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WHEATBELT WONDERS TRAIL

The Wheatbelt of Western Australia is a patchwork of golden fields, character townships, pioneering history, fun farm stays and unique art that make for the perfect road trip adventure. Now’s the perfect time to pack up the car and head out for a weekend of relaxation, back-to-basics joys and fun!

DAY 1

It’s time to pack up the car, grab your snacks and don’t forget your reusable coffee cup – we’re off on an epic adventure through road trip country! Our first stop is going to be Elachbutting Rock. If you ask an Aussie, chances are they’ve never heard of it – which is perfect if you like avoiding the crowds and finding a secret spot just for you. Hot the road and settle in for some beautiful country scenery as you enter the gorgeous Wheatbelt.

Perth to Dowerin (147 km)

Elachbutting Rock is about a 4.5-hour drive from Perth, but we’re going to share our favourite places to stop along the way so it will be filled with fun. The first stop is larger than life and it’s in Northam! Here’s you’ll find the super-size PUBLIC Silo Trail mural. Get out the car, breathe in that country air, take a few pictures, and hop back in the car.

Time to continue on your journey heading towards Dowerin, the home of ‘Rusty’ the Tin Dog. You can’t pass through this town without giving this good boy a few pats. Nearby, there is the Tin Dog Creek Walk Trail and Bird Hide that features some of the last strands of untouched bush in the Wheatbelt with fantastic native flora, fauna and wildlife.

Dowerin to Mukinbudin (--km)

Get back in the car and set the GPS for Mukinbudin. This town is known for its friendly and vibrant community, so you’ll feel right at home!  Before heading off to explore make sure to grab some lunch from the Mukinbudin Café. They’ve got an extensive menu including pizzas, burgers, fish & chips, salads, pies, soups, and much more… even the pickiest eaters will find something they like! If you aren’t staying in town, be sure to stock up on any provisions you may need as you head further into the Wheatbelt.

Mukinbudin to Elachbutting Rock (62km)

If you love a good granite outcrop, make a stop at Beringbooding Rock, just 60km north of town. Explore the huge rock which has crevasses, caves, balancing boulders, and the largest rock water catchment tank in Australia. The walkabout is only 2.3km but we’d recommend allotting 1.5 hours so you can explore rock paintings, caves and the beginnings of a rock wave – a little preview of tomorrow’s adventure!

Jump in the car and 15 minutes away is Elachbutting Rock. The rock formations here are other worldly! Explore this massive granite outcrop with its spectacular wave, a 30-metre tunnel, and numerous cavern areas. Follow the 6km track around the rock and you’ll find areas with many interesting species of flora, especially on the east side renowned for its masses of Donkey Orchids at the base of the rock in spring. After you are done exploring, set up camp (no charge) and enjoy sleeping under the stars!

If you need accommodation, we’d recommend the Mukinbudin Hotel in town or Watsons Way Country Stay – located right by Beringbooding Rock. There is also the Mukinbudin Caravan Park that offers powered sites, unpowered sites and cabins. 

DAY 2

Elachbutting Rock to Merredin (138km)

Ready for a day of more exploring?! Get back in the car and start making your way towards the famous Wave Rock! We’ll be driving through Merredin, home to another Public Silo Art mural. The giant art exhibition is worth seeing but the town also has a lot to offer. The Merredin Heritage Trail is a short 2km walk around CBD where you can look at the town’s historical and key buildings, including the Cummins Theatre. Merredin is also home to NO 4 Pump Station of the Golden Pipeline. Three generations of pump stations can be seen at this one point (not accessible to the public). Stop by Merredin French Hot Bread or Wild Poppy Café for morning tea. For something a bit more substantial, head to Merredin Pizza or Dimensions Café.

Merredin to Bruce Rock (50km)

Next stop is Bruce Rock! There are so many interesting things to see here, including spectacular rock formations, some interesting museums and a mosaic pathway. A must do for all visitors to Bruce Rock is Kokerbin Rock. It is the 3rd largest monolith rock in Australia with interesting formations, panoramic views, caves and a 20-metre deep well on the western side.

The Bruce Rock Centenary Mosaic Pathway has over 400 mosaic slabs showing farms, churches, sporting groups and a glimpse of life in the town from days gone by. In town, you will find two museums worth exploring: Bruce Rock Museum and Machinery Museum.

