History & Heritage

Immerse yourself in history and culture in Your Margaret River Region. Discover that the South West region is one of the world’s earliest continually inhabited areas with an Aboriginal history dating back over 50,000 years.

Walk along coastline that was first seen by Dutch explorers in 1622 and then charted by the British in 1801-1803. Hear how the Brits dropped off some early settlers in Augusta, creating Western Australia’s third settlement. Go to places named after the French explorers who were also busy charting parts of the region from the 1800’s to early 1900’s.

Visit some of the historic houses of the early settlers in Ellensbrook (near Margaret River) and Wonnerup (near Busselton).

Learn how agricultural and timber exporting empires emerged. Walk along the historical 1.8 kilometre Busselton Jetty or climb to the top of Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste lighthouses which were built to service the new industries.

Go into the show caves that started tourism in the early 1900’s and learn about the population explosion due to the Group Settlement Scheme in the 1920’s.

Watch or surf the breaks that enticed so many surfers to the region from the 1960’s.

Taste wine from the first commercial vineyard which was established in 1967 and discover the history of Margaret River wine.

6 Fun Facts about our History

  1. The original 165 metre long Busselton Jetty was built in 1865. Ten years later 131 metres was added due to sand drift. After ninety years and 1.8 kilometres later, it was finally deemed long enough!
  2. The Ballaarat Engine was WA’s first steam locomotive and is the oldest surviving example of a steam locomotive built in Australia.
  3. Surfers flocked to the region in the 1960’s and in the 1970’s the emergence of the wine industry suddenly provided them an abundance of casual employment. Rumour has it that they’d only turn up if the sea breeze was in!
  4. Busselton was named after the early settlers the Bussell family; however the Bussell’s were not consulted and preferred the name Capel (after their relative in England, Capel Carter). A town named Capel was later established to the north of Busselton.
  5. Although Augusta was Western Australia’s third settlement andwas founded in 1830, the town didn’t get electricity until the 1960’s!
  6. It is well-known that the first commercial vineyard was established in 1967 by Dr Cullity and named Vasse Felix Estate. It is lesser known that the first grapes were grown in Cowaramup by an enterprising fellow, Mr Jimmy Meleri, sometime before 1917 when he produced his first wine and sold bottles at local dances.
Busselton Jetty 1915

Your Margaret River Region History & Heritage Experiences

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Insiders’ Information

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