Discover the scenic beauty of the Avon Valley, and the roads that lead you there, on a drive trail to and around the region.
Explore Avon Valley Drive Trail
This self drive itinerary will take you to all the major townships in the Avon Valley region. From Perth travel north east via The Great Northern Highway and Toodyay Road to the quaint country town of Toodyay, making your first stop the Toodyay Visitor Centre for maps and local tips. Stop for morning tea before visiting the Old Gaol Museum and Connor's Mill.
Head north east out of town towards Goomalling, a delightful rural settlement enveloped by endless open countryside, admiring the magnificent scenery along the way where you'll pass olive groves, lavender fields, country gardens and vineyards. When you arrive in Goomalling visit the School House Museum, Slater Homestead and Old Railway Station and stroll along the Heritage Town Walk.
Northam is your next stop, the home of the famous white swans and the largest inland town in Western Australia. History enthusiasts will appreciate Northam's rich collection of historic buildings. Australia's longest suspension bridge which crosses the Avon River is a great spot to stop for a picnic lunch or find a nice cafe. After some exploring and a rest, continue to York. Dating back to 1831, the township of York has museums to be discovered, galleries to wander and plenty more for the whole family.
Travel south from York towards Beverley marked by fine examples of colonial architecture and steeped in tales of pioneering history. Your final destination is Brookton about a 40 minute drive south of Beverley. Here you can visit The Police Station Museum and Railway Station which houses a find display of local crafts. Wildflowers abound here in spring and there are some lovely cafes to stop for afternoon tea. Head back to Perth along the Brookton Highway.
Toodyay Lovers Lane Scenic Drive
The Lovers Lane Scenic Drive is an alternative route to/from Toodyay offering scenic views of the Avon River. The Lovers Lane Scenic Drive is a 17 kilometre drive from Toodyay Road down Lovers Lane and River Roads to Julimar Road and can be undertaken in either direction. The drive offers a scenic drive through farmland and natural bush, with much of the route following the Avon River.
A small detour down Cobbler Pool Road will bring you to a scenic spot with a view of Posselt's Ford, one of the viewing locations for the Avon Descent. Sections of the road are unsealed but the majority is bitumen. In winter there may be water over the road near the intersection of Lovers Lane and Morangup Road. Find out more about this trail and brochure on more Toodyay drive trails can be found at the Toodyay Visitor Centre.
Botanical Journeys, Toodyay to New Norcia
Trace the footsteps of James Drummond and Charles Gardner from Toodyay to New Norcia. This path travels the back roads of Toodyay and Victoria Plains, past farmland and natural bush. Most of Old Plains Road is unsealed so caution is advised.
James Drummond traveled as far north as the Murchison River, inland to Kellerberrin and as far south-east as West Mt Barren (near Bremer Bay). He collected nearly 50,000 specimens and today there are 119 WA plant species named after him. James Drummond moved to the Toodyay district in 1838 and established a residence at Hawthornden. In 1842 Drummond blazed a trail in a northerly direction from his home. The winding trail became known as Drummond's Track and was used by shepherds. In 1846 a Benedictine party trudged along it to found the mission at New Norcia.
Charles Gardner was a passionate collector of plant species and over a period of 50 years traveled throughout WA. Gardner set himself the task of re-collecting all of Drummond's specimens. One plant Gardner was very keen to rediscover was the Grevillea candolleana from the Toodyay district In 1947 Gardner set out from New Norcia with forester Dick Perry along Drummond's old route between New Norcia and Toodyay.
Just after turning on to the old track, a patch of the grevillea was spotted in full bloom. This patch was probably the precise location where Drummond had made his collection a century before. The pair picked a sprig and placed it on Drummond’s grave as they journeyed south past Hawthornden. Drummond Reserve has over 400 species of native plants within its boundaries, including two rare and seven priority species as well as quiet bushland of grass tree, sheoak, wandoo and wildflowers.
Rica Erickson was an active member of the Bolgart Country Women's Association. In 1964 the CWA successfully petitioned the Victoria Plains Shire for the protection of 124 hectares along what had been Drummond’s old track. In 1996 this reserve was named the Rica Erickson Nature Reserve. The reserve is an open woodland growing over low heath. Spider Orchids are particularly good in spring. Find out more about this trail.
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