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Day 40 Queensland to Western Australia

Perth - Guildford - Toodyay

It was time to move on from Perth and drive 13kms to the historic town of Guildford in the Swan Valley.


Guildford is only one of three towns established during the founding of the Swan River Colony in 1829 when Western Australia was settled.
It was planned to be like an English country town. In 1851 it became a convict ticket-of-leave hiring depot, then in 1857, steamboats travelled the Swan River to the port of Guildford, this resulted in Guildford becoming a thriving market town. The railway arrived in the 1880s resulting in a decline in river transport.

Guildford was declared a Historic Town in 1984.


My first stop was at the Swan Valley visitor centre where I picked up the free Heritage walking trail maps. If you want to remember all the heritage information you saw on the tour, then you can buy a book which covers the four trails, cost of $20, bought from the centre

The Visitor centre is located in the old Courthouse, built in 1867, adjoining it is the Guildford Historical society museum.

My first stop of the day was at the Guildford Historical Museum that's located next to the Info centre. I walked in, paid my money, then was given a tour of the Museum by one of the volunteers. I thought the Museum collection was quite good as I found some new historical items not found in other museums. I had never seen a multiple iron heating stove used by Tailors, professional laundries and large house-holds. The servants used these in the 1880's. There was much more to see from life in the colonial days of Australia around Guildford. Outdoor implements and quite a good collection of saddles, stirrups and spurs.

Taylor's Cottage

Located on the grounds was the 1860's workman’s cottage that the Taylor family lived in. Mr. Taylor was an ex-convict who married and brought up 13 children in the cottage, although the most children in the cottage at one time was nine. As it was so small, some of the family had to sleep under the verandah.


Hanging under the verandah was the modern day refrigerator, (meat safe)


Outside was the bathroom (bowl and Jug)


The washing machine (tub and scrubbing board)


The Toilet (thunderbox)

Also in the museum is the old Gaol, constructed in four stages in 1841 using convict labour. The small building consisted of two cells, a constable’s room and stocks. In those days it was both the gaol and the courthouse, I guess that cut out the "middleman" - just a short walk and you were put into your cell!
It was a local government resident that requested a gaol be built, the reason - three Hotels caused too much trouble in the town, so a lock-up was needed!

The Old Gaol

At the Guildford Museum

Guildford had many historic homes and other buildings, each with an Information board with photos.

Crossland's House

On my walking tour along Swan Street, I came across the beautiful home 'Crossland's House' which belonged to the wealthy Charles Morton Crossland, a surveyor and land agent in Perth. The home was built in 1896 when the gold rush was on and plenty of money was around. This large brick house was built in Art Nouveau style, complete with cellar and servants quarters and with a turret. Guildford was the fashionable place to live at the time.
The home is surrounded by lawn and garden and has a picket fence along the boundary.

IMG_0527.jpgThe Two Storey HouseIMG_0528.jpg

Further along Swan Street are some cottages and old buildings that have been restored and painted, they look really good! One is known as "the two storey house." It was built in colonial Georgian style around 1870 and is one of the last houses of this type remaining in Guildford.

St. Charles Seminary

Leaving Swan street behind, I followed the 'River Ramble' trail that took me towards the Swan River and past 'Garden Hill,' which in 1941 was purchased by the Catholic Archbishop of Perth for use as a seminary.
Already on Garden Hill, was the large bungalow style house with 13 large rooms including a detached servants wing with a combined ballroom and billiard room, stables which are now used as a garage, a boathouse on the river, tennis courts, playing areas, orchard and vineyard. Since 1942 more than 400 men have passed through St. Charles seminary. Over 160 became ordained priests and 5 Archbishops or Bishops.

The oldest Hotel in Western Australia and 3rd oldest licensed Hotel in Australia, is the Rose & Crown at Guildford

The Rose & Crown

The Hotel dates to 1841, when it was built in Georgian style as a licensed Inn.
In the early days, there was a tunnel from the main cellar to the nearby Swan River. This is quite a distance to dig a tunnel and I wondered why. Was there a worry of being robbed whilst moving goods to the Hotel - was that the reason for the tunnel? By using a tunnel, the stores could be safely moved from River barges into the building.

Old Guildford Post office

The old Guildford Post Office is a very nicely painted Victorian Italianate building that was built in 1897, not only for the mail, but for the Post-master and his family to live. It's one of the most prominent landmarks in town.

