If you are up for a little adventure and reading, check out the New Norcia Heritage Trail, map and history we just posted on our Weather and Travel Tips page, courtesy of the Heritage Council of Western Australia. You can also view it here:
New Norcia Heritage Trail, Map and History (409 kb)
Towards the end of a particularly dry, hot summer in 1846 a small band of Benedictine monks arrived in the Victoria Plains to establish a mission to the region’s Aborigines. They could not have known that the primitive bush chapel they built would grow to become the focal point of a pastoral empire in the 1880s and a monastic and aducational centre in the 20th Century.
The New Norcia Heritage Trail traces the development of this settlement, starting at the New Norcia Museum and Art Gallery.
To get the most out of your visit to the town of New Norcia, follow the New Norcia Heritage Trail. Soak up the Spanish influenced architecture and learn about the history of this unique monastic town and its time as an Aboriginal mission. The New Norcia Heritage Trail has two parts, a two kilometre walk through the town and a 1.7 kilometre river walk. Allow three hours to explore both trails.
The first stop is the Museum and Art Gallery which displays paintings by Spanish and Italian masters, gifts from the Queen of Spain and a fascinating array of artefacts. The gift shop provides an opportunity to purchase an assortment of souvenir items, local produce, art, books and music.
The trail also takes in St Gertrude’s, the Rosendo Salvado Statue, the Cemetery, St. Ildephonsus, The Flour Mill, The Old Flour Mill, The Monastery and the Abbey Church before finishing up at the Guesthouse and old Gaol. The River Walk explores the Old Well, The Moore River, Bishop’s Well, Bishop Torres’ Beehouse, The Norcia Hotel and The Monastery Roadhouse.
The streets and buildings are an expression of history, where you can explore richly decorated interiors, furnishings and post Renaissance art.
If you are in the area, don’t forget to stop by Boshack Outback.