I am a mum of 2 young children, passionate about Creating Healthy Homes by using toxic free products.
Published June 9th 2015
For once we had nothing better to do, so decided to take a trip up to Toodyay. I didn't know much about the place, other than it was in the hills and the Avon Descent passed through it. It is just over an hour's drive from Perth so is very accessible for a day trip. It was quite foggy as we approached Toodyay which created an atmosphere of anticipation as the surrounding hills were shrouded in fog.
As you drive into Toodyay it looks like any other Australian country town. Pleasant enough, but nothing to write home about. Then you turn the corner into the main part of town and you are instantly captivated by how charming and quaint it is. It was awarded Australian Tidy Town 2015, and it really lives up to its name. It is steeped in history but I didn't get a chance to explore this fully with 2 young children to entertain who are not super interested in standing about reading signs! Connor's Mill looked really interesting so I will return one day to take that tour.
We parked at the campsite on the north side of town as we wanted to check it out for a future possible camping trip. The campsite has a few permanent residents, but also had a few visitors. We chatted to one camper who said he'd had a very nice stay and would return. The campsite is situated right on the banks of the Avon river. Unfortunately the river is very low and a bit stagnant at the moment. Once the fog lifted, the view of the hill behind the town from the campsite was lovely. The toilet and shower facilities were clean and the Shetland ponies were very cute. They love apples and carrots!
We noticed a walking trail into town which was a lovely 10 minute walk through bushland alongside the river. Near the end of our walk we saw some rather bizarre mannequins dressed up behind a fence. A few minutes later we saw a miniature train with passengers and realised the mannequins were "people" waving at the train! We followed the path alongside the train tracks until we came to the station for the miniature railway. We were fortunate to have visited on the first Sunday of the month when the train was running. It operates on the first and third Sundays of each month from April to November. There are a few diesel (petrol) engines and one magnificent looking black steam engine. The train drivers are very passionate about their engines and a lot of work goes into maintaining them.
The trips rotated between the different engines and we were lucky to get a ride on the one with the steam engine. There were 4 children in our party and they were absolutely thrilled by this ride. The cost was a very worthwhile $2 per child and $3 per adult.
After our ride, we continued walking into town and had lunch at the Victoria Hotel. The service wasn't the quickest but the staff were friendly, the food was good when it arrived, and it was decent portions. They had a pleasant beer garden with a water feature which the kids liked.
Across from the hotel, the old post office is now a shop selling local produce such as organic honey and emu oil products, and it had lots of free samples. The next stop was the Toodyay Lolly Shop (promised to the kids if they ate their lunch!). This was as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids as we reminisced over delights we had as children like golden nuggets (chewing gum in a little cloth bag like a bag of gold) and Sherbet dib dabs. On the way back we stopped at Duidgee park beside the miniature train. The four children in our party gave the play park the thumbs up. There was a big spider's web and plenty of other things to keep them entertained and burn off some energy before getting back into the car and sleeping all the way home.
A great day out was had by all. Hooray for Toodyay!