Main street of Guildford

I had done a lot of walking and was surprised to find it was lunch time already. The main street still hadn't been explored, so I walked to the furthest end and made my way back, stopping at a Café to buy some lunch which I then took across the railway line and into Stirling Park where my husband was waiting.

Stirling Park is quite large. It not only is parkland, but also where War Memorials are and St. Matthew's church.


The Memorial gates were made and dedicated to the memory of gunners and cavalrymen who trained at Guildford Camp during WW I.
In 1921, Guildford received a war trophy - A howitzer gun captured at Hamel, France, unfortunately that one was melted down for the war effort in 1944. In 1960, two 25 pounder Howitzers took the place of the old.


Every year since 1929, "Gunners Day" has remembered these Soldiers. On the day, there is a parade which marches to St Matthew`s Church where a memorial service is conducted. Inside St. Mathew's Church is a "Battery Banner," a silk ensign the gunners took with them in 1915. The flag was flown where the Aussies were stationed in Egypt, Gallipoli and France, before returning to St. Matthew's Church, Guildford for safe keeping.
The Church I saw, was not the first, nor the second St Matthew’s Church from 1860, but the third from 1873.

St. Matthews Church

Beside St. Matthews was the Church Hall and the Remembrance garden, planted with roses in specially chosen colours. "White Roses for purity, pink for remembrance, yellow for the physical absence of loved ones, peach for reflection, and red for love and the essence of the Holy Spirit."

Guildford was an interesting historic town!

It was back in the car for a drive through the Swan Valley and to Whiteman Conservation Park that had tourist and historic attractions. We found a re-created Village with shops that sold crafts, pottery, lollies, art and more, only as it was a week day most of them were shut.


The old vintage Tram was running, this provides a service from Mussel Pool and back to village every half hour.

Log Whim

A Whim is a cart designed to move logs and is pulled by bullocks or horses.


I thought the picnic areas were lovely and could imagine this place being very full on the weekends.

Well, we didn't come here for picnic, just for a look, so we drove back onto Route 50 for the drive to Toodyay where we would stop for the night.

Noble Falls Picnic area

On our way to Toodyay we saw the notice to Noble falls. These happened to be very close to the road and located on pretty Wooroloo Brook which ran alongside the car park. Just a little further along were the falls themselves, not high ones but very attractive as the water flows over a series of ledges.

Noble Falls

The falls are located 4kms past Gidgegannup, when coming from Perth/ Guildford direction.

Looking towards Noble Falls

We had nearly reached Toodyay when we saw the sign to Toodyay Holiday Park and Chalets. As we hadn't booked accommodation, it was decided to go for a look. First impressions weren't the best.

Set in a bush setting, all we could see were old vans and cabins belonging to permanent residents in the park. We went in and found the permanent residents were kept in one area, and for travellers like us, we had a large open area across the creek all to ourselves.

Toodyay Holiday Park and Chalets

This was wonderful! Plenty of powered and unpowered sites and we could choose for ourselves. Many were drive- through, just what we wanted! A level site, plenty of shade trees, our own fireplace, we couldn't ask for more!
Once we had settled in, I went and checked out the large dam with ducks, then the children's playground and bbqs. All was good!
Later I used the Amenities block which had good size showers and plenty of hot water. The laundry had washers and dryers and the wash was $4.
If you haven't your own car, the park offers transfers to and from the train station by arrangement.


A resident Emu and Peacock, plus many different Parrots flying into the campsites put smiles on many faces! Really great if your from overseas, as the birds are not frightened of humans!

We had a very quiet night and were sad we couldn't stay longer in this park.

Posted by balhannahrise 01:15 Archived in Australia Tagged waterfalls birds architecture park hiking australia museum western historic wildflowers caravan Comments (4)

Day 41 Queensland to Western Australia

Toodyay - Goomalling - Dowerin - Wyalkatchem - Koorda

We were awoken from a good night's sleep by many Cockatoos!

Wake up!

Toodyay is approx. 85 kms east of Perth in the picturesque Avon Valley. The whole town is classified by the National Trust as it has fine examples of 19th century architecture and a 100 or more heritage listed buildings reflecting the convict era.


The Avon River flows through Toodyay and the Avon Valley National Park and numerous Reserves are close by.


The original village of Toodyay was one of the earliest inland towns in Western Australia.

