Waroona & Hamel
The township of Waroona has much to offer visitors. Please scroll down the page to find a little of its history plus "Things to See & Do", "Places to Stay and Eat", "Annual Events" and a list of other services and activities.
Settlers began to arrive in the area in the late 1830s although Drakesbrook (later to be known as Waroona) did not come into its own until the Pinjarra to Picton railway line was opened in 1893. The building of the railway, for which local timber was milled, boosted the town. When the railway was extended many more settlers came to the district.
The town catered to the needs of the mill workers with a post office, general store, blacksmith, a number of hotels come boarding houses, churches, doctor and dentist. The farms supplied butter, fruit and vegetables for the men of the mills and chaff for the horse teams that hauled the logs.
As in many of the small towns of the time dances, picnics and football formed the core of social life within the community.
The devastation of the Dwellingup fire of 1961 saw the closure of the nearby Nanga Brook Mill and townsite.
Today agriculture (beef and fresh produce), bauxite mining and tourism are important contributors to the local economy.
Waroona’s history book ‘Drakesbrook Days & Waroona Years' is available from the Visitor Centre.
Things to see & do
Waroona Visitor Centre - Local Art & Craft
Open 9.30am to 3.30pm daily, the Waroona Visitor Centre houses an art and craft gallery with a display of quality local art and handcrafts, has visitor, tourism & community information, a travellers' library. Disabled access and public toilets (during opening hours).
Art is integral to Waroona's community spirit and pride of place and projects throughout the town include the carved and painted Heritage Bush Poles, a 2.4 tonne decorated concrete sofa, aluminium sculptures and mosaics.
There is an outside information stand for after hours visitors.
Waroona Visitor Centre Information
||Closed - Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year's Day, Good Friday and Foundation Day
||37 South West Highway, Waroona
||PO Box 283, Waroona, WA, 6215
||(08) 9733 1506
Art In The Community
The community of Waroona has been involved in many art projects including those sponsored by ALCOA and the Fremantle Art Centre as part of their "Art in the Community" series. All projects have been assured success under the creative direction of talented local artists and with the support of the Shire of Waroona, local businesses and families. Each project makes a statement on Waroona’s community spirit and pride of place.
- Wave your Flag - Created by Waroona's youth, the flags are on display in front of the Memorial Hall. The colourful imagery depicts the areas of tourism, history, commerce and agriculture.
- Heritage Bush Poles - View the unique 'forest' of carved and painted jarrah poles (adjacent to the Visitor Centre) near the northern tourist bay. The concept was so well received that additional funding was secured for poles at Lake Navarino Forest Resort, Hamel, Lake Clifton and Preston Beach.
- Sofa - In the centre of town you will find Waroona’s 2.4 tonne concrete sofa which was once covered by a 'patchwork quilt'. Over 60 local men and women created pieces portraying something important about their lives in Waroona. Due to deterioration of the fibreglass coating it was necessary to refurbish the sofa in 2008 by stripping back the fibreglass and removing the 'quilt' pieces. The new-look sofa has been painted by local artist Lorraine Bawden with scenes showing 'old' Waroona, local flora and fauna, and places of interest.
- Waroona Heritage Trail - Bollards mark this heritage 'walk or drive' trail that passes many historical sites and buildings. Local artists provided sketches of the sites as they were and these form the basis for the trail guide available from the Visitor Centre. The bollards also have directions to the next place of interest.
- Aluminium Sculptures and Mosaics (Drakesbrook Place) - The concept of this project was to develeop a series of aluminium sculptures to tell the story of Waroona's heritage, culture and diversity through education and art. Over 250 school children and 100 community members were involved in the consultation phase of the project. The design was based around a common theme with elements within the design reflecting the childrens interpretation of stories told to them by older members of the community. Local artisan Warren East, as leading artist for the project, co-ordinated a team of local artists to create the sculptures, panels and footpath mosaic. An interesting addition to the project are six engraved aluminium panels representing the six aboriginal seasons and these now adorn the Moorditj Miya Building (Waroona District High School) providing educational insight for local students.
Alcoa Discovery Tours
Since 1963 Alcoa has been part of the Australian community. From earliest beginnings Alcoa have opened the doors, people’s eyes and students’ minds, sharing an insight into the amazing technology that transforms the red rock-like mineral bauxite into light-weight, shining aluminium.
Today over 635,000 people have seen Alcoa up close through tours and school visits at the Victorian and West Australian operations.
