Attractive wheatbelt town
Located 132 km east of Perth, Goomalling is a pretty little wheatbelt town with the mandatory pub, rail head, small service centre for the surrounding region and bulk handling wheat silos. Sheep and wheat created the town and sheep and wheat will sustain it.
The area was first explored by Assistant Government Surveyor Austin in 1854 but there was no great need for a town. The monks at New Norcia, which was about 60 km northeast of the present townsite, often brought their sheep into the area. And George Slater, who had arrived from England with his parents in 1930, owned a huge selection which covered 100 000 acres from Goomalling to Kalguddering. He moved into the area in the 1850s. His house (the ruins are on the Dowerin road outside town) became a regular stopover point for miners who travelled through the area on their way to the goldfields on their way to Kalgoorlie and Southern Cross.
Goomalling didn't really come into existence until 1902 when it was declared a town and the railway from Northam arrived. It is claimed that the town got its name from the Koomal possum which inhabits the area but, like most explanations for town names, there is no really hard evidence for this assertion.
With a tiny population of 600 in the town, and servicing a further 600 in the surrounding wheat and sheep areas, Goomalling is the sort of place which is often driven through without stopping.
Things to see:
Attractions in the area
Those who do stop can visit the Goomalling Museum which is housed in a 1930s one teacher school (access can be arranged at the Shire Offices in Quinlan Street) or have a picnic in Oak Park where there are a number of Aboriginal watering holes, known as gnamma holes.
There is a shepherd's grave about 2 km outside of the town on the road to Dowerin. The sign reads: 'This monument stands on land that was once heavily timbered. John Bentley who died about 1880 was buried here by his own wish in the paddock.'