The name ‘Dandaragan’ was first recorded in 1850 as the name of a nearby gully and spring or watering hole known as ‘Dandaraga Spring’. The word is indigenous Australian in origin and is thought to mean ‘good kangaroo country’.
A visit to Dandaragan must include driving the stunning ‘Dandaragan Way’. Take in stunning scenery including rolling hills and running creeks as you traverse through the wonder of enormous wind turbines that supply power to the Perth metropolitan area, on this wonderfully scenic tourist drive. You’ll see marri trees, thousands of cockatoos and the unique flora of the Badgingarra National Park region in this scenic drive that starts at Regan’s Ford and diverts off the Brand Highway to Dandaragan before arriving in Badgingarra and back to the Brand Highway.
Once in town, this quaint main street has a combined general store / café / post office where you’ll meet the locals, or drop in to the Dandaragan Community Resource Centre which provides access to visitor information, gifts and local arts and crafts. The Centre is also home to the local public library and provides essential community and government services. There is a thriving sports community in the region and visitors are welcome at the various clubs and facilities. The kids will burn off some energy at the new pump bmx track at Pioneer Park adjacent to the playground and tennis courts.
For those passing through in caravans, Pioneer Park includes an ablution block (showers and laundry), gas BBQ’s, gazebos, dump point and a Dandaragan pioneers memorial rotunda depicting the history of the district since 1843. As well as the historical information on the area displayed at the park, the memorial rotunda has been updated with more recent additions of local family details and interesting events that have helped shape the town. It is reflective of the committed, spirited and diverse community that live in and around Dandaragan.
Stop in to visit old Aggie’s Cottage, or ‘Wolba Wolba’ which is located on Badgingarra Road, just out of the main township of Dandaragan. The gorgeous heritage building, perfect for a picnic overlooking the lake, is used by local historical and craft groups and run by a volunteer management committee for events and activities. The brick, stone and iron cottage was erected around 1871 on land which was originally taken up by Thomas Jones. The surrounding area also became an important campsite during World War II when the army carried out extensive training exercises in the district.
Located at the southern end of town, St Anne’s Church was constructed between 1885 and 1887 and is constructed of local soap stone which came from ‘Kayanaba’, a nearby property. This stone was soft when first quarried, so the blocks could be easily sawn into shape. Hardening occurred after contact with the air. The building was opened as a Anglican church and school in 1888 and used for social gatherings and then, after 1890, for the Dandaragan Road Board meetings. Four extra rooms were added on at the rear circa 1900 to provide suitable accommodation for the teacher. Classes were held there until 1948 when it was condemned for use as a school.
Header photo credit: Dandyman Photography