Best Spring road trips in the Wheatbelt
With warm days perfect for travelling, cool evenings to rug up under the stars, and colourful wildflowers bursting into bloom, now is the best time to start planning your next road trip. Located in the heart of Western Australia, the Wheatbelt has countless beautiful scenic drives and fascinating attractions to explore along the way. Whether you're a local looking for a short day trip from Perth, a weekend getaway, or a deep dive into the region’s many hidden treasures, we've compiled a list of the best road trip destinations for you to take this spring.
Perth Day Trips
Just a short drive from Perth, the Avon Valley region is the gateway to the Wheatbelt, full of charming historical towns and knowledgeable local residents. Split in two by the Avon River, the town of Northam is a fantastic place to begin exploring some of Western Australia’s regional past. You will learn about the town’s fascinating role as a training camp during World War II, as well as how it became home to thousands of migrants who fled Europe after the war at the Northam Heritage Centre
The state-of-the-art Bilya Koort Boodja Aboriginal cultural centre is another great place where visitors of all ages are invited to sit and learn about the Stolen Generations and stories from the Dreamtime. Take a picnic with you and sit outside by the river’s banks or wander down to the longest suspension bridge in Australia where you might even see Northam’s famous white swans which were introduced by the British in 1896. Not to be missed if you’re looking for a delicious breakfast, brunch, or lunch, the Coca-Cola Café and Museum in Toodyay is a vintage 1950s-style diner filled with interesting Coca-Cola memorabilia collected from all across the world for over 50 years. Or if you’re not too squeamish, drive down to Beverley to explore the Dead Finish Museum. This museum is housed in what was once a hotel, bar and morgue, all in one!
Spring is also canola season in the Wheatbelt. From August the whole region surrounding York turns golden with canola flowers. Spend the day exploring York’s historical main street and its many attractions. From the York Motor Museum the York Society Research and Archival Centre, Sandalwood Letterpress Museum, as well as a spring arts festival, there is something to suit all interests.
The Wheatbelt region also offers many wonderful opportunities for overnight stays, perfect for either a romantic weekend or a short stay with family and friends. Tick off those places that you've always wanted to visit, like the famous Wave Rock in Hyden. Although a small town, Hyden boasts many interesting attractions such as the Lace Place museum, the biggest single collection of vintage lace in the southern hemisphere with rare treasures such as pieces from Queen Victoria's wedding gown and Princess Diana's veil.
Surprising as it may seem, the Wheatbelt also hosts a vibrant arts scene. The Arts Narrogin group hosts up to six rotating art exhibitions annually at the Narrogin Exhibition Space (NEXIS), from famous Australian impressionists to modern Aboriginal artists and live performances, all hosted in the heritage-listed Town Hall. The Arts Narrogin team also coordinates live entertainment such as the Narrogin Hay Bales Concert which attracts visitors from across the state for a fun-filled night out.
Springtime in the Wheatbelt also means unmissable wildflowers. North of Perth, Dalwallinu serves as the gateway to the Wildflower Way, with a vibrant display of blooms each year. The Dalwallinu Discovery Centre is your go-to source for local insights on where to find the best and rarest flowers. Not only can you learn more about the region's distinctive flora, including the captivating 'wreath flowers' (Lechenaultia macrantha), but also explore the area's agricultural heritage and conservation efforts of the vulnerable Malleefowl population.
For those with more time on their hands and wanting to delve deeper into the wonders of the Wheatbelt, why not set aside a couple of days to explore the region? The central Wheatbelt is full of amazing natural and historical sites like the Goomalling School Museum just outside of Northam. This treasure trove of quirky relics from the 1950s through '70s is listed on the Australasian School Museums register and still features a vintage school bus outside the headmaster’s house. The old Kellerberrin Museum also has a fascinating history, acting as a school, courthouse and Road Board office from 1897 up until 1972. Head out on the Kellerberrin Heritage Trail which features an old flour mill, war memorial, Preventorium, church, post office and stunning lookout.
There is also plenty to explore for railfans at the Minnivale Rail and Heritage Centre, where you will find many unique rail carriages and memorabilia, from a ‘bogie van’, an original diesel locomotive, and even a Kalamazoo hand-pumped cart. In Wyalkatchem, the Agriculture Museum features a number of restored vintage engines, military vehicles and tractors, including the pride of the Museum, a fully restored Waterloo Boy tractor. Make sure to stop by the Nungarin Heritage Machinery and Army Museum as well. Once a depot for Australian army personnel and machinery, it still features some impressive heavy machinery like a Stuart Tank from World War II.
While out near Nungarin, be sure to stop by the Mangowine Homestead for a true glimpse into the harsh lives of early outback pioneers, and explore the nearby Elachbutting Rock, an incredible formation covered with ancient Aboriginal rock art and hidden caves. The Cunderdin Pump Station and Museum is a fantastic place to stop on your way back to Perth. Featuring one of the massive heritage pumps which once moved an astounding 3 million gallons of water per day from Mundaring to Kalgoorlie, the vast two-acre museum also includes a rumble room which simulates the shaking of the 1968 Meckering earthquake which shook the region.
Alternatively, why not embark on an adventure through the Southern Wheatbelt? Stop in at Wagin for a chance to look around the Shire of Wagin’s Library and Art Collection and explore the wonderful Wagin Historical Village. In Dumbleyung you can learn about the area’s cultural and historical significance at the Wuddi Aboriginal Cultural Centre and join a cultural tours to nearby sites. Dumbleyung is best known for being the site where the world water speed record was set in 1964. You can still see a replica of the unique craft used by Donald Campbell to break the record at the Bluebird Discovery Centre in town.
One of the best attractions of the southern Wheatbelt are the many rainbow-coloured salt lakes, such as Lake Grace which can have a pink or green hue depending on the time of year! Nearby, the Lake Grace Mission Hospital is one of only three inland mission hospitals left in Australia, still containing many of the hospital beds and medical equipment from the early 1900s. Finish your journey at the Albert Facey Homestead, just outside Wickepin, and trace the humble beginnings of celebrated Australian author Albert Facey who wrote the influential autobiography A Fortunate Life in 1981.
Start exploring the wonderful Wheatbelt today using the WAnderland Itinerary Builder.