Formally declared a town site in 1864, Northampton is one of the oldest settlements in Western Australia, outside of Perth. Northampton was classified as a historic town by the National Trust of Australia in 1993. It exudes a friendly, country charm with historic character buildings lining the main street surrounded by rich, golden agricultural lands. Northampton is best known as the gateway to the town of Kalbarri and the hamlets of Horrocks and Port Gregory.
In Northampton and its surrounds you can see Australian Heritage standards at its most authentic. Located 18.5kms south of Northampton, Oakabella Homestead offers daily tours of the beautifully restored building explaining 1851 in its pioneering, stone homestead glory. Oakabella is also a great stopping off point on your way north or south along the Coral Coast with restaurant facilities onsite. Stop in for a great coffee, the freshest and finest scones in Australia, or lunch. Experience the Aussie Outback Bush Tour and Dinner, learning about bushtucker foods, and listening to the captivating sounds of the didgeridoo at sunset, before returning to the Homestead for a campfire dinner experience. Check Oakabella’s website for dates. Additionally if you are on a self-catering holiday, Oakabella has bookable camping sites, showers, toilets and full disabled facilities.
The Hampton Road Heritage Walk presents a unique opportunity to explore 37 historically significant buildings in Northampton. Start your visit at the old Police Station built in 1882, which now houses the tourist bureau, where you can pick up a guide to the walk. Examine the fine construction work of many of the buildings which are believed to have been built by convicts. Step back in time with a tour of the Chiverton House Museum to learn about life of the miners in the late 1800s. Visit Our Lady in Ara Coeli Church and Sacred Heart Convent which were designed by Monsignor John Hawes, a prominent and respected architect and priest who was responsible for many significant buildings in this region. Saunter through the Gwalla Church and cemetery ruins. Stop off for a coffee or bite to eat with many dining options staggered along the route.
The Northampton Botanic Line is a bush-garden walking trail which includes plantings of Melaleuca, Grevillea, Acacia, Verticordia and Everlasting wildflowers, grown from native seed collected locally. Free to the public, it begins in Stephen Street and follows a path alongside the old railway tracks, past a replica of a rail siding house, down the hill for approximately 400 metres.
Visit the historic Northampton Visitor Centre to pick up a copy of the Hampton Road Heritage Walk brochure. The Heritage Walk includes buildings such as Sacred Heart Convent, Our Lady in Ara Coeli Church and the Northampton Family Store, which has continued to operate as a drapery store since 1913. See Chiverton House Museum and the Northampton Motors and Machinery Restoration Shed, home to an impressive collection of vintage motors and machinery.
Explore the region’s railway history at the Northampton Railway Precinct, dating back to 1879. Venture along the Gwalla Railway Station walk trail. Along the way you will see remnants of the station and rail, which is coupled with informative signage. Explore the Mary Street Railway Precinct, opened in 1913, where you can view the station office, carriages, platform, weighbridge and railway memorabilia.
Take a 4WD holiday to Wooleen Station, found 200kms north of Mullewa and east of Northampton. Wooleen Station is located on heritage listed wetlands and is home to an array of animal and bird life as well as wildflowers in Spring. You must have a 4WD vehicle to visit. If you are interested in ecology and the culture of the Australian bush, then Wooleen is the place for you.
Aboriginal art tourism is on offer at Storytellers - Keepers of the Dreaming, an Aboriginal tourism experience providing visitors the opportunity to observe Aboriginal art and craft being created. Artforms include painting, basket weaving, wood carving or burning, and jewellery making. Each piece of art form celebrates artistic and cultural integrity, from the primitive exotic to the contemporary, all on at this Aboriginal art gallery.
A free chemical pump out station for caravans is now available behind Hampton Gardens at the north end of town.