Mingenew

The town of Mingenew is located in the part of the northern agricultural area known as the Irwin District. Situated only 383km north of Perth on the Scenic Midlands Way and 35 minutes from the tranquil ocean and the Irwin River Estuary. Geraldton is 110 kilometres away.

There is a giant Wheat Stalk Sculpture at Cecil Newton Park in the main street of the town, which is affectionately known as “Big Ears” by the locals, and emphasises the importance of wheat farming in the area.

Wildflowers

Mingenew has many spectacular displays of wildflowers between late July to early October. Varieties include everlastings, hakeas, banksias and grevilleas. Mingenew is in the heart of the Western Australia’s “Wildflower Country”. Coalseam Conservation Park is a renowned site for its carpets of native pink and white everlastings and yellow pom pom wildflowers.


Coalseam Conservation Park

Coalseam Conservation Park (32 km north east): coal was first found here in 1846. WA's first coal mining shafts were dug, but only narrow seams of poor quality coal were found; thus the site was abandoned. The park is now a popular picnic place, where remnants of its mining history are still present. Many marine fossils are embedded in the riverbank and limestone cliffs from the Permian Ice Age, 250 million years ago – the oldest geological era.

Strawberry

Situated 20 kms from Mingenew on the Midlands Road is the site of the long abandoned village of Strawberry. Legend grew that it was named after a cow owned by an early settler which kept escaping near to where the Strawberry Bridge was built. It is a fanciful story, because the name is actually the anglicised version of a local Aboriginal word 'trawberri', meaning thick bushes. One remnant of the town, situated in Old Bones Paddock on Sante Fe Farm, is the Stawberry Cemetery, enclosed with a post and netting fence erected by the Mingenew Historical Society and others in 1984. It contains four headstones in fair condition, river gums (E. Camaldulensis) have been planted around the perimeter. Land for the heritage listed cemetery near the settlement of Strawberry Reserve was set aside in 1865 and surveyed in 1877.


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Where is it?

367 km north of Perth and 54 km east of the coastal town of Dongara.


Brief history

One of the earliest cattle leases in the area was Mengenew Spring, and this name was first recorded in 1856. It is Aboriginal, and said to mean "place of many waters". The Midland Railway line from Walkaway was extended into the area in August 1891. The terminus was called Mingenoo Springs.

In the 19th century, the Irwin district was an important cattle raising area, with Samuel Pole Phillips and Edward Hamersley the principle lease owners. It was settled by pastoralists in the 1850s. A private subdivision was surveyed in 1891 near the new Mingenoo Springs station, and it became the town of Mingenew. WA’s first coal shafts were sunk in the Mingenew district. Remnant coal shafts can be seen in Coalseam Park.

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