Pioneer Way Story


pioneer way story route 120 western australia


About the Pioneer Way

 Don’t fight the trucks on Albany Highway – Start your holiday as soon as
you leave Perth by travelling via Route 120 – the Great Southern Highway.

Route 120 is a highway in the Southern Wheat-belt and Great Southern
region of Western Australia, starting at historic York and ending at
Albany Highway near Cranbrook.

It is the primary thoroughfare for this part of Western Australia and
runs parallel with the Perth-Albany railway for its entire length.

It is signed as State Route 120 from York to Cranbrook,
and was first named in 1949, although was built well before that time.

The highway initially travels east to the historic town of York,
before following the Avon Valley and the railway roughly
southwards until Narrogin.

The highway then runs parallel with Albany Highway at a distance
of about 30 km through Wagin and Katanning before curving to
approach Albany Highway where it ends 4 km past Cranbrook.
Many of the towns along this highway have prominent grain
silos, and Narrogin, Wagin and Katanning have remained
important population centres sustained by agriculture
and its supporting industries.

Route 120 (Great Southern Highway),
is often referred to as “The Pioneer Way” or the “Heritage Highway”
due to the number of historic towns and buildings along its length.

York is the oldest inland town in Western Australia and is the
first major town on the highway.

The town has embraced its heritage with many pre-1900 and
early 1900 buildings restored to their original state.

Katanning is reputed to have the largest density of Federation
style homes and buildings in the state.
The town also boasts a number of ‘firsts’ in the state:
The first house with hot and cold running water; The first place to have
electric street lighting; The first purpose built inland swimming pool and;

The first public lending library.
All 13 towns along the route have an amazing historical
tale and amazing rural scenery to share with visitors.

So take the leisurely drive along Route 120 and see
what all the towns along the route have to offer.

Perhaps stay a night or two, enjoy its hospitality,
and really explore the diverse sights
and heritage that this region has to offer!

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