Self Guided Tour - Shire of Gingin
Welcome to the Shire of Gingin.
Today we would like to offer you an insight into all the attractions that this beautiful area has to offer. We have arranged some information into a format similar to a two-day self drive tour, so sit back and imagine you are being chauffeured around the sights of the Gingin Shire.
We begin on Indian Ocean Drive at Yanchep National Park, then head north up the coast and return via an inland route. As we travel north from Perth, there are many interesting areas to explore. Through the Gateway to the Wildflower Region, you will enter a unique stand of Pinus Pinater, and there are also 55 different varieties of Banksia to be seen throughout the Shire. Passing through the horticultural areas, you can view many hectares of vegetables being grown for the local and Export markets.
Continuing on Route 66, we turn left 88km north of Perth and enter the picturesque town of GUILDERTON. Good fishing can be found both in the river and the ocean. The river provides an excellent swimming area for children, while the ocean generally offers a good wave for surfing; the town also has a general Store, country club, roadhouse, synthetic bowling green, tennis courts, nine hole golf course and canoe and boat hire. All these activities should be enough to keep any visitor amused!
Accommodation is available at the Caravan Park situated on the banks of the Moore River; private residences are also usually available for rent. Day-trippers are catered for with adequate barbecue facilities.
Ten minutes driving further north brings us to the delightful small fishing village of SEABIRD, which offers a tranquil holiday “away from it all”, with a very safe beach and ample leisure pursuits. Until recently, Seabird was a closed town, where only bonafide fisherman were able to obtain land. It is now open to the public, and there are good services offered, including a strata titled caravan park and a shop.
Continue to drive for a further 20 minutes north, through rolling coastal plains interspersed with cattle grazing country and you will reach LEDGE POINT. Primarily a cray-fishing town, Ledge Point is fast becoming a centre that caters for activities for all age groups and is well worth a visit, be it a day trip or a stay of a week. Good fishing and safe swimming beach are features which compliment the excellent new caravan park, making it an ideal family holiday spot. Other holiday accommodation is available and there is a store and Country Club, along with a Bowling Green, Tennis Courts, Skate Park and barbecue facilities.
In mid-January each year, Ledge Point is where the annual International Windsurfing Marathon event commences. The Ledge to Lancelin Ocean Classic is a gruelling 24km open windsurfing race which finishes in LANCELIN, some 25-30 minutes after the first sailors leave the Ledge Point beach. Enthusiasts from all over the world compete in this event.
By road, LANCELIN is a further ten minutes drive north of Ledge Point and is fast becoming known as one of the World’s best sail-boarding and kite surfing venues.
For many years, Lancelin was a sleepy fishing village with many attractions that only a lucky few were able to enjoy. In the early years, a rugged, rutted road was the only access in or out, and only very enthusiastic fishermen would journey to the secluded little settlement.
Today, all roads of Australia start in Lancelin, the home of Water sports. The “Desert” of pure white sand hills inland from the town is unique, and provides a vast playground for all to enjoy, particularly those with off-road vehicles. Lancelin Island provides a spectacular view as the sun drops out of sight over the Indian Ocean. The place to be then, is on the Jetty, with many recreational fishermen and their families.
The Lancelin bay is protected by a reef which provides an excellent spot for surfers, snorkelers and divers, who have shared the environment with the dolphins and seals for many years. Lancelin is also the hub of the rock lobster industry and is one of Western Australia’s major export earners; in the area alone, $6.5 million worth of lobsters are harvested from the ocean each season and a natural harbour created by reefs shelter the 105 resident crayboats at their moorings.
Lancelin has practically everything a visitor could desire. There is sailboard and kite surfing schools which teach the art to all ages and ability levels, with instructors who are highly skilled practitioners of the sport, and who are fully qualified. Sailboard and kite boards are also available for hire to experienced sportspeople who do not require any instruction. Surfing schools are also run from the Back Beach at Lancelin for those wishing to learn how to “hang ten”!
For those who would prefer to remain on land, the town has an attractive 18-hole golf course set around rolling coastal terrain, with great ocean views. The Bowling Club, which offers two greens, also overlooks the ocean. For the more energetic, there are lit tennis courts available for hire adjacent to the school.
