Ninghan Station is located 380 kilometres north-east of Perth, at the northern end of Lake Moore. It is in the Shire of Yalgoo; their slogan is “Where the outback begins…” (website) or, variously, “The Outback Starts Here” (roadside signs).
Ninghan is the aboriginal name for Mt Singleton, the highest feature in the area, about five kilometres south of the homestead. The name is thought to be derived from the word ‘nyingarn’, meaning echidna.
The 1/2 million acre (200,000Ha) working station (goats and some sheep) allows visitors to camp and explore the entire property. It was first taken up in 1868 by J.H. Monger and George Monger.
The Station has long been recognised for its awesome displays of wildflowers.
It is in the Yalgoo bioregion (this bioregion is characterised by low ranges and lakes with mulga shrublands, sand plains, heathlands and some eucalypt shrublands) and the transition from remnant eucalyptus woodlands to mulga plains is evident on the rolling Ninghan Ridge where the Station is located. Yellow sand plains and salt lake margins bounded with shrublands are a feature of the property.
Lake Moore, named by surveyor A.C. Gregory (he of Mt Augustus fame) in 1846 after George Fletcher Moore, Advocate General of Western Australia from 1834, extends north-south for 120 kilometres. It baffled Gregory’s attempt to proceed north for five days. The lake has cultural significance for the Badimaya/Badimia people who visit there each year to hunt, camp, collect bush medicines, and teach young people about their country and culture.
The 48,000 hectare Ninghan Indigenous Protected Area (IPA) lies within the Station. The Ninghan area was as a traditional meeting place for the surrounding Badimaya/Badimia, Nyoongar, Yamatji and Wongi/Wongai peoples, with the locals trading the gum from grasstrees (Xanthorrhoea also known as ‘balga’ and sometimes ‘yakka/yacca’) for affixing spearheads, and ochre from outlying country.
Red tail black cockatoos are found all over Australia, particularly the drier regions. In some parts they are considered a pest. They are dependent on large, old eucalypts for nesting and the mainstay of their diet is eucalyptus seeds.
Warrdagga Rock is a huge granite dome that rises a couple of hundred meters above sea level. It is a culturally significant site within this IPA. It is known as a ‘birthing’ place – where aboriginal women came to give birth.
It is also a fantastic campsite. The rock is a great windbreak and a short walk to the top is rewarded by great views of the vast surrounding countryside.
In pioneering times the Wardagga Well, down slope from the Rock, was used by camelmen journeying from Paynes Find to Ninghan.
Ninghan Station offers great four wheel driving, interesting ruins and other structures, old machinery,, wells and windmills (some working, some not), rocks and hills that can be climbed for great views and lots of wide open spaces. Accommodation for visitors is available at the Ninghan Station homestead (showers, running water and power) but if staying away from the homestead there are no facilities and campers need to be self sufficient. A lot of the tracks are very rough on tyres.
It’s a good place to get an ‘outback experience’ less than 400 kilometres from the capital city.
Text and Layout: