locality in Western Australia

Clackline is a village in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, with a population of 330 in 2021. No-one has any idea how its name came about. It grew up at a railway junction, where the Eastern Railway from Perth to Northam had a spur to Toodyay, but the railway was re-routed in 1966. You might come to Clackline for a stop-off between Perth and towns further east.

Get in

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Clackline is on the Great Eastern Highway 80 km east of Perth and 17 km west of Northam. You need a car out here, but Transwa buses between Perth and Northam stop at the village crossroads by prior booking.

To get here from Toodyay, follow Highway 50 then branch south onto Toodyay–Clackline road.

Clackline is also on the Kep Track from Perth via Mundaring to Northam, which follows the old railway and is suitable for bicycles.

Get around

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You can reach the bridge and lion monument on foot. You need wheels for the brickworks and air crash memorial, a bike would do if the sun's not too fierce.

 
Change here for the branch line
  • 1 The railway coach is village centre, at the intersection of Lockyer Rd and Kimberly Rd. Once serving as the Kalgoorlie Express, it has been a museum but is nowadays the community-run post office and event space, eg for weddings. Now it only remains to find similar joyous use for the vintage Massey-Ferguson tractor parked alongside.
  • 2 Clackline Bridge was built in 1934, mostly of timber, to carry the Great Eastern Highway over both the brook and the railway. (Before that when the brook in spate was unfordable, motorists crossed by driving along the tracks.) The topography and the route of the railway forced a unique bridge design, curving and sloping, which proved a tad too unique for many a motorist blatting along the highway - nights in Clackline were often disturbed by the screech of brakes and rending of metal. In 2008 the highway was re-aligned to bypass the village, crossing the gully via a box-girder bridge, but the old bridge still carries traffic on Lockyer Rd. The Kep Track on the old railway bed passes beneath.
  • Lion monument is 100 m east of the old bridge at the junction of Lockyer Rd and Spencers Brook Rd. In 1929, Clackline School commemorated the 100th anniversary of British colonisation of West Australia by erecting this monument. The school has disappeared and the lion more resembles a pampered Angora cat, so it's not too soon to plan a more vainglorious monument for the bicentennial in 2029.
  • 3 Clackline Refractory is a derelict brickworks 2 km west of town, approached via Refractory Rd off the main highway. Good quality and vast quantity of fire-clay was discovered in the area in 1898. A large brickworks was swiftly established, making fire-bricks for testing environments such as furnaces, glassworks, gold mines and railways. It closed in the 1970s through inability to recruit labour, re-started for some years in the 1980s then folded. The extensive site is hauntingly ugly and free to stroll, but be wary of entering the teetering buildings.
  • 4 Avro Anson Memorial stands at Mokine 6 km southeast of Clackline. The Avro Anson was intended for marine reconnaissance, and the Royal Australian Air Force acquired over 1000, but by the outbreak of the Second World War it was superseded by faster, longer-range aircraft and became relegated to training and support roles. On 9 Oct 1942 an Anson was midway through a training flight from Cunderdin to RAAF Pearce at Bullsbrook when it was seen to skim low above Mokine then crash and burn: the cause is not clear. The four young men lost were Flying Officer Lynton Birt, Sergeant Geoffrey Debenham (pilot), Sergeant Noel Nixon, and Sergeant Kenneth Hugo. An annual memorial service is held here on the nearest weekend to the anniversary of 9 October.
  • Clackline Nature Reserve is an extensive tract of undeveloped scrub northwest of the village, where kangaroos and geckos do their thing.
 
Lion Monument

Eat and drink

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  • 1 Avonbrook Wines, 245 Benrua Rd, +61 8 9574 1276. F-Su 10AM-5PM. Cafe, wine tasting and has two studio rooms. B&B double A$180.
  • 2 Summer Creek Farm, 9 Yates St, Bakers Hill, +61 8 9574 1387. F-Su 11AM-8PM. Restaurant and microbrewery just off main highway, with a small camping area.
  • Bakers Hill Pie Shop has veggie choices and is open daily 6AM-6PM. The village tavern and Mrs Sippy BBQ are just along the street.

Sleep

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  • Avonbrook Wines has rooms, see above.
  • Eadine Springs 2 km east of town on the main highway allows free camping but has no water supply or toilets.
  • Summer Creek Farm has camping, see above.

Connect

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As of Jan 2023, Clackline and the Great Eastern Highway have 4G from Optus and Telstra but no signal from Vodafone. 5G has not reached this area.

Go next

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This city travel guide to Clackline is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.