Bruce Rock

Nestled in the heart of WA’s Wheatbelt, the small town of Bruce Rock is developing a growing reputation among grey nomads as a great place to stop and to spend a few days.

The area’s headline attraction is Kokerbin Hill – located approximately 40 kilometres north-west of town – which is the third largest monolith in Australia, covers nine hectares, stands 122 metres tall, and is littered with fascinating formations and caves. But while the rock may initially draw visitors here, it’s the warm country welcome, attractive streetscape, and surprising number of attractions which persuade them to stay a while.

With a population of around 700, Bruce Rock – which was named after early sandalwood cutter, John Rufus Bruce – lies about 240 kilometres east of Perth.

It is very much a farming community with its rich history reflected in its many historic buildings and their federation-style verandas.

The place to get to grips with it all is the Bruce Rock Museum which boasts a comprehensive collection of memorabilia, and out the back is an original one-room school house and a replica mud brick settler’s cottage from pioneer days. Just across the road is the volunteer-run Machinery and Motor Museum, which houses working farm machinery, a vintage car and a steam traction engine.

Kokerbin Hill is the third largest monolith in Australia. PIC: Tourism WA

Sitting in the main street is also a hugely impressive 1200-seat amphitheatre designed and built by the local community for community events and concerts. Next to the amphitheatre is a sculpture park filled with interesting artworks.

Another place well worth a stroll is the mosaic pathway, which was created for Bruce Rock’s centenary celebrations in 2013, and contains more than 300 mosaic slabs depicting a variety of scenes from days gone by. And also, the beautifully-kept Bruce Rock Remembrance Park, which features 11 specific memorials paying tribute to those who have served.

Most visitors also make sure they find time to have a good look around the arts and crafts centre which displays a wide variety of work by local artists.

For such a small town, Bruce Rock boasts a good range of services and shops, including a café, chemist, swimming pool, fuel outlet, pub, and a general store.

Aerial view of Bruce Rock Township, Bruce Rock. PIC: Tourism WA

There’s also the centrally-located Bruce Rock Caravan Park which boasts 20 powered sites, and there’s free camping at the Kwolyin Campsite, located on what used to be the football oval.

Of course, this part of the world is exceptionally scenic and there are some fantastic drives to enjoy, including the Granite Way, a 60-kilometre tour taking in stunning granite rocks and farmland.

While they are out and about in their cars, most visitors make the effort to visit Shackleton, about 32 kilometres from Bruce Rock, which was reportedly home of Australia’s smallest bank – three metres by four metres – until it finally closed in 1997. Ardath, 20 kilometres south of Bruce Rock, is home to the historic, heritage-style Ardath Hotel.

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