The Ballardong Noongar aboriginals lived for thousands of years in the Avon River valley before the first Europeans arrived in 1830 and in 1836 set about building the village of Toodyay. They didn't choose a good spot as floods often saw the village under water, so it was abandoned in the 1850s and a new town-site was established on higher ground upstream.
In 1860, the new town was proclaimed and named "Newcastle" and the original settlement was referred to as "Old Toodyay". As there is a Newcastle in New South Wales, the name was changed to Toodyay and has stayed that name ever since!

In the mid 1800's, Toodyay became well known because of notorious convict bushranger named Moondyne Joe. Many times he was put in gaol, only to escape and head for freedom in the wooded countryside around Toodyay. He was known for his clothes, a kangaroo-skin cape and possum-skin slippers and for his ability to escape.

Main road (Stirling Street - Toodyay)

Back on the main road, (Stirling street,) is where heritage listed buildings stand and look just like they did in the 1800's. Wonderful old buildings with interesting architecture, many with old fashioned sign- writing and the date of when they were built.


Painted and looking good, nearly all were in use today, even though it may be a different business to when they were first built.



My husband dropped me off one end of Toodyay's main street, then I would meet at the other end. I already had acquired the "Toodyay Living History Walking Trail" map from the Tourist Information centre situated beside Connor's Cottage, named after Daniel Conner the original owner/operator of Connor's Flour Mill.

Even if I didn't have this map, I found each location had a good information board about the building I was viewing - Very handy!

Connor's Mill


The original grind mill on the lawn outside.

Situated on the corner of Piesse street and Stirling street is Connor's Mill.
Wheat grown in the area was milled by the farmers using horse power.
Daniel Connor realized a steam-powered Mill was needed, one that ground the wheat finer, so he had the triple storey brick Mill built in 1870. A slide from the first floor doorway was built to wagon height so bags of flour would slide onto the wagons waiting below.

The flour produced was of very high quality, even winning an award in 1870 at an exhibition in Melbourne.
In 1917, the Mill was sold and turned into a power station for the town.
The Mill can be visited and the working historic machinery seen, also interpretive displays on the life of the Mill.

At Toodyay is the Coca Cola Café & Memorabillia Museum. This very popular Café attracts lots of people who like the atmosphere of dining in a 1950's retro style café, complete with checked tablecloths in red & white and waitresses dressed like Betty Boop.
I came to see the wonderful 40 year old Coca Cola collection that brought back many memories for me, some just disappear never to be seen again.

Coca Cola Café & Memorabillia Museum

On display are too many objects for me to remember and mention, but some I saw were Coca-Cola signs, the many different Coke bottles, bottle openers, can collections, toys, clocks, Christmas decorations, Juke box and much more!
I was allowed to wander around and take as many photos as I wanted.

I saw many historic buildings on my walk, old historic signs still on the buildings and some unusual names.

Butterfly House

One of them was Monger's Cottage a heritage listed Victorian Georgian house built in 1860 by John Monger. He lived in the house and operated a store opposite the cottage that later was converted to become the Western Australian Bank, the first Bank in Toodyay. New owners who aquired the residence, were a Mr. & Mrs. Butterly (née Monger), hence the name was changed to Butterfly House!


My next stop was at the rather plain looking heritage listed St Stephen's Anglican Church. £25 was given to the Reverend Charles Harper who employed a former convict turned local builder to build the Victorian Gothic style church.

Freemason's Hotel

I think my favorite building in Toodyay was the heritage listed Freemason's Hotel that was constructed in 1861, making it the oldest public house in Toodyay. It is a beautiful two storey building with full length verandahs and arches over the doors and windows.

Victoria Hotel & Billiard Saloon.

There wasn't any shortage of Hotels here and most of them were enormous. Another with some history attached was the Victoria Hotel.
In the 1890s, the Hotel had a purpose built billiard saloon, one of the few remaining in Western Australia.

A few points of interest I read about the hotel were:
The Hotel manufactured its own cordials and aerated waters on the premises.
January 1894 - ice cream was introduced at the hotel.
1903 - The only Hotel with ice!


The Inter-war Classical-Art Deco style Toodyay Garage built in 1926 was one of the newer buildings in town. It must have been long awaited, as in 1927, a crowd "of a hundred or so residents" were at the opening of the Garage. When the business floundered, it was sold to Ken Somers, a man ahead of his time, as he offered a daily Taxi service to and from Perth, a distance of 87kms on roads not like today, cars could be hired with or without drivers. Somers really made a go of the garage until in 1939, when he suffered serious burns from a fire at the garage and died aged 44 years.


