The painted sheep of Northampton WA: wool ewe visit?

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.

Sign reads 'Northampton Arts and Crafts. In front is a sheep sculpture, covered in colourful plastic lids. Discover the painted sheep nestled about the small Western Australian town of Northampton.
More creative ways to craft a sheep.

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

Sign outside IGA reads 'Ewe turn to IGA' and is made out of iron with sheep carved into it.
The sign outside the local IGA.

Two colourful sheep statues, one with Mexican 'Day of the Dead' patterning painted on it.
Day of the Dead sheep.

A blue sheep with police patterning and the logo for Neighbourhood Watch.
If you’re baaaa’d this sheep may arrest you (puns are only going to get worse from here on in).

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!”

The main street of Northampton, WA, lined with historic buildings. A yellow old style car passes through.
The main street of Northampton.
Northampton sheep statue covered with newspaper, a crossword painted on it.
This is my favourite of all the sheep.

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.

Non painted sheep statues next to an orange Telstra phone box.
A very Aussie scene.

A sheep statue dressed like a 1920s flapper.
What a fancy ewe.

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”.

Winning entry of the 2018 Ewe Turn festival Ulur-ewe, a sheep with a desert background painted on it.

The town art centre, a very picturesque historic building.
The town’s arts centre.

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.

Northampton sheep statues out the front of the Visitors Centre.
These sheep look almost plain in comparison!

Another sheep, painted purple and covered in pin cushions.
A very well-dressed sheep.

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?

A statue of a working dog (kelpie) painted orange sits in front of a park bench in town.
It’s not just sheep – there are painted working dogs, too!

A sheep painted to represent a barber's pole in red and blue, with 'Baba here' written on it.
Off we go to the baa-ba.

Along with the painted sheep competition, there’s a Junk Art Sheep comp, where sheep have to be made out of entirely recycled products.

Two sheep made of found objects, perched on top of an old quad bike.
2018’s Junk Art winner is proudly displayed in town.
Looking up Northampton's main street with three painted sheep in the foreground.
Looking back towards Northampton.

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?).

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Five hours from Perth in Western Australia, is a small town crammed full with painted, fibre glass sheep. Ewe you find out about Northampton WA and its fancy painted sheep here. / Things to see in #Australia / #WesternAustralia / #WA / #OneDayinWA /

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  1. Did you go to Morrinsville in NZ?? I can’t remember if I asked you… I think I did? Anyway, it should be twinned with Northampton!

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