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.
This beautiful site is rich in entwined stories. It sits in Wadandi country at a place called Mokidup. The Wadandi have maintained an unbroken connection to Mokidup for thousands of years and used the place as a summer camping place. In 1857, when Alfred and Ellen Bussell arrived, a Wadandi guide led them and their three small daughters to the protected location with a supply of fresh water which became their home. The Wadandi assisted the new settlers to establish their farm by showing them ways to fertilise the ground with fresh seaweed and helped with the construction of their home.
Discover the plants and animals that sustained the Wadandi across the six seasons of their year in the beautiful, intricate drawings of Noongar artist, Sandra Hill, at the entry to the site.
Once inside the historic house and its grounds there is plenty of opportunity to learn about the shared histories of this place. The Bussell family established a prosperous farm including a dairy herd here. The lives of Ellen and her daughters Fanny and Edith attest to the isolation and hardship many colonial women faced. The lives of the Wadandi were disrupted by settlement but some continued to live and work here and later Aboriginal children from across the state came to live at the ‘Ellensbrook Farm Home’ which was established and run by Edith Bussell from 1898 until 1917.
You will also discover the role this historic place played in a fledgling tourist industry in the 1880s which has grown to become an internationally known brand attracting visitors from across the world.
There is plenty of space for the kids to run or get them exploring using the specially designed Ellensbrook ‘treasure hunt’ to guide them. Ask about the giant snakes and ladders game too, for all the family to play. You could also walk to Meekadariby, a beautiful grove surrounded by peppermint trees and lush ferns or stroll to the beach along a section of the Cape to Cape Trail.