• Out and About

A day in the country - Toodyay

Updated: Aug 27, 2020

It is always enjoyable going for a weekend drive to the country. Toodyay, just over an hour outside of Perth is a lovely country town with plenty of character. I regularly travel to Toodyay to visit family and always enjoy the drive, noticing how the different seasons affect the landscape.

I prefer the drive along Muchea East Road off the Great Northern Highway. This becomes Chittering Road and then turn right at Julimar Road. This is a very pretty drive through rolling hills and grazing pasture and then through the Julimar State Forest. An alternative is to take Chittering Road north out of Bullsbrook, detour along Chittering Valley Road until you meet up with Chittering Road again and on to Julimar Road. This route follows the pretty Brockman River.

On arrival in Toodyay there are lots of historic sights to see such as Connor's Mill and the Newcastle Gaol which is now open as a museum. There is a self guided walk you can take to see all the historic buildings. Visit the Toodyay Visitor Centre for maps.

Toodyay offers a Farmers Market every 3rd Sunday of the Month along with other events including the Fibre Festival, Moondyne Joe Festival and of course the there is plenty happening in August during the Avon Descent as the Avon runs through the centre of town providing plenty of viewpoints.

Stop for morning tea or lunch at the Toodyay Bakery or the Coca Cola Cafe. Also from April through to December visit Christmas 360 for all your Christmas decoration needs.

After a wander around town there are plenty of smaller walks to do in and around Toodyay to stretch the legs before the drive home. This time I drove up to the lookout at Pelham Reserve and walked part of the 6km of different tracks that amble through this reserve. I walked for an hour covering most of the Pelham Walk Trail with a detour to take in Everlastings Loop. It is very peaceful and serene up here on the hill with sweeping views across town and the Avon Valley below. There are some good inclines to get the heart rate up . Although the walks are well signposted and the track is wide and easy to follow I was glad to have a map to help me navigate the various trails. The tracks range from 500 m to 2.2km but as you need to access the tracks from other tracks the shortest walk would probably be about 1km or 20-30 minutes. The track can be a little hard to find from the carpark at the Lookout so venture up the hill past the picnic bench until you find the sign for the Pelham Walk Trail. There are toilet facilities here too. I will be back to walk the trails to the WWII Rifle range and bunkers another time.

Another Toodyay walk is the Bilya Walk Track which runs alongside the Avon River for 5.6 km one way. The best time for this is after the rains during Winter or Spring when the water is flowing.

During Wildflower season (August - November) you can stop along the way on Julimar Drive to visit the Dawn Atwell Reserve (5.5km loop), detour onto Coondle West Road for Coondle Reserve (2.5km loop) or the Julimar Conservation Annex. Another detour is on Kane Road to the Rugged Hills Nature Reserve (8km loop or less if you take the fire break shortcut). For other walks refer to Exploring Toodyay Walks Tracks and Parks which also includes a link to a handy wildflower guide to help identify wildflowers on your walks.

There are plenty of other walks and pretty drives to discover in the Shire of Chittering.

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