A Day Trip: Yalgoo to Wurarga
Download printable flyer with photos here.
Wurarga is an abandoned town well worth a visit. Take a drive 54 kilometres from Yalgoo along the Geraldton—Mt Magnet Road and see the remains of the old railway line, siding, hotel ruins and Wurarga Dam. You can also visit the lonely graves on the other side of the dam.
In 1896 the railway line and Wurarga Siding were built and by 1897 there was a platform with a stone station house and resident station manager. 1890 to 1910 saw the line expand to Mt Magnet , Meekathar-ra and finally stopping at Wiluna. In 1923 Wurarga became an unmanned station with no resident station master and in 1974 the line closed. As often happens in remote towns when the rail line closes, towns decline. When the main road was re-routed in the late seventies it spelt the end of Wurarga.
1896 William Mooney build a hotel adjacent to the siding and became the first licensee. The hotel operated for 74 years until March 1969 when it was de-licensed. In 1902 the population was nine people with four white stone cottages, including a store. The little store remained until the late seventies but with the rail closure and the rerouting of the main road, it stood no chance and closed. This spelt the end as slowly but surely Wurarga is being reclaimed by the bush.
1932 was the year the dam was enlarged. The stone channels branching out into the water catchment area is worth seeing. The dam is a cool relaxing place for a picnic lunch.
It’s a sad sight to see the 3 lonely untended graves in the middle of no where with no records of the burials. These graves were uncovered in 1934 when enlargement of the dam occurred and re-interred at the site you can see today. The graves are believed to be; Hugh Moore: died 1907, Edward Holt: died 1911, John Wiseman: died 1912 and baby Nora Byrne.