The town of Northampton sits in WA’s Mid West region, 52 kilometres north of Geraldton. Although it may have under 900 residents, if you are heading up that way, it is well worth a visit.
To get you oriented and to help you find some of the local treasures, grab a map from the Visitor’s Centre and do the “Find 30 Northampton Heritage Fitness Trail”. The trail is “eclectic” (in the words of Destination WA host Chrissy Morrisy) and covers a wide range of fascinating local attractions. Everything from sporting legends, to a room full of sewing machines, to a heartfelt display at the local RSL dedicated to Northampton’s ex-servicemen and women – it is a step into history unlike any other.
Northampton was settled in 1864 and is one of only three towns in WA registered by the National Trust. The town has some stunning heritage listed buildings, including the Visitor Centre itself, once operating as the town’s police station. Our Lady in Ara Coeli Church (c. 1936) is another must-see for the history buffs and was built by the legendary Monsignor Hawes. Next to the church you will find the Sacred Heart Convent built in 1919, which now offers accommodation and a function room.
The Chiverton House Museum houses old farming machinery and vintage cars, plus a vast array of historical items to give visitors a glimpse into life here in the late 1800s. This quaint stone building is thought to have been built by convicts, which would make it one of the last of its kind to be constructed in WA.
For a different kind of history lesson, visit the old Oakabella Homestead – known as WA’s most haunted house. The homestead is classified by the National Trust and is thought to have been in operation from 1851. It has now been restored and sits on 1,000 acres of spectacular farmland. If you are game, this place offers camping sites with amenities.
Find out more and watch Chrissy on the “Find 30 Northampton Heritage Fitness Trail” here.
For more information, visit the Australia’s Coral Coast website here.