Perfect nesting place
Martin nests on Beringbooding Rock. Picture: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian

The morning is clear and chill, but sun fills the blue sky as surely as the day will be filled with adventures. We might be in agricultural land, but this far east, the Wheatbelt is dotted with big granite rocks and nature reserves. We are near the old rabbit-proof fence line, about five hours north-east of Perth, and I am staying at Watson's Way, which specialises in country stays and rock tours.

And Watson's Way, owned and run by Brian Watson and wife Ray, is a home away from home. There's a warm welcome, dinner in the lounge room and then "home" to the Chook House.

There is a choice of accommodation on what is still a working wheat and barley farm.

The Chook House has three bedrooms, a big lounge room and kitchen, and you are out there among tough little arid land gums with no discernible neighbours.

It's your own family home away from home. Don't be scared by the name. The Chook House isn't actually a chook house - it is so named because it is themed by everything chicken, from the row of kitchen tiles that instigated the idea, to the mugs, wall hangings, salt and pepper shakers and even the Rhode Island Red-themed bedroom, in deep, rich colours, which has a queen-sized bed.

On Beringbooding Rock. Picture: Stephen Scourfield/The West Australian
The next bedroom has a double and a single and the third has twin beds. There is also the Quandong Cottage (one double, one single and one twin), Sandalwood Shack (one double and one twin) and the Sheep Shed (two twin bedrooms). They all have heating, air- conditioning, electric blankets, TV, books, games and cards. There are outdoor areas with barbecues.

Bed and breakfast is $55 per night for each adult and high school-aged child, $35 per primary school-aged child per night and pre-schoolers are free. Prices include a full cooked breakfast in the farmhouse. A three-course evening meal is $30 per adult and $20 per school-aged child and a light lunch is $15 per person.

Watson's Way is on the doorstep of Beringbooding Rock, a big granite around which early settlers built a low granite wall to channel water into a big tank.

It's also near other big granites like Elachbutting Rock. And these are surrounded by natural bush where the honeyeaters sing and wildflowers will soon come to life.

I just want to move into the Chook Shed for a week, enjoy Brian and Ray's good, old-fashioned hospitality, and explore the area.


FACT FILE

Watson's Way is 368km north-east of Perth. The nearest town is Mukinbudin (72km) on sealed road, except the last 11km on good gravel road.
Phone 9047 0014 or 0428 470 015, or email watsonsway4@bigpond.com . And see members.westnet.com.au/watsonsway
The address is 1487 Cunderin Road, Mukinbudin.

The West Australian

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