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Wandering, Western Australia facts for kids

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Wandering
Western Australia
Population 355 (2006 census)
Established 1877
Postcode(s) 6308
Elevation 294 m (965 ft)
Location 120 km (75 mi) from Perth
LGA(s) Shire of Wandering
State electorate(s) Wagin
Federal Division(s) O'Connor
Mean max temp Mean min temp Annual rainfall
23.1 °C
74 °F
8.4 °C
47 °F
613.7 mm
24.2 in

Wandering is a town located in the wheatbelt region of Western Australia, approximately 120 kilometres (75 mi) from the state capital, Perth, just off the Albany Highway. It is the main town in the Shire of Wandering. At the 2006 census, Wandering had a population of 355.

History

The area's name, although an English word, appears to owe its name to a local Aboriginal word, "wandooin", after the wandoo or white gum tree that is prevalent in the area, although some sources suggest it was named to recall the first sighting of wandering stock, and was originally applied to Wandering Brook, first recorded in 1866.

Wandering was first settled in 1859 by members of the George Stedman Watts family when their straying wagon team horses were found grazing in lush grass around a fresh water spring known to this day as Horse Well. In 1861, they selected an area on what is now the south-eastern approach to the town, and named it "Grassdale" – the property is still owned by the Watts family to this day. A road board (later to become the Shire Council) was convened in 1874 within slightly different boundaries to the present day. By 1877, there was sufficient population in the area for the government to set aside land for a school.

In 1911–12, the government surveyed a number of lots and then gazetted the townsite of Wandering. However, the decision two decades earlier to build the railway some distance to the east restricted the town's growth. Also, fresh water was not readily available – the town was reliant on two Water Corporation dams until scheme water was extended here in 1997. Subsequently, rural residential subdivisions in the area on 1,600 m2 (17,000 sq ft) lots have been developed.

From 1944 to 1977, the Wandering Mission, also known as St Francis Xavier Mission, was operated as a home for aboriginal children by the Pallottine Fathers. A recollection of growing up in the mission is in Glenyse Ward's autobiography, Wandering Girl (Magabala Books, Broome, 1988).

Present day

Wandering is primarily an agricultural region which produces hay, cereal crops, pulse crops (such as lupins), oil seed (canola), wool, lamb and beef. Timber milling and viticulture are also practised. The town's school (K-7) still operates with mixed-grade classes, and accommodation is offered at a caravan park with powered sites. The original Agricultural Hall (1896) now hosts a telecentre for the use of the town's residents, and a nearby hall hosts local community groups and clubs.

Climate

Wandering has a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cool, damp winters. It is one of the coldest towns in Western Australia, not infrequently recording temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F). The primary school's rather unusual motto, "Cold Temperatures Warm Hearts", is testament to this.

Climate data for Wandering, 1998–present averages (from current site), 1901–present (extremes including comparison site, which recorded temperature from 1901 to 2003)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 45.6
(114.1)
45.1
(113.2)
41.9
(107.4)
37.2
(99)
33.2
(91.8)
25.0
(77)
23.8
(74.8)
26.6
(79.9)
30.9
(87.6)
36.9
(98.4)
40.6
(105.1)
43.8
(110.8)
45.6
(114.1)
Average high °C (°F) 32.0
(89.6)
31.8
(89.2)
29.4
(84.9)
24.7
(76.5)
20.2
(68.4)
16.9
(62.4)
15.8
(60.4)
16.4
(61.5)
18.2
(64.8)
22.1
(71.8)
27.2
(81)
30.2
(86.4)
23.7
(74.7)
Average low °C (°F) 14.2
(57.6)
14.7
(58.5)
12.4
(54.3)
9.6
(49.3)
6.4
(43.5)
4.6
(40.3)
3.8
(38.8)
3.7
(38.7)
4.7
(40.5)
6.2
(43.2)
9.4
(48.9)
12.0
(53.6)
8.5
(47.3)
Record low °C (°F) 3.3
(37.9)
2.8
(37)
-0.7
(30.7)
-2.2
(28)
-5.6
(21.9)
-5.7
(21.7)
-4.4
(24.1)
-3.9
(25)
-3.5
(25.7)
-2.6
(27.3)
-1.7
(28.9)
1.0
(33.8)
-5.7
(21.7)
Precipitation mm (inches) 17.2
(0.677)
8.1
(0.319)
15.4
(0.606)
30.4
(1.197)
55.5
(2.185)
73.9
(2.909)
95.0
(3.74)
88.5
(3.484)
61.9
(2.437)
27.4
(1.079)
20.2
(0.795)
18.5
(0.728)
506.9
(19.957)
Humidity 28 28 32 42 52 58 63 60 57 47 31 26 44
Avg. precipitation days 3.0 1.9 3.3 7.4 13.4 18.2 20.9 20.1 16.7 7.9 5.6 4.0 122.4
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