Merredin - Places to See


Merredin Railway Water Tower
The railway water tower, which still advertises the now defunct Kalgoorlie Bitter (one can only imagine what a beer made in a goldmining town must have been like), was built in 1893 and still stands as a sentinel for people arriving at Merredin.

Merredin Railway Museum
It stands beside the Merredin Railway Museum which must be one of the finest railway museums in Australia. The railway line arrived in Merredin in 1893 and the station was built in 1895. It consisted of one shed on a ramp. The foundations of the original shed are still under the railway ramp today. By 1904 Merredin was the locomotive depot for the line and there were a number of small branch lines reaching out into the wheat-belt to service the surrounding farmers. In 1968, when a new station was built, the Merredin Historical Society took over the old station. It now is a near-perfect re-creation of the old station with just about every piece of railway memorabilia possible. It has a working windmill, a beautifully preserved 1897 G117 steam engine, and the station still has the old scales and cream cans.

Historic Buildings
The township of Merredin has a number of interesting and unusual buildings. The Post Office (1913), on the corner of Bates and Barrack Streets, is a handsome building at the entrance to the main part of the town and the Town Hall (1925) in Mitchell Street has a clock tower (made by the same company who built 'Big Ben' in London) which is a memorial for the local soldiers who died during World War I. But the most interesting building by far is the Cummins Theatre in Bates Street which was built in 1928 from remnants of some demolished Coolgardie pubs and the old Coolgardie Tivoli Theatre. Local legend has it that the bricks still have small deposits of gold in them.

C.B.H. Grain Transfer Terminal
The huge C. B. H. Grain Transfer Terminal at Merredin is more impressive and interesting than most bulk handling facilities. Built in 1966, it originally handled wheat coming in on narrow gauge railway tracks and being transferred to the larger gauge railway line to the coast. It has a capacity of 220 000 tonnes and is the largest horizontal wheat storage facility in the Southern Hemisphere. The Merredin Tourist Centre can arrange tours for people who are interested.

Burracoppin
To the west of Merredin is the tiny settlement of Burracoppin where, in the 1920s, the novelist Arthur Upfield (famous for his 'Boney' detective stories) worked clearing scrub. He saw it as 'a replica of five hundred Australian wheat towns'. A very apt description.

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