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York Self Drives - To the East I grant my happiness

  • Half day
  • 71 km
    • 4WD Easiest

“To the East, I grant my happiness and all I hold beloved…..” Sandra Jacks
Explore to the east of York and maybe you will hold it beloved - certainly we hope you’ll find happiness in driving through these unspoilt rural areas that offer peace and serenity in abundance.

Start your tour by getting to know the Avon Valley from the Lookout at the summit, which offers spectacular views of York and the surrounding countryside.  A site regarded by the Ballardong Noongar people as highly culturally significant. 'Wongborel' means 'Sleeping Woman'.
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Trail Start

Get directions

York Visitor Centre, York Town Hall, 100km (1 Hour plus) east of Perth

A nationally significant landmark, its grand Edwardian opulence reflecting the town's prosperity through agriculture and the gold rushes of the 1890's. York Visitor Centre is located here. Photo: Shire of York

From the Town Hall, turn left at the crossroads into Balladong Street, turning left into Panmure road (signed to Northam) then right into Steere road, following the signs to Mt. Brown

Start your tour by getting to know the Avon Valley from the Lookout at the summit, which offers spectacular views of York and the surrounding countryside. A site regarded by the Ballardong Noongar people as highly culturally significant. 'Wongborel' means 'Sleeping Woman'. Photo: Swift Hound Films

At the foot of the hill turn into Herbert Road to find High Victorian Gothic at its best! Discover tragic tales amongst the tombstones and some of the most impressive sculptural monuments in W.A. A cemetery walk trail booklet is available from the Visitor Centre at the Town Hall. Photo: Debbie Matthews

Leaving the cemetery via either Mount Street or Steere Road, you'll come to the junction with Panmure road. Turn right and keep a look out for the sign for Craig street. Pull in for a moment to make a wish....and feel for the residents of York who were advised in 1896 'the waters are absolutely unfit for human consumption...and should be boiled before using...' Photo: Shire of York

For a shorter trip, here you can turn right, following in the footsteps of goldrush prospectors. Be thankful for the comfort of your car instead of walking and pushing a wheelbarrow of tools all the way to Coolgardie!
Photo: Shire of York.

Choose the upper or lower loop at the Sees/Cameron Road junction.
To do the complete tour, carry straight on up the Northam Road.

Keep a look out on your left for the former Tipperary Church, now a private home and the marker where Tipperary School once stood. The school was relocated brick by brick to the Sandalwood Yards in York.
Photo: Shire of York.

Just past the Church turn right down Quellington Road.

Turn into Grass Valley South road (gravel) to find the quaint stone-built Quellington Hall. Typical of many Agricultural Halls in the Wheatbelt, it is still used by the local community today - although no events rival the champagne dinner, Sports day and evening Ball that marked its opening in 1896. Photo: Shire of York

Retrace your steps back to Quellington Road and go straight across into Sees Road (gravel). Soon on your right is the old Quellington School house (1895 -1944) now a farmstay. Photo: Shire of York



Sees Road (gravel) will bring you to the junction with Goldfields Road. Take a tiny detour and turn left along the Goldfields road for 400 metres to find Malebelling Hall, another typical Agricultural Hall, but now disused, a poignant reminder of just how much more populated this area was a century ago. Photo: Shire of York

During August and September, it's worth continuing your detour another 6.5km to reach Wallaby Hills Nature Reserve - one of the loveliest reserves in the Shire of York.
Photo: Audrey Sole

Retrace your steps back down Goldfields Road and turn left into Cameron Road (gravel)

Stop off at White Gum Farm flying school which has caravans and camping, fishing, swimming, a 4WD park and a bar/restaurant open at weekends. Photo: White Gum Farm

Time to take a break at one of the most authentic country pubs you're ever likely to find, built in 1906 for Mary Ann McMullen, enterprising businesswoman and one of the first female Publicans in Western Australia. Photo: Ronja Dirksen

Leave Greenhills via Penny Drive to reach the charming wooden St. Andrews Anglican Church and its much older cemetery, set amongst the bush at the junction of the York-Quairading road (on which you can head back to York). Photo: Bernie Wagnor

Nearly back in York, time your return to visit the Residency Museum, with fascinating exhibitions of Ballardong Noongar culture, convict and settler stories, all housed in the last remining part of York's Convict Depot. Visitors say "it's like a Tardis - there's so many exciting, colourful exhibitions and child-friendly hands-on activities in here". Open 1-3pm Tues/Weds/Thurs and 11am-3.30pm at weekends. Photo: Shire of York

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Start off by setting the scene for your trip with panoramic views from the top of Wongborel (Mt. Brown) where the vistas stretch over the Avon Valley.

Resting at the foot of the hill are many early settlers under fascinating monuments, modest to majestic, in York Cemetery's best Gothic style. Peer down the same well where C19th prospectors would have drawn water and set off in their footsteps along the Goldfields road.

The trail forms two loops and you may choose to do all 71 kilometres, the 47km top loop or the 57km lower loop.  Each loop includes approximately 10 kilometres of gravel road.

The hamlet of Quellington has a stone-built hall, still used for community functions today and the hamlet of Greenhills boasts a popular authentic country pub. In wildflower season take a 14km detour to the lovely Wallaby Hills Nature Reserve.

Time your return to York to finish up by looking around the York Residency Museum, which has intriguing exhibitions of Ballardong Noongar culture, convict and settler stories. This route can be linked with the York Self Drive 'Sky O'the North' route via Burges Siding Road. 

York Visitor Centre

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Be trail ready for York Self Drives - To the East I grant my happiness

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

Half to full day experience, dependent upon stops chosen.

Length

Trail has two options - 47km and 57km. Trails can be combined to create a 71km drive.

What To Pack

Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities) required.

Trail Start

York Visitor Centre, York Town Hall, 100km (1 Hour plus) east of Perth

Get directions

Trail End

4WD

Easiest

All-wheel Drive and High Range 4WD vehicles. Suitable for Novice Drivers. 

Difficulty Notes

Includes sections of gravel roads. Please take care and drive SLOWLY on country roads, beware of livestock, kangaroos and large farm machinery . Surface conditions on gravel roads can be changeable, so slow right down, especially when cornering, braking, or moving onto gravel hard shoulders on narrow bitumen roads.

Hazards & Warnings

This route includes gravel roads. Surface conditions can be changeable so slow right down, especially when cornering or braking, On narrow bitumen roads, slow right down before moving onto the gravel hard shoulder.

Facilities

In York: Car and coach parking, water access and public toilets at Howick street. Town Hall has Visitor Centre with shop, water access and public toilets with toilet for people with disabilities and first aid equipment during opening hours 9.30am-4pm daily. Fuel service stations, Public telephone and many cafes in Avon Terrace. No fuel service stations on route.
  • Cafe
  • Car Park
  • Coach Parking
  • Dog Friendly
  • First Aid Equipment
  • Public Telephone
  • Public Toilet
  • Shop
  • Toilet Facilities for Disabled
  • Water Access Points

Best time of year

All year round. Especially scenic from late May to October

Trail Access

Road

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