Ellensbrook at Mokidup – a place where nature and cultures merge.
Nestled into a protected coastal site in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Ellensbrook provides respite from the bustle of Margaret River. Spend time exploring the historic house and its surrounds to discover stories of dispossession, opportunity, hard-work, resilience, family, perseverance and changing ways of life. Its peaceful location is perfect for a picnic, a walk to the beach or to Meekadariby. The Cape to Cape Trail runs through the grounds so it is also the perfect starting point for a more energetic adventure.
Ellensbrook at Mokidup is nestled in the Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park in the lee of one of most spectacular coastal dunes of the rugged, western-facing coastline of Wadandi Country.
Mokidup has been a summer camping spot for the Wadandi for many thousands of years. The high sand dunes served as a vantage point for communication, a lookout for schooling fish and later to scan the ocean for djanga (white spirits) on their ships.
In 1857 Ellen and Alfred Bussell chose this as the location of their new home, ‘Ellensbrook’. Ellen described it as “pretty hilly country by the sea where there is health in the breeze”.
The Wadandi and the Bussell family had a joint appreciation for this landscape. Today the shared stories of this place are told in collaboration with Wadandi Traditional Custodians.
There was also a shared connection and value among women of both cultures, who played a major role in shaping this place. The waterfall and cave above the property is called Meekadariby and is very significant, particularly to Wadandi women.
Ellen’s daughters Fanny and Edith lived here and managed the farm. From 1898 to 1917 Edith ran the ‘Ellensbrook Farm Home’ for Aboriginal children. Today, Wadandi artist Sandra Hill’s beautiful artworks greet visitors to the site.
Ellensbrook is a registered Aboriginal heritage site and listed on the Western Australia’s Register of Heritage Places.
Drive your story: Ellensbrook at Mokidup is part of the Margaret River Surf and Source Trail.