A popular day trip from Perth
Located 26 km north of Perth Wanneroo is, in reality, an outer suburb of the city. It has, in recent times, become one of the popular day trips from the city with motorists making their way out of the city and heading towards Wanneroo, Yanchep and the beaches along the coast.
The city of Wanneroo is driven by those industries which thrive on the edge of a capital city. Hence this is an area of market gardening, poultry farms, vineyards and purpose built industrial areas. This has inevitably brought the housing developments, with their unimaginative project homes and precise little suburban blocks, as people have moved to the area taking up jobs in the factories.
The Wanneroo district was first explored by Europeans when John Butler travelled through it in 1834 searching for lost cattle. In 1841 the energetic Surveyor General, John Septimus Roe, travelled through the area and discovered the caves at Yanchep. The name Wanneroo is probably derived from the local Aboriginal word used to describe a place where women dig up rootsı.
In 1844 the Rev John Smithies arrived in the area and established the Mission Farm House (now long disappeared) on the shores of Lake Goollelal. Smithies plan was to establish a Wesleyan Mission to teach the local Aborigines the rudiments of European farming. The project failed.
In 1850 the area was settled by James Cockman but there was little enthusiasm for any kind of major settlement of the region. Twenty two years later there were only about sixty families spread throughout the district. The first school wasnıt established until 1874 (it had 17 students in its first year) and the first mail service didnıt arrive until 1883. The local road board was established in 1903. It wasnıt until 1932 that the first church, St Anthonyıs Roman Catholic Church, was consecrated. This long delay in religion has been compensated for since the 1970s. The city now boasts 16 mainstream churches and 13 religious schools.
Wanneroo would have remained a sleepy little settlement had the State Government not decided to develop an urban corridor north from Perth in 1970. The result was that by 1975 Wannerooıs population had passed the 50 000 mark and by 1982 it had reached 100 000. In 1985 Wanneroo became a city.
Like many city-suburbs on the edge of state capitals, Wanneroo has a wide variety of tourist attractions designed to lure people out for a dayıs recreation.
Things to see:
Of historic interest is Buckingham House in Neville Drive. Built by John Buckingham sometime between 18801890 the house is a typical modest rural dwelling of the period - a simple rectangular design with four rooms and a hipped roof. It was built from limestone and timber with a simple timber shingle roof. It is a good example of the kind of dwellings farmers built in the area at the end of the nineteenth century.
A variety of Attractions
Then there are the usual run of commercial tourist attractions - Dizzylamb Amusement Park with its scenic railway, military and vintage car museums, ferris wheel, bumper boats and mini race track, Wildflower Cottage (10 km north of Wanneroo) with its aviary, wildflowers and crafts, Paul Conti Wines at 529 Wanneroo Road with its chardonnay, shiraz, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, and pinot noir, the Kingsley International Doll Display at 71 Kingsley Drive with 2000 dolls, The Gumnut Factory at 30 Prindiville Drive where novelties are made from gumnuts, Wanneroo Water World and, no town should be without one, the Worldıs biggest Boomerang.
One of the townıs more interesting attractions, located at the north end of Lake Joondalup, is Botanic Golfı - mini-golf set in landscaped gardens boasting rockeries, water courses, lawns, waterfalls, ornamental ponds, exotic plants and fountains. It is an 18 hole course played with a putter and regular golf ball. Botanic Golfı is open Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10.00 a.m.-5.00 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 10.00 a.m.-10.00 p.m.
There are two excellent Heritage Trails in the area. The Yaberoo-Budjara Heritage Trail is a 28 km walking trail from the shore of Lake Joondalup to Yanchep National Park. As the brochure points out The trail is based on Yellagongaıs tribeıs movement track linking the linear lakes of the coastal plain, later used by Europeans as a stock route.ı
The trail is broken into five sections with the first section, which lasts about one hour, following Lake Joondalup and looking at the flora and fauna (particularly the birds) which inhabit the wetlands of the area. The second section passes through the Neerabup National Park and studies the plant life of the park. The third section moves from stands of jarrah and sheoak into banksia woodland and finally to limestone heath. The fourth section passes through tuart forest and recalls some of the Aboriginal legends which are associated with the area. And the final section passes from the tuart forests back to the banksia woodland and heath of Yanchep National Park. In total it is estimated that the entire walk takes about 13 hours.
People less eager to walk such a distance will probably prefer Lake Joondalup Heritage Trail, a 27 km drive around Lake Joondalup which traces the history of the Wanneroo district. Of importance on the trail is the Cockman House, a rendered limestone homestead which was built in the 1870s and is now the oldest surviving building in the district. The trail also includes a number of parks and reserves as well as St Anthonyıs Church and Buckingham House.