Local tourism

There’s a well known phenomenon known as “the local tourist effect” which means that you can travel the world in search of the tourist experience but don’t explore your own back garden, as it were. This is certainly the case for us. We travel between our home and our holiday place and rarely explore the area between those two points. Well today we did and I thought it was worth documenting here.

Our first stop and main destination was the new mural at Wellington Dam. This is the largest dam mural in the world and is pretty breathtaking. This is the view from above and probably best shows the scope of the mural.

The mural was painted by Guido van Helton and was completed early this year. He based it on local stories and I love how it features the young, the elderly and families.

Guido is an Australian born artist who also painted the mural on the silos at Brim in Victoria.

I wore my Stokx Patterns passionfruit dyed Ninja hoodie top for this trip and I’m happy to report it was a resounding success – comfortable and the hood was fabulous for keeping my hair from blowing around.

There is a little roadway running along the bottom of the dam and this is the view. It’s really clever how that child appears to be playing with the box where the water outlet is.

I also loved the juxtaposition of the young family with the elders.

There’s a lot to see round the dam too. We used to camp at Honeymoon Pool when the kids were little and we swung past for old times sakes and decided that it would no longer be for us. Campsites close together and full of teenagers, which I like the idea of, but don’t want to be trying to sleep near them, thank you very much!

We went for a bit of a walk to a waterfall

and I followed Mark through the bush down to the river. He’s wearing chinos I made him for work, which have seen much better days, and a really old shirt made from the most wonderful cotton gauze that I got somewhere.

There’s also a quarry, used for picnics and abseiling. It reminds me of England, perhaps it’s the big oak tree.

The dam itself is also pretty spectacular. The dam feeds a hydroelectric power station, with one water turbine. it’s the largest dam in the south west of Western Australia and is fed by the Collie River.

I found a photo of the dam before the painting and thought it would be interesting to show it here as it also gives a magnificent view of the dam and surrounding area.

We began to wend our way (second) homewards but I made Mark stop so I could take some photos of Gnomesville, which is much loved by locals. He is truly appalled by this, but I think it’s charming.

It’s one of those things that started with a few gnomes, probably stolen from someone’s garden, and now it’s a real thing. You’ll see that various organisations have little gnome displays, including some military groups. What’s lovely is that the area is clearly treated with respect, there is little to no litter and the gnomes are left in peace.

You’ll see the black broken gnome at the bottom of the photo above. I think it’s been deliberately done as it has things in its shoes. I hope so anyway. Love the bride and groom!

Mark and I enjoyed our little sojourn so much that we’ve decided to do more detours and I hope to show you a bit more of the wonderful state that we live in. Plans are being made…


9 thoughts on “Local tourism

  1. It’s a lovely thing from the pandemic that people are rediscovering and appreciating their own back yards. I thought I knew Edinburgh pretty well, especially the areas I’ve lived in the north of the city, but I’ve discovered new places, new routes, hidden corners. The dam mural is spectacular. Enjoy your travels

  2. You are so right that we miss what’s close to home. During this year of almost constant lockdown in the uk the option to travel has been removed – and since January we’ve had to stay isolated and local. I have walked more in the Wyre Forest than I ever have and found wonderful things I had no idea were there. Sadly no gnome gardens or dam murals though I will keep looking.
    (We are now allowed to meet up to 6people outdoors so I’m meeting a couple of friends this morning for coffee in Jubilee Gardens which you have visited 😊)

  3. Someone asked me today what I had missed most in 2020 and my answer was seeing people face to face. I do like holidays but not what I have missed most because local walks are the new holidays. Not a fan of gnomes though.

    1. Yes, I think not seeing people is the worst thing for us as we are social animals. We are lucky here as we haven’t really had much time where we’ve been in lockdown. My husband hates the gnomes but they do bring people together and this was kitschy and kind of charming. Thank you Helen and I hope you can meet up with your friends very soon!

  4. So true and that mural is amazing, saw on FB how he worked with the photos to get the paper curl for the mural very interesting. We also do a lot of home to destination driving without detouring and like you we need to do more detours.

  5. We have done quite a bit of staying in our own backyard. Sometimes only 10 minutes from our home. We have found so many places and spaces we had only ever driven through. We stay Friday night through to Sunday morning so you get that whole day to explore or just mix up your normal routine. Like a wander in the twilight on the beach after dinner on Friday. Saturday local markets. Sunday sun rise watch everything glow pink. Recommend a tour of your own backyard.

    1. I think that’s the best thing about the current situation – we are all exploring our own environment. I love the way you’re doing it though!

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