What makes them so popular? Their free tours in an educational, fun and exciting way format how Alcoa is working to be part of the a sustainable solution.
The Discover Alcoa program offers two elements: education and experience. A free general public tour operates every Wednesday morning, collecting guests from Mandurah and Pinjarra.
Contact the Western Australian Alcoa Discovery Centre via firstname.lastname@example.org or 08 9530 2400 to discuss education materials or to make a tour booking.
Alcoa Discovery Tours
||10:00am-5:00pm Wednesday to Sunday
||1 Fimmel Lane, Pinjarra
||(08) 9530 2400
Waroona's town square provides a central meeting place with its informal picnic and seating areas, an amphitheatre, stage and public facilities. An ongoing commitment by the local community will see a number of artworks in various mediums created to reflect and celebrate Waroona past and present. Memorial Hall, South West Highway.
Drakesbrook Antiques & Collectables
Over 300 pieces of Moorcroft pottery plus Charlie Bears, Clarice Cliff, Doulton, figurines, china, glass, toys, dolls and more.
Drakesbrook Antiques & Collectables Information
||10:00am-5:00pm Wednesday to Sunday
||85 South West Highway, Waroona
||(08) 9733 1240
Centennial Park is situated on South West Hwy at the southern end of town. Children’s playground, picnic seating, gas barbecues and stately trees provide a relaxed setting. Wide paths and modern toilets accommodate wheelchairs. The park is home to an interactive memorial to the old Drakesbrook School which burnt down in 2006.
Gently undulating hills provide a picturesque backdrop for the cool clear waters and the grassed area is a popular picnic spot with its shaded tables and free gas barbecues. Recreational activities include walking, birdwatching, swimming, fishing and canoeing (no power boats). Or stroll along the path through natural bush to the rock face wall of the weir where nearby a bronze plaque commemorates the discovery of the first known specimen of WA's remarkable atrichornis clamosus (noisy scrub bird). Public toilets. Dogs are not permitted in the recreation, picnic and beach swimming areas at Drakesbrook Weir. Outside of these areas, dogs must be on a leash at all times.
Waroona Recreation & Aquatic Centre
A modern facility with heated indoor pool, water slide, toddlers' area; squash, indoor tennis, basketball and netball courts; comprehensive gym, and various programmes offered. Crèche & free barbecues for Centre users. Function & meeting rooms, and fully appointed kitchen available at excellent rates. Disabled facilities. Open access to children’s playground and skate park.
Waroona Recreation & Aquatic Centre Information
||(Click here) for Opening Hours
||Hill Street, Waroona
||(08) 9733 2389
Langford Hill Riding Farm
Lessons, school camps and trail rides through scenic bushland on the panoramic escarpment surrounding Lake Navarino and the Drakesbrook Weir. Rides with refreshment stopovers. Catering for beginners, disabled and experienced riders with accommodation available by arrangement. Disabled access. Bookings required.
Langford Hill Riding Farm Information
||136 Elliott Street, Waroona
||(08) 9733 1455 or 0417 911 491
Lake Navarino (Waroona Dam)
The Waroona Dam was built on the Drakes Brook with work completed in 1966. The reservoir known as Lake Navarino covers an area of 145 hectares with its primary use being irrigation. It is also used extensively for recreational activities such as water skiing and freshwater fishing. The surrounding forest provides beautiful displays of wildflowers in season. Bush walking is a popular pastime for many visitors and part of the old Bibbulmun Track is still in existence and has been reopened for public use as part of the Munda Biddi Trail. Dogs on leash.
Please click the below link to view a video of Lake Navarino. The video was taken using a drone courtesy of Trent Lewis.
Munda Biddi Trail
Munda Biddi means "path through the forest" in the local Nyoongar language. Predominantly a gentle cycling trail, it is made up of bush tracks, firebreaks and old railway formations and begins in Mundaring. The Waterous Loop starts at Lake Navarino Forest Resort and meanders through the rolling hills of the Darling Scarp.
Munda Biddi Trail Information
||(08)9481 2483 or 0422 112 229 (Munda Biddi Trail Foundation)
The Cream Shed
Have you ever wondered where milk comes from? Then take a trip to The Cream Shed to watch cows being milked, calves being fed. See how the cream is separated from the milk. Suits school and family groups. Milking daily around 4pm - bookings preferred but not essential. Disabled facilities.
