A small service town, typical of the central Wheatbelt. Although it has been predominantly a wheat and sheep area since the turn of the century in recent years the area around Bruce Rock has also been used to grow barley, lupins, peas, pigs and goats.
There are two museums in town. Over the road from the Mrs Lin Butler Museum (which is located in the main street) there is a display of agricultural equipment including a particularly well preserved old car.
The Mrs Lin Butler museum is a very good folk museum with large and interesting displays of both domestic and agricultural memorabilia. Behind the museum two interesting old buildings - a tiny one room schoolhouse complete with school desks and blackboard and a typical wheatbelt settlers cottage with its tiny rooms and low ceiling in which are housed a four feet wide double bed and a two feet wide single bed - have been reconstructed complete with the original furnishings. They have been cleverly recreated with the school being moved to the site and the settlers cottage being built out of mudbricks and whitewashed canvas. It is open from 10.00 am-4.00 pm. There is a caretaker's residence at the side of the building.
Kokerbin Rock, located 45 km west of the town via the charming hamlet of Kwolyin (the pub is really the only building in the hamlet and has Chinese characters under the pub's name - presumably Kwolyin in Chinese), is a large granite outcrop which immediately strikes the visitor with its size and grandeur. It is said that Kokerbin meant 'high or lofty place' in the language of the local Aborigines. There are a number of access points to the rock with a road which runs around the base. It is possible to drive up to the top of the rock where there are excellent views over the surrounding countryside.
Granite Loop Trail
A drive through the Eastern Wheatbelt and Central Agricultural regions of Western Australia, visiting the many picturesque granite outcrops in these area. Experience the striking beauty of massive granite outcrops that rise out of the landscape where an abundance of natural vegetation is waiting to be discovered. Wandoo, Salmon Gum, dense Honeymyrtles and Tea tree Thickets give way to flowering Granite Kunzea with their gnarled shapes.
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Where is it?
243 km east of Perth; 48 km south west of Merredin.
The town was originally called Nunagin (Noonegin) but this name was easily confused with Nungarin and Narrogin. The town is named after Bruce Rock, a the large granite feature located close to the town. The rock was named after sandalwood cutter, John Rufus Bruce, who worked in the area in 1879. Other granite outcrops include Kulbullikin Rock, Komitun Rock and associated caves. Kokerbin Rock, Australia's third largest monolith, is a great place for picnics or camping.
The area was explored in 1836 by John Septimus Roe but like most of the wheatbelt it was not settled until after 1900 with land being released for agriculture in 1908. In the intervening years the only people in the area were pastoralists with large leaseholdings who grazed sheep and the occasional sandalwood cutter such as John Rufus Bruce.
Not far from Bruce Rock is a small town in the Wheatbelt region named after the Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. The Bankwest branch in the town claimed to be the world's smallest bank. Measuring only 3 metres by 4 metres it was only open on Fridays from 3.00 pm - 4.30 pm until if finally cosed up in 1997. It is located out of Bruce Rock on the Quairading Road.