No one knows exactly what Mingenew means, but it’s famed for its epic spring floral and gigantic grain storage facilities. It could be derived from the Indigenous word ‘minimoo’, meaning place of many waters, which would also explain the profusion of pink, gold, cream and white everlastings that make the perfect picnic blanket.
Hit the Brand Highway north of Perth and you can reach Mingenew and the heart of wildflower country in four and a half hours. In spring, it’s worth taking the slightly longer scenic route following the Everlastings Wildflower Trail.
Visit between July and October and you’ll only need to take a short stroll or drive from town to find the region’s best blooms. Grab your camera and follow the Mingenew Common Wildflower Walk to snap orchids, everlastings and fringed lilies. Head for the summit of Mingenew Hill, a tree covered red rock, monolith and take in breathtaking views of the wildflower filled Irwin Valley. Or make a beeline for Coalseam Conservation Park, where a seemingly never ending carpet of everlastings opens out before you from the lookout and fossils fill the limestone walls of the gorges.
Coalseam Conservation Park was also the first coal deposit to be discovered in the State, taking its history back to the mid-1800s. You can see some of the region’s past brought to life in a collection of colourful murals dotted throughout the town, or by visiting the museum.
Have your photo taken beside ‘Big Ears’, the giant wheat stalk sculpture in Cecil Newton Park. Marvel at the immensity of the Cooperative Bulk Handling (CBH) grain facility – Australia’s largest inland grower-fed receivable facility. Or gaze in awe at the USN Tracking Station, part of the Universal Space Network.
For a taste of local heritage, head for the restored Mingenew Commercial Hotel for counter or a la carte dining and accommodation. Or, for more budget-friendly overnight options, head for the caravan park.