Fancy a long weekend away from the City? Love wineries but sick of the business and popularity of some of the better-known wine regions? Then a weekend escape to the Southern Wheatbelt is the perfect antidote! Drive through picturesque farmland to boutique wineries, take superb nature walks and view local nocturnal wildlife and granite outcrops. This self-drive is the perfect escape from the everyday.
Day 1: Perth – Narrogin via Wandering, Pingelly & Wickpein (267 kilometres/3 hours)
Wave the City goodbye and head south down Albany Highway. Get ready to turn off to explore the surprising Wheatbelt wineries around Wandering and Narrogin. Perhaps take a leisurely lunch at Tanglefoot Winery, then cut across to historical Pingelly perhaps with a drive to Boyagin Rock or Tutanning Reserve one of the richest conservation areas in WA (not suitable for vans).
Drive 57 kilometres to Wickepin and explore Albert Facey’s Homestead and wander the Yarling Brook heritage walk then make your way to Harrismith with its wide variety of wildflowers in season. Depart Harrismith and travel 68 kilometres via Taarblin Nature Reserve to Narrogin. Do a quick wine tasting at Downderry Wines before settling in for the night. You can overnight in a local hotel, motel or caravan park but this evening be sure to head out to Barna Mia for a nocturnal tour, bookings a must.
Accommodation options: Motel, outback pubs, B&B’s, caravan park, camping.
Day 2: Narrogin – Wagin (49 kilometres/1/2 hour)
Today explore Narrogin with its heritage streetscapes and pretty gardens, wander Narrogin’s Railway Dam or Gnarojin Park then walk the wildflower trail at Foxes Lair or perhaps take in Lake Toolibin home to the endangered freckled duck.
If you feel energetic climb Yilliminning or Birdwhistle Rock before driving some 50km south to the merino sheep farming centre of Wagin. The Giant Ram welcomes you to town – the biggest in the southern hemisphere. Stay overnight in a local hotel, motel or caravan park.
Accommodation options: Outback pub, caravan park, camping
Day 3: Wagin – Perth via Arthur River and Williams (236 kilometres/2.5 hours)
This morning take in the Wagin Historical Village for an up-close view of the town’s pioneering past then drive the 30km to Arthur River with its unique ‘Rarebits on Burrowes’ shop. In season beautiful wildflowers bloom at Boronia Reserve.
Drive north to Williams with its 1km Heritage Trail walk and The Williams Woolshed, displaying a fine range of woollen garments, local wines and have a coffee at The Shed Café. Explore the history of the wool industry in The Shearer’s Yarn.
Leaving Williams, head towards Perth and take in the Williams Nature Reserve located 10km northwest of the town. Perhaps along the route deviate through Wandering to pick up some extra Wheatbelt wines to take back home, before completing this itinerary back in ‘the city’.