Several hours north of Perth, is the town of Northampton WA, which is dotted with painted fibreglass sheep statues. It’s an excellent stop off on a road trip from Perth to Kalbarri. Read more about the Northampton sheep and the town’s ‘Ewe-Turn’ festival below.
Drive through Australia long enough and you’ll see any amount of bizarre things.
This was no exception on a road trip in Western Australia.
Northampton, is forty mins from Geraldton and over 5 hours north of Perth.
The town is notable, as dotted around the main street of the town and beyond, are many brightly coloured, fibre-glass sheep.
Northampton WA: The Sheep and Several Baaaa’d Puns
I passed through the town, on a mission to visit the now sadly closed Principality of Hutt River. If we hadn’t been on such a tight schedule, I would have screamed “chuck an ewe turn!”
Fortunately, we were to drive through the town on the way back south to Perth and took the opportunity to get out, grab a bite to eat for brekky and stretch our legs.
The sheep are just about everywhere and it’s quite fun to walk around the town, snapping photos and observing the fun that locals have had with puns and placement.
Turns out the sheep are a result of a town festival first held in 2018, called ‘Ewe Turn’.
Artists and representatives of community groups, local businesses and organisations had got together to paint the sheep.
There was then a public vote, with a winner chosen. Here’s last year’s victorious sheep, named “Ulurewe”.
If ewe too want to check out these sheep, there is an official walking trail you can follow.
Maps are available from the Visitors Centre, or any local businesses.
Why sheep, specifically?
Simply because sheep farming is an important part of the local economy.
What better to pay tribute to and look to for further financing, than the industry that has helped keep this small town afloat for so long?
Along with the painted sheep competition, there’s a Junk Art Sheep comp, where sheep have to be made out of entirely recycled products.
I’ve “herd” many say Australia’s small towns are dying. Maybe, but the more I travel, the clearer it is that they’re not going down without a fight.
Have ewe visited the town of Northampton WA and seen its painted sheep?
If you’re after more road trip ideas, here are some of the best drives in Australia and a guide to speaking the local lingo. And here’s some truly Australian books to read on your journey (audiobook ideas, perhaps?).