Bruce Rock to Hyden (128km)

Once you leave town, you’ll pass a few small towns on the way to Hyden and lots of gorgeous places to stop for a leg stretch. Passing Narembeen, you may be surprised to find more than 1,000 boots and shoes tied to the fence. This unusual and colourful display was put together by two local farmers. Feel free to explore – at the end of Boot Mile, it finishes at an old pull-chain dunny. Along the same road, you will see a sign for Hidden Hollow Walk Trail. This is an excellent trail to stretch your legs and to enjoy some beautiful sights especially during wildflower season!

You can continue on to explore Mulka’s Cave and the Humps. Mulka’s Cave is one of the most significant Aboriginal rock-art sites in Western Australia with 425 motifs in the three chambers. There are two trails for you to take that are both fairly quick and easy to do.

Once you arrive in Hyden, we’d recommend checking into your accommodation and catching sunset at Lake Magic, one of the salt lakes nearby. Afterwards, you can head to the local pub at Wave Rock Hotel or cuddle up under the starry sky with a bottle of local wine at Wave Rock.

DAY 3

Wave Rock and Hyden

If you are staying at Wave Rock and are up for an early start, we’d highly recommend catching sunrise at Wave Rock. There is something so special about starting your day here. For those of you that are interested, there are tours available and can be organised via the visitor centre. Don’t forget about Hippo’s Yawn, it’s only a 10 minute walk from Wave Rock or you can drive there.

There are some quirky gems here to discover including The Lace Place and the Miniature Soldier Museum, with 10,000 handmade pieces displayed in a series of great wars. The town has a wildlife park that has an array of animals including camels, alpacas, donkeys, koalas, golden possums, wombats, betongs and lots more!

Hyden to Kulin to Lake Grace (143 km)

Before leaving Hyden, grab some breakfast from the Bush Bakehouse or stop at the local IGA for some snacks for the road. We are making our way to Kukerin tonight, but have  plenty of things to see on the way!

Set your Maps to Kulin - you’re in for a real treat! This shire is home to some of the quirkiest art installations you’ll find in the outback. Laugh your way through Tin Horse Highway, it is worth the detour with over 70 sculptures! Feel free to park the car and take a few selfies.

 

Once you’ve had your fill, set the GPS for Lake Grace.

As you head into town, you can visit the most easterly growing vines in Western Australia at the award-winning Walkers Hill Vineyard. Have a tasting and enjoy some of their delicious cakes! There is also the Australian Inland Mission Hospital Museum, the only remaining mission hospital in WA which has been restored as a museum giving you a glimpse of the challenges faced by our pioneering medical staff and how they practiced medicine in the isolated inland.  

Lake Grace to Newdegate to Kukerin  (197km)

Leaving Lake Grace, you’ll want to head east towards Newdegate, home to another mega-size art piece on the PUBLIC Silo Art Trail. If you have kids, there is a skatepark in town that will allow them to stretch their legs. Alternatively, there are a few lakes in the area that make for an excellent picnic spot!

Next up is Pingrup for the final PUBLIC Silo Art piece on this road trip (the two remaining are Ravensthorpe and Albany, for another day and another adventure). Once you’ve filled your soul with these beautiful art pieces, carry on towards Katanning and enjoy the beautiful colours along the road in the Wheatbelt.

Drive onto Kukerin, a quaint Wheatbelt community for a farm experience,  at Cambinata Yabbies where you’ll be guided through their processing facility. You can also get up close and personal with a flock of emus at the Emu Essence Farm – and go on an egg hunt during laying season! This evening, stay at Mary’s Farm Cottages, just down the road from Cambinata Yabbies and enjoy the night skies around the fire pit.

DAY 4

Kukerin to Dumbleyung to Downderry Wines (132km)

It’s time to hit the road! Our first stop is Lake Dumbleyung. It is the largest lake in WA’s South West and is absolutely beautiful! The best views are from Pussy Cat Hill. Be sure to stop by the Bluebird Precinct, a replica of Donald Campbell’s boat from when he broke the land and water speed record in 1964. You can also check out The Bluebird Discovery Centre. In town, we highly recommend visiting the Wuddi Aboriginal Cultural Centre. The centre offers a few tours that will make your visit to this town extra special!

