Distance: 5.5 km Approx. Travel Time: 3.5 Hours
If you linger for a while in Northam, you can begin to see its marry layers. How the Ballardong Njoongars, part of the oldest living culture on the planet , have shown their resilience despite the trauma of colonisation. Where the early settlers, looking for a better life after leaving the chaos of post-Napoleonic Europe, learned the hard way that this country isn't England.
Then how each of the next ages of Western Australian development: from the gold rush, the coming of the rail, to the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme, the Wheatbelt expansion, to modern agri-business and tourism - they have all been channelled through this town. It seems that every turn on our journey today tells a story. It would take more than a day to learn them all. This small collection is just a suggestion:
Balloons at Dawn
From April to November, the cold and still mornings in the Avon Valley create ideal hot air ballooning conditions.
Suspended above the landscape, seeing the rising sun illuminate a patchwork quilt of green and gold paddocks, with the mist rising off the Mortlock and Avon Rivers as they wind through it all - it's a picture that will stay in your mind forever. Local balloon company, Windward Balloon Adventures, has been operating in Northam since the 1980s and we recommend you contact them to book a flight. However, even if you don't fly, the colourful balloons can provide a magical sight as they drift across the valley. The company takes off from different locations depending on the prevailing winds.