Drover's Rest is an attractive property located in a bushland
setting 8 km east of Bridgetown in the South West of Western
Australia. It is readily accessible from the
centre of town by a scenic route through hobby farms and pasture on
bitumen road, except for the last 2.8 km of wide gravel road. The
property is 86.8 Ha in area with only approximately 20% cleared. The
uncleared portions are jarrah and marri regrowth forest with
understorey in very good condition. Soils vary from sand through
sandy loam to gravel. The property has two winter stream beds and a
permanent wetland, considered valuable by nature conservationists,
watered by an underground stream.
Drover's Rest was purchased by the present owners in 1995. It was
previously used for grazing only. The property takes its name from
droving operations early in the area's history, when stock were
brought from the east to the railhead at Bridgetown and rested at
Drover's Rest presumably because of its permanent water supply.
The property is surrounded on the north, on the east and on part
of the southern boundary by the CALM Hester forest conservation
area. The reminder of the boundary adjoins forest on private
properties. These forests provide a buffer to surrounding farming
activities for organic production and add potential to the property
as a future tourist destination.
after purchasing the property, the owners constructed a large dam,
with an estimated storage capacity of about 20 to 30 million litres.
It is spring fed by fresh water, and generally fills each year
except in drought years. It was carefully located so as not to
interfere with the adjacent wetlands. Overflow from the dam flows
into the wetlands and then into a winter stream which discharges
through the south boundary.
In order to decrease run off into the Blackwood River, a desirable
outcome under environmental management initiatives, water from this
winter stream is pumped via a shallow bore back into the dam when
the dam is not full. The dam contains an island as a haven for bird
The dam is currently a back up water supply for the irrigation
system. The main irrigation water comes from a bore, again located
away from the wetlands. Water saving drip irrigation systems are
used for all growing areas plus the property landscaping. The entire
irrigation system runs automatically and can be reprogrammed
depending on the degree of watering required. Water quality and
underground reservoir level are monitored regularly in order to
better understand the environmental impact of water usage.