The Murchison station offers visitors a perfect stop enroute to the north-west of the state.
MELLENBYE Station is an oasis in the Murchison outback and a ‘billion-star hotel’ because of the amazing clear skies at night for stargazers.
The station is the perfect stop enroute to the north-west, located seven kilometres off the Morawa to Yalgoo Road, and offers a wide range of accommodation from camping to luxury cabins.
On our first stay last year, we opted for a two-person cabin, which has a queen bed, ensuite with kitchenette with a microwave, toaster and small refrigerator.
This time we went for the Manor, with lounge and fully equipped kitchen with all the frills. Its name does not disappoint, with nothing but the best appointments, including a dishwasher, two air conditioners for heating and cooling and all bed and bath linen supplied.
There is also a deck with tables, chairs and a lounge so you can watch the sunrise with a cup of coffee from the Nespresso machine.
There is a fire pit with wood provided to gather around for the sunset.
This accommodation would not be out of place in a five-star hotel.
There is no wi-fi but you can get one or two bars of 4G at the Manor’s front deck or from a star-gazing platform, which in a previous life was a sea container.
I was able to use apps and transfer money, so the coverage was fine.
Your view is unlimited over outback paddocks. In a good season the station has up to 400 wreath flowers, Lechenaultia macrantha, appear in one location if the rains are good as they were in 2021 and 2022, with just over 200 millimetres.
This year has been much drier with only 60mm so far, so sadly slim pickings.
Mellenbye Station is a working cattle station just four and a half hours from Perth and the perfect location for exploring the towns of Morawa, Yalgoo, Mullewa, Mingenew and Coalseam Conservation Park.
There are two tours you can do on the 100,000ha property in the south-west corner of the Yalgoo Shire. Detailed instructions are provided for a drive to Breakaways and also the Rock.
The first is a series of caves and the second a large rock adorned with a statue of a black horse and both worth the drive but watch out for cattle and kangaroos.
Birdwatchers and stargazers also flock to Mellenbye.
There are 80 bird types at the station.
While the accommodation is cosy, the welcome is even more so, with a warm inviting atmosphere as you drive in.
The accommodation hosts greet you and give you detailed instructions on how everything works.
One important aspect is the duty of care and, if you take one of the two drives on the station, you must write your name on a white board when you leave and erase it when you return.
The instructions are detailed because some folks have occasionally managed to miss a turn, or you may suffer a mechanical issue with your vehicle.
Mellenbye Station is open during Easter, April school holidays, Anzac Day long weekends and from July to early October. Function bookings, however, may be made throughout the year, including during the main season.
For large bookings, the owners will close the station for the private function and give exclusive access to the guests.
Advance bookings are required for all accommodation at all times, while campground bookings are required during peak season and are preferred outside of wildflower season, including Easter, April school holidays or for group bookings.
Typically, bookings for the next year opens in early December.