Merredin is a medium sized thriving rural town in the centre of the Western Australian Wheatbelt on the Great Eastern Highway. The township is about 3 hours drive from Perth (256kms) and slightly more from Kalgoorlie (326kms). It is a service town for the surrounding wheat farms as the massive CBH grain handing terminal there testifies. It is the longest wheat storage in the southern hemisphere.
There are some interesting shops and galleries in the town and a number of choices of accommodation. The country around Merredin is surrounded by wildflowers in spring.
The China Southern West Australian Flying College trains world class pilots there. Many of the young Chinese trainee pilots are boarded throughout the town which adds a cultural dimension to the wheatbelt. Recently Canadian company CAE acquired an equity interest, expanding its Global Academy network.
The town's prominence began as a result of the goldrush. In 1888 the area to the east of Merredin was proclaimed a goldfield and prospectors and fossickers flocked to the area. After gold was discovered at Coolgardie in 1892 and at Kalgoorlie a year later, the town was an important stop for water and provisions for prospectors as it was the halfway point from Perth. Nearby Hunt's waterholes were used, then after the railway reached the town in 1893, a superb water catchment scheme was built on Merredin Peak.