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Chidlow, Western Australia

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Chidlow, in the heart of the Darling Range, is a charming country town, surrounded by beautiful countryside criss-crossed with trails through native flora and fauna rich woodlands. It's the ideal base for bushwalking, cycling and horse riding, as well as swimming and canoeing at nearby Lake Leschenaultia. Just 50 minutes east from Perth by car, Chidlow was originally a busy railway town on the old Eastern Railway, built in the 1880s but decommissioned in 1966. Today, Chidlow is a popular destination for nature lovers and outdoor adventurers alike. All that remains of the railway is the Heritage Trail that retraces the 70 kilometre Fremantle to York railway line, and Lake Leschenaultia, which was originally constructed to provide water for the steam trains. On the Railway Heritage Trail, you'll discover the unique history and character of the small settlements that sprang up along the railway line. It's suitable for walking, cycling and horse riding, and is a great way to experience the native forests and bushland. Keep an eye out for the abundant birdlife, kangaroos, echidnas and, if you're visiting in spring, stop to admire the colourful wildflowers that blanket the countryside. If you're looking for somewhere to cool off after exploring the trail, Lake Leschenaultia's inviting waters and sandy beaches await. Take a refreshing dip, hire a canoe and paddle your way around the lake, or take a leisurely water-side stroll around the three kilometre trail circuit. Alternatively, relax on one of the lake's beaches with a picnic or barbecue lunch beneath the shade of the gum trees. For a night under the stars, camp out at Lake Leschenaultia, or opt for some comfort and hospitality at a local bed and breakfast or self-contained cottage.

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