Nungarin

Nungarin is the typical wheatbelt town - characterised by a single street with bulk loading facilities and a railway siding on one side of the road and the pub and a few shops on the other side.

There are monthly Sunday markets in Nungarin and, each year of the Queen's Birthday long weekend, the Friends of Mangowine put on a twilight concert and has featured artists such as Jane Rutter, James Morrison, Mary Schneider, Ross Maio and Graham Connors. Those wanting to walk or climb will find a variety of rocks and reserves within the shire.

Mangowine Homestead

Mangowine Homestead (16 km north) was built by Charles and Jane Adams in the early 1870s. Around 1888 the homestead became an inn serving the many diggers who passed by on their way to the goldfields. It was at this time that an extra building was constructed (probably as a boarding house) and the Adams were granted a license to operate as a Wayside Inn. The license eventually lapsed with the arrival of the railway, which ran through Merredin to Southern Cross, in 1893 and took travellers away from Nungarin. The complex of buildings including the homestead, the inn and an underground cellar for prisoners, is regarded as one of the finest examples of early wheatbelt architecture - a beautifully preserved homestead which captures the hardship of life in the 1870s.


Eaglestone Rock

Eaglestone Rock (21 km north east) is a natural granite rock with interesting cave formations. Easy to climb, it offers panoramic views of the Wheatbelt. The sparkling white crystal salt flats of Lake Brown come right up to the eastern side of the rock.


Talgomine Rock

Talgomine Rock, to the east of Nungarin, has a variety of wildflowers and orchids on its eastern border. Climbing Mt Moore will reward you with an extensive view to the north with Lake Campion in the distance. Talgomine Rock was used as a visual navigation point by flying schools in the area when training World War 2 pilots. Nungarin also served as an Army Base Ordinance Depot and the associated building (considered one of the largest wooden buildings in the Southern Hemisphere) survives, and is still in use in Nungarin today.


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Where is it?

271 km east north east of Perth and 40 km from Merredin


History

The first European into the Nungarin area was Surveyor General J. S. Roe who passed through a land of tall trees, scrubby land and thickets in October 1836. This description contrasts sharply with the cleared wheatlands which now dominate in the area and is a reminder, in an age of environmental concern, of just how much damage has been done to the land.

On 25 October Roe found a spring, probably the Mangowine Spring, which years later in 1869, was to be the focus of the first settlement in the area.

The area remained undisturbed by Europeans until a further expedition in 1865 passed through the area and marked 'Noongarin Rock' on the map of Western Australia. It was the first mention of Nungarin. No one knows what the word was supposed to mean in the language of the local Aborigines but one plausible explanation is that it derived from 'nungoo' meaning 'to see' and therefore than Nungarin rock was the 'place of seeing'

When the Kunnoppin to Merredin extension of the Goomalling to Merredin railway line was planned in 1910, Nungarin was proposed as a siding. Land was also set aside for a townsite, which was gazetted in 1912.

The town is named after Nungarin Rocks, located 4 km north north east of the town. This Aboriginal name was first recorded by surveyor HS King as Noongorin in 1864, and as Nungarin in 1889. Its meaning is not known.

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