The second stage of our APT "Western Wildflower Wonderland Tour" started in Perth and was going north as far as Monkey Mia (which had been on my bucket list for years). The first stop was New Norcia named after a town in Italy. However, it was established by two Spanish monks in 1847. It was a mission for the local aborigines. It is the only monastic town in Australia. It was amazing coming into this Spanish town in the middle of nowhere.
There were many interesting buildings built in the spanish style.
The Monastery is still in use by the Benedictine monks and is the only building out of bounds to visitors.
|The Abbey Church
There were two boarding schools, St Gertrudes and St Ildephonsus one for girls and the other for boys. Over the years they have been used as colleges but no longer. Now they are used for accommodation and functions. It was also used for the 'stolen generation' A dark part of our history, where aboriginal children were forcibly taken from their parents by the government to supposedly protect them and educate them.
|The Education Centre
This used to be a convent but now it is Museum and Art Gallery as well as the Visitor Centre. There is an amazing collection of religious art by European masters and contemporary Australian artists.
It is still owned by the monks and provides the traditional Benedictine hospitality. There is Abby Ale and New Norcia wine. Also in this town there is a library, old flour mill, bakery and olive workshop. They are all in good condition and still owned and operated by the monks.
A close up of the yellow carpet shows a mixture of tiny plants.