Photography obsessed writer and urban explorer. Lover of nature, art and long weekends. Adelaide, South Australia.
Published September 11th 2021
Biggest Windmill in Australia
Driving across the Nullarbor Plain is one of the country's greatest road trips and is high on many people's travel bucket lists. It has a daunting reputation as being Australia's longest, flattest, straightest road, but there's a lot more to see and do along the way than most people think.
On Day 1 of our 3 day touring adventure, we stopped at the Penong Windmill Museum - a free outdoor museum just off National Highway One. Since opening in September 2016, the museum has become a popular stop for tourists heading across the Nullarbor Plain.
The Museum is dedicated to the agricultural history of the area and in particular to the windmills that have played an important part in supplying energy to the farming properties. Windmills are being seen less and less on the landscape with the use of solar powered pumps taking over their role.
Local "Windmill Warriors" have collected, repaired and restored dozens of unique and rare windmills from around the country, including Australia's biggest which is named "Bruce".
The museum is a whole community project which attracts up to 100 visitors a day.
Penong is approximately 75 km west of Ceduna. The township was established in the late 19th Century and has a district population of approximately 290 people.
For a small town, it certainly packs a punch. It's a beautifully clean and spacious town with lots of facilities available for the visitor. Clean flushing toilets on the main road, a caravan park, playgrounds, roadhouse, sports grounds, pub, general store, a police station and a school.
The town is on the western edge of South Australia's wheatbelt. It's either your first or last stop with town services for your Nullarbor adventure. The first thing you'll notice when driving into the town from Ceduna is a dozen or so windmills. These pump water to the town from a large underground basin: the Anjutabie water basin. The area has an annual average rainfall of around 300 mm, making it necessary to supplement the rain and ground water with water from a pipeline 15 km away.
This little town on the Eyre Peninsula has wonderful community spirit. They love their windmills and love that hundreds of people each week drop in to see their unique museum. There are maintenance and upkeep costs associated with keeping this museum open - please consider popping some cash into their donation box when you're next there. Every little bit helps to keep this fascinating museum open.