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Gingin, Western Australia

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One of the oldest towns in Western Australia, Gingin has retained much of its colonial country charm, but also embraces new frontiers - inviting you to explore the night sky and test the science of gravity. Being slightly over 1 hours drive north of Perth along Brand Highway, it makes an ideal family day trip or mini-break away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Far from the bright city lights, the Gingin Observatory offers unimpeded views of the cosmos through Australia's largest public telescope. For more fun with science, visit its neighbour in the bush, the Gingin Discovery Centre, where you can take 222 steps to the top of the Leaning Tower of Gingin and test Galileo's 17th century gravity experiments. While you're up there, take a moment to enjoy the breathtaking views. Beyond the town, a perfect blend of country and coast unfolds. Sprawling vineyards and olive groves give you a taste of the region's local produce, while a string of white sandy beaches offer the opportunity to indulge in fishing, swimming and boating. The coastal town of Lancelin is a veritable feast of water activities, including snorkelling, diving and world-class windsurfing, and boasts Western Australia's biggest sand dunes as its land-based adventure playground. If you've brought along a picnic, head for Granville Park in the heart of Gingin's township, its iconic water wheel creates a delightful backdrop to a lazy afternoon along the banks of Gingin Brook. If you're staying a little longer, choose from caravan parks and camping grounds, hotel accommodation, bed and breakfasts and chalets.