Wongan Hills

A northern wheatbelt service town in Western Australia's northern agricultural region.

In the early 1900's, poet Lilian Wooster Greaves lived with her family at Wongan Hills. Her book of poetry includes a number of prose and poetry items relating to living there at the time of the first world war.

Wildflowers

The region's flora is extremely diverse with more than 1400 species of flowering plants. 24 of these species are unique to the Wongan Hills. The concentration of these wildflowers is equal to Mount Lesueur National Park, Stirling Range National Park and Fitzgerald Nation Park.


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Where is it?

182 km north east of Perth and 39 km north east of Calingiri.


History

Following a request from local settlers, land in this area was first set aside for a townsite in 1907, although it was located near Lake Hinds about 16 km west north west of the present townsite. In 1910 a further request from settlers sought a townsite at the terminus of the proposed railway from Goomalling. The proposed townsite was referred to as Wongan Hills by the settlers. Following the survey of lots the townsite was gazetted in 1911, the year the railway line opened.

The town's name is derived from a nearby range of hills, first recorded by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe in 1836. Wongan is an Aboriginal name, the name being variously recorded as "wangan-katta", "wankan" and "woongan". It may be derived from "Kwongan", an Aboriginal word meaning sand plain, although one source describes wongan as meaning "whispering". The wind does "whisper" through the greenstone laterite hills which rise just north west of the townsite. These hills are the largest single area of natural vegetation remaining in the northern wheatbelt.

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