The rose-filled country town of Williams sits a short drive from one of the world’s flora and fauna hotspots, the Dryandra Woodland. Here, within a huge remnant of original native bush, more than 850 species of wildflowers bloom in their billions and some of the state’s rarest marsupials have found a safe haven.
A two hour drive along Albany Highway, from Perth city to picturesque farmland will bring you to Williams and the northern reaches of the Great Southern region.
It’s long been a favourite rest stop for travellers, offering the ideal opportunity to stretch your legs along the one kilometre heritage walk around the town. Alternatively, take a scenic detour to Quindanning on the heritage drive trail or refresh yourself with a picnic by the river.
This is a town that’s proud to say it was built on the sheep’s back and shares its fascinating ‘Wool Story’ in the Williams Woolshed interactive and interpretive centre. As well as live sheep shearing demonstrations, educational programs and woolly souvenirs, this is also a good spot to sample the region’s wines, fine local produce, art and entertainment.
To see how the place looked before the first sheep were grazed on the land, head north for 25 kilometres and explore the 22,000 hectare native forest known as Dryandra Woodland. Carpeted in a kaleidoscope of wildflowers in spring, it’s also a sanctuary to the state’s endangered emblem, the numbat, as well as the bilby, woylie, red-tailed phascogale, Tammar wallaby and more than 100 bird species, including Carnaby’s cockatoos, bush stone curlews, malleefowl and Rufous tree creepers.
Stay and experience some country hospitality with a night or two at a farm stay, motel or hotel.
Before leaving town, be sure to stop and smell the roses. There are 500 of them along 400 metres of the main street, bringing colour throughout the summer and into the cooler months.