It started as a sunny winters day.
We choose to be unwavering.
What will happen to our picnic at Whiteman Park?
It takes us just over half an hour to reach the 3935 hectare Whiteman Park and it is just starting to sprinkle.
Whiteman Park was originally owned by Lew Whiteman who in 1939 purchased 835 hectares of land around Mussel Pool for farming. Lew Whiteman started converting the area around Mussel Pool for picnics in 1963 for family, friends and later, the wider community. He sold his land to the government in 1977 (who also purchased additional neighbouring land) to create the free public park that is now known as Whiteman Park.
Due to the weather there are not too many people at the park and it is easy to locate a sheltered timber picnic table not too far from the car park and overlooking the lush green fields.
While it lightly rains we enjoy our selection of cold meats, cheeses, fresh bread rolls, a glass of white wine (OJ for Lewis), and we stay dry.
With our picnic finished and packed away it is now time to explore.
Things to do at Whiteman Park in the Rain
As we make our way in toward the Whiteman Park village we stop at the tourist information office and collect a map, but I have also done some research on the Whiteman Park website prior to leaving home. I learn that there are a few things to see and do where we can stay dry.
Heritage Tram Ride
We start with a tram ride.
The conductor collects our fare of $13.00 for a family as the vintage tram chugs off toward Mussel Pool.
We learn that the fare goes straight to the tram society who are responsible for the 30-year-old tram track and the largest collection of historic trams outside of Melbourne. Our conductor and tram driver are both volunteers at the tram society and are passionate about their trams.
The tram stops at Mussel Pool, the driver walks through the carriage and invites everyone to have look at 1 of the 4 original engines that are located under the floor boards of the tram.
The tram continues onto the main Whiteman Park stop (the original timber Subiaco train station that was transferred here) before returning to the village.
When we return to the village there is a break in the weather and we start to walk toward the Revolutions Transport Museum. Along the way we pass the large colourful playground that has been protected from the light rain by the shade sails. Lewis heads in for a few slips down the slide.
Revolutions Transport Museum
It’s only a gold coin donation to enter Revolutions Museum. I have to say, Steve and I are really impressed with this museum and not just because of the cost.
The museum is dedicated to retelling the story of Western Australia’s transport evolution and is home to Lew Whiteman’s personal collection of heritage transport.
Upon entering we see a huge timber camel train wagon that once carted goods through the vast distances between West Australian towns.
Once we get around the corner Lewis is enthralled as the museum becomes interactive.
He drives the old bus and pumps the original petrol pump.
Gets into a 1960’s car and we can watch a short video on how the use of cars has changed.
Then we walk through a steam train, checking out the “deluxe” compartment with private bathroom, the conductors room and the storage room for goods like mail and meat carcases.
There are more push bikes, transport trucks for shearers, and a school bus with a short bus evolution video to explore as the rain pelts down outside.
Finally, the rain eases and we make a run for the car, it has gotten late in the day but there is more we could have seen at Whiteman Park.
More to Do
More museums to see at Whiteman Park:
- the Tractor Museum
- the Motor Museum
With more things to do:
- Vintage Train Ride
- Bus ride on a restored Perth public bus for a guided tour of the park
Lewis really wanted to do the bus ride and see the Tractor Museum so we will be going back to Whiteman Park.
What would your kids like to see and do?
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