Pioneering in Western Australia

Since gold was discovered in Kalgoorlie in 1893 pioneers came from far and wide leaving traces across WA and, unbeknownst to many, there are some abandoned homesteads not far from Esperance. There are two homesteads that are relatively easy to find.

Deralinyup homestead

Deralinyup Homestead, Western Australia

The first is Deralinya which was built in 1890 and home to Mr Scott who lived there while he worked on the land. It lay in ruins for years until Roger Robertson came across it and decided to lavish love upon it and restore it. It now boasts a complete tin roof, whitewashed walls and a few bits of furniture. There is a dunny (outhouse) in a separate block and another shed-like building.

Deralinyup Homestead Dunny, Western Australia

Balinia homestead

Balinia Homestead near Esperance, Western Australia

The second homestead is Balinia which is 20 kilometres away along a rough track and another of Roger’s projects. There is a main house and a small cottage, both built in 1883 at this site, which is on a beautiful and vast open plain often visited by wild horses.

Brook family graves at Balinia Homestead, WA

If you follow the track inbetween the houses and down the hill slightly you can see the graves of the Brook family who lived here originally.

How to get to the Esperance homesteads

The nearest town with an airport is Esperance. From Esperance you drive East out of town along Fisheries Road to Condingup, which is 70 kilometres and takes about 50 minutes. You drive past Condingup on the right and will pass an alarming sign on the left warning you to have plenty of fuel!

Warning sign at Condingup, WA

5 kilometres past the sign you turn left onto Parmango Road. This road is bitumen for the first 80 kilometres and then becomes a dirt track for a further 60 kilometres. A small brown sign marked ‘h 200m’ on the left marks the track leading to the Deralinya Homestead.

The tree-lined driving track between the homesteads near Esperance, Western Australia

To get to the Balinia Homestead leave Deralinyup Homestead using the path leading directly away from the front door of the house. Cross Parmango Road and take the narrow dirt track through the trees. This track takes you directly to Balinia Homestead. It is only 20 kilometres but takes about 75 minutes driving carefully.

Visiting these homesteads made it easy to imagine life as a pioneer in the region. Camping by the homesteads was a hot fly-ridden affair by day and a cold experience at night! Have you found an episode of history easier to relate to after visiting somewhere?

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