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At the heart of the Great Southern
is Katanning, one of the most
multicultural towns in WA, with more
than 40 resident races and religions,
all centred on farming.
KATANNING TOP 5
➊Only in wa
Head to the sheep auctions every
Wednesday at the Katanning
Sale Yards. They’re the largest in
the southern hemisphere, with
thousands of sheep, barking sheep
dogs and some very serious buyers
in attendance. There’s also seriously
good food to be had.
➋ At Katanning Miniature Railway
kids can ride reduced-scale steam
and diesel locomotives around
the track, then refuel with a bite
to eat in the station tearooms.
Pulling out of the station every
second and fourth Sunday at the
All Ages Playground.
➌ Stop by the Katanning Farmers
Markets to check out the craft
items, artisan goodies and plants
up for sale. There’s also a sausage
sizzle for when you’re done
shopping. The markets are held
every third Saturday of the month
in the leisure centre.
➍ Twitchers shouldn’t miss the bird
watching at Twonkwillingup Nature
Reserve. Walk along the boardwalk
trails over the wetlands, and spot
80-plus identified bird species. The
100ha Lake Ewlyamartupt, 18km
east of Katanning, is home to 95
species of birds and is lovely for
boating, picnicking and swimming.
➎ ANNUAL EVENTS
BUSH POETS BREAKFAST. Get
your poetry on with breakfast
ballads, tea and coffee. Feb.
THE KATANNING HARMONY
FESTIVAL. Celebrate all the
cultures that call Katanning home.
Highlights include the international
food village, a fashion parade
and displays. Mar.
AGRICULTURAL SHOW. Enjoy
rides, stalls, arts and crafts, vintage
cars and machinery, equestrian
events and evening fireworks. Oct.
SHIRE OF KOJONUP
Kojonup & Muradup
The heart of the wool-growing
country in the Great Southern and
home to a thriving population (as
well as a strong football team!),
Kojonup is a two-hour drive from
Perth, and just 160km from Albany.
This bustling rural town has
a trademark warm country
atmosphere, and is a popular
destination for history buffs. The
first white man to the region, the
trailblazing Alfred Hillman, arrived
in Kojonup in 1837. He’d been sent
north by Governor Stirling from
Albany and was cutting a path to the
Swan River Settlement, when he was
guided to a freshwater spring that
became the basis for the town.
Today, Kojonup boasts 52
historical sites, including the Old
School and Military Barracks,
overlooking the spring. Pop in on
Kodja Place and see the fabulous
interpretive display that tells
stories of Kojonup’s cultures, both
Noongar-Aboriginal and settler.
With a smattering of very small
towns, peaceful Woodanilling
is a popular area for birdwatching
enthusiasts, who can set up among
locations bursting with native and
Wignedyne Nature Reserve is
filled with native flowers in spring.
Kangaroos and bush wallabies can
be seen at dusk in the paddocks
surrounding the reserve, which are
also known for parrots, lorikeets, blue
wrens and the crested shrike-tit.
In Woodanilling’s northeast, King
Rock Reserve is an ideal spot for
picnics, with panoramic views of the
Centenary Park and the Prime
Ministers’ Pathway in town are
perfect for kids, who will love the
Beaufort River Market Cafe on the
Albany Highway offers meals and
market stalls. Woodanilling Tavern –
also known as Woody Tavern – serves
both counter and restaurant meals,
meanwhile, and provides comfortable
accommodation. The Caravan Park on
the Great Southern Highway features
powered sites and caravan spots.
If you really want to get away from
it all, this southernmost shire is the
ultimate escape, with an amazingly
diverse landscape. The shire takes
in everything from gently rolling
farmland to the craggy Barrens,
magnificent rugged coastline to
picturesque bays, and dry inland
hills to rivers meandering through
bushland to the ocean.
DO AND SEE
Named after John Septimus
Roe, the first Surveyor General in
Western Australia, Roe Park has
a playground, skateboard track,
basketball ring and barbecue facilities.
Lions Park offers shady spots for
a barbecue lunch. It’s also the pick-up
and drop-off point for the coach
line, and the starting point for the
shire’s premier historic walk.
The Jerramungup Heritage
Trail visits sites such as the Old
Powerhouse, the Former War Service
Office, the interdenominational
All Saints Community Church, and
the Jerramungup Town Hall, which has
become known as the Root Pickers
Hall in recognition of fundraising
efforts in the 1950s by volunteers who
picked mallee roots.
THE HIDDEN TREASURES
BLOOM FESTIVAL Sep-Oct
If you’re heading through the Great Southern in springtime, don’t miss
the fabulous annual Bloom Festival. Comprising more than 40 colourful
wildflower- and spring-themed events scattered throughout the Hidden
Treasures towns, the festival offers self-drive trails through fields of flowers,
and an array of secret wildflower and orchid beds. It’s a great chance to
spot rare flowers endemic to the Great Southern region.
TOP WILDFLOWER LOCATIONS
Z Myrtle Benn Flora and Fauna Sanctuary, Kojonup
Z Farrar Dam Reserve, Kojonup
Z Stirling Range National Park, Borden
Z Fitzgerald River National Park, Bremer Bay
Z Lake Magenta Nature Reserve, Pingrup
Z Corackerup Nature Reserve, Jerramungup
Z Chinocup Lake, Pingrup
Z Banks of the Gordon River, Tambellup
Z Broomehill Golf Club & Boot Rock
Reserve Cranbrook Wildflower Walk
Carnaby Black Cockatoo.
Have You Seen this Bird?
If you have, the people at Birdlife Australia would very much like to hear from
you! The Carnaby Black Cockatoo is an endangered species, and migrates
to the Wheatbelt and Great Southern regions in spring. Visit birdlife.org.au/
projects/carnabys-black-cockatoo-recovery for more details.
Tinsel lily (photography
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