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EASTERN WHEATBELT



It had been such a long time since we last got away somewhere. The winter had been very wet and I had been busy modifying a trailer to take camping so there had been no opportunity to take a trip.

The chance finally came in early August as there was a small patch of good weather forecast so we booked a stay on Air BnB and packed the 4x4.

Initially the weather was a little overcast and there was the odd shower but there were at least two sunny days around the corner so we set off of the Eastern Wheatbelt.

Our goal for this short three night trip was to base ourselves in Kondinin and then explore around the town as much as possible and even take a day trip to Wave Rock.

With all the new growth in the bush and fields, the journey out along the Brookton Highway was spectacular. Most of the canola fields were in full bloom and when the sun peaked out from behind the clouds, the horizon became a blazing sea of bright yellow.

The first stop was at the little town of Brookton where we did some filming and stopped for lunch at the 48 hour self-contained RV rest stop at Rotary Park.

The rest stop allows self contained RVs to stop there for 2 nights and is a great way to encourage more visitors to linger a little longer in town and perhaps spend a bit more money with the local businesses.

Trials in other places have shown that these facilities have a marked economic benefit for regional communities.

 

Brookton RV Rest Stop
Brookton RV Rest Stop

 

Due to all the recent rain, the river levels were up and the Avon River was flowing well.

As we were on a time-table, we couldn't stay longer and pushed on east to the town of Corrigin.

Five kilometres west of Corrigin is the Dog Cemetery. If you have ever owned and loved a dog, take a few minutes to stop and wander round the little graves. We found ourselves overcome with emotion and both soon had tears in out eyes but I would not have missed stopping there.

We had only passed through Corrigin once before and on that occasion the museum had been closed. This time it was open (Wednesdays and Sundays) so I took the chance to go and investigate.

There are many excellent local history museums scattered around the state and Corrigin's ranks as one of the best.

If you are heading out that way, I highly recommend that you try and time your trip to coincide with the opening hours and I don't think you will be disappointed.

 

Corrigin Museum
Corrigin Museum

 

Time was getting on and it was then just a 20 kilometre drive to check out the next area of interest, Gorge Rock.

A long time ago, Gorge Rock had been a central recreation area for the local community and an old hall had still been standing in what is now the parking area.

Halls were the social hubs of most farming communities and this one had the added benefit of a nice swimming hole nearby on the rock itself.

Sadly the hall was neglected and finally demolished in 2007.

Today the rest area is a great sport for caravans and motorhomes to stop overnight and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the bush.

Facilities include tables, seats, shelters and even a water tank. Unfortunately, today, swimming is prohibited at the pool on the rock.

 

Gorge Rock
Gorge Rock

 

Finally, late in the afternoon we arried in Knodinin. Our accommodation was at Windy Hill, which I have to say, was neither windy, nor hilly.

Otherwise though it turned out to be an excellent place to base ourselves as it was spacious, clean, attractive and had everything we needed during our stay.

The price was also pretty reasonable so it was a great choice and we highly recommend it to other travellers.

 

Windy Hill
Windy Hill

 

Day two was still a little cloudy and drizzly despite the forecast so we decided to stay closer to town and leave the trip out to Wave Rock for the following day.

Destination number one was Yeerakine Rock. Later when I checked my collection of photographs, I discovered that I had indeed been to the rock in 2016 - yet I had no memory of it at all. I guess that shows how age is catching up with me now.

We had been told that it was a good spot to look for wildflowers but despite walking along the rock trail, there were precious few blooming while we were there.

Near the base of the rock is a parking area with very basic facilities - just tables and seats. Further back was another track that leads to the top of the rock and you can actually drive all the way up in your car.

On top was an ANZAC memorial and a rather ugly water tank. Perhaps painting a mural of some sort on the side would help improve the unsightly thing.

There were great views of the surrounding country from the top and another table with seats so we sat and had lunch before moving on.

 

ANZAC memorial Yeerakine Rock
ANZAC memorial Yeerakine Rock

 

We checked out a couple of op-shops in town and picked up a couple of bargains. Both shops are worth a visit so don't miss them. They are located in the main street and are only a matter of a few feet apart.

After doing a little photography and filming around town we headed out to see how the recent heavy rains had impacted Kondinin Lake.

It was no surprise to find the lake was breaking through its usual constraints and some of the vehicle access around the edge had gone completely under water.

We were told later that the lake often swells during summer rains and that it is unusal to see it that high at the end of winter.

 

Kondinin Lake
Kondinin Lake

 

Our last full day in the area dawned bitingly cold but gloriously sunny. We were very glad we had waited one more day before heading out to Wave Rock.

Entry to the rock is $12 per vehicle (4 people) although with the new automated pay station (coins and credit cards) it doesn't look as though it is policed very strictly.

Anyway, we did the right thing and coughed up the cash and went for a stroll along the rock.

Although the wave is the most famous part of the rock, there is so much more to see. If you walk past the wave and on to the climb up past the reservoir, you will come to areas on top of the rock where shrubs and trees have taken up residence amongst the scattered boulders.

We found some orchids both up on the rock in the vegetated areas and along the base of the rock.

There are some man-made attractions opposite the rock that are worth checking out too if you have the time. Sadly on this trip we didn't have the time to spare but there is always next time...

 

Wave Rock
Wave Rock

 

With all our alloted time gone there was nothing for it but the head back to Windy Hill for a last night before manking the long drive back home the following day.

We hadn't found many wildflowers on the trip as we were probably a little early but it had been a great trip.

 

 

updated August 2021

Go to the last blog installment go to the next blog installment

 

 

places to see on this trip:

Brookton

Corrigin

Kondinin

Wave Rock

 

At Wave Rock
Wave Rock
Dog Cemetery Corrigin

 

 

 

 

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