A drive or walk through Wyalkatchem is well worth your while, whether you’re on the trail to uncover rich gold rush and agricultural heritage, or to witness one of the finest collections of wildflowers on Earth.
Originally a favourite stop for prospectors hitting the Goldfield’s track, you can follow in their search for fortune along the Pioneers’ Pathway from Perth. Driving the Great Eastern Highway and Goomalling-Wyalkatchem Road, you’ll reach the town in two and a half hours.
Nature lovers can opt to take the Granite Loop Discovery Trail, a more leisurely three to five day self-drive route taking in the Wheatbelt’s striking granite formations and reserves teeming with flora and fauna.
The town is thought to have been named after the Wyalkatchem water tank which was built by sandalwood cutters in 1881. Today, it’s the original wheat bin that attracts many visitors. Known as the CBH Museum, it houses an impressive collection of early farming equipment and transportation, including the ‘Waterloo Boy’ – one of the first John Deere tractor models and one of the few remaining in Australia.
At the northern end of town, you’ll find the gateway to native bushlands via one of three walking trails. Or, to marvel at the local’s own creations, head for the Water Wise Garden beside one of the many colourful murals that depict town life in the early 1900s.
A little further afield, Korrelocking Reserve and Yorkakine Rock offer some picturesque picnic spots. These are particularly striking after good winter rains when the blooms of wildflowers and delicate orchids bring colour to the bushlands.
The region is a favourite hangout for hang gliding enthusiasts too, who’ve been known to reach dizzying heights of up to 3,500 metres and fly several hundred kilometres in any direction. Visit in January or February and you might get to witness Western Australia’s State Hang Gliding Championships.
Food, fuel and a comfy bed for the night are also on offer in Wyalkatchem, with budget and family friendly accommodation options including a caravan park with en-suite units, hotel rooms, motel units and a bed and breakfast.