If you haven’t heard of The Lily Dutch Windmill before, you’re not alone. But, like us, you will soon be shocked that this incredible spot, just a few hours out of Perth, has not come across your radar sooner.
Half way between Katanning and Albany you’ll find the adorable (and still working) 16th century spelt flour mill perched on an airfield overlooking the Stirling Ranges.
The journey to The Lily is 390 kilometres long and sees you pass through Wagin, Katanning, Broomehill, Gnowangerup and Borden, along Albany Highway and Great Southern Highway (if you have a plane handy, you can skip the drive and park your plane right next to the windmill, a gal can dream!). The drive takes around four and a half hours, so it’s easy enough to do in a day, but you can space the journey out if you have more time up your sleeve.
Once you arrive, you will no doubt squeal in delight at how amazing the place is. Property owners Pleun and Hennie will welcome you in the reception area (the old Gnowangerup Railway Station relocated to the property!), and show you to your accommodation which is either in the charming 16th century replica Dutch cottages, the winery quarters or A PLANE!
That’s right, you can stay in The Dakota, a DC-3 aeroplane that was operational during WWII, which Pleun and Hennie have restored and transformed into a two-person sleeper, equipped with all the necessities. If you can’t snag the plane, the Dutch cottage and winery quarters are just as amazing (and sleep more people), and if that’s all booked up, you can camp at Moingup Springs or Mt Trio Bush Camp nearby.
When visiting The Lily, a guided windmill tour is a must. You’ll learn all about the inner workings of the windmill and have the chance to purchase some of Pleun and Hennie’s spelt flour (also stocked at IGA’s around the nation). If you’re lucky enough to be staying the night here, you’ll get to taste their delicious wholemeal spelt bread in the morning.
And while you’re in the area, you’ve got to check out the Stirling Range National Park. If you’re looking to burn off bulk calories you can have a go climbing Bluff Knoll, the highest peak in the South West region. There are plenty of other walks and hikes of varying difficulty that you can take too. Or, just kick back on the balcony leading out from your room on the plane and take in the incredible view. You’ll never want to leave!
Where to next? How about the Ferguson Valley?
Image credit: Flickr