card link to Avon Valley page 1
Lavendale Farm on Avon River

Lavendale Farm

I have made multiple jaunts to the Avon Valley over many years probably starting in the sixties with canoeing expeditions along the Avon River and bicycle rides Northam – Toodyay. Generally camping out or staying in youth hostels.

There have been 4 visits in the last few years: principally to be with my nephew Stewart, Tracey, Harrison and Gnarls in Helena Valley and family at Christmas 2015, 2016, 2018 and 2020. Lavendale Farmstay and Cottages was a comfortable and convenient base and hub for those recent journeys through the Avon Valley. For example, north to New Norcia; south to County Peak and Yenyening Lakes; east to Kokerbin Hill; or, west to Mt Helena or Chittering:

Avon Valley points of interest map
Gwambygine billabong

Lavendale Farm is a beautiful environment just 15 km south of York and 22 km north-west of Beverley alongside the Avon River near one of its vital permanent billabongs (Gwambygine Pool).

Asher cooling off in a tub

Lavendale farmer-hosts (Katherine and Merv) are very proficient and friendly providing excellent, convivial and comfortable facilities. Lavendale Farm is also pet friendly: in 2015 and 2016, I was with Ronyen (RIP: 2006-2017) and in 2018 and 2020 with Asher. Asher (born 5/01/2018) was barely 12 months old on his first visit and loved every day (as he generally does). Lavendale's considerate, caring farmer-hosts provided a tub and towels to help Asher (and Ronyen before him) keep cool on hot days.


Lavendale embraces best practice landcare and sustainability with substantial use of solar and battery stored energy, recycling and revegetation plantings.

Avon River (summer) Gilgering

Gwambygine

The Avon River is easily accessible from Lavendale Farm and a significant permanent billabong (Gwambygine Pool) is about 1 kilometre downstream from the farm.

Map Lavendale Farm Gilgering

In the last few decades there has been considerable energy and concern to restore the health of the Avon River with a focus on the Gwambygine billabong: a significant remaining Avon River permanent pool. Some endeavours are described in a 1995 (September: Royal Show Special) newsletter of the Swan River Trust.

A reserve just down the road from Lavendale Farm (Gwambygine Pool Conservation Reserve) was established in 2005: [ Government media statement ] and vested to the care of the River Conservation Society Inc established in York in 1990. The Society has been active in the management of the Gwambygine billabong since 1992 with fencing, silt removal, rehabilitation, tree planting and other landcare projects.

The Gwambygine townsite was gazetted in 1902 and a railway siding (originally called Hicks Siding after a local farmer of 1860) established alongside the town. It had a hall with bustling social activities and a school (1908-1947).

drawing Gwambygine Homestead

Gwambygine (Wittenoom) Homestead is south-east of Gwambygine Road East where it crosses the Avon River adjacent to the Gwambygine billabong. It is on the eastern bank of the Avon River opposite to Lavendale Farm. The earliest part of the homestead was built in 1836 and it is reportedly the oldest surviving farm homestead in the State. It was restored in 2011 and is apparently open on the second Saturday in the month from April to October but I have not been there at that time and have not made special arrangements to visit.

Gwambygine Park is a bit further downstream and is an “Avon Ascent” site. The “Avon Ascent” 1995 strategy was managed by the Avon River Management Authority (dissolved in 2001) and sponsored by Alcoa. It was established for environmental education and to attract people to the Avon Valley. Gwambygine Park is an interesting place to visit but seems to have been neglected a bit: the boardwalk and viewing tower have been closed since September 2017.

York straw sculptures
Wara Art (rice straw sculptures): Swamp Tortoise and Water Rat. Peace Park York 29 December 2018
York Town Hall
York Town Hall built 1911 (photo take 25 December 2016)
York from Mount Brown. 28 December 2016
York looking west from Mount Brown. 28 December 2016.
Mount Brown, York
York looking north to Mount Bakewell in the background. 8 December 2016
Mount Brown, York
Another view of York with Mount Bakewell in the background. 28 December 2020.
Gilgering, south of Yorrk
Crops in Gilgering east of the Avon River and Lavendale Farm 26 December 2016 (late harvest this year?)
Crops in field Gilgering
My car (2018 Volvo XC60 T8) outside Orchid Cottage where I like to stay: Lavendale Farmstay and Cottages 27 December 2020.
Asher cooling off in a tup of water
Lavendale Farm farmers/hosts Katherine and Merv conideratley provided a tub of water for Asher (and Ronyen before him) to help cool down when it got hot. Asher is in the tub on the verenday of Orchid Cottage 28 December 2020.
Lavendale Farm
Lavendale Farm, Gilgering 29 December 2020.
Vodien Security Certificate

Frequenty updated.
Latest : 17 January 2021

Harold W S Luxton
haroldws@haroldws.net