During the planning of our journey, we were going to have an overnight stop in Merredin which is roughly half way between Perth and Kalgoorlie. However we came across some information about a tourist attraction called the Hood-Penn Museum which was located in the town of Westonia. Only a further fifty kilometres from Merredin, we decided to book in to it’s caravan park for a couple of nights.
Heading east along Great Eastern Highway towards Kalgoorlie, Westonia is ten kilometres inland. We turned off the highway and drove through woodlands of salmon gum, morrell and gimlet mixed with granite outcrops. Quite a stunning outlook.
We arrived at the caravan park which was small but absolutely immaculate. It only costs $20 a night for power, water, flushing toilets, hot showers, camp kitchen and a tv to watch. We were met by the lovely caretaker who showed us to our drive through site and gave us a brochure about the town. After setting up, we took a stroll along the very wide main street.
The Shire of Westonia brochure explains: “The Wolfram Street Facades project involves the construction of all new buildings in Westonia’s town’s centre in a 1920’s historic style as well as the restoration and maintenance of all existing historic buildings in the town. The facades of the town’s original bank, cafe, hotel, fire station, boarding house and green grocer store have also been replicated and front new buildings constructed in Westonia.”
The Hood-Penn Museum – Wow!!! This has to be one of the best museums we have ever seen. Again from the brochure – “this is the result of an extremely generous donation of a large historical collection from the Hood-Penn family who previously owned the Burracoppin Store. The museum features a variety of scenes showcasing early life in the shire including a pub scene, a shop/hardware store scene, a petrol station/garage scene, a kitchen scene, a bedroom scene and a blacksmith/farm workshop scene. Each scene also includes a realistic lifelike mannequin, complete with wrinkles and blemishes.” The Council only charge $3 per adult to enter which is incredibly cheap, we would have been willing to pay far more. We highly recommend a visit as the photos we took don’t do it justice at all.
If you follow the AFL team Fremantle Dockers, which we do, you will love the Westonia Tavern! We had a tasty meal whilst watching a game on tv and chatting to the friendly locals.
We absolutely loved our couple of days at Westonia, an unexpected gem.