As usual when walking the main street of a country town, I found quite a few interesting stores. One was Christmas 360, a Christmas shop like I had seen in Europe but not in Australia! I never expected to see a large one like this in a country town in Australia!
This shop sells everything to do with Christmas, lots is different to what major department stores stock.
Evidently the owners had travelled overseas and seen the Christmas shops over there. Back they came full of ideas and now have created their own Christmas shop.

I loved the window display of animated Mr & Mrs. Santa Claus and their Elves busy making Christmas gifts in the shop window.
Children of all ages enjoy this store!

49FB919CC4E22980D8A6DE0AAFE1023E.jpg IMG_0766.jpg

Some other buildings of interest along Stirling Street were:

Ellery's Arcade

Ellery's Arcade, a row of shops constructed between 1882 to 1891 by Jane Donegan. First, three were built, then another three were added.

Jager's Store

Jager's Store was built in 1939 in Victorian Classical style with Federation Filigree additions, and blends in well with the rest of the buildings.


The Wendouree Tearooms were built in 1860, The building is a little different as its prominent parapet is slightly Egyptian in style with an art deco influence. The shop has always operated as tearooms since around 1870.


The Toodyay Fire Station is no longer! They have a new fire station, so this Inter-war Classical-Art Deco building from 1939, is now an Art Gallery located 105-107 Stirling street.

Just off Stirling Street is where I found Courtyard Antiques.

Courtyard Antiques

The building was historic and very small, absolutely over filled with collectables, arts and crafts, antiques and more. The owner is Roz, a lovely lady I spent some time talking to. She filled me in on the history of her shop and about Toodyay, then I slowly browsed her collectables. I loved her shop! There was stuff everywhere, thank-goodness she had taken quite a few goods outside otherwise I wouldn't have been able to move!

Courtyard Antiques and Roz's Cat

Finally, it was back in the car to visit the Old Gaol Museum Complex.

I especially like reading and learning about Australian Bushranger, Joseph Bolitho Johns, Western Australia’s best known bushranger but one I hadn't heard of!
He was well known in this area. He stole horses and was put in this gaol, then managed to escape from his cell by breaking the lock and scaling the wall which was topped with broken glass bottles to deter escapees. I had to smile when I read this - He stole the Resident Magistrate’s horse, saddle and bridle for his getaway!,

The old Gaol Museum Complex

This sturdy built Newcastle Gaol (old town name) was not the first gaol. This one was built using materials from the original lockup and used convict labour. When completed in 1865, there were warder’s quarters, a courtroom, exercise yard, kitchen and storeroom, and nine cells. The largest of these cells was used for the Aboriginal prisoners, and was fitted with an iron bar along the bottom of the wall.
The Gaol closed in 1904 and then was rented as a dwelling. The Dorizzi family family lived here. I don't know how many children they had, but they did have three boys who used the cells as their bedrooms. The three of them joined the Australian army to fight in WW II, sadly this war claimed the three brothers lives. It must have been a terribly hard time for the parents, too hard for me to imagine coping with such a dreadful loss.
One cell is now dedicated to them and to all local servicemen and women who did not return home.

The Old Gaol Museum complex

Across the road were the stables from 1891 which remained in use until 1955. They are part of the Old Gaol Museum complex which has permanent and temporary displays

In the same area was the old Toodyay Court House built in Federation Free Classical style.
This Court House, was built over the ruins of a former convict depot.
Interestingly, extensive archaeological remains of this former convict depot, were found buried underneath by Western Australian University students.

Toodyay Courthouse


As thousands of convicts came to this area from 1850 to 1868, Convict depots were set up as administrative centres for hiring ticket-of-leave men to local landowners and providing accommodation when the men were between jobs. Hundreds of ticket-of-leave men, and later probationary convicts, passed through the Toodyay Convict Depot.

This is what University of Western Australia students found..........
"They excavated six trenches in 2010, revealing intact foundations of the barracks, hospital, kitchen, warders’ quarters, commissariat store and privy as well as objects used by the convicts and guards. Future excavations may reveal more information about how the convicts lived and were treated, as well as the lives of their overseers.”

Toodyay Bakery

Before moving onto our next town we had lunch at the famous Toodyay Bakery which has won many awards
Best Gourmet pie - Best Pastie - Best Sausage Roll and a silver medal for Australia's GREATEST PASTIE. These awards were made by the Baking Association of Australia.


That sold us! Inside, the shelves were covered with a huge array of cakes, fresh Rolls, Bread and Buns.
Hot pies, pasties, sausage rolls and soup and a range of hot drinks are available. We settled for coffee and cake (was hard to make up my mind) but I settled for Carrot Cake - Yummy!