The Cream Shed Information
||Woodside Road (off Nanga Brook Road) 13km east of Waroona
||0455 206 071
Forest Edge Recreation Camp
Forest Edge Recreation Camp experienced a major loss of key infrastructure and property in the January 2016 Waroona-Yarloop bush fires. The owners, Graeme and Sonia Watson, together with staff and volunteers, are working tirelessly on the rebuild and will reopen early in 2017. For updates on their progress, and to show support, please visit their Facebook page or their website.
Forest Edge Recreation Camp Information
||133 Weller Road, Waroona
||(08) 9733 1731 or 0429 470 047
Hamel Hall & Bush Poles
Hamel is a small though progressive community working to protect its heritage. Hamel Hall, on Cornucopia Street, was constructed by prisoners around 1902 as prison barracks. Its rich history then saw it utilised in various capacities from 1908 until late 1970. By this time it was in poor repair but in mid 1980 was saved from demolition and restored for use. On its eastern side you will find picnic tables, barbecues and three bush poles crafted by locals depicting facets of life in Hamel. Hamel Park, nearby on Cullinga Street, has a modern playground, half basketball court and wide open spaces for a game of your choice.
Hamel Hall & Bush Poles Information
||Cornucopia Street, Hamel (a few minutes drive south of Waroona)
Walks, Trails & Drives
- Waroona Heritage Trail (walk or drive)
- King Jarrah Track, Lane Poole Reserve (18km loop)
- Island Poole Walk Trail, Lane Poole Reserve (1.5km loop)
- 4x4 Nanga Heritage Circuit, Lane Poole Reserve (51.3km loop)
- Munda Biddi Trail - Waterous Loop (www.mundabiddi.org.au)
- Lake Preston Walk Trail (2km)
- Noise Scrub Bird Trail - Drakesbrook Weir
- Harvey River Walk Trail - John Tognela Rest Area Forrest Highway
- Hamel Wetland Walk Trail - Hamel
- Hamel Nursery Walk Trails
For more information on trails visit www.peeltrails.com.au
Sporting & Recreation
- Golf Club, Hill Street (18 Holes Green Fee Honour System) Ph: 9733 1700
- Bowling Club, Parnell Street. Ph: 9733 1406
- Recreation & Aquatic Centre, Hill Street. Ph: 9733 2389
- Freshwater fishing & marroning
- Skiing, boating, canoeing (canoe hire from Forest Edge Recreation Camp) & swimming
- Bushwalking & bird watching
PLACES TO STAY
Offering historic elegance with modern comforts, this delightful heritage listed 1930’s residence has operated both as a boarding house and convent. Single, twin & queen rooms. Room only or room and meals for guests by arrangement.
Single, double and family accommodation. Fully airconditioned and serviced. Barbecues and pool for guests. Licensed restaurant with a choice of bar and restaurant menus or enjoy your meal alfresco by the pool. Breakfast for guests by arrangement.
Lake Navarino Holiday Park
Set in jarrah forest by the lake, the Holiday Park's surrounds provide a relaxed setting for bush-walking, canoeing (canoe hire from Forest Edge Recreation Camp 9733 1731 or 0429 470 047), mountain bike riding and fishing. Cottages, cabins, park homes and shady powered sites for caravanners and campers. Dogs on leash welcome. Laundry and ablutions with disabled facilities. Shop/kiosk sells groceries, drinks, takeaway food, ice-creams, fuel & ice.
Lake Navarino Holiday Park Information
||Invarell Road, Waroona
||(08) 9733 3000 or toll free (WA) 1800 650 626
||(08) 9733 1529
An elegant mix of old and new at this refurbished, historic country hotel. Fine dining, quality counter meals and daily specials. Accommodation, TAB, ATM, beer garden and bottle shop.
Waroona Hotel Information
||Mon-Sat 12-2pm & 6-8pm Sunday Roast lunch and dinner
||Fouracre Street, Waroona
||(08) 9733 1232
Waroona Ensuite Caravan Village
Experience the calm and harmony of a rural setting while still within a short walking distance of the town centre and golf course. On-site caravans, powered tent and van sites all with ensuites. Barbecues, modern laundry and close to all amenities. Dogs on leash welcome.
