Self-Drive trails traversing the red heart of Western Australia

Shire of Murchison

The Shire of Murchison consists of 26 pastoral leases, an Aboriginal and a Local Government reserve, areas of vacant crown land and various other reserves.   The Shire of Murchison is also known as the Shire without a town, there being no gazetted townsite within the Shire and only the Murchison Settlement being the major source of population and services.

The major industry of the Shire is the operation of the pastoral stations which produce wool and meat (from sheep, cows, goats and kangaroos). The land is largely uncleared, however years of grazing have damaged some areas.  The most common species of plants are varieties of acacia with eucalyptus trees inhabiting areas close to the various rivers and their channels.

The Shire is traversed by the Murchison River system including its two tributaries the Sanford and Roderick Rivers.  These rivers only flow following significant rainfall events, however there are many permanent pools within the river system.

Rainfall averages around 250mm per year, however this amount varies significantly from year to year. Most rain is experienced in the winter months.  The area is subject to rainfall at the tail end of summer cyclones and summer thunderstorms. Large amounts of wildflowers bloom following good winter rainfall.

Summers in the Shire of Murchison are mostly hot, with summer temperatures generally being over 30 degrees Celsius, and there are frequently long periods where the temperature exceeds 37.5 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Farenheight). Winters are generally cool and sunny.  Travellers to the area should be aware of these extremes and equip themselves sufficiently well to ensure their own wellbeing.

The Murchison Museum was built in 1985 with rammed earth and timber in the style of an early station homestead and has a fine collection of pastoral artifacts. Its aim is to preserve early pioneer and ongoing pastoral history. There is a particularly well-presented and catalogued photographic record of pastoral identities, transport and local homesteads.

To view road conditions within the Shire of Murchison please click here

Places to Stay

Murchison Oasis Roadhouse and Caravan Park

Wool Wagon

The New Murchison Oasis Roadhouse was officially opened in July 2010. Along with the modern features it offers the relaxed country atmosphere that only the outback has perfected.

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Wooleen Station

Wool Wagon

In the heart of the dramatic Murchison region, Wooleen Station represents the very heart and soul of Australia’s outback.

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Are you a tourism operator in the Shire of Murchison? If you would like to list your property with us (for free), please send us you property details.

Get the Guide Book

Follow the pathways

The 178-page full colour guidebook paints a colourful picture of the region - its history, nature and its charismatic characters following three self-drive trails through the Gascoyne-Murchison - the Wool Wagon Pathway, Miners Pathway and the Kingsford Smith Mail Run.

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Plan Your Trip

Safety checklist

While the Outback Pathways have opened the heart of the Gascoyne and Murchison to visitors, many areas on the self-drive trails remain remote and warrant extra travel precautions.

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Local Attractions


WildflowersLate July - September
Wildflowers adorn much of the Gascoyne Murchison in spring time after plentiful rains.

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Station Stays

Station StaysApril - October
Outback Australian station stays offer you a unique holiday experience. Friendly hosts welcome you onto their stations and homesteads for a taste of country life in the Aussie Outback.

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Bird lifeAll year round
Waterways are ideal locations to experience the harmonious sounds and colourful sights of hundreds of birds that dwell in the Gascoyne Murchison region.

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AstronomyAll year round
You've never seen the stars shine as brightly as they do in the Gascoyne Murchison.

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GeologyAll year round
You'll experience a unique feeling of timelessness as you travel through country that possesses some of the oldest rocks in the world.

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