Situated on the Great Eastern Highway between Cunderdin and Northam and 133 kilometres east of Perth, Meckering is now a small hamlet but was a busy Wheatbelt town until hit by a devastating earth quake on October 14th, 1968.
The earthquake registered 6.9 on the Richter scale, destroying 50 homes and many of the town buildings including the impressive two storied town Hotel. Just west of the town on the highway the earthquake fault line is crossed. Interpretation on the impact of the earthquake plus a telescoped piece of the Perth to Kalgoorlie pipeline is on display in park land in the town. You can also see a ruin of a house that has been preserved, 3km north of Meckering.
The name originates from a local Aboriginal language meaning ‘Place of water’ or ‘Moon on water’. The town formerly called Beebering was established in 1887 then renamed Meckering in 1897. Today, Meckering is probably best known for the devastating earthquake in October 1968 with many of the place of interests relating to this event. Meckering is still a vibrant and thriving country community, although with its relatively small population the town is resilient and achieves more than many areas twice its size.
While you are in the area don’t forget to visit the No Pump 3 station museum in Cunderdin which has an earthquake simulation room.
The Big Camera – Museum of Photography
It is impossible to miss this unique building on the Highway. An amazing history of photography is on display including a wonderful collection of earthquake images.
Meckering Earthquake Gazebo and Memorial Rose Garden
Explore the devastation of the 1968 Meckering earthquake firsthand at this impressive display which includes a section of the damaged railway line, a mangled piece of the Golden Pipeline, photographs, statistics and information. Take a stroll across the road to the beautiful memorial rose garden – a tribute to the dedication and hard work of many local volunteers.
Meckering Earthquake Farm Ruins
The Meckering earthquake registered 6.9 on the Richter Scale, crushing many of the town’s buildings and residential properties. ‘Salisbury’ – an old stone homestead built in 1904 – was flattened during the quake and a local family narrowly missed tragedy managing to locate their child amongst the rubble. The ruins give an eerie insight into the scale of the devastation experienced (2km north of Meckering, turn off Meckering to Goomalling Road).
Meckering Earthquake Walk Trail
The Meckering Earthquake Walk Trail takes visitors on a journey through the old town centre with interpretive signage providing descriptions and images of the commercial and public buildings that once stood in the main street of Meckering.
Meckering Earthquake Preserved Fault Line
While only lasting 40 seconds, the Meckering earthquake had a lifetime impact on this small Wheatbelt town. Leaving a scar 32km long and in some parts up to 2m high, the earthquake literally tore open the earth. You can still see 1km of the fault line that’s been preserved for viewing (12km south of Meckering on York-Meckering Road).
For more information about local attractions, visit the Shire of Cunderdin website.