We decided to have a quick (4 night ) trip taking us to Toodyay, Wongan Hills, Moora
and surrounding areas as there was a forecast of good weather until the end of the week.
It was a long haul out of the city via the Freeway and Roe Highway but once we were on the Toodyay Road things became a little more settled traffic wise.
The drive up through the hills wasn't without its stresses though, as the Coaster isn't exactly a speed demon when it comes to winding roads and hilly terrain.
It took around 3 hours to reach Toodyay as we went looking for a campsite and found that the place that had looked promising on Google Earth was on
too much of a slope. We don't need much in the way of a campsite but one thing we do need is flat level ground.
Toodyay is a particularly picturesque town and is a great favourite with day-trippers from Perth. It is far enough away from the city to still
retain a nice country town feel but close enough to benefit economically from a lot of visitors. Toodyay and nearby York, are two of the
most historic and interesting towns in W.A.
Not finding a suitable campsite meant that after spending some time in Toodyay, we had to push on looking for a site and hoping to find something useful.
As it turned out we didn't find anything before reaching Bolgart but fortunately there is a good cheap ($22 pn powered) caravan
park in the little town.
Bolgart is one of the small towns that seem to be suffering at the moment and we saw a lot of 'For Sale' signs on houses around town.
The pub is looking a bit sad and run down but at least there was a sign saying 'Open 2pm'.
The town has a good rest area near the hall but there isn't much else to attract visitors.
We came equipped with a small fan heater after freezing on the last trip and this worked very well, at least until we turned the
It was, we discovered, a VERY cold night, the kind of night that makes your face ache when it is exposed to the air.
As a result we woke a bit late and were not moving until after 9am.
Our goal for the day was Lake Ninan not far from Wongan Hills.
We had no idea what to expect but we were pleasantly surprised to find a lovely rest area by the lake and for a change there were no mosquitoes around
to make life difficult. To make up for the lack of mozzies, there were plenty of flies.
The day was spent relaxing, trying to get photos of the local bird-life (and failing) and catching up with a few cleaning chores that needed doing in the Coaster.
A very late start saw us on the road around 10am. It isn't as easy getting up early when it is so cold.
We stopped in at Wongan Hills to pick up some supplies, take pictures and refuel.
The town is a good size and has useful shopping facilities which is more than can be said for most towns in this area.
Then it was off to Piawanning, Yerecion and Bindi Bindi. You could put all three towns together
and still it wouldn't add up to much.
Piawanning looks like it is pretty much deserted and the old shop has closed down. There is a house or two that also look deserted and a big wheat silo.
I suppose as times get harder in the bush, more and more little towns like this will simply cease to exist.
Yerecoin at least had a small shop and one or two businesses that looked like they were thriving but Bindi Bindi was nothing but a few houses
and a wheat silo.
We were heading in the general direction of Moora and hoping to find a decent campsite for the night.
We found what we were looking for at Round Hill. It wasn't even marked as a location on our map but there is a small (very run down) hall and a large
We have found that these small halls scattered around the bush are a real boon for overnight stays as they all have good flat parking areas and that is
all we need.
No sooner had we set up for the night than there was a lot of loud Baaa-ing going on outside. Looking out we were lucky enough to see a flock of sheep
being moved along the road. Obviously it was time to shift the sheep from one paddock to another. I am always fascinated by the way the sheep-dogs work the
flock and the seemingly effortless teaming of man and dog.
Round Hill - Sheep being moved
Not far west of Round Hill is the Old Geraldton Road. At the junction of Berkshire Valley Road and Old Geraldton Road is the Berkshire Valley
Farm. This place dates from the 1840s and is historically quite significant. Sadly the building complex is no longer used and although it appears to be in
remarkably good condition, we wonder what will become of the old buildings in future years.
As it is private property, you can only see the farm from the road but at one time it was open to the public as a museum. It is a real shame that this is no
longer the case and that something cannot be done to reopen the site.
Berkshire Valley Farm
Our next stop was Moora where we wandered around getting some up to date photographs and re-fuelling.
Moora is probably the biggest town we have visited on this trip and is a useful re-fuelling and re-supply stop off. There are some
interesting historic buildings including some lovely old pubs as well as some attractive parks that are suitable for a picnic or BBQ.
With nothing much left to do we arrived at our overnight stop (Wannamal) by lunch time and settled down for the day. The
weather had turned a bit warm but rain was forecast for the coming week so that meant we would be heading home the following day.
Wannamal is a well known overnight stop with tables, seats, shelters, BBQ and flushing toilets.
There is a historic walk trail at Wannamal but it left us a little disappointed as there are no actual historic buildings to see, just markers where they once stood.
The area is best visited in wildflower season (August-October) but it is a useful overnighter at any time of the year.
It may have been a short trip but from our point of view it was quite productive and we brought back a number of video clips and 600+ photos to sort
through in coming weeks.
The highlight of the trip was Lake Ninan and an area we want to explore more of is Chittering as there seem to be a number of interesting spots in that
area that we are yet to see.
At least this trip was not interrupted by a break-down which could either mean we now have most of the bugs sorted out, or that it was not long enough
for anything to go wrong. Time will tell which one is correct.
Updated June 2016