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The Harvey Shire includes 43km
of picturesque, isolated coastline
and spreads inland to the
agricultural town of Harvey. The
visitor centre is a great spot to start
exploring the region and has a
delightful cafe for an easy break.
Many of the town’s attractions
and history are at, or within,
walking distance of the centre
so allocate some time here.
Young ones (and the young at
heart) will be enthralled by the
range of cow memorabilia at the
Moo Shoppe, and a display of
children’s author and illustrator
May Gibbs’ Gumnut Babies. Gibbs
created the characters when based
in the town from 1885.
A short walk to the Internment
Camp Memorial Shrine provides
an interesting historical reminder
of the region’s connection with
WWII. The shrine was built by
Italian detainees who, along with
German migrants and POWs, were
interned here after being categorised
as enemy aliens. The shrine was
enclosed in a chapel in 1992 and
is believed to be the only roadside
shrine of its type in Australia.
Tours of Alcoa’s Refinery and
mine also leave from the centre.
If the weather is favourable,
head to the Harvey Dam for some
R&R. It’s a working reservoir
and water supply but also a great
place to enjoy grassed picnic areas,
a boardwalk, walk trails and free
electric barbecues. Snare some
marron, sail or canoe on the
dam, or walk up the path to
the scenic lookout.
Further north, the Logue
Brook Dam is set amid the forest
of the Darling Range and is a
popular area for swimming. Boats
can be launched on the southern
shore of Lake Brockman, near
the caravan park.
It’s definitely worth a walk
on some of the trails in
the Leschenault Peninsula
Conservation Park, set on the
coastal dune among peppermint,
tuart and paperbark trees.
Head just south of Australind
town centre on Old Coast Road to
the jetty and rediscover this pretty
estuary that was a favourite stop
for many on the trip south, before
the bypass was constructed.
Donnybrook is the food capital
of the Geographe and while it
may be best known for its apples,
there’s a whole host of produce to
be had here, particularly in
the warmer months. Arrive
hungry, with time to enjoy a
selection of the local wines,
apple cider, marron, citrus fruits,
olives, walnuts, pecans, avocados,
cherries and peaches.
Start your visit at the Apple
Fun Park, the largest free-entry
community-owned fun park in
the country. There are ample shady
areas here, barbecue facilities and
parking. It’s a great reward for
kids who have endured some
long trips in the car.
If you haven’t been to
Donnybrook for a while, the
Gnangangarich Waugyl sculpture
walkway, located in the main
street, is the place to explore and
find out about Aboriginal dreaming
of this area. The Gnangangarich
Waugyl spirit rests in the water and
the land, and you can follow part of
this trail through the valley. Walk
from the Visitor Information Centre
along South Western Highway and
enter the Waugyl Park, past Alex
Mickle’s interpretive sculpture of
the Waugyl and over the suspension
bridge. All along this area are
stories that illustrate the nomadic
life of the Nyoongar people.
Continue south down the banks
of the Preston River. If you look
closely into the water you may see
traces of the serpent.
Other interesting activities
include panning for gold as
Donnybrook was a gold rush town
for six brief years from 1897.
Part of the display at Collie’s
Steam Locomotion Museum.
Stomping grapes at the
Harvey Harvest Festival.
The picturesque Preston River.
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