Thousands of visitors are stopping in the small Nullarbor Plain town of Penong,population 75, to visit the Penong Windmill Museum.
A decade after the idea, the “Windmill Warriors” have restored over 20 windmills, which now stand together to create the Windmill Museum.
The Windmill Warriors have put in thousands of volunteer hours over the years and there is no stopping now that the museum is open, as they already have plans for other windmills.
Penong residents had always relied on Windmill Flat for their water supply (windmills being used to extract water from underground), but with many moving to solar pumping systems, the Warriors wanted to preserve a crucial part of the farming community’s history.
Windmills at the museum are not just local specimens, they have come from all over the State (and soon the country). For example, “Big Bruce”, a massive Comet windmill with a span of over 35ft has come from a station near Glendambo. The Museum has turned the spotlight on Penong with a number of television station filming segments and news from the site, resulting in a huge increase in tourist numbers.
Cleverly situated on Stiggants Rd, it means tourists need to leave the main highway to visit, passing the local shop and stopping within view of the Caravan Park and famed Nullabor Plains golf course, of which there are three holes in Penong. As the museum is outdoors, people can view it at all hours of the day and can see the windmills in action.