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Greenough, Western Australia

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Take a walk through the 19th century pioneering era at Greenough's National Trust treasure, The Central Greenough Historic Settlement. This quaint village of 11 original stone buildings originally formed one of Western Australia's first settlements. You should also make the most of its Indian Ocean location by joining the locals for a spot of fishing and surfing. Or, take your camera to capture some of Mother Nature's most curious living sculptures - Greenough's leaning trees. From Geraldton, Greenough is a short 20 minute drive south. Or, if you're starting from Perth, opt for the scenic route along the Indian Ocean Drive north from Yanchep. You can complete the drive in four and a half hours, but if you allow yourself a little more time, you'll get to enjoy some breathtaking beaches and one of Australia's most unique landscapes, the Pinnacles. A drive through the historic Greenough Flats will reveal some picturesque ruins of pioneer cottages, churches, cemeteries and schools. Step into the Central Greenough Historic Settlement however, and you'll get a glimpse of 19th century life in this farming community on a self-guided stroll through 11 lovingly restored original buildings. Complete your history lesson with a visit to the Pioneer Museum, which houses one of the best folk displays in Australia. Beyond the locals' favourite fishing, swimming, snorkelling and swimming spots on the coast and Greenough River mouth, there are other hidden natural treasures inland. Pick a shady picnic spot at pretty Ellendale Pool and spot peregrine falcons nesting in the cliff face. Walk or cycle the Greenough River Nature Trail. Or take in expansive views of spring wildflowers from Bringo Lookout, admiring the Geraldton wax that lines the road. Photographers will also be struck by the surreal sculpted eucalyptus trees that line the roads on Greenough's coastal plain. Exposed to prevailing southerly winds, these 'leaning trees' defy gravity by growing horizontally. A stay in one of the State's first settlements offers some unique historic accommodation options, as well as welcoming farmstays, bed and breakfasts, resorts and caravan parks.

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