Australia's Golden Outback Holiday Planner 2022/23

Lake Norring, Wagin

PIONEERS’ PATHWAY 3 days | Sealed roads

Follow in the route of the dreamers who headed out East to seek their fortunes. Their pioneering endeavours reflected in the homesteads, museums and architecture of this all weather, year round road trip. From Perth, drive up the escarpment into the scenic valleys and hills of Avon Valley National Park to the colonial town of Toodyay, home to the world’s longest white-water race, the Avon Descent. The visitor centre here is the place to unlock secrets like stargazing and mini-rail tours and even a fairytale farm! Take your time driving to Goomalling and onto Dowerin. The Wyalkatchem CBH Agricultural Museum is a great collection of pioneering equipment housed in a 1930s wheat bin and Dowerin’s Museum is a very authentic weatherboard and iron-roofed cottage constructed in 1915 by the local saddler. Cruise along the highway out to Merredin, the site of the largest grain storage silo in the country, and view the epic murals on the public Silo Trail. Go back in time at the town’s Railway Museum (climb up into the Signal Box!) and see our state’s military history at the superb exhibition at Merredin Military Museum. Now, decide whether to return to Perth via the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, or go east to the Goldfields!

Wineries, Woodlands & Wheatbelt Trails 3 days | Sealed roads

Wide open skies, wineries and welcoming hospitality are the ideal way to escape the everyday, and this road trip is the perfect extended weekender any time of year. Set the map to Wandering and cruise along the Albany Highway. Take your first taste of Wheatbelt wines at the biodynamic Hotham Ridge Estate or Tanglefoot Winery (by appointment) then explore the historic town of Pingelly before continuing to Wickepin. Here, stroll through the town’s history on the Yarling Brook Heritage Walk and visit the homestead of Australian writer Albert Facey. Drive on through Harrismith (stop in spring to admire wonderful wildflowers) and to Narrogin via Lake Toolibin and Taarblin Nature Reserve. Book ahead for a terrific Barna Mia Animal Sanctuary nocturnal wildlife tour in Dryandra Woodland so you won’t miss out! Follow Narrogin’s enticing heritage streetscapes past the War Memorial to the Old Courthouse Museum, or really stretch your driving legs at Yilliminning Rock where you’ll find orchids at the summit in wildflower season. Another spot to spy orchids is Foxes Lair Bushland Reserve. Take the road to Downderry Wines to sample their excellent range

Albert Facey Homestead

St Aloysis, Toodyay

of locally produced wines. Around 50kms south you’ll arrive in Wagin, the centre of the merino stud industry which is celebrated every March at the Wagin Woolarama, our state’s largest agricultural show. Start the day with a visit to the Wagin Historic Village and have a selfie with Wagin’s Giant Ram at the Wetlands Park before you hit the road to pretty Arthur River and onto Williams. Amble around the railway siding walk at Congelin Dam or sip and shop at the Williams Woolshed (don’t miss their interactive museum, The Shearers Yarn, behind the dining area). Point the wheel to Perth, stopping at the lookout at Williams Nature Reserve, and let the scenery unfold before you.

22 | The Wheatbelt |

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