Rabbit Proof Fence
Rabbit Proof Fence, Western Australia
The State Barrier Fence South Section (previously known as the Rabbit Proof Fence) passes to the east of Hyden. The Rabbit Proof Fence was originally erected between 1901 and 1907, in a desperate bid to hold back the invasion of rabbits that were spreading across Australia from their place of introduction near Geelong, Victoria in 1859. So destructive were these introduced pests, which if left unchecked, agriculture in Australia would not have been possible.
Location of The Rabbit-Proof Fence in Western Australia is between Starvation Bay (west of Esperance on the South Coast of WA) to the Ninety Mile Beach (east of Port Hedland) spanning a distance of 1827 km. Its construction required 8000 tonnes of materials and in addition to this, posts were cut from the adjoining bush wherever possible. From 1901, the fence was constructed by private contractors, however, in 1904, the project became the responsibility of the Public Works Department of Western Australia, under the supervision of Richard John Anketell. With a workforce of 120 men, 350 camels, 210 horses and 41 donkeys, Anketell was responsible for the construction of the greater part of the No 1 fence and the survey of its last 70 miles.
At the time, the cost of building the fence was about 167 pound per mile ($250 per km). When it was completed in 1907 the 1,139 mile (1,833 km) No 1 Fence became the longest unbroken fence in the world and can be seen from space!
The Rabbit Proof Fence is approx 50 kms east of Hyden on the Hyden - Norseman Road (Granite Woodlands Discovery Trail). The 53 km drive will take you on a sealed road from Wave Rock through a kaleidoscope of colour as the farming land gives way to the natural bushland of the woodlands stretching from Hyden to Norseman Western Australia.
Driving alongside the fence itself is not permitted.