Walk around the streets of Katanning and you’reconstantly 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 the Old Roller Flour Mill. 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’s large Muslim 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.
KOBEELYA is a stately home at the end of Clive Street and overlooks the township. Built in 1902 as a home for the Piesse family, it became a private boarding school for young ladies from well-to-do families. It is currently used for religious meetings and has accommodation and a function centre. You can still hear the giggles of past students on their way to the lovely little chapel. Stroll around or stay the night.
Katanning Historical Society Museum
The Katanning Historical Society Museum is located on Richardson and Taylor Streets. Open every Sunday.
The 1930's Wakes Garage
Some people never throw anything away and at Wakes Garage on Richardson Street they kept everything. You’ll find a collection of things that ‘just might come in handy some time’. It was establishedin 1938 and has the only dirt floor left in WA. It is the home of the first rotary engine invented which sits on its original workbench.
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 Agriculture 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.
Heritage Rose Garden
The Heritage Rose Garden is located opposite the Town Hall and incorporates a Noongar Time Walk, Malay mosaic, the Pioneer Women’s clock and roses dating back to 1830. This picturesque garden offers visitors a place to relax with large slab benches and a shaded gazebo.
The Flour Mill
The Flour Mill was one of the town’s first major industries and was constructed close to the centre of the town in 1891 by brothers Frederick Henry Piesse and Charles Austin Piesse; this in turn encouraged the local farmers to grow wheat which was at the heart of the town's early economic success.
Most of the mill equipment is still in place, however is now closed due to redevelopment.
Katanning Agricultural Show
The Katanning Agricultural Show is held on the fourth Saturday of October at the Katanning Leisure Centre. Sideshow alley, exhibitions, entertainment, and more! A fun day out for the family.
Katanning Harmony Festival
Katanning Harmony Festival celebrates diversity, community participation, inclusiveness and respect for all the different cultures that make Australia a great place to live in. The day features entertainment, food, art, activities, cooking shows, a multicultural fashion parade and more. Held on the second Sunday of March each year, the Festival promises colour, culture and excitement.
Water-skiers, kayakers, sailors, swimmers, picnickers and birdwatchers alike will enjoy a visit to this 100 ha recreation lake. Located 17 km east of Katanning on Langaweira Road, this lake has water for most of the year and is home to 95 species of birds. Picnic and boating facility upgrades are currently underway as part of a major restoration project being undertaken by the Katanning community.
Police Pools Nature Reserve
Avid bird watchers should head to the Police Pools in Twonkwillingup Nature Reserve. Originally it was a police outstation from 1863, the reserve hosts a rewarding walking trail through shady and peaceful bush, featuring a boardwalk and an abundance of wildlife.
The Badgebup Church
This exquisite St Peters Church is found on the road between Katanning and Nyabing. It was built in 1922 and heritage listed in 1996. It is well worth a stop to have a look and you can even ring the old bell outside.
The Mini Steam Train and All Ages Playground
The Mini Steam Train and All Ages Playground is not to be missed. This unique playground is for all ages, including very big kids and comes complete with a BBQ area. The Mini Steam Train chuffs around the park on the second and fourth Sunday of every month.
Katanning Sale Yards
Experience a sheep sale until all stock is sold at the newly built Katanning Saleyards. Come and enjoy the largest undercover sheep saleyards in the southern hemisphere, while enjoying food from the onsite canteen.
Officially opened by WA Premier Colin Barnett, on 28 May 2014, the Saleyards houses 1,008 selling pens under a roof of more than 44,000sqm and is the only saleyards in Australia with water in the selling pens capable of trading 1.2 million sheep annually.