There are a few interesting towns in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia. One of the richest and most productive of the wheatbelt areas is the Avon Valley, so named because its central waterway is the Avon River.
“The Avon begins its journey on the eastern side of the Darling Ranges, before winding its way through the hills to become part of the Swan River which flows through Perth.”
The town of Goomalling was first gazetted in 1903, although the area was settled about 50 years before that. The town was established to service the railway, which was needed to transport wheat down to Perth for export. Wheat and sheep are the two most prosperous products grown around the area, and the wheat storage bins, which are nicknamed the `dolly twins’ because of their dome-like shape are still quite prominent.
Goomalling is quite a typical country town, pleasant, yet quiet, but with many places of interest to visit.
One of these is the historic Slater Homestead which was built in 1856 by George Slater, the first European settler in the area. His family were quite entrepreneurial and they profited by catering food and accommodation to the legions of prospectors who were heading to the goldfields in the hope of making their fortune.
You can still stay in the Homestead, which has double and queen bedrooms for rent, to experience something of what life would have been like on a prosperous farm near the turn of the 20th Century.
The town is located between the bigger communities of Northam, Toodyay and Dowerin and it is certainly worth stopping to explore the town. Goomalling has some good cafes and restaurants, Restawhile Park next to the Goomalling Museum is an excellent place for a picnic.
A good time to visit the town is in spring when the wildflowers come into bloom, and the roadsides explode into colour. One of the flowers that flourishes in the area is the Blood Spider Orchid a tiny orchid which does look like its name suggests. Spring is also the time that commercial crops look their best, particularly canola plants which have a bright yellow head and deep green stalk, which look lush and sensational.
The town is 132 kilometres north east of Perth, a journey of about 90 minutes. It is a good stopover point if travelling further north or east, or easy to reach during a day drive.