On the short drive west from Katanning to Kojonup, you’ll traverse the very beginning of the rolling hills that cross Western Australia’s south-west corner. It’s a small change in geography, but a half-century step back in time.
The Noongar people travelled this land for many thousands of years, linking water sources by dreaming tracks that were memorised in song; creating a living encyclopedia and map of their world. The first European surveyors, looking for an overland route between Perth and Albany on horseback, followed the water too; and the spring at Kojonup, fed by a mostly subterranean granite dome, was an important watering stop on the track that became the Albany Highway. This staging post that grew into a military barracks near the spring was built more than fifty years before the establishment of Katanning, and remains on that site as one of Western Australia’s oldest buildings.
As you close on Kojonup, you’ll notice the blue-grey granite outcrops dotting the paddocks, and if you are getting away early, you can see their almost ghostly glow against the gold and green of the farmland. The abundance and quality of the granite made this place known for what the local Kaneang tribe called the ‘kodja’ or stone axe.