Walk around the streets of Katanning and you're constantly slipping from the 21st century into the mid-19th century, and back again. The signs are there that this is an important and vigorous farming centre, but then you turn a corner and see a graceful old family home from colonial days, that seems frozen in time.
When people first settled here, they planned to stay a long while. You can see it in the many heritage buildings, such as the Town Hall, the King George Hostel, Kobeelya and even the Old Roller Flour Mill.
The old railway carriages near the Albion Street intersection are a reminder of the importance of the Great Southern Railway to the development of Katanning. The Pochelli statue of Piesse, one of the town's founders, is in front of the Railway Station.
Katanning was originally known as Ke'tungup and was the junction of three Aboriginal tribal grounds, long before European settlement. Katanning was also the first county town in Western Australia to have streetlights. Up until then people kept bumping into things in the dark.
The Flour Mill
First stop. Not only is it Katanning's Visitor Centre, it was one of the town's first major industries. The Piesse family built it in 1891 and much of the mill equipment is still in place.
Katanning Sale Yards
Sheep auctions are held every Wednesday at 8:30 am. Take a few hundred home with you. Over 1,000,000 sheep go through these sale yards annually and it's one of the biggest stock sale centres in Australia. There's a viewing platform and you can even get a good Aussie breakfast or lunch if you're there on sale day.
The 1930s Garage
Some people never throw anything away and at Wake's Garage on Richardson Street they kept every single thing. You'll find a never-ending collection of stuff from the past that just might come in handy some time. It was established in 1938 and has the only dirt floor left in WA. It's also the home of the first rotary engine invented, which sits on its original workbench.
There is a choice of rewarding walk trails around Katanning and one of the best is at the Police Pools Nature Reserve (Twonkwillingup). It was a police outstation from 1863 and now it's just lovely, peaceful bush, with a boardwalk and an abundance of wildlife.
This stately home at the end of Clive Street overlooks the township like an old matriarch. Built in 1902 as a home for the Piesse family, it became a private boarding school for young ladies from well-to-do families and offered equestrian facilities in the curriculum. It is currently used for religious meetings and has accommodation and a function centre. However, you can still hear the giggles of past students on their way to the lovely little chapel. Stroll around, or stay the night.
Heritage Rose Garden
These picturesque gardens opposite the Town Hall incorporate a number of features, including the Noongar Time Walk, Malay mosaic, the Pioneer Woman's Clock and roses dating back to 1830. Large slab benches and the shaded gazebo offer visitors a place to relax.
Katanning Town Hall and Mechanics' Institute
The lower floor of this attractive building in Austral Terrace was completed in 1897. It started public life as the Agricultural Hall and, after extensive renovations in 1928, it became known as the Town Hall. On the side, the Mechanics' Institute rooms still operate and proudly house three large billiard tables.
Katanning's large Moslem community originated from the Cocos and Christmas Islands. They have contributed to the diversity of the community and maintain their unique cultural identity by operating their own Mosque. During the third week in February you can feast your eyes on their colourful costumes as they take part in the Multicultural Festival.
Katanning Public Library and Art Gallery
Located on Austral Terrace, this modern library has email facilities for visitors. The Gallery has changing exhibitions of local interest as well as travelling exhibitions. Katanning also has a very impressive art collection, some from the Claude Hotchin bequest and other works from the bi-annual acquisitive art competition.
The Badgebup Church
On the road between katanning and Nyabing is the exquisite St Peter's Church, built in 1922 and heritage listed in 1996. Stop and have a look around. Ring the old bell outside and pretend to summon churchgoers to worship.
New Lodge Motel 16 units, fully licensed restaurant and conference facility. 3.5 star. Ph 9821 1788, fax 9821 1364.
Katanning Motel Albion St. Single, double & family rooms available. Restaurant. Ph 9821 1657, fax 9821 1930.
Katanning Hotel 43 Austral Tce. Self contained units, hotel rooms, licensed restaurant, lounge bar & entertainment. Ph 9821 2900.
Federal Hotel Motel rooms and hotel rooms, shared facilities, guest lounge & kitchen. Ph 9821 1010, fax 9821 5045.
Kobeelya Kobeelya Av. Budget accommodation, conference facilities, pool & games room. Linen for hire. Ph 9821 2214.
Woodchester B & B Majestic Cape Dutch deluxe accommodation, long & short term. Ph Rosemary 9821 7007.
Royal Exchange Hotel Accommodation, dinning room, beer garden, TAB and good Aussie hospitality. 66 Austral Tce Katanning Ph 9821 7550.
Emerald Gardens Dumbleyung Rd. Modern self-contained units, 2 double rooms. Ph 9821 1027, fax 9821 5375.
Yellow Gum B & B A touch of Africa, walking distance from town centre. Ph Louise 0428 513 764.
Food & Drinks
BKW Co-op Cafeteria Austral Tce. You can get all your needs, from groceries to clothes, wine & gifts, at the BKW, but make sure you set aside time to eat. Mon-Fri, 8.30 am- 4.30 pm. Ph 9821 2784.
Katz Restaurant A la carte licensed restaurant, located at Katanning Hotel. Ph 9821 1657.
Hung Wins Chinese Restaurant & Reception Centre Housed in an old church. Add something different to your trip. BYO. Ph 9821 2086.
Loretta at the Feddy Loretta's $10 lunch deals are famous, so why not stop in. Located at the Federal Hotel in the main street. Ph 9821 7128.
New Lodge Motel Can provide for functions as well as a la carte dining. Reservations essential. Licensed. Ph 9821 1788.
The Grange Home made cakes and hot food, located in the Katanning Plaza.
Daily Grind Cafe Open on weekends for that special lunch or dinner. Ph 9821 7779.
Olde Mill Deli For all your emergency grocery needs and takeaways. Situated next to the Katanning Visitor Centre. Ph 9821 1974.
Chicken Treat Mon-Fri, 11 am-8 pm, Sat 10 am-9 pm, Sun 10 am-8.30 pm. Ph 9821 4411.
BP Roadhouse 7 am-10 pm every day. Ph 9821 1265.
Katanning Hotel Counter meals Mon-Sat. Full a la carte menu. Ph 9821 1900.
Goose's Bridal Shop Good coffee and great collectables to admire while you enjoy a break from driving. At the town entrance.
Blue House Diner Clive St. Ph 9821 1996
KT's - Katanning Takeaway Austral Tce.
For further information, please visit the Shire of Katanning website or for maps, opening times, appointments to attractions, town tours plus any extra information please call into the Visitor Centre in the Mill. Open 10am - 4pm week days and 10-12 noon Saturday. Call in and meet the volunteers, share their local knowledge. Phone 9821 2634.