The Wheatbelt - Goomalling, Northam, and York
Undulating farmlands between Goomalling and Northam.
We travelled through Piawanning which is yet another locality with nothing more than the grain receivals bin. Turning south we went to Calingiri, the headquarters of the Shire of Victoria Plains and in an area of principally wheat farming.
Deviating from the southbound Bindi Bindi Toodyay road, we took the road to Goomalling. Localities within the Goomalling shire include Jennacubbine and Konnongorring which each now have little remaining than the grain receivals bins and a community hall. See also our visit to Goomalling in 2012.
The council owned caravan park at Goomalling is recommended as a good one.
Around a kilometre south of Goomalling, a small plaque on a rock marks the site of an early hospital. Sunlight Hospital predates 1910, with a new hospital being constructed in town in 1911.
Prior to this time medical attention was sought from Northam or from the “Sunlight Hospital” in a mud brick building, formerly the farm house of James Forward and Horace Lockyer, located a short distance south of Goomalling on the Northam Road. Mrs Sunter, general nurse and midwife, operated the concern until January 1911, when the Goomalling Private Hospital was erected and opened.
Extract from the book
Extract from the book
From Goomalling we went to Northam, a large town on the Avon River which was founded in 1833. There are many of heritage buildings
in the town and in the localities within the Northam Shire area.
The white water raft and power boat race The
Avon Descent is held each August commencing at Northam and concluding at the Garratt Road Bridge, Bayswater, in the Perth Metropolitan
area. After the Wooroloo Brook merges with the Avon River within Walyunga National Park, it becomes the Swan River.
The white water raft and power boat race The Avon Descent is held each August commencing at Northam and concluding at the Garratt Road Bridge, Bayswater, in the Perth Metropolitan area. After the Wooroloo Brook merges with the Avon River within Walyunga National Park, it becomes the Swan River.
We then followed the Spencers Brook Road to York as a different route instead of the regular Northam – York Road. Following alongside the river from Northam, we crossed the Avon River to join the Spencers Brook Road which then follows the river all the way to York. A good road and a pleasant drive.
York, classified by the National Trust as York Historic Town, has been maintained to reflect the beauty of its past.
Not pictured here, being on the opposite side of the street, you can also visit the York Motor Museum.
Established in December 1979, the York Motor Museum is now recognised as one of the finest private collections of Veteran, Vintage, Classic and Racing Cars in Australia. The story of the Museum begins in the 1970s when Peter Briggs and James Harwood sought a site for a motor museum. Both Peter and James had a history of involvement with motor vehicles, and enjoyed a passion for classic cars.
Housing the Peter Briggs collection of approximately 150 vehicles, the museum presents the evolution of motor transport with prime examples of the finest quality and workmanship from each era.
This museum will soon be For Sale
Not far from the main street, in Henrietta Street, visit also the imposing Flour Mill building. Built in 1892 as a roller flour
mill, this building now houses a café restaurant, arts and crafts gallery, shops, and weekend markets are held under cover in the
grounds. The impressive historic building was For Sale at the time of our visit.
Learnt more about York’s history at the Residency Museum. Built during the 1850's as the Depot Superintendant's Quarters, this historic house is now the last remaining part of what was York's Convict Depot. The Residency was at one stage used as part of the old hospital. Adjacent, the Old Hospital is a gracious brick and shingle building which was opened in 1896, and is now run as a hostel.
Valley is the state’s most popular areas for skydiving and hot air ballooning. A number of companies operate around Northam
and York. With so much to see and do, you can spend a few days at York. There are lots of accommodation options,
a caravan park, and the 24 hour free sites at Avon Park.
The Avon Valley is the state’s most popular areas for skydiving and hot air ballooning. A number of companies operate around Northam and York.
With so much to see and do, you can spend a few days at York. There are lots of accommodation options, a caravan park, and the 24 hour free sites at Avon Park.
Some of the buildings in the centre of the town.
Looking along Avon Terrace in the centre of York, with the Castle Hotel in the distance (below right)
The Castle Hotel c 1853 (at right)
Town Hall built 1911 and restored in keeping with the original style (below).
The Old Gaol and Court House. Built from local stone and opened in 1895 by Sir John Forrest, the Court House has now been restored by the National Trust. Tours are conducted when open for a small fee. The restored Post Office is a similar style of building and can be seen next to the Courthouse.
York Hotel (also known as The York Palace Hotel) was constructed in 1909 but has had renovations and additions (at right).
The Westpac Bank; built for the Western Australia Bank in 1889 (below)
Two heritage cottages on South Street (at right). Eaton's Cottage, now fronting South Street and central to this photo, was built in 1890, during the owwnership of William Eaton. This lovely cottage was saved from demolision in 1970 when purchased and restored by Luke Crespi. Read more about the history of Eaton's Cottage.
Avon River Swing Bridge. The first temporary bridge over the Avon was built by convicts around 1853. The original wire suspension bridge, opened in 1888, was the first suspension bridge of its kind built in Western Australia. It was near where the South Street road bridge is, and was later moved nearer to the present suspension bridge site. The bridge was re-constructed or repaired a number of times due to flood damage over the years. The suspension bridge was completely rebuilt to a modified design in 1988 due to safety concerns (below left).
The Avon River at Avon Park, between the South Street Bridge and the Suspension Bridge. There are remnants of wooden structures and pylons in the river, which may be from earlier bridges, riverbank stabilisation, or swimming baths (above right).
Walk across the suspension bridge from Avon Park to see the Holy Trinity Church which was completed in 1854 and consecrated in 1858. The interior is richly ornamented with glass designed by WA artist Robert Juniper. The original High Altar and Walsingham Shrine feature Juniper's paintings. The church also contains a rare Albert Piesse pipe organ with eight bells (at right).