Just 3 hours north of Perth, the Shire of Carnamah is one of the richest areas in Western Australia for flowering plants.
The Shire includes the townsites of Carnamah and Eneabba, and explodes into colour during the annual wildflower season from late winter throughout spring. The town is also a dedicated Astrotourism town, committed to protecting its dark night skies to allow for incredible stargazing experiences.
Keep your eyes peeled for the endangered Carnamah Bell (also known as the Harlequin Bell), a wildflower only found within a 100km radius of the town. This wildflower is a dwarf shrub, featuring green, red or yellow coloured bell-shaped flowers.
The farmland surrounding the town also puts on colourful displays during wildflower season, as crops burst into bloom. Remember that crops are on private property, so please be respectful and do not trepass or walk into any crop fields.
History and Heritage
The Carnamah Historical Museum is located in a historic stone building located in the centre of town, and is open on Fridays between 1:30pm and 5:00pm. The museum features objects, photographs and documents that showcase the social, domestic, commercial and agricultural history of the town. Old machinery and tools can also be seen on display.
Other historic buildings in town include the St Andrews Church (designed by Monsignor John Hawes), the Bank (now converted to an art gallery), an the Uniting Church (now converted to a cafe which is open during wildflower season).
The state heritage-listed MacPherson Homestead is also significant to the town's history. Built in 1869, the Homestead was one of the first buildings built in the district and was the home of Duncan and Mary MacPherson, who settled in Carnamah with their children in 1868. The MacPherson's established a pastoral station, named Carnamah, and resided at the Homestead for 70 years. The Homestead's grounds are scattered with old vehicles and machinery, and the Homestead and its grounds can be visited at any time.
The 700m Carnamah Art & Heritage Trail begins at a mural outside the town's IGA on the Midlands Road and takes in both sides of Macpherson Street, showcasing heritage plaques, murals, historic photographs, old advertisements and artworks. The trail finishes at a plaque outside 46 Macpherson Street, just before the intersection with King Street. For those interested in a longer walk, continue past the school and follow the bush walking trail to MacPherson Homestead. The 1km trail commences at the southwest corner of the school (sitting between Macpherson Street and Bowman Street), and follows bush paths along the side of the Bunjil-Carnamah Road before connecting up to the driveway of the historic Homestead.
The Yarra Yarra Lakes, located just west of Carnamah, are an iconic place for stargazing. The series of salt lakes are stunning at various times of day, including sunrise and sunset, but come alive at night as the Milky Way shines above them. The best views are from the Lakes Lookout, off the Carnamah-Eneabba Road. The Lakes are an official Astrophotography Hot Spot.
MacPherson Homestead is also a popular stargazing spot as the building and surrounding trees act as a barrier against light from the town, and is an offical Astrotourism Observing Site - a specially chosen location where the local community welcomes visitors to stargaze with telescopes and binoculars.