The Tin Dog town of Dowerin is located about 156km from Perth in the State’s central Wheatbelt district. The name the Aborigines called the area was Wuguni but the town was named Dowerin after another Aboriginal word Dow-arn, the name of the nearby lakes. Dow-arn is the Aboriginal word for the twenty-eight parrots.
Dowerin like all the towns in the area was an agricultural settlement. The settlers began arriving in 1897 but it didn’t really boom until 1906 when the railway came to town.
Tin Dog Creek, a nearby waterhole, became a popular resting place for the prospectors travelling up to the goldfields. You will cross it as you drive in.
Must-Sees at Dowerin
If you are a farmer or simply like to experience a little Wheatbelt hospitality the Dowerin GWN Machinery Field Days is a must. Whack on your wellies during the last week of August to see the latest in farming machinery and technology. The Field day started in 1965 and it is now one of the largest in Australia with the town swelling from 400 to over 15,000.
Are you a petrol head? Do you like anything with the word “turbo” in it? If so, you are going to love this. Dowerin has Rally Action Driver Training, own and run by Perth Rally drivers. You can get behind the wheel of a Turbo Subaru rally car and take it through its paces on 4 different rally tracks with an experienced rally driver by your side. Rally Action operates all year round, twice a month on weekends. Bookings a must. www.rallyaction.com.au.
Dowerin is home of Rusty the Tin Dog. This enormous steel sculpture is a definitely photo op. It was designed by the students of Dowerin District High School in 2004 to attract more visitors to their small town.
Nostalgia alert. Looking mildly out of place along Government Road is the big white screen of the now-defunct Dowerin Drive-In. Towering above of the weeds the screen once entertained the locals from 1960-1992.
Driving into Dowerin from Goomalling expect to do a double-take when you see the 10m high white Dowerin Jesus Cross in the paddock. It was erected by a Christian guy and his mate. On the cross it reads ‘Jesus died for our sins and rose again’.