An all but abandoned historic rural community that developed on the Greenough Plains in the mid 19th century.
One of the most interesting historic towns in Australia, it is claimed by some to be the country's best preserved nineteenth century town. Today the heart of what is essentially a ghost town - a collection of eleven buildings - is administered by the National Trust and open daily. There are guided tours of the village which depart from the National Trust building almost constantly throughout the day. Ph. (08) 9926 1084).
Beyond this National Trust zone lie the ruins of the Wesley Church (the area was settled by large numbers of Wesleyans), the gracious old Grays Store, Clinch's Mill and the Greenough Hotel. As well, a short distance up the road is the companion settlement of Walkaway.
The appeal of Greenough lies in its sense of solidity and certainty. Realistically it is now a ghost town - only the National Trust guides are here to haunt the visitor. Yet in the churches, court house and police station - all of which are built in stone - there is a suggestion that this was a town built to last for eternity.
Greenough/Walkaway Heritage Trail
The Greenough/Walkaway Heritage Trail identifies some 36 buildings on interest in the area including the fascinating Pioneer Cemetery, Clinch's Mill (built in 1858 it continued to operate until 1922 and at its peak became an important supplier of flour to the Murchison gold fields), the elegant ruins of the Wesley Church, Gray's Store (constructed with convict labour in 1861) the Hampton Arms Inn (the first hotel in the area it was built in 1863 by Robert Pearson and is now an excellent restaurant - it has a beautifully decorated ballroom) and the buildings of the National Trust controlled Greenough Hamlet.
Walkaway (9 km east) is a charming village, the main interest for visitors being the Walkaway Station Museum. Housed in the old railway station building, this museum has an excellent display of regional transport, natural resources, weapons and military relics.
The Pioneer Museum, originally known as Home Cottage and built for the miller John Maley by convicts from Port Gregory in 1862, is now a folk museum concentrating on the agricultural history of the area. It is administered by the Geraldton Historical Society.
The region around Greenough and Walkaway is characterised by river red gums which have given up defying the prevailing winds and bent themselves almost parallel to the earth in an attempt to escape the salt and the wind blowing off the Indian Ocean. The whole area does lie in the lee of a range of sand dunes which protect it from the worst of these winds.
Ellendale Pool, 20 km from Walkaway, is a lovely natural pool at the foot of river cliffs and is surrounded by tall shady trees. It makes a lovely spot for a picnic, barbecue or bird watching.
The numerous abandoned buildings and ruins from the former farming community, including former Gray's Store (1861); former Court House (1867); former Police Station Old Gaol (1870); former Miss Duncan's School Room (1865); Old Greenough Cemetery; Maley's Bridge (c.1870); St Catherine's Church of England (1914); St Catherine's Church Hall (1914); St Peter's Catholic Church (1908); former Dominican Convent (1899); St Joseph's School; former Priest's House; Wesley Church (1870); Clinch's Mill (c.1856); former Greenough Hotel; 'Old Store'; Cliff Grange; former Hampton Arms Hotel (1863); 'Raphoe' farmhouse (1860s); 'Mount Pleasant' farmhouse; 'Three Bottle' farmhouse and outbuildings; 'Rock House' ruin and outbuildings; Delowes Cottage; McNeece's Cottage; Bell Cottage and Outbuildings; farmhouse ruin; 'Old Walkaway' cottage; Greenough Farmers' Club Hall; former St James' Church; Pioneer Museum (Maley's Mill and Home Cottage).