget backpacker’s hostels now await travellers and holiday makers alike, all greeted with friendly country hospitality.