Perenjori showcases the masterstrokes of priest-architect Monsignor Hawes at the Catholic church of St Joseph. From August to October, you’ll also find some of Mother Nature’s finest works, from vast carpets of everlastings and intricate orchids, to the famous wreath Leschenaultia flower.
If you’re heading straight from Perth, the Great Northern Highway and Mullewa-Wubin Road will get you there in four hours and 15 minutes, or just 45 minutes if you’re driving from Geraldton. If you’re a history buff or nature lover who’s in no hurry, then hit the Monsignor Hawes Heritage Trail or the Everlastings Trail for a few days of indulgence via Perenjori.
The name Perenjori is derived from the local Indigenous word ‘perangery’, meaning waterhole, but it’s the sea of floral colour that draws visitors to the far east of wildflower country to drink in the scenery after good winter rains. The blooms, bushlands and salt lakes also attract a bounty of birdlife, including the rare red-tailed black cockatoo, splendid fairy wren and a surprising array of water birds.
For those on the trail of Catholic priest Monsignor Hawes, this thriving agricultural and mining town presents one of 15 awe-inspiring architectural works that dot the landscape from Perenjori to Geraldton. The unusual Catholic Church of St Joseph is just as striking inside as it is from the outside, featuring a huge carved stone baldachino (canopy) above the high altar, depicting Christ and the Twelve Apostles.
In addition to Hawes, other local characters who have shaped the town are celebrated in 22 steel cut-outs along the People’s Pathway. You’ll also find some fascinating reminders of Perenjori’s early years at the Pioneer Museum, and the ghostly remains of the region’s first gold mining town following the Rothsay Heritage Trail.
Nearby, you can view the expansive salt plain of Mongers Lake which stretches 185 kilometres north to south. Or pack a picnic and join the locals at their favourite spots – John Forrest Lookout, Camel Soak or Koolanooka Springs Mine.
Rest your driving eyes for a day or two by booking into a local farmstay, hotel/motel or caravan park.