Suggested itinerary

A long weekend?  A short break? Or take the road less travelled to the Goldfields of Western Australia. This is just one of the many ways to discover the Pioneers’ Pathway. Below is a suggested three day or five day itinerary of how you could spend your time along the Pioneers’ Pathway.

After taking a few days to wander the Pathway you could return westward or continue east following the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail to the Goldfields. Travel north through Westonia and Mukinbudin to explore the Wheatbelt Way  or south through Bruce Rock and Narembeen along the Pathways to Wave Rock.

PP – Three Day Itinerary

Day 1: Perth – Dowerin (160 kilometres/2 hours)

Leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind and follow Pioneers’ Pathway Self Drive through the hills to the pretty historic and farming town of Toodyay. Learn the legend of Moondyne Joe at the Newcastle.Goal. Valley views and a patchwork of farmland make this a scenic stop for lunch at a local pub or riverside picnic spot. Continue north east to Goomalling, crossing the Avon River tributary at Mortlock River - a well known wildflower stop during spring. Stop by the Slater Homestead at Goomalling, the base of the pastoral empire of George Slater.  Continue on where ‘Rusty’ the Tin Dog sculpture welcomes you to Dowerin. Take the Tin Dog Creek Walk Trail to see local flora and fauna.

 

Day 2: Dowerin – Merredin (155 kilometres/2 hours)

The drive from Dowerin winds through farmland, bush reserves and springtime wildflowers. Visit the Wyalkatchem CBH Museum to learnabout John Lyndsey and how Australia’s largest grain export companystarted right here. Enjoy a pub lunch at either Wyalkatchem or Trayning,and then stretch your legs on a delightful historical walk trail around the Trayning town site to admire its significant pioneer buildings. Whenaarriving in Nungarin head out to Mangowine Homestead and discoverthe stories and buildings lived in by Jane Adams, a pioneering farmer’swife and mother as well as Inn Keeper along the Yarragin Road to theGoldfields. End the day in Merredin where you can dine out and reminisceand wonder on the tales you have discovered so far on your journey.

 

Day 3: Merredin – Perth (260 kilometres/3 hours)

Spend the morning finding out the account of the life of Alice Cummins,Western Australia's first female barrister, the Cummins family and howthe Cummins Theatre ended up in Merredin. Explore Merredin’s Railwayand Military Museums and walk trails or head out to Merredin Peak totake in the Wheatbelt views. Grab some lunch in town before returning toPerth along the Great Eastern Highway, or perhaps take a detour southvia Hyden and Wave Rock, one of Australia's best known natural icons.

 

PP – Five Day Itinerary

Day 1

Midland – Toodyay

Head up the Toodyay Road from Midland, stopping in Toodyay to enjoy its historic streetscape and the many attractions the Visitors Centre can direct you to.  Be sure to visit Connor’s Mill and the Old Newcastle Gaol Museum – learn the legend of Moondyne Joe and Toodyay’s convict history. If the river is up bring along a canoe and practice for the Avon Descent before continuing along the Pioneers Pathway to Goomalling. Along the Goomalling Road you will pass The Range homestead before continuing out along the road to cross the Avon River’s tributary, the Mortlock River, about 10km south of Goomalling. Stop over at the rest area and explore the bush reserve. It has colourful wildflowers in spring. Goomalling 132 kms east of Perth is an ideal setting for your first night.  Adjacent to the caravan park is the town’s School House museum – well worth a visit.  Take a stroll down the main street for a coffee and browse in the gift shops. The recently restored Slater Homestead, the base of the pastoral empire of George Slater and his family. It is open Wednesday to Sunday from March to November, or by appointment. Light refreshments are available and the Homestead is home to the Australian Creatures Gallery.

Day 2

Goomalling to Wyalkatchem

By mid morning you could be approaching Dowerin. The Tin Dog sculpture welcomes you to town. Consider a walk along the Tin Dog Walk trail and gain an insight into the flora and bird life of the Wheatbelt. The short route is an easy 1.8kms long and takes about 45 minutes. The Dowerin Visitor Centre located in the main street will point you in the right direction for the 1930’s House Museum – just follow theDowerin Heritage & Recreation Walk Trail which is a gentle stroll throughout the town site on a trail of discovery highlighting the culturally significant buildings & sites that Dowerin has to offer. They Dowerin Visitor Centre also give you the local knowledge on other sites in the area that you can take in on the way to an overnight stop at Wyalkatchem.

Day 3

Wyalkatchem – Trayning or Nungarin

After your overnight stay at “Wylie”, the Cradle of Bulk Handling, take time to explore the town and its murals. Have a morning tea or lunch and visit the Agricultural Museum housed in a 1936 wheatbin to learn about John Lyndsey and how Australia’s largest grain export company started right here. Take the old Goldfields Road through the Nature Reserve and turn into Korrelocking Reserve before carrying on to Yelbeni on the main road. Travelling on to Nungarin you pass Yelbeni with its farm machinery display. At Trayning the “tree library” is a unique concept. You may wish to spend an extra night at the Trayning caravan park and explore Billyacatting Nature Reserve north of the town.  And don’t just drive past Kununoppin before your overnight stop in Nungarin. Have a meander around the streets of the town set in a salmon gum woodland. You will chance upon delightful tin sculptures of pioneer life. Can you find the swaggy and his bicycle?

 

Day 4

Trayning-Nungarin-Merredin

Take the whole day to explore the Nungarin district. Market day is first Sunday of the month (March to December). Check out the Nungarin Heritage Machinery and Army Museum. The Post Office Information Centre has heritage trail walk and drive tour guides of the district and town. Eaglestone Hill not far from Nungarin is an enjoyable picnic spot. A great granite rock is poised over a sparkling salt lake. Or take an excursion and visit the National Trust homestead of Mangowine some 14 kms from the town to discover the stories and buildings lived in by Jane Adams, a pioneering farmer’s wife and mother as well as Inn Keeper along the Yarragin Road to the Goldfields (closed Wednesdays). Why not stay over and do both! Arrive in Merredin and visit the Central Wheatbelt Visitors Centre for a town map, places to eat guide and some recommended walk and drive trails. Book into your accommodation and wander down the vibrant shopping strip of Barrack Street. Have a coffee & cake at one of the cafés and check out what’s on at Cummins Theatre and plan where to dine out at one of several restaurant choices.

Day 5

Merredin - Perth

Take an early walk on the rock and bush trails at Merredin Peak and Railway Dam or drive around the remains of the WW II Australian General Army Hospital interpretive sites. Spend the morning finding out the account of the life of Alice Cummins, Western Australia's first female barrister, the Cummins family and how the Cummins Theatre ended up in Merredin. A visit to the Railway and Military Museums and other military sites around Merredin is a must for history buffs. Enjoy a short drive east 20km along the highway to Burracoppin to see the Rabbit Proof Fence and then on to the first stage of the Collgar Wind farm to get a view of 111 turbines along Bulls Head Road south of the highway. Head south 14km on the Bruce Rock Road to see the Totadgin Conservation Park and historic Hunts Well, walk trails and a mini wave rock. Then return to Perth along the Great Eastern Highway, or perhaps take a detour south via Hyden and Wave Rock, one of Australia's best known natural icons.