New Norcia

St Benedicts, Ken Stepnell / Explore Australia Publishing

In 1846 Spanish Benedictine monks established a mission 132 kilometres north of Perth in the secluded Moore Valley in an attempt to help the local Aboriginal population. They named their mission after the Italian town of Norcia, the birthplace of the order's founder, St Benedict. The imposing Spanish-inspired buildings of New Norcia, surrounded by the gum trees and dry grasses of the wheat belt, provide a most unexpected vista. The town still operates as a monastery and is Australia's only monastic town. Visitors may join the monks at daily prayers.

Visitor Information

Museum and art gallery, Great Northern Hwy; (08) 9654 8056

www.newnorcia.wa.edu.au

Nearby national parks

  • Avon Valley National Park

    The Avon River runs through the centre of this national park, not far from Perth and once occupied by the Nyoongar people of the Darling...more

  • Yanchep National Park

    Just a 45-minute drive from Perth, Yanchep is one of Western Australia’s oldest national parks. Lying on a belt of coastal limestone,...more

  • Walyunga National Park

    Set on the edge of the Darling Scarp just north of Perth, Walyunga National Park encompasses a section of the Swan River valley. It is here...more

Nearby towns

  • Moora

    On the banks of the Moore River, Moora is the largest town between Perth and Geraldton. The area in its virgin state was a large salmon gum...more

  • Gingin

    Gingin is one of the oldest towns in Western Australia, having been settled in 1832, only 2 years after the establishment of the Swan River...more

  • Toodyay

    This National Trust–classified town is nestled in the Avon Valley surrounded by picturesque farming country and bushland. The name...more

In Town

Abbey Church This fine example of bush architecture was built using a combination of stones, mud plaster, rough-hewn trees and wooden shingles. It is the oldest Catholic church still in use in WA and contains the tomb of Dom Rosendo Salvado, the founder of New Norcia and its first Abbot. Hanging on a wall is the painting of Our Lady of Good Counsel, given to Salvado before he left for Australia in 1845 by Bishop (later Saint) Vincent Palotti. One of New Norcia's most famous stories relates how, in 1847, Salvado placed this revered painting in the path of a bushfire threatening the mission's crops. The wind suddenly changed direction and drove the flames back to the part already burnt, and the danger was averted.

Museum and art gallery: the museum tells the story of New Norcia's history as an Aboriginal mission, while the art gallery houses priceless religious art from Australia and Europe as well as Spanish artefacts, many of which were gifts from Queen Isabella of Spain. The museum gift shop features New Norcia's own produce including bread, nutcake, pan chocolatti, biscotti, wine, honey and olive oil.

Monastery: daily tours of the interior. A guesthouse allows visitors to experience the monastic life for a few days.

New Norcia Hotel: this magnificent building, featuring a massive divided central staircase and high, moulded pressed-metal ceilings, was opened in 1927 as a hostel to accommodate parents of the children who were boarding at the town's colleges.

Old Flour Mill: the oldest surviving building in New Norcia dates from the 1850s.

Heritage trail: 2 km self-guided walk highlights New Norcia's historic and cultural significance and the role of the Benedictine monks in colonial history; contact visitor centre for map.

Guided tour: 2 hr tour of the town with an experienced guide takes you inside buildings not otherwise open to the public; 11am and 1.30pm daily from museum.

Nearby

Mogumber: town with one of the state's highest timber-and-concrete bridges; 24 km SW.

Piawaning: magnificent stand of eucalypts north of town; 31 km NE.

Bolgart: site of historic hotel; 49 km SE.

Wyening Mission: former mission, now a historic site; open by appt; 50 km SE.

Golf courses around town

The Vines Resort & Country Club (Lakes course) 90 km

Few courses in Australia let you walk in the footsteps of the game’s best players simply by booking a tee time and paying your green fee. The Vines, as the stage for such events as the Heineken Classic, Johnnie... Find out more


Joondalup Country Club & Resort 97 km

Few inland courses in Australia boast such visually sensational holes as you will encounter at Joondalup. This 27-hole layout, a 25-minute drive north of Perth’s CBD, is a unique golfing experience and the... Find out more


Cafes & restaurants around town

New Norcia Hotel

Patrons lounge on the impressive verandah for lunch, dinner or drinks at the historic New Norcia Hotel. The atmosphere is informal and the Sunday-night roast is popular, as are the barbecues in summer. Try a glass of New... Find out more


Nearby breweries

Feral Brewing Company 93 km

Based in the Swan Valley, Feral Brewing produces a range of sometimes challenging beers that are served on tap at their bar/restaurant (and a handful of other outlets), plus their flagship bottled product Feral White,... Find out more


Mash Brewing Company 95 km

The simply named Mash Brewing Company debuted in April 2006, adding to the significant cluster of craft breweries operating out of the Swan Valley. Inspired by the Little Creatures model, the brewery is positioned... Find out more


Duckstein Brewery 96 km

Duckstein Brewery actually has two separate breweries and outlets located in both the Swan Valley and Margaret River wine regions. The original 60-litre microbrewery (or should that be microscopic brewery) is one of the... Find out more