Camping, Bush & Recreation Camps
- Lake Navarino/Waroona Dam (lakeside camping, BBQs & toilets) - Ph 9733 3000
- Lane Poole Reserve (bush camping, day use area, river access, hiking, picnic tables, gas and wood BBQs & toilets). Phone Department Parks & Wildlife (08) 9538 1078
PLACES TO EAT
* Dining *
- Drakesbrook Hotel Motel (08) 9733 1566 (Details above)
- Waroona Bowling Club, Parnell Street (08) 9733 1406 (Friday evenings, bookings required)
- Waroona Hotel (08) 9733 1232 (Details above)
* Dine In & Takeaway *
- Waroona Country Cafe - 9733 3155, 97 South West Highway
- Waroona Roadhouse - 9733 1294, 32 South West Highway
- Pinjarra Bakery & Patisserie (Waroona Store) - 9733 2278, 36 South West Hwy (Opposite the Waroona Visitor Centre)
Picnic & BBQ Areas
- Centennial Park (South West Highway, Waroona)
- Drakesbrook Weir (Weir Road, Waroona)
- Hamel Hall (Cornucopia Street, Hamel)
- Hamel Park (Cullinga Street, Hamel)
- Waroona Dam (Invarell Road, Waroona)
Visitors are requested to use only the barbecue facilities available at most picnic areas. Lighting of fires outside these facilities is an offence during the restricted burning times 15th December to 15th March inclusive.
Vintage Machinery Rally Waroona
Vintage stationary engines, vintage cars, tractors, motor bikes, trucks, tools, toys, antiques, hand & home-made crafts & interests, food stalls and more. Entry by gold coin donation. Great day out for the whole family. Sandra Twaddle 9733 1445 or 0419 942 137; Roland Ulrich 9535 2105. http://www.waroonavintagemachineryrally.com.au Supported by Waroona Lions Club, The Old Machinery Club of WA and Shire of Waroona.
Waroona Agricultural Show
The Waroona Agricultural Society presented the first show on 2nd December 1925 and the tradition continues today. The Show is held on the 'second Saturday' in October and is a great opportunity to enjoy a relaxed country atmosphere. A wide range of displays, entertainment and activities. Sideshow alley, fireworks and entertainment continue into the evening. A fabulous day out for the whole family. www.waroonashow.com.au
Waroona Sea To Art Exhibition (Throughout November)
The Waroona "Sea to ART" exhibition is a feature of the Waroona events calendar in October. Held at the Waroona Visitor Centre, the "Sea to ART" exhibition will showcase talented local Waroona and district artists over a ten day period and provides and opportunity to view and purchase the art works.
For further information please contact Waroona Visitor Centre on 9733 1506
Lions Auction (Held Annually in May)
Beef, livestock, antiques, memorabilia and general items all go under the hammer with proceeds aiding community groups. Hammer goes down 12 noon. Viewing from 8:30am. Sausage sizzle. All proceeds aid community groups.
Waroona All Australian Car Day
Hosted by Just Cruizin Street Machiners this annual event will be held on Sunday 9 April 2017 at Waroona Showgrounds from 10 am to 4 pm.
Huge static display of Australian Cars with plenty to see and do. Food and Wine Hall, Market Stalls, Food Vendors, Children's Entertainment.
COMMUNITY GROUPS & ACTIVITIES
- Waroona Playgroup
- Bushwalkers' Anonymous
- Waroona Bowling & Social Club
- Waroona Creative Arts Centre
- Waroona Youth Group
- Waroona Senior Citizens
- Waroona Social Club
- Tai Chi in the Park
- Bootscooting/Line Dancing
- Lions Club
- Waroona Historical Society display and information, Old Road Board Building, South West Highway.
Open by appointment - phone 9733 1687
Waroona Health And Community Resource Centre
Access centre for Centrelink, TAFE, Medicare and ATO. The telecentre provides low cost, open-access to computers, the internet, email and scanning facilities, photocopying, fax, laminating services and more.
Health services include a general practitioner, physiotherapist, infant health & immunisation clinics on appointed days. Family & Youth support services available.
Waroona Community Resource Centre Information
||Monday - Thursday 9am-4pm, Friday 9am-3pm
||10 Henning Street, Waroona
||(08) 9733 3011
Other Available Services
- Beauty Therapist
- Fashion Boutiques
- Natural & Bowen Therapist
- General Practitioners
- National Bank
- Westpac Agency
- Commonwealth Bank Agency
- Bankwest Agency
- Bendigo Bank ATM
- St Mark's Anglican Church
- St Patrick's Catholic Church
- Waroona Abundant Life
- Waroona Uniting Church
- Bunbury and Dunsborough 98.4FM
- Busselton/Cowaramup (Margaret River) 96.5FM