Once you are ready to leave, make your way to Wagin and stop to meet Bart, the giant ram standing at 9 metres tall and 13 metres in length – you can’t miss him! In town, there is the Historical Village Museum, acclaimed as the largest and best history museum in all WA with over 25 historical or recreated buildings house the history of the region. If you are looking for something a bit more active, try the Wait - Jen Walking Trail. It is a 10.5km relaxing walk that passes through a variety of vegetation and lots of wildlife.

Hop back in the car and make your way to your destination for the night: Downderry Wines. Yes, you’ll be camping under the stars amongst the grape vines sipping on some delicious wine and yummy cheese!

The winery offers free tastings (and free camping to those who purchase wine) but best to call ahead to reserve your camper spot and tasting. If you need accommodation, head to New Cornwall Hotel in Narrogin – a bustling town with cafes, heritage buildings, walk trails, pubs and a vibrant cultural scene! Alternatively you can continue driving up to Dryandra Woodlands and spend the night at the Lions Dryandra Village. Nearby is the Barna Mia Nocturnal Wildlife Experience. You can even do a guided tour of the animal sanctuary at night where you’ll get to see threatened native animals such as bilby, woylie, mala, quenda and boodie.

Katanning to Downderry Wines (134km)

It’s time to hit the road! Our first stop is Lake Dumbleyung. It is the largest lake in WA’s South West and is absolutely beautiful! The best views are from Pussy Cat Hill. Be sure to stop by the Bluebird Precinct, a replica of Donald Campbell’s boat from when he broke the land and water speed record in 1964. You can also check out The Bluebird Discovery Centre.  

In town, we highly recommend visiting the Wuddi Aboriginal Cultural Centre. The centre offers a few tours that will make your visit to this town extra special! For a farm experience, head to Cambinata Yabbies where you’ll be guided through their processing facility. You can also get up close and personal with a flock of emus at the Emu Essence Farm – and go on an egg hunt during laying season!

Once you are ready to leave, make your way to Wagin and stop to meet Bart, the giant ram standing at 9 metres tall and 13 metres in length – you can’t miss him! In town, there is the Historical Village Museum, acclaimed as the largest and best history museum in all WA with over 25 historical or recreated buildings house the history of the region. If you are looking for something a bit more active, try the Wait - Jen Walking Trail. It is a 10.5km relaxing walk that passes through a variety of vegetation and lots of wildlife.

Hop back in the car and make your way to your destination for the night: Downderry Wines. Yes, you’ll be camping under the stars amongst the grape vines sipping on some delicious wine and yummy cheese!

The winery offers free tastings (and free camping to those who purchase wine) but best to call ahead to reserve your camper spot and tasting. If you need accommodation, head to New Cornwall Hotel in Narrogin – a bustling town with cafes, heritage buildings, walk trails, pubs and a vibrant cultural scene!

Alternatively you can continue driving up to Dryandra Woodlands and spend the night at the Lions Dryandra Village. Nearby is the Barna Mia Nocturnal Wildlife Experience. You can even do a guided tour of the animal sanctuary at night where you’ll get to see threatened native animals such as bilby, woylie, mala, quenda and boodie.

DAY 5

Narrogin to Perth (168km)

If you stayed in Narrogin, take the morning to explore Narrogin with its heritage streetscape and pretty gardens. Wander Narrogin's Railway Dam or Gnarojin Park then walk the wildflower trail at Foxes Lair or perhaps take in Lake Toolibin home to the endangered freckled duck. If you feel energetic climb Yilliminning or Birdwhistle Rock before driving north to Dryandra Woodlands.

In the Dryandra Woodlands, there are a few trails with some beautiful outlooks onto the forest canopies. The Ochre Trail is quite beautiful and approximately 5km return. There is also the Fire Tower Walk and the Breakaway Walk – both of which should take less than 30 minutes. For something quite unique, try the Sounds of Dryandra Woodland or the Audio Drive Trail. This audio drive is 25km long featuring 6 audio stops that broadcast local stories transmitting them directing into your car radio. You’ll get a unique perspective into the relationship between the local Aboriginal people and the woodlands.

By now, you have worked up quite an appetite and a stop at the last winery in the Wheatbelt would be a great way to unwind and relax. Head to Tanglefoot Winery & Café for a delicious lunch, homemade cakes and tasty wine before heading back home. Be sure to call ahead to let them know you’ll be stopping by!

Set off back home to Perth - your cup filled, your mind rested and your body filled with adventure – it’s been an epic few days!