The cooler climate of the winter months brings with it new opportunities to explore the stunning Wheatbelt region of the Golden Outback. The winter rain turns the rolling countryside into a lush green, with blooming plants, wildflowers, sunshine-yellow canola, and wide-open plains as far as the eye can see. Winter days are perfect for hiking and exploring, while the crisp nights are perfect for rugging up around a camp fire under a blanket of stars. Here are just some of the incredible reasons to pack up the car and head out for a Wheatbelt Weekend adventure this winter.
The Wheatbelt region is the perfect place to pitch a tent and spend a few nights reconnecting with nature. You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to picking a campsite; with a huge number of free camping options scattered throughout the region. Take yourself off the beaten track and you’re likely to score a camping location all to yourself. Not only will you save money, but you’ll also feel totally remote and disconnected from your day-to-day life, making the nights you spend outdoors extra special. Camp spots like Baladjie Rock, Elachbutting Rock and Kokerbin Rock are popular favourites, but the options are almost endless. Watch the sun go down, toast marshmallows over a fire, and reflect on your day spend in the Wheatbelt countryside. If you’ve never seen an outback night sky, get ready for a treat as the sun sets and the constellations of stars (and even the Milky Way if you’re lucky) fill the sky.
If you’re looking to meet fellow travellers and swap stories over the campfire, or if you prefer a few more creature comforts when camping, opt for one of the many caravan parks available in the Wheatbelt. Locations like Wave Rock Caravan Park are perfectly positioned so you can explore the nearby attractions and towns throughout the day and cosy up at night.
If it’s outback luxury that you’re after, consider a farm stay at one of the many options dotted throughout the region. Mary’s Farm Cottages and Ironbark Farm Stay both give you the opportunity to stay on a Wheatbelt farm and see what outback life is all about. If you really want to relax and escape modern life, why not trat yourself to a “haycation” at one of the Wheatbelt’s tiny homes? The perfect romantic escape.
As you explore the Wheatbelt you’ll find endless outback pubs, cafes, and restaurants along the way where you can stop and refuel on your Winter road trip. In the southern Wheatbelt, discover an array of outback wineries that produce some of the countries most delicious wines, like Walker’s Hill Vineyard, where you can taste the delicious wines and book ahead for an al a carte lunch or dinner.
Visit the family owned Cambinata Yabbies in Kukerin to see the unique, freshwater crustaceans with a delicate and sweet flavour, and purchase some delicious yabbies to take back to your accommodation to cook up a storm.
Head to the Ettamogah Pub in Cunderdin for a quirky outback pub experience run by locals, and a hit with locals and tourists alike. As you visit the Wheatbelt towns you’ll discover charming pubs and taverns that sit adjacent to hotels in heritage buildings oozing with character, and the perfect places to escape the crisp winter nights with a drink and a warm meal.
Winter marks the start of wildflower season through the Wheatbelt, and from mid-July to October you can expect to see carpets of everlastings in pink, white, and yellow, as well as hidden orchids that feel like a prize to find. The season depends on a decent rainfall, with some orchids and wattle varieties even visible from April. There are many wildflower road trips that wind their way through the Wheatbelt, like the Granite Loop Wildflower Trail, Wave Rock Wildflower Trail, and the Wheatbelt and Goldfields Wildflower Trail.
Whilst it’s not a wildflower, the landscape turns into a field of yellow as the canola flowers bloom and create a colourful contrast against the lush greenery. As you head down the winding Wheatbelt roads you’ll see the golden yellow appearing in the distance, making for some great photo opportunities. Travellers are reminded to stay off private property and only take photos from the road side.
If you’re wanting to embark on a wildflower road trip to see the Wheatbelt in colour, contact the relevant Visitor Centre to ensure the flowers are blooming and to discover where to find them.
The Wheatbelt region is home to many quirky sights, unusual scenes, and places that will take your breath away. Near the town of Kulin is the Tin Horse Highway, a stretch of road lined with horses made out of machinery, tin barrels, and scrap metals, boasting different themes and quirky poses. They are the perfect excuse to pull over for a selfie or two and are great entertainment for the entire family.
Marvel over multicoloured lakes scattered throughout the region, from fluro yellow salt lakes that change colour throughout the seasons, to a man-made floating salt pond that has the same buoyancy properties as the Dead Sea!
Discover the museums that are home to collections of weird and wonderful items, visit the states most inland outback winery at Walker’s Hill Vineyard, stunning murals painted on huge silos along the Public Silo Trail and the unusual ‘Boot Mile’. Who knows what else you might discover on your journey…
If you wake up nice and early, you’re sure to experience a misty winter morning over the rolling landscape around you. If adventure is what you’re looking for to get your blood pumping and to warm up, head to one of many granite rock formations and take a climb. Crowd favourites like Wave Rock and Elachbutting Rock are great places to explore in winter, as the rain showcases the different colours of the rock, creates small watering holes, and wildflowers spring to life.
A climb to the top of these incredible, ancient formations is well worth the effort, with extremely rewarding views from the top of the surrounding landscapes.
There are plenty of walking trails throughout the towns, so pop into the local Visitor Centre and chat to the friendly locals to learn about the best walking trails and hikes.