Home' Traveller : Scoop Traveller WA 021 Contents 114 Scoop Traveller January - June 2012
scoop.com.au Explore WA
xperience the old
with the new, tackle
adventure head on or
sit back and enjoy the
views. Just a pleasant one-hour
drive east of the Perth CBD, this
area is perfect for a weekender.
Stretching from Brookton in the
south to New Norcia in the north,
the Valley is a top self-drive or
There are wide sealed roads,
well signposted tourist spots and
places to stop and enjoy a coffee.
Relax with a picnic beside the
Avon River, or a drink in one of the
towns’ historic pubs.
The Avon Valley provides a
diverse range of experiences in its
townships. Northam has the Avon
River, Beverley has its aeronautical
heritage, Toodyay is there for the
bushranger enthusiast, while the
antiques and gourmet delights of
York and the spirituality of New
Norcia also appeal.
Visit the many historic sites and
museums to learn of the area’s
fascinating pioneering history.
The Avon Valley National Park
has a varied range of habitats and
is home to more than 90 species of
birdlife. Emus are a common sight
and you’ll find brown honeyeaters
active in the heath. Echidnas can
be spotted and, if you’re lucky,
you may spy a tiny rare chuditch
in the undergrowth.
This is a sporting playground
choose from gliding, skydiving,
paintballing, water sports,
motocross and mountain biking.
If this all sounds too strenuous,
go horseback riding, take a ride
in a hot-air balloon or try your
hand at archery.
Choose from the many quaint
eateries in heritage buildings – a
meal at an historic pub is a must
and you’ll be surprised at how
gourmet it can be. Some luxury
B&Bs offer in-house dining
prepared by the owner or a chef,
perfect for a private party or
romantic getaway without any
fuss. The choice of accommodation
ranges from camping and caravan
grounds to luxury B&Bs and spa
retreats. This is the perfect place
to wind down and experience
old-world charm, meet the locals
and smell the fresh country air.
“Challenge yourself on the golf course
or in the air, or just relax and enjoy
real country hospitality”
As you walk down the main streets
of each township, you become a
part of living history. Many of the
buildings have been restored and
are classified by the National Trust.
In fact, Northam has the second-
highest number of registered
heritage buildings in the state.
Every small town has a history
museum unique to its forefathers.
The history of the state’s aviation
can be discovered in Beverley’s
Aeronautical Museum, while in
Toodyay the stories of bushrangers
and the early settlers can be relived
in the Newcastle Gaol Museum and
Connor’s Mill. York is the oldest
inland settlement in WA, with its
carefully restored buildings and the
Residency Museum. Take a different
view of history at monastic New
Norcia. During the hotter months
some of the attractions will be
closed, so plan ahead.
When travelling with the family
during summer, plan ahead and
get an early start. There are plenty
of shady off-road parking areas
along the way. Along the Great
Eastern Highway in Greenmount,
the off-road rest area has picnic
tables and shade, and the rest area
in Forsyth Mill just after Mundaring
has a fireplace and toilet facilities.
In high summer, tackle outdoor
pursuits in the early morning or
late afternoon, scheduling visits to
museums and shops for the hottest
part of the day. The older kids will
appreciate Yenyenning Salt Lakes
just outside Beverley, for summer
water sports – contact the local
shire for updates on the lakes’
water capacity. During summer
the best place to be is in one of the
local swimming pools. Many have
wading areas for little ones, as
well as shaded pools. You will find
local swimming pools in Northam,
Goomalling and Wundowie.
Getting back to nature
From National Parks to local
parklands, discover a diverse
range of natural wonders and
wildlife. Visitor centres have
information on walk trails and
some even provide guided tours.
In high summer, watch for
snakes and bushfire alerts, and
always take plenty of water and
sunscreen. Walks on the outskirts
of each of the towns will reward
photographers with changing
vistas from season to season.
The picturesque Avon Valley countryside
(Photography Laurelville Manor).
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