A miniscule wheatbelt town about 275km north-east of Perth, Bencubbin’s surrounding hectares represent the last outposts of arable land before the desert exerts its desiccating influence on most non-indigenous plants.
Surveyor General J.S. Roe first surveyed the region in 1836 and he was followed by sandalwood cutters and itinerant stockmen, but it wasn’t until about 1907 that the first real settlers arrived to do serious battle with the land.
There are a couple of small museums associated with the town. You get into the Bencubbin Museum by asking for the key at the shire office next door. There you’ll find a tiny piece of a meteorite the locals managed to salvage from three found at nearby Waddouring before Western Australian Museum boffins staked their claim.
According to literature, the so-called Bencubbin Meteorite is very unusual indeed: ‘Occasionally a meteorite will occupy a class by itself. Bencubbin is one such specimen. A mesosiderite, it has enstatite and olivine crystals as well as traces of chondritic material, mixed with troilite and finely laced silicates. It has a hexahedrite metal matrix (6.6% nickel), yet shows no Newman lines when etched’. So there!