York Tourism & Travel
The historic town of York is only 99km from Perth and set in the rolling green pastures of the Avon Valley. The first inland township of Western Australia, York is classified by the National Trust and boasts a wealth of well-preserved buildings and early architecture, an excellent vintage motor museum and a range of shops, galleries, cafes and restaurants.
The first settlers arrived in York in 1831, after a few years of exploration into the hinterland beyond the Darling Range. After years of transport and labour shortage problems, the township appeared in 1835 after land was cleared for wheat and sheep farming and the army barracks and store were constructed.
Just before the Western Australian gold rush, the railway from York to Fremantle was built. Additional branches to Albany, Northam and Toodyay were completed by the late 1890s, which facilitated the travel of gold diggers to and from York and the eastern goldfields. In the late 1880s, York boomed into a busy town and it was during the period 1886-1900 that most of its fine Victorian and Federation-style buildings were constructed.
York National Trust
York is now classified completely by the National Trust and the towns locals are committed to preserving York. A walk around York Historic Town will treat you to some of the finest and best kept historic buildings in the whole of Australia.
The Court House and Police Station was constructed and then extended over a period of 60 years from the 1840s until the end of the nineteenth century. It contains two courtrooms, police station and jail cells. The Old Hospital was established in 1896 and looks more like a homely guesthouse than a hospital.
The Church of St. Patrick is made in the elegant Victorian Gothic style and has intricate stained-glass windows. The Railway Station still operates and is one of the few two-storey stations in Australia. The Sandalwood Press contains a great museum of printing history and Town Hall, a significant feature of Yorks main streetscape, is an excellent example of Edwardian opulence. Yorks town planners wanted to announce that it was a prosperous town that could keep up with anywhere in Australia.
At nearby Balladong Farm in Blandstown, visitors can see an authentic living, working farm museum the only one of its kind in Australia. See cows being milked by hand, many different farm animals, an old hand-operated wool press, traditional blacksmithing methods and sheep being shorn by the old technique of using blades.
The Avon Valley Historical Rose Garden and Mill Gallery with its renowned Jahroc Furniture gallery are also close by. The Avon River flows through York and is home to the Avon Valley Descent held in August, one of the biggest and most spectacular whitewater races in Australia. There are also scenic walking trails along its banks.
York is a big festival town; with many music and cultural celebrations held each year including the York Jazz festival in September that attracts national and international attention.