Good restaurants, take-away food, shopping facilities, a tavern and bottle shops ensure that your stay in Lancelin will be a memorable one.
Accommodation facilities of a high standard are available, including self-contained apartment, chalets, flats, hotel/motel, caravan and camping facilities. Houses are also available on long and short-term rentals. Bed and breakfast establishments and a Backpackers Hostel, are becoming more popular every year and cater especially for overnighters who take part in annual events such as the Lancelin Open Golf Classic in August and the Ledge to Lancelin Ocean Classic mid January.
After an overnight, or weekend stay in Lancelin, you can head inland along KW Road and Orange Springs Road. During the wildflower season in September and October, brilliant stands of Banksias and Kangaroo Paws can be seen along the road verges heading towards Gingin. If you’ve got a keen eye, wildlife such as kangaroos and emu’s can be seen camouflaged in the surrounding bush.
Turning right on the Brand Highway brings us past rolling farm country, and just minutes away, we come upon the Moore River National Park. In addition to a profusion of the beautiful wildflowers for which the area is well known, the woodland is dominated in December by Christmas Trees and Morrison. These unique shrubs flower in a brilliant golden bloom and provides visitors with a spectacular show. Slender and firewood banksias are attractive all year round, so the area is well worth a visit at any time of the year.
A further five kilometres south brings us to the Red Gully Reserve, which is a good vantage point to overlook the Moore River National Park, and where a wide selection of Dryandras, including the open branched Kippistiana, create a splendid vista.
The wildflower trail follows the Brand Highway to the GINGIN Cemetery, where an abundance of unique red and green Kangaroo Paws provide an exotic display amongst the gravestones.
Gingin is one of the oldest towns in the State, and retains some important remnants of its pioneering days dating back to the 1850’s. A compact and accessible walking trail has been identified, featuring many historical attractions within the Town’s Central Precinct. These include Jones’ Shop, St. Luke’s Anglican Church, the Uniting Church, the Gingin Post Office and Philbey’s Cottage, which were all built between 1854 and 1903. The buildings are all visible along the Jim Gordon VC Trail, which traverses the Gingin Brook and offers a cool, peaceful stroll through ferns and lilies under a canopy of ancient paperbarks. Allow at least 45 minutes to enjoy this walk.
Gingin was one of the earliest settled areas in the State, with explorers and pioneers arriving in 1831, only two years after the Swan River Colony was proclaimed. Since its foundation, the town has grown and prospered whilst retaining the charm and appeal of an English village.
In the centre of town is the picturesque Granville Scenic Park which is surrounded by preserved buildings of historical significance. This is an excellent spot for a picnic or barbecue (BBQ facilities onsite), alongside a unique water wheel propelled by the flowing waters of the Gingin Brook, which rises from several springs not far from the town and flows strongly all year round.
When leaving Gingin, return to the Brand Highway and travelling west, we turn on to the Gingin Brook Road for a drive through magnificent horticultural and agricultural areas. Continue west to NEERGABBY at the junction of the Gingin Brook and Moore River. Historically, Neergabby was a drover’s stop-over along the Old North Road Stock Route and the old Drover’s Inn.
Across the bridge and down Chitna Road will bring us to the well-known Chitna Farm Trees. This enterprise is open to visitors all year round and the purchase of a large variety of native trees is possible. On the way, you will drive past stone fruit orchards and turf farms.
Continuing down to Military Road, you could make a slight detour and visit the Gravity Discovery Centre and Gingin Observatory. Allow and hour or two to tour this world class exhibition.
At the end of Military Road, turn left onto the Perth/Lancelin Road, go past the Yanchep National Park, via the towering pine forests controlled by the Department of Conservation and Environment.
I am sure that you have enjoyed this enlightening “trip” through the “awesome” Shire of Gingin, and hope that in the very near future, you will be able to experience its delights for yourself first hand.
For any information at all on the Gingin district, please contact the Shire of Gingin on (08) 9575 2211 or the Lancelin Tourist Information Centre on (08) 9655 1100.