Xantippe is a rural locality situated 33km east of Dalwallinu and is the only locality name within Australia that starts with X. As it is not actually a town an individual postcode has not been allocated but is covered by the Dalwallinu postcode, 6609.
The dictionary defines Xantippe (or Xanthippe) as the wife of the philosopher Socrates (5th century BC). She is remembered for her allegedly bad tempered behaviour towards her husband. Apparently, another meaning has been attached to the word Xantippe, that of “looking for water from a deeper well” which ties in with the Gnamma holes in the area (Gnamma = a natural hole in a rock in which rainwater collects).
The Xantippe nature reserve is a popular spot for people wanting to visit the locality. During the spring months the reserve is alive with wattle and wildflowers. A climb to the top of the rock gives you a 360 degree view of surrounding farms. The reserve is home to the Xantippe Water Tank, one of 11 similar tanks built throughout the wheatbelt.
Work on the concrete tank commenced in 1923 and was completed in 1927. The tank was originally intended to supply water to the town of Dalwallinu, unfortunately they had trouble pumping the water over the hills. In later years the tank supplied water to the surrounding farms. The tank is unusual in the fact that water flows along the pipe, level with the bottom of the tank, then flows upward to enter the tank at the top. A walk along the track following the pipe will take you to the granite outcrop where the water is collected, a low wall has been erected to channel the water from the rocks into the pipe.
There are 20 residents still left in Xantippe, which is located a scant three and a half hours drive north of Perth. In its heyday, the townsite was home to a bustling farming community, which would congregate at the cricket field on the weekend and marvel at the Xantippe Water Tank, relics of both are still attracting tourists today. Also, the Xantippe Gnamma holes were featured in the movie "The Rabbit Proof Fence".
This post is part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
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