Prices were cheap, service was good, so was the food and coffee. We sat at an outside table, but there is seating upstairs on the balcony.

I'd have to say Toodyay was a favourite town of mine, as it is with many Perth residents.


Back on the road again, we are following the 'North Eastern Wheatbelt Drive Trail' known as the 'Wheatbelt Way.'

This was a well laid out route to follow, a big plus was the free booklet along with CD describing the history of the area and information on each town as we went along.

What was totally unexpected was the way these small towns had thought of ways to make the tourist stop at their town, either to stay the night, have a meal or look around at what they had created. It seemed to be working well!

Now join me as we travel the 'Wheatbelt Way,' a trip of 800 kilometres with 24 interpretive sites and many interesting towns along the way.

Our next town was Goomalling (1903), known as the 'Gateway to the Central Wheatbelt.'
Looking around here, I found Possums featured in the public art displays, this is because Goomalling is an Aboriginal Nyoongar word meaning 'place of possums,' but don't expect to see any these days!

Goomalling Mural

We were on the look-out for the iconic grain storage domes known as the ‘Dolly Twins,’ not hard to find as they stand out from miles away.
On reading the interpretive sign, I found they were established in 1994 at a cost of approx. 6 million $'s and are the first of their type in the southern hemisphere.

The Dolly Twins

Goomalling has many old buildings still standing, but as with all these small country towns, the Bank is one of the most sturdy and best looking building in town.

Goomalling Bank

There was a range of public art on display around town, including sculptures, mosaics and murals, some made from old pieces of farm implements into people and animals. It always amazes me how somebody can create a unique piece out of rubbish!



The Wheatbelt Wander Wall which depicts the local history of the town and area was in Railway Terrace. It was created in 2004 by students from Goomalling schools and surrounds, and is made from machinery parts, mosaics, a pipeline and ceramic tiles.

Wheatbelt Wander Wall

Another point of interest I found very interesting, was the Goomalling rare Flora garden. As a keen gardener, this garden helped me name some of the wildflowers I had seen on my journey.

Sandpaper Wattle

Back in the car, we are heading to another small wheatbelt town named 'Dowerin,' home of Rusty the Tin Dog.'

Rusty the Tin Dog - Rusty, a very big tin dog stands guarding the entrance to Dowerin.

In 2004 , the children from the Dowerin District High School decided on the idea of Rusty to get tourists to come to Dowerin and to stop there.
It seems to be working! We, along with many others, parked in the carpark next to the Information Gazebo which was surrounded by a number of Chinese warrior statues, old farming equipment and shrubs.

On the same side was the Tin Dog Reserve where I went for a walk along the Tin Dog Creek Walking Trail where many species of orchids including Donkey, Bunny, Blue and Pink Fairies, Clown, Leek and Spider orchids are found during winter and spring.
It was in this Reserve where the smooth grey barked Mallee with beautiful red flowering blooms is found. Its common name is Dowerin Rose or Pear-fruited Mallee.


Signs along the track tell interesting Aboriginal stories.

Dowerin Bank

We leave Dowerin behind and now travel the 30kms to our next town which is Wyalkatchem, but along the way we have to make a stop as I have noticed some pretty Grevilleas in flower on the roadside and have to take a photo.



Not long after, we arrive at the town of Wyalkatchem which has a historic grain elevator at its entrance


Around Wyalkatchem are murals depicting historical events


And beautiful flowering Gum trees.



First School at Koorda
Around 50kms away is the town of Koorda where we have decided to spend the night at a free camp in a Reserve. Koorda had some old buildings and another huge country Hotel, plus a few nice wildflowers.

The emblem of the shire is the 'Corn Dolly,' an old craft of making an ornament/decoration from a piece of corn, barley or wheat. Koorda likes to be known as the 'Corn Dolly' capital of the world.

Out of town we found our road to the reserve and the free camp which looked to be in an old quarry, quite good as it gave us protection from the wind. I went looking for wildflowers then settled in for the night. We were all alone with the brilliant stars shining above and just and odd light showing in a farm house. Peace and quiet, only Kangaroos and other animals and birds came during the night to check us out.

Koorda Hotel

This was another interesting day of our Western Australia road trip.

Tomorrow we will follow more of the Wheatbelt Way

Posted by balhannahrise 21:57 Archived in Australia Tagged museums architecture landscape australia western historic toodyay wheatbelt Comments (0)

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