If you’re driving the wheatbelt route into the town of Ravensthorpe on WA’s remote south coast, there’s a good chance you’ll spot a 2-metre-tall echidna and a bull as tall as a truck.
- Ravensthorpe has welcomed new artworks to its remote Farm Gate Art Trail
- Locals hope it raises the region’s profile to generate extra tourism
- The trail has been updated with 15 new works including the giant echidna and bull, a two-storey watering and a teapot the size of a water tank
It sits about 20 kilometres out of town, with spines spiking high atop a bulbous body and two beady eyes peering out from behind a silver nose.
“We call it I-Chid-You-Not,” its creator Cat Tink said, who built the massive marsupial using old trampoline and car parts.
Mega artwork dots the region
I-Chid-You-Not is one of several larger-than-life landmarks dotted around this isolated community on the road to Esperance.
Here, deep in farming country, a half-day’s drive from Perth and in the shadow of the Ravensthorpe Range, you might expect you are more likely to see kangaroos than quirky crafts.
But sights like an a giant echidna or a two-storey watering can are not as rare as hen’s teeth in this community.
There is also a rusted bull as tall as a truck and a teapot the size of a water tank.
These are just a sample of the 15 new works on the Farm Gate Art Trail, a tourist route through a region so dominated by farming that stations can stretch from horizon to horizon.
It is hoped the art trail, created by local families, helps Ravensthorpe become more than just a pit-stop for travellers driving through the region.
Community plans ‘interactive’ online tour
As a small town, nearly three hours drive from Albany, Ravensthorpe does not get many tourists.
Sue Leighton manages the Farm Gate Art Trail and is preparing to launch an online self-guided tour of the trail.
She hopes the quirky attractions might help bring some more visitors to town and says with the guided tour, plus extra upcoming works, visitors might choose to spend more time exploring the region.
“You can spend your time ducking down from one length [of the trail] to another, then you might go to the beach and have a look there, or go into the Fitzgerald National Park,” Ms Leighton said.
Only time will tell whether the art trail consistently generates the extra tourism the town is hoping for, but there has been promising signs.
“A lot of people are stopping,” she said.