Not far from Perth you can explore a fascinating part of the State's history. Take an overnight trip to New Norcia to see Australia's only monastic town.
|When to visit||All year round. August - October (wildflower season)|
|Itinerary||Perth - Toodyay - Goomalling - Wongan Hills - New Norcia - Bindoon - Perth
|Tips for travel
||Pack a picnic - there are plenty of places to stop. It's possible to do a return trip in a day depending on how many stops you make, but it's best to stay overnight to prevent fatigue. Stay safe on your road trip.|
|Highlights||Old Gaol Museum - rolling hills - wildflowers in season - Slater Homestead - prayer session with Benedictine Monks - New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery|
Perth to Toodyay (88km)
Your first stop from Perth is less than an hour away at the historic town of Toodyay. Founded in 1836, the town still has many of its original buildings like the Old Courthouse, Connors Mill and Newcastle Gaol. Learn about Moondyne Joe at the Newcastle Gaol Museum and wander the cells and stables for a glimpse into the past. Take a ride on the miniature railway which runs along a 1.1km track.
Toodyay’s main street has a variety of cafes for morning tea, heritage pubs, and gift and antique shops to browse through.
Toodyay to Goomalling (51km)
Once you’ve filled up on morning tea in Toodyay, take the Goomalling-Toodyay Road north-east for about 30 minutes to the farming town of Goomalling. You’ll see rolling hills, olive groves, lavender fields, and vineyards on your way there.
In Goomalling you can visit the restored homestead of first European settler George Slater, which was used during the gold rush in the 1880s. It's open on weekends between April and November.
If you’re visiting during wildflower season from July to September, look out for some local blooms along the Oak Park walk trail.
Goomalling to Wongan Hills (49km)
The Wongan Hills slogan ‘only a picnic away’ rings true – it’s only a two-hour drive from Perth, and even closer from Goomalling. It will only take you about 30 minutes to reach it on this itinerary.
Wongan Hills has more than 1400 species of flowering plants, with 24 of those unique to the Wongan Hills area. It’s best to visit during wildflower season when the surrounding reserves, like Reynoldson Reserve and Elphin Nature Reserve, become colourful gardens.
Otherwise, check out the town’s history at the Railway Precinct, the Barracks, the Station Master’s House and the Wongan Hills Pioneer Museum.
Wongan Hills to New Norcia (65km)
Head west from Wongan Hills to Australia’s only monastic town – New Norcia and it's peaceful community of Benedictine monks.
The town was established in 1847 as a bush mission by two Spanish monks, and more than 170 years later the monastery is still home to Benedictine monks.
You can take a tour of the town's historic buildings, enjoy a meal at the New Norcia Hotel and taste some of the monk's own produce, or even join them in prayer.
Don't miss the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery which boasts one of the biggest collections of moveable religious art in the country with works by European and Australian artists.
You can stay overnight in New Norcia at the Hotel, Guesthouse, or the New Norcia Roadhouse campground.
New Norcia to Perth via Bindoon (131km)
It's just under two hours from New Norcia back to Perth, so you can take your time on the way back. Follow Great Northern Highway south through Bindoon and stop at the famous Bindoon Bakehaus for something to eat.
The Chittering Visitor Centre in Bindoon can provide you with information about local wineries, trails, and attractions to visit on your way through. The Brockman Precinct and Bindoon Museum just south of the township houses memorabilia from the Chittering area's history.
Continue south on Great Northern Highway to pass through Bullsbrook and then the Swan Valley, where you can stock up on wine and produce on your way back to the city.
Share your favourite road trip photos with us on Instagram using @racwa. And if you need music for your travels, download our For the Drive playlist from Spotify so you can just hit play and focus on the drive.
Last updated September 2018
Taking off on your own road trip?
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