Hutt River Province
"A rather eccentric place but well worth a stop off!"
Hutt River Province is really quite charming and the only "principality" in Australia. It has it's own King and Queen and passing through here will give you another stamp in your passport.
It's all really very bizarre and only the Australians could pull something like this off. Read on to find out why this is even possible and how to find this gem of a place.....
Why is Hutt River Province a Principality?
Back in 1970 the government wanted to charge taxes and limit the production of wheat. There were quotas for the production of wheat. The Casley family had produced more than the quota and asked the government to accept all of their production of wheat. The government refused.
The Casley family then went through the history and law books to see how they could avoid this taxation and wheat quotas. They found an interesting loop hole under the Treason Act of 1945 (a British Law) which allowed them to withdraw from Australia as an entity and declare their independence from the Commonwealth of Australia.
Where is Hutt River Province?
Hutt River Province or Principality as it is now known, is approx 500km north of Perth near the town of Northhampton. It means you would need to take a slight detour inland to visit this little place.
It's still fairly large though as the area still has lots of farmland. It is said to be nearly as big as Hong Kong?!
What Can You do Here?
Usually you are greeted by King Leonard or his wife Sheila. They'll tell you more about the principality, show you their thrones and even stamp your passport.
They have their own coins and money for you to buy too should you so wish and their own stamp.
2010 is their 40th anniversary of being a principality so there is likely to be a few celebrations and special things going on throughout the year.
Interesting Facts about the Province
Did you know.... Australia still does not legally recognise Hutt River as a principality In 1974 the Australian Post refused to deliver mail to Hutt River, diverting all post via Canada. The province declared war on Australia and after 2 days, Australia agreed to deliver mail to the province The residents of Hutt River do not pay Australian taxes. They have a nominal 0.5% tax rate instead!! The Hutt River Dollar is the official currency of the principality King Leonard is the subject of a permanent exhibition at the Australia Museum in Canberra
Whether you think King Leonard is eccentric, amusing or just plain silly, you have to admire him for taking on the big government and succeeding!
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