Pioneer Village is a magnificently recreated 1880?s village which takes you back in time. It is a picturesque replica early settlers village unique to WA and a major tourist attraction. The Village is located 35 mins from Perth on the corner of the Albany and South Western Highways, and features a restaurant, a cinema and many other speciality shops and businesses for the tourist and local alike. Take a stroll through this tranquil village and visit the quaint shops.
There is even a school within Pioneer Village that local kids attend.
‘Ye Olde Narrogin Inne’ was built around 1856 and served the coaches which travelled from Bunbury and Albany taking some 5-6 days. The Inn was built in a Tudor style by Henry Gibb and his brother-in-law Thomas Saw, on their farmhouse property and was the first building in the township of Armadale. Apparently illegal bookmakers used to operate out the back of the hotel. The Inn still operates and has one of the oldest liquor trading licences in Western Australia.
Pioneer Village School is set within the Pioneer Village. It was established in 1981 as a non-denominational independent community school. It went through a shaky couple of years before closing then reopening again in 1983 and in 1989 it was enlarged by another 6 buildings. The environment of the school and the surrounding buildings are Heritage Protected. They cater for kindergarten (3 yr olds) to Year 7.
In 1980, Pioneer World opened. It is a wonderfully recreated village where you step back into the time of the early pioneers during the 1860’s. There are many speciality shops as well as restaurants, a cinema and other businesses.
Standing within the Minnawarra Historic Precinct is the History House Museum. The museum contains pioneer exhibits and aboriginal history as well as geological finds from around the Armadale – Kelmscott area. History house was opened on Anzac Day in 1976 and since then the growing collection has resulted in extensions to house the exhibits. Guided tours can be arranged of the Museum and Precinct buildings.
Opening Hours: Tues, Thurs & Fri 10.00am to noon and 2.00pm to 4.00pm. Sat – Sun and public holidays 1.00pm to 4.00pm.
Admission is free
This delightful park is the venue for a series of great concerts during the summer months. Right on the upper area is the Historic Precinct. With the little historic chapel and its availability for hosting weddings, the park is also a great venue for those all important photos. There is plenty of wildlife just wandering around too including a pelican that I saw on the lake.
Within the History House Museum are displays of the various industries in the area such as saw-milling, brick-making and orcharding. Some of the early pioneering families mentioned are the Saw, Martin, Buckingham and Julls families and their history and life.
There is also a growing art local art collection along with a collection of Ben Strange political cartoons of National significance.
This historic building is an old primary school dating back to 1902. It was relocated to this site in 1987. It is now the Birtwistle Local Studies Library. Mr Birtwistle was President of the Armadale - Kelmscott Historical Society and a member of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, a lot of the rare documents and books were collected by Mr Birtwistle. The library is open Monday and Wednesdays 10.00am - 4.00pm.
The Minnawarra Historic Precinct sits on the banks of Minnawarra Park. The precinct comprises the History House Municipal Museum, the old primary school and the old church. The area was created by the city as a preservation of a district's history.
Next to the tourist centre and museum is a replica post office which contains early telegraph and other communication equipment. You can send a telegraph message to anywhere in the world as part of the weekly Morse Code demonstrations on Tuesdays from 10.00am – 1.00pm
The Bert Tyler collection is mostly agricultural machinery and there is also a lot of memorabilia associated with this type of industry. You can find info on anything from planting, harvesting and production of crops. There is also a collection of live steam working model machines which have been loaned to the museum by David Ashfold of Cannington.
Most of the engines in the collection date back to the early 20th century. There is one piece which dates back to 1876 which is a woodworking bandsaw which was manufactured in the USA. It was driven by an early steam engine and used in the shipbuilding industry of Western Australia.
The museum is within the Armadale Tourist Centre and consists of a private collection of vintage machinery which once belonged to Bert Tyler. The collection is now owned by the City of Armadale and has been on display since 1993. Tours can be arranged by private notice and entry is free (gold coin suggested donation).
The Tourist Centre is the first place to stop in Armadale. They are right on the main thoroughfare and are fully stocked with not only brochures on the immediate area but the rest of Western Australia as well. They will also assist you in trying to make any bookings in other areas of the State. There is a lovely gift shop or you can even purchase vouchers as gifts. Within the old signal box which is now the tourist centre is the Bert Tyler Machinery Museum.
In Minnawarra Parkis a wonderful specimen of a Sugar Gum. The species was introduced to the site by Martin Jull. This particular tree was probably planted somewhere between 1885 to 1910.