For years people have driven past Westonia, but locals are on a mission to show it’s more than just mine shafts, sheep and tractors.

Story Ben Hales  Photo courtesy Shire of Westonia

Entering Westonia is like driving onto a movie set. The slightly eccentric looking township, on the doorstep of Western Australia’s iconic Goldfields, was settled as a goldmining stake in 1910. 

In the past five years, there has been an explosion of individuals and families visiting at all times of the year. Shire president and local motel owner Bill Huxtable has been with the council for many years and is now responsible for tourism. “We came up with the brilliant idea of remodelling its buildings to replicate what things had looked like at settlement,” Bill says. “Each building frontage is unique. While the facade may be in a different spot, we’ve used the facade and name of the original business name or public office name.”

Bill says the restoration project is continuous and the current renovation is to cover up the old brick with a new corrugated iron and weatherboard facade. “With this latest building, we wanted to make it look like an old house you would have commonly seen in the early days,” he says. “Shire policy is new buildings will have a facade, because we believe that is the main reason people come to see the town.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #117

Outback Magazine: February/March 2018