Toodyay is a small rural town of about 1,000 people located 85 km east of Perth in the Avon valley. The town was founded in 1836 and its shire (also named Toodyay) is part of the Wheatbelt region, and the Avon region of Western Australia.
Toodyay is one of three towns east of the Darling Scarp which were established very early in the development of Western Australia. Toodyay, Northam and York are all on the Avon river, the upper portion of the same river that flows through metropolitan Perth - the Swan river. Each town is the location of 'old' pioneering families who were (and some cases still are) landholders, and early farmers of the region. All three towns thrived in the era of small scale agriculture, however with many changes in agricultural methods, and agriculture in general, the towns have suffered. Each town has adjusted accordingly. Because of its location on the current railway line to Perth, there are people who commute by train from Toodyay to Perth, despite its distance.
The usual way of getting in is by train or car.
The more adventurous can arrive by horse or bicycle, but these require access to the bicycle or horse in the first place. To ride by bike from Perth is an adventure for the fit, as the hills are long and steep, and the passing cars are not usually prepared to see bicycles on their narrow race track.
A train can be taken from Perth to Toodyay and there are three choices of services: AvonLink, MerredinLink and Prospector.
Travelling by car is probably the easiest way, as Toodyay can be only an hour's drive from the Perth metropolitan area. The most direct route to Toodyay from Perth would be along Toodyay Road.
It's easy enough to walk around town if you wish to see most of the sights, parks, cafes, restaurants, pubs and accommodation. However, it is advisable that you have a car if you wish to visit any of the farms around Toodyay.
Toodyay was one of WA's earliest settlements. Sight-seeing can involve visiting some of the town's old (heritage-listed) buildings, the range of other places can be in the surrounding countryside as well.
- Connor's Mill, 7 Piesse Street, ☎ . Mon-Sun: 09:00-16:00. The museum educates visitors about Toodyay's agricultural history and the history of the mill. It also provides insight into the milling process. $3.00 (adults), $10.00 (family pass).
- Newcastle Gaol, Clinton Street, ☎ . Mon-Fri: 10:00-15:00, Sat-Sun: 10:00-15:30. The museum educates visitors about Toodyay's and WA's convict history and the history of the Newcastle Gaol. $3.00 (adults), $10.00 (family pass), Free for children under 6.
- Pelham Reserve Lookout, Duke Street, ☎ (08) 9622 2100. This lookout, although not on a very high hill, provides a good enough view of Toodyay. There is also a memorial and native garden planted in honour of James Drummond, the colony's first botanist. The reserve also has picnic sites and toilet facilities. Free.
- Hoddywell Archery Park, 1027 Clackline Road. Sunday. Australia's first and only dedicated public archery park
- Moondyne Festival - held on the first Sunday of May, celebrates the life of Moondyne Joe
- Toodyay Races picnic round - October - an annual thoroughbred horse racing event held at the Toodyay Race Course
- Toodyay Show - October - the Toodyay Agricultural Show has been running for over 160 years
- Avon Descent - August - an annual white water event held over two days, Toodyay has a number of viewing areas and the overnight camp site for competitors
- Quit Targa West Rally - August - an annual motor sport event held on public roads
View the full Calendar of events and festivals in Toodyay
Local arts and crafts are what you can buy in Toodyay. There are a couple of potteries around the town. There are also alpaca farms, olive farms and lavender farms. Most products are based off what is grown in surrounding farms (e.g. alpaca wool, lavender ice cream, olive oil, etc.) One of the local shops is in the old Post Office building in the main street, called "Uniquely Toodyay".
Most restaurants, cafes and pubs are situated on the main street in town, Stirling Terrace.
- The Hickory Tree Cafe, 99 Beaufort Street, ☎ . Mon-Fri: 11:30-15:00, Sat-Sun: 10:30-16:30. West Toodyay. Delicious food, friendly service and a great view. Try out the pecan related products, especially the pecan pie! $10-$20 (mains).
- Toodyay Bakery, 123 Stirling Terrace, ☎ (08) 9574 2617. Open everyday 8am - 3 pm. The best homemade pies pastry's, bread all bakesited fresh everyday.
- Cola Cafe, 128 Stirling Terrace, ☎ . Mon-Fri: 09:00-16:30, Weekends/Public Holidays: 08:00-17:00. There's not really much of a museum but there is a lot of Coca-Cola memorabilia around. There is a very '50s milk bar ambience to the place though. $15-16.50(mains).
- Freemasons Hotel, 125 Stirling Terrace, ☎ . Hotel with public bar, with counter meals and accommodation
There are two operating hotels in Toodyay, as well as several farmstay and B&Bs to choose from.
- Freemasons Hotel, 125 Stirling Terrace, Toodyay, 08 9574 2201
- The Limes Orchard & Farm Stay, 57 Clarkson St Toodyay, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Farm stay accommodation
- Toodyay Community Resource centre, 79 Stirling Tce Toodyay WA (Toodyay Rd off The Roe Highway), ☎ 9574 5357, e-mail: email@example.com. 9-12.30 to 1.00 -4.30. Provides community services such as computer or local events.