During an 1897 expedition, Australian explorer Sir John Forrest established his survey point on the top of a hill later named John Forrest Lookout. This lookout forms part of the Damperwah Hills, which Forrest discovered and named during his 1869 search of the explorer, Ludwig Leichhardt.
While the search failed to find Leichhardt, Forrest did report that his compass had been affected by the presence of minerals in the ground, and he suggested that the government send geologists to examine the area – fitting now, as the region reputation as an iron ore province grows.
The lookout allows a 360° panoramic view of surrounding station country. The view from the top is well worth the stepp walk. It is a beautiful spot, and outstanding during wildflower season. A plaque at the top helps you pick out the landmarks in all directions.
To the north of the John Forrest Lookout is the Damperwah State Farm, opened in the 1920s by the Department of Agriculture to experiment with different strains of wheat. The farm closed in 1949 and all that remains now are three concrete houses, in various states of disrepair.
Picnic facilities and toilets are located at the base on the hill. Please note: the walk to the lookout is 750m uphill.
Getting There: John Forrest Lookout is about a 45 minute drive East of Perenjori, along Perenjori-Rothsay Road. You can pick up the Rothsay Heritage trail for an alternative route.
It is also worth checking out the Camel Soak on your way there or back. Camel Soak is located 47km east of Perenjori just off the Perenjori-Rothsay Road. This granite catchment, also known as The Rock Hole was sunk as a watering point for men and their camel teams working on the No 2 Rabbit Proof Fence from 1903 to 1905.
Camel Soak is a popular picnic destination with its natural beauty and tranquil scenery and makes for a relaxing and memorable outing.
Information sourced from the Shire of Perenjori and Heritage Council of WA.