Take a journey through Greenough and you’ll find yourself transported back in time.
In Greenough, among the gloriously restored historical buildings and the patchwork of crops and rolling hills, you’ll find a sense of timelessness and a feeling of romance reminiscent of the past. It’s little wonder, considering the Central Greenough Historical Settlement (formerly known as the Greenough Hamlet), is considered among the country’s best-preserved 19th century towns.
In the heart of this historic village lies a collection of 11 buildings, including the former jail, courthouse, police station, churches and a school. And while these buildings today operate just for tourists, you need only spend a little time here to feel transported to another time.
Close your eyes while standing in the cool confines of the jail and you can almost hear the clank of chains and the shuffle of prisoners. Or step inside the courthouse and imagine the trials once heard here and the sentences handed down.
The village was formed in 1865 to service the surrounding pioneer farmers, who struck out north from the expanding Swan River Settlement in a bid to eke out a living from the land.
Today the village is complemented by an ever-growing series of interpretative material, which opens your eyes to the area’s most colourful stories. There’s also a stylish cafe set alongside the village – just the spot to sip a coffee while overlooking the buildings.
The Central Greenough Historical Settlement is the centrepiece of an entire suite of historical buildings and areas of interest on the Greenough/Walkaway Heritage Trail.
The trail takes in some 36 historical buildings and starts from the Pioneer Museum. Located in the former home of Greenough pioneers John Maley and Elizabeth Waldeck, the museum is the oldest in the Mid West. The couple moved here in 1862 and raised 14 children in the region. Today the museum is run by passionate Greenough historian Gary Martin and provides a fascinating insight into the everyday life of Greenough’s pioneers.
The heritage trail also includes the Pioneer Cemetery – a moving tribute to the men, women and children who first settled in the area. The inscriptions on the tombstones are moving and enable visitors to imagine the lives lead by these hardy pioneers.
While on the heritage trail you’ll also cross the Old Convict Bridge, which passes over the Greenough River, and visit the historic Hampton Arms Inn, which has a restaurant, motel, bar and a rare secondhand bookshop. The inn was the first to operate in the district, opening in 1863, and has been beautifully maintained and restored. The Hampton Arms Inn is also rumoured to be haunted by a local stonemason who was killed in a fight in the bar many years ago.
The heritage trail continues by the Walkaway Railway Station Museum, giving travellers an insight into the region’s transport history, and on to the modern day Alinta Wind Farm – the second largest in Australia.
You’ll finish your journey at the scenic Ellendale Pool – a permanent water hole framed by rust-red rock walls and renowned as being an important site for the Aboriginal people who lived here, long before Europeans first arrived.
The Central Greenough Historical Settlement is located about 20km south of Geraldton. Several gorgeous bed and breakfasts operate in the area and further accommodation is available in Geraldton.
Explore Surrounding Areas: Coral Coast > Geraldton Surrounds > Greenough