Wandering is located off the main roads (27km east of the Albany Highway) and retains a quiet laid-back atmosphere.
For such a small town there are quite a number of places to dine nearby. These include Wandering Tavern, Wandering Brook Estate,
Tanglefoot Winery and Cafe and the North Bannister (Halfway House) Roadhouse.
The main sources of income in the area are from cereal crops, pulse crops, oil seed, sheep, cattle, pigs and vineyards.
Located 120 kilometres south of Perth the area was first settled in 1866 by George and John Watts. A townsite was gazetted in 1911 and the name
originates from Wandering Brook. Despite the fact that 'wandering' appears to be an English word, it is thought that it comes (in this case) from the Aboriginal word 'wandooin'
a type of white gum tree that grows in the area. (Another source quotes the meaning as 'place of resting after walkabout.')
The first settler in the area George Stedman Watts is credited with coining the name of the town after meeting and talking with a group of local Aborigines who were resting
under wandoo trees.
In 1874 the Wandering Road Board was established.
Wandering was far enough away from Perth to present problems for the early settlers when it came to getting supplies. The basic needs were flour, tea and sugar. Tea and
sugar would always need to be carted in but flour could be obtained by growing your own wheat. By 1878 a flour mill was built and the supply of flour could be ground locally.
The mill operated until 1913.
In 1944 the Society of the Catholic Apostolates (Pallotines) established the St Francis Xavier Mission for Aboriginal girls. In 1951 boys were also included and the
mission housed children from the ages of 4-15.
The mission was closed in 1979 and like almost all of these 'dormitory' institutions it was responsible for child abuse. Three men, 2 teachers and a priest were later
charged with a series of offences against girls aged between 8 and 15.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Wandering Brook Winery, Hotham Ridge Vineyard and Winery, Dryandra Forest, Pumphreys Bridge
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Road Board building, Church.
State : Wagin
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6308
Local Government : Shire of Wandering
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