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Merredin

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Merredin is a town in Western Australia, located in the Central Wheatbelt roughly midway between Perth and Kalgoorlie, on Route 94, Great Eastern Highway. It is connected by public transport to Perth via Transwa Prospector and MerredinLink rail services.HistoryMerredin's history varies from that of other wheat-belt towns in Western Australia in the sense that it started as a stopping place on the way to the goldfields. The first European explorer into the area was the Surveyor General J. S. Roe, who travelled through the region in 1836 but was not impressed by its dryness and the low rainfall.By the 1850s sandalwood cutters were in the area but there was little agriculture. It was not until Assistant Surveyor Charles Cooke Hunt explored the area in the period 1864–66 that it began to open up. Hunt saw the pastoral potential but realised the importance of water. He called the area Hampton Plains after John Stephen Hampton, Governor of Western Australia 1862–68.Hunt made five journeys through the area. Of the five journeys the first was exploratory (1864), the second established a track which moved from waterhole to waterhole (1865) and the third built a series of wells and dams (the Hunt's Dam at Merredin is located about 10 kilometres north of town off the Merredin-Chandler Road). The result was a road which later became known as the York to Goldfields road and, until the arrival of the railway, was the only link between the coast and the gold towns of Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie.
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