Located halfway between Perth and Esperance, the remote WA Wheatbelt town of Lake Grace is a natural stopping place for grey nomads heading east or west … and they are welcomed here with open arms!
On its website, the Lake Grace Visitor Centre proudly declares: “The Eastern Wheatbelt loves caravanners! You can find many caravan parks, rest spots and overnight camping bays within the shire.”
And things only get better from there! For travellers seeking an authentic taste of the Outback life, great natural scenery, and an arty twist … the historic town, with a population of 500 or so, delivers on all fronts.
Located some 345 kilometres from Perth, the fertile land started attracting people from 1907 onwards, and the railway line reached Lake Grace in 1916.
The town was named for the two interconnected salt lakes near town … and these remain huge drawcards. The Lake Grace Lookout is about 12 kilometres to the west and offers panoramic views of the immense lake system – which is 50.5km long and up to 7.25km wide.
From August to late November, this is also a great place to enjoy the wildflowers which blanket the area, and to spot tiny creatures like the white tailed dunnart, and Mitchell’s hopping mouse.
Back in town, the best place to get your bearings and plan your adventure is at the Lake Grace Visitor Centre which is housed in the old fully-restored station master’s house.
The town is the commercial centre of the Shire of Lake Grace – which encompasses other small communities including Newdegate, Lake King, Varley, and Pingaring – and there is a great range of services and shops including a supermarket, banks, cafes, a great bakery, a hospital and a pub … the Lake Grace Hotel.
Formal camping options include the highly-thought-of Lake Grace Caravan Park and there are other van parks at Newdegate, Lake King … and at the Varley Chicken Ranch.
The big attraction here for most visitors is the Lake Grace Australian Inland Mission Hospital, the only one of its kind in Western Australia.
Originally established in 1926, the facility has now been restored as a hospital museum, and visitors can walk through the old-fashioned wards, and learn about the legendary John Flynn, who established a chain of inland hospitals in Australia.
Now for the arty twist. Local artists have added a new dimension to the town and a ‘Multi Art Space’ allows local residents to participate in key artistic projects. There is also a collection of more than 360 mosaics at the mosaic garden, and there are also some inspiring murals of the region’s pioneering women.
There is silo art to enjoy in nearby Newdegate and, 20 kilometres or so north of town, is the Tin Horse Highway where a wacky collection of eye-catching sculptures ‘roam’ in the farm paddocks.
Also to the north of town – but only eight kilometres or so – is the award-winning Walkers Hill Vineyard which is well worth a visit.
What a town!