Westonia is a charming little town amidst bushland just off the Great Eastern Highway. It looks like a town time forgot - its old worlde main street with fire station, cafe, tavern, church and other buildings. It is a replica of Westonia in the 1900s.
Behind the facades are modern facilities. Westonia was named after sandalwood cutter Alfred Weston who found gold here. He named his mine after his sister, Edna May. The Edna May Mine can be viewed from the lookout on the edge of town.
Westonia has excellent facilities including Shire offices, Telecentre, Swimming Pool, Golf Course and more.
*Westonia Memorial Caravan Park - shady grassed location with powered sites, tent area, gas BBQs, modern amenities.
*Edna May Tavern - liquor, counter meals, accommodation.
*Community Co-op - groceries, deli, take-aways, EFTPOS
*Post Office with agencies
*Coorancooping Ecostay - set in 2000ha of bushland the new homestead has large bedrooms, private facilities & spa.
*Carrabin Roadhouse on the Great Eastern Highway - dine in and take away food, fuel and accommodation.
There are a number of nature reserves close to town, ideal picnic spots with pools, granite outcrops, prolific birdlife and beautiful wildflowers in season. The historic well at Boodalin Soak was a resting place for travellers on route to the goldfields. Bushranger Moondine Joe was apprehended there. Call into the Shire for a copy of “Exploring Granite Outcrops”.
Westonia is an lovely spot to spend some time.
HISTORIC RABBIT PROOF FENCE
A small section of the original Rabbit Proof Fence to prevent rabbits from taking hold in Western Australia is on display on the Highway. It stands as testiment to the futility of man against nature. In 1896, the first rabbits hopped across the Nullarbor Plain from South Australian into Western Australia. In an effort to keep them from farming country, the WA Government built a barrier fence.
In 1901 AW Canning surveyed a route. Several years of hard work constructing the fence followed - men, teams of horses, camels, picks and shovels in hot arid country.
It was the longest fence in the world, stretching from near Esperance in the south, to south west of Broome. But before completion, rabbits were past the fence and so work began on Fences No 2 and 3. By 1908 the three fences were complete, over 3,000km of fenceline. The fences then had to be patrolled. Much of it was waterless desert.
Despite the best efforts to stop the rabbits at the barrier fence, all was to fail. In their hundreds of thousands they ate out pasture, ring-barked trees and devoured crops.
Rabbit trappers made their living out of rabbits. Farmers did what they could to get rid of them. During the depression, so many people ate rabbits, it was known as "underground mutton". Nothing really slowed the rabbits, until the introduction of myxomatosis in the 1950s.
For More Information see: Run rabbit run