The 132km Yonga Trail (Yonga being the local name for Kangaroo) was developed as part of the Wagin Lakes Project to link up sites illustrating Wagin’s significant indigenous heritage. The trail also takes you to a range of different landscapes and vegetation types representative of the area.
Must see along with way…
Badgarning Hill (Mt Latham). Map Reference 7.
Badgarning (also Badganning or Bojanning) is reached via the lookout track off the Arthur river road, 5.6km west of Wagin. Badgarning is home to many plants and animals including
- Marri (Bloodlike gum used for medicine)
- Cumuk (Australia bluebell, edible fruit)
- Mungart (Jam tree, seeds were made into flour and timber used for tool making)
- Yonga and Coomari (Kangaroos and Possums, hunted for food and skin)
- Nurrn (Snakes, eaten)
In addition, a wide variety of wildflowers can be seen in spring. The Orchids were never disturbed by the Noongar as they were of no value, as Angus Wallam (Wagin Elder) relates,
“They Wouldn’t let you touch ’em…no, you mustn’t take ’em”
Badgarning is where a good spirit, sometimes playful resides, as Angus remembers:
“They used to come to me, I’d be laying out here, they come like a spider you know, all over you”
There is a lookout at the top near the radio tower and walking trail around the top of Badgarning Hill.
Delyanine. Map reference 6.
This bush area, 20.8kms from Wagin on the left hand side of the Delyanine Road between the blue painter strainer and Prosser road contains a wide range of wildflowers and birdlife on public land. This is also where Beaufort Dinah whom you can read about at the Wagin Historical Village died.
Many Noongar camped here and helped clear the bush to build the railway. Many of them saw the inside of the old police lock-up at Manuel’s farm on the Albany Highway for various minor infractions.
From the top of the hill in the reserve you can see Mintagin Rock to the south west. This is the site of the last spear fight in the area (Over a century ago). It is a special place, where nothing would be taken and no-one would go at night time. It had special songs about it reflecting its importance for the local Noongar.
Norring Lake. Map Reference 5.
“Oh gee, there was a lot of bush here too, see. Years ago this was nice and blue.
Angus Wallam remebers there being swans, turtles and fish at the lakes. The Noongar would collect eggs and catch turtles, birds and fish.
“They’d go into a bit of a swamp, a swampy area. The fish was there, they’d hit the water with a bit of bush, they’d muddy up the water and they’d come up. They could then grab ’em…”
Bellagin. Map reference 8.
Bellagin, on the junction of the Arthur and Buchanan Rivers, 18.8km north west of Wagin on the Bellagin Road, is the home of a spirit related to the Dreamtime Waugal (Serpent). This place was generally avoided by the Noongar because this spirit could be bad. Angus Wallan recalls travelling in the area:
“We had to lead our horses across the old bridge, they would stop and not want to go across. They could smell the bad spirit”
However fishing was good in the river, with many fish and marron available, so the spirit was often appeased before going in to spear fish.
Puntapin Rock. Map Reference 2
Only 6.9km east of Wagin off the Bullock Hills road, Puntapin Rock affords panoramic views of Wagin and the Dreaming trail of the Noongar. The Noongar would not normally climb the rock, it being home to a good spirit whom they would not want to disturb. However the area around the rock was very significant, not only for day to day life as there are several springs and good resources but also to hold initiations and ceremonies.
Wait-Jen trail. Map reference 3.
The Wait-Jen Trail meanders alongside four of the lakes on the Coblinine River system. It is a 10.5km walking trail providing a window into the Noongar heritage of the area.
Mia-Mia. Map Reference 4
The Mia-Mia is a shelter made of branches bound together by bullrush. Skins could be used to waterproof the outside and also as rugs. A small ditch was dug around the Mia-Mia to divert surface water away from the floor. They were built in semi-permanent camping places where Noongar would return to on a regular basis, near reliable water sources, food sources and hunting grounds. The Noongar never had a need for a permanent home, as Angus Wallam recalls,
“Wherever they went, they were happy. They were all happy. It’s all their home. They don’t own it but they own it in their heart.”
“I don’t care where I go, I look at the countryside and have a look and think ‘what a wonderful valley, the trees are so nice and lovely’ but the farmer owns it but I’ve still got a lot of feeling for it.”
Wagin Historical Village. Map Reference 1.
The village is located on Kitchener Street, opposite the recreation centre. Opening hours are 10am-4pm daily.
The Village features displays and buildings from Wagin’s colonial past. In the main hall you will find the history and story of King Beaufort Dinah, one of the original Noongars of Wagin.
Wagin Aboriginal Reserve. Map Reference 9.
This reserve is located off Rifle Street on the south west side of town. Form the main street travel towards Arthur River and turn left just past the Ambulance Depot. There is a sign on the left 100m over the brow of the hill at the track into the reserve. Alongside picnic and BBQ facilities, there is a sign telling some of the contemporary history as well as one of the original tin ‘houses’.