Toodyay is set in the rolling hills of the Avon Valley and receives a slightly higher rainfall than towns to the north. In summer (Dec – Feb) the average maximum temperature is around 34C with a average minimum of 15C. During winter (June to Aug), the average maximum is around 18C and average minimum is around 2C. Generally the climate is typical Mediterranean with warm summers and cool, wet winters.
The Moondyne Festival is held the first Sunday in May and is named after a famous Aboriginal bushranger Joe Moondyne. Joe was convicted of stealing horses and imprisoned in the Old Newcastle Gaol. He escaped three times even after being placed in irons. A number of other escaped convicts were also on the loose at that time and they began robbing stores in the Avon Valley including the Everetts Store while Governor Hampton was staying in town. They escaped with guns, supplies, clothing, ammunition and 36 fancy ladies handkerchiefs. The latter was never explained. He was captured yet again and this time sent back to Fremantle Gaol. While there he managed to escape in one of the most extraordinary escapes ever to occur in the history of the prison. He was recaptured after two years and jailed for another 4 years before being given his freedom in 1873. He married and later returned to Toodyay and the goldfields where he prospected for some years. In his latter years he gained the reputation for insanity and being known as ld Mad Moondydne Joe and died in the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum in 1900.