The Shire of Cunderdin is located directly to the east of Northam in the beautiful Avon region of the Wheatbelt. With the towns of both Meckering and Cunderdin as well as surrounding areas, there is so much to see and do, which makes the Shire of Cunderdin a perfect place for a weekend away (which is exactly what we did a few weeks ago!) Our time spent there was way too short, but we still got to see a lot of the wonderful places and attractions the region has to offer…
1. Cunderdin Hill Lookout
The views from the top of the Cunderdin Hill Lookout are endless in all directions, making it the ideal spot for a picnic. If you’re willing to exercise a bit, the walk to the top of the hill would be a pleasant stroll, but there’s a road too, meaning you can drive right to the top. It’s really worth taking few minutes to head up the hill, so that you can really appreciate the natural beauty of the region.
2. Cunderdin Museum
The Cunderdin Museum exceeds all expectations for a museum in a country town. Housed in the old No. 3 Pumping Station (and open on Sundays!) the museum has a huge range of exhibits with informative visual signage and plenty of interactive activities too. It’s would be best to allocate a whole morning or afternoon for a visit, as you can find out about the old No. 3 Pumping station, sit down at desks in an old schoolhouse, pretend to eat dinner in an old dining car, feel what it’s like to be in an earthquake in a moving house, listen to stories from shire residents using an old telephone exchange and go through a tunnel to see the inside of the flue. And that’s only the start! A few dollars will not be wasted in visiting the museum, where you will be greeted by friendly staff and a cute cat…
3. Ettamogah Pub
Even if you don’t have time to stop for a meal or drink, it’s worth popping over at taking a look at the Ettamogah Pub, a replica of the cartoon pub that appeared in the now defunct Australasian Post Magazine. Located in the main street of town, it’s hard to miss and sets the stage for a perfect photo. Inside, the country pub atmosphere is strong, and you can enjoy all that a country pub has to offer!
4. The Big Camera
The Big Camera is a perfect photo opportunity! There’s even a little bench provided where you can place your own camera on timer to take a few happy snaps in front of the big replica camera. Venture inside and you’ll be greeted by a friendly man who is happy to answer any questions and share more information about anything, whether it be be cameras or earthquakes or anything else! Further on, you can reach the Camera Museum. Whilst we didn’t have time to venture inside, it’s a must on our list next time we’re in the area.
5. Salisbury Homestead
To see the real devastation that the 1968 Meckering earthquake caused, be sure to visit Salisbury Homestead, a few kilometres out from Meckering, and former residence of the Snooke family. The homestead was ruined in the horrific earthquake, with walls crumbling just metres from where their baby was sleeping. It’s a worthwhile visit if you want to see how destructive the earthquake really was.
6. Earthquake Gazebo and Memorial Rose Garden
Located near the centre of Meckering, just off the Great Eastern Highway, the Meckering Earthqauke Gazebo and Memorial Rose Garden is a great way to find out about the Meckering Earthquake. A nice gazebo filled with signs can inform you of all the facts, and pieces of bent pipe and railway help illustrate the strength of the earthquake. There’s lots of trees, and BBQ’s, toilets and picnic tables, if you want to stay for lunch or dinner! Across the road, the memorial rose garden is a nice way to remember all the work put in by volunteers and community members after the devastating natural disaster.
Unfortunately, we can’t recommend accommodation, as we were planning to spend the night in the car. As temperatures were likely to drop to 0 degrees though, we are fortunate however that we ran into some friends who happily gave up their living room floor for the night!
For a small country shire, Cunderdin has so much to offer and is a great place to get away! For more information, see the Shire of Cunderdin website.