Dalwallinu where wheat and wildflowers mix

The town of Dalwallinu was settled just over one hundred years ago when a Benedictine Monk from the settlement of New Norcia started raising sheep here.  Others soon followed and a community began to grow in New Norcia.

To gain an insight into how tough life for those early settlers a visit to Calibro School is worthwhile.  This one room mud-brick building is just under 10 kilometres from Dalwallinu was built by the Cali brothers in 1939 just so their children could have an education.  In those days, roads were very rough and most transport was still reliant on horses.  When sitting inside the school you notice just how hot it would be in summer and how cold it could get in winter.  You had to be tough to be a pioneer, but they were hardy people who toiled to make the land around Dalwallinu very productive, and to build a solid community.

These days, Dalwallinu is a regional centre and has quite a thriving community.  It is part of the Western Australian Wheatbelt, and wheat and other grains are a major source of income.  These days, Dalwallinu is about a three hour drive from Perth on a good road.

The area around Dalwallinu is very attractive, but it really bursts into colour during late winter and early spring when the wildflowers come out.    

Western Australia’s wildflowers are simply stunning.  They have a relatively short season, but they are utterly spectacular.  At the peak of the wildflower season they carpet hundreds and hundreds of kilometers with a variety of colours.

There are many different varieties of wildflowers close to Dalwallinu; in fact, there are over 10,000 different varieties. The plants around the town are usually in such abundance that accommodation in Dalwallinu is generally booked out from about mid-August and September.

You can se some stunning wildflower displays at Petrudor Rocks, which is a reserve several kilometres from the town.  Next to some of the roads in the district you can get up close to Wreath Flowers, a leschenaultia that is so named because they resemble a wreath and which seem to like to settle in disturbed earth, such as the shoulders of dirt roads.

Another attraction that is of historical interest is the rabbit proof fence, which was built several kilometres east of the town.  The rabbit proof fence was over 2,000 kilometres in length and was a futile attempt to prevent rabbits from entering the rich agricultural land just east of Perth.  Unfortunately, the fence was built after the rabbits had reached the fertile lands, but it still exists and is worth the short drive from Dalwallinu to see it.  Also of interest are the deep rock pools that were used to hold water for the fence repairers’ use.  Maintaining the rabbit proof fence was a lonely and arduous life, which involved spending months at a time away from civilization.  Without the water holes, the fence men would not have been able to exist in what was, at the time it was built, harsh, tough, country.

The Dalwallinu Visitor’s Centre has a wealth of information about the area, including good local maps.  The staff is very helpful and will give you a lot of information that will improve your visit to the area.

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