Elmar's In the Valley 97 km

Having established a successful smallgoods business, German-born couple Elmar and Anette Dieren branched out to establish this sizeable bar, restaurant and beer garden complex, which also includes a microbrewery. While... Find out more


Campsites around town

Calingiri Caravan Park 26 km

The town of Calingiri is 141 km north-east of Perth. This small park on Cavell St in the town centre has basic facilities, but the gravel surface is not suitable for tents. Visitors will find it a good base for exploring... Find out more


Shire of Moora Caravan Park 42 km

On the Moore River in the Midlands district, about 180 km north of Perth, the town of Moora is at the centre of a mixed farming area of primarily wheat, wool and cattle. The main attractions here are the wildflowers... Find out more


Pioneer Park 59 km

Basic caravan park facilities are offered here in Dandaragan, a small town in the wheat-belt district that boasts lush pastures and golden crops, 180 km north of Perth. The characteristic red and white gums and a... Find out more


Ballidu Caravan Park 67 km

This caravan park is close to town and visitors in spring have the opportunity to see dazzling displays of wildflowers in the surrounding countryside. An incredible variety of flora combines to craft a carpet of colour... Find out more


Sappers camping area 68 km

Sappers camping area is 25 km west of Toodyay on Sappers Rd, off Plunket Rd. Bring drinking water and come in a 4WD. Note: this camping area may be closed in winter.... Find out more


Homestead camping area 68 km

Homestead camping area is adjacent to a small creek in wandoo forest. To find it, head 30 km west of Toodyay and 55 km north-east of Midland via Governors Dr, off Quarry Rd.... Find out more


Valley camping area 69 km

Valley camping area is at the bottom of a valley near the Avon River. It’s reached via Forty-One Mile Rd, off Quarry Rd. Note: access to the river is restricted due to the main east–west railway line.... Find out more


Bald Hill camping area 70 km

Bald Hill camping area is near the top of a hill overlooking the Avon Valley to the west of Drummonds camping area, reached via  Governors Dr off Quarry Rd. A short walk onto the stony outcrops provides... Find out more


Drummonds camping area 71 km

Drummonds camping area is set among wandoo woodlands overlooking the Avon Valley. Access in is steep, so you’ll need a 4WD tow if you’re bringing in a campervan. The campsite is to the west of... Find out more


Thirty-Seven Mile Road camping area 71 km

There’s no surprise that this camping area is on Thirty-Seven Mile Rd. You’ll find it off Plunket Rd, 40 km west of Toodyay. Bring your own supply of drinking water.... Find out more


Caravan parks around town

Guilderton Caravan Park 80 km

Located in a picturesque setting at the mouth of the Moore River, this popular beachside holiday park is on the water’s edge and has good camping and caravan sites. Amenities are basic and a small shop and cafe are... Find out more


Ledge Point Holiday Park 81 km

This park is just a few years old. It has the latest facilities and will be a great asset to the area. There is an internet cafe and bookings are essential in busy times. A minimum-length stay applies during peak... Find out more


Dalwallinu Caravan Park 89 km

A council park that has been redeveloped in recent years, this is a very neat and tidy place, suitable for tourists for short or longer stays. It is easily accessible from the Great Northern Highway.... Find out more


Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Monastery Guesthouse

Those seeking reflection will appreciate true Benedictine hospitality at the Monastery Guesthouse. Accommodating 24 guests, there is an assortment of single and twin rooms, some with shared facilities and others with... Find out more


New Norcia Hotel

In Australia’s only monastic town, you’ll find a slice of Spain in this small country town’s Benedictine community. Despite the simple accommodation available at the New Norcia Hotel, the grand building... Find out more


Nirranda Farmstay

Fancy some rural seclusion? The Nirranda Farmstay is a working grain, sheep and cattle farm on 2000 hectares. But don’t worry, you won’t be herding any cattle, just interacting with the farm animals,... Find out more


Rest areas around town

Bindoon Hill rest area 40 km

10km N of Bindoon (L) or 41km S of New Norcia (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees. On both sides of the highway.


Nature Trail rest area 46 km

11km S of Regans Ford (R) or 37km N of Gingin (L)

Secluded behind trees just off the highway.


Information Bay rest area 48 km

3km S of Regans Ford (R) or 45km N of Gingin (L)

Secluded behind trees just off the highway.


Regans Ford park area 49 km

At Regans Ford

Just off the highway under shady trees. Opposite the roadhouse.


Miling North rest area 59 km

76km N of New Norcia (R) or 42km S of Dalwallinu (L)

Just off the highway behind a few trees.


Dalwallinu park area 88 km

At Dalwallinu

In the main street opposite the post office.


Eadine Springs rest area 88 km

9km E of Bakers Hill (L) or 14km W of Northam (R)

Secluded picnic area among trees. Well off the highway.


Bakers Hill park area 89 km

At Bakers Hill  

Adjacent to the highway at the information bay on the west side of town.


Drummonds Reserve rest area 92 km

T/O 13km S of Badgingarra (R) or 62km N of Regans Ford (L)

In scrub off Bibby Rd, 5km west of the highway.


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