Blackwood Avenue, Augusta, 2015
|Population||1,109 (2016 census)|
|Elevation||14 m (46 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Augusta-Margaret River|
|State electorate(s)||Electoral district of Warren-Blackwood|
Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest southwest corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,091; by 2016 the population of the town was 1,109 (excluding East Augusta).
The town is within the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River local government area, and is in the Leeuwin Ward. It is connected by public transport to Perth via Transwa coach service SW1.
Augusta was a summer holiday town for many during most of the twentieth century, but late in the 1990s many people chose to retire to the region for its cooler weather. As a consequence of this and rising land values in the Augusta-Margaret River area, the region has experienced significant social change.
The coastline near the Augusta area was first sighted by Europeans in March 1622 when the Dutch East India Company ship Leeuwin (Lioness) mapped and named the land north of Cape Leeuwin between Hamelin Bay and Point D'Entrecasteaux 't Landt van de Leeuwin.In 1801 Captain Matthew Flinders named the "south-western, and most projecting part of Leeuwin's Land" Cape Leeuwin.
Augusta was founded in 1830. In March of that year, a number of settlers, including John Molloy and members of the Bussell and Turnerfamilies, had arrived at the Swan River Colony on board Warrior. On their arrival the Lieutenant-Governor Captain James Stirling advised them that most of the good land near the Swan River had already been granted, and suggested that they form a new sub-colony in the vicinity of Cape Leeuwin.
The following month, Stirling sailed with a party of prospective settlers on board Emily Taylor. After arriving at the mouth of the Blackwood River, the party spent four days exploring the area. Stirling then confirmed his decision to establish a sub-colony, the settlers' property was disembarked, and the town of Augusta declared at the site.
Stirling named the town in honour of Prince Augustus Frederick, Duke of Sussex, the sixth son of George III, due to its location within Sussex County, one of the 26 counties of Western Australia that were designated in 1829 as cadastral divisions.
During the 1880s, an expansion of the timber industry occurred following the construction of a timber mill at nearby Kudardup and the completion of jetties at Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay.
Augusta was a stopping place on the Busselton to Flinders Bay Branch Railway, which was government run from the 1920s to the 1950s. Prior to that M. C. Davies had a timber railway system that went to both Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay jetties in the 1890s.
On 30 July 1986, a pod of 114 false killer whales became stranded at Town Beach, Augusta. In a three-day operation, co-ordinated by the Department of Conservation and Land Management, volunteers from around Western Australia, including forestry workers, wildlife officers, surfers and townsfolk, carried 96 of the whales on trucks to more sheltered waters. The surviving whales were then successfully guided out into the bay, flanked by a flotilla of boats, board riders and swimmers.A memorial to the rescue now overlooks Town Beach. The Augusta boat harbour on the coast towards Cape Leeuwin has replaced a range of points where boats have operated from between the mouth of the Blackwood River around to the area of the former Flinders Bay jetties.
Many tourist websites and information conflate Augusta and Cape Leeuwin with features that exist nearby. The Augusta townsite now also includes the former separate Flinders Bay community at its southern end, where there had been a jetty, railway terminus, and whaling location. The new Augusta Boat Harbour to the south of Flinders Bay is well outside the townsite.
In 2009, 2 Oceans FM was set up at the Augusta Community Centre and began broadcasting on 97.1 MHz FM.
In 1961, over 100,000 acres (40,000 ha) of farms, bushland and forests between Margaret River and Augusta were destroyed by bushfires. Augusta was saved from these because a serious fire a few months earlier had created a low fuel zone north of the town. The Augusta residents cared for the school children who had been evacuated from Karridale and Kudardup.
A bushfire threatened the town in 2011 and over 200 residents were evacuated. The fire had already claimed 40,000 hectares (100,000 acres) before reaching the outskirts of East Augusta, but was later brought under control and no homes were destroyed.
In January 2018 the town was threatened by a bushfire.
Margaret River is a town in the South West of Western Australia, located in the valley of the eponymous Margaret River, 277 kilometres (172 mi) south of Perth, the state capital. Its Local Government Area is the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River.
The Swan River Colony, also known as the Swan River Settlement, or just Swan River, was a British colony established in 1829 on the Swan River, in Western Australia. This initial settlement place on the Swan River was soon named Perth, and it became the capital city of Western Australia.
Busselton is a city in the South West region of the Australian state of Western Australia. As of the 2016 census, Busselton had a population of 25,329. Founded in 1832 by the Bussell family, Busselton is 220 km (140 mi) south-west of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Busselton was voted Western Australia's top tourist town in 1995, 1996, and 2005.
The South West region is one of the nine regions of Western Australia. It is so named because it is located in the south-west corner of Western Australia. The South West region has an area of 23,970 km², and a population of about 170,000 people, which is predicted to rise to 217,000 people by 2023. Bunbury is the capital of the region.
The Shire of Augusta Margaret River is a local government area in the south-west corner of the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi) south of Perth. The shire covers an area of 2,243 square kilometres (866 sq mi) and had a population of over 14,000 at the 2016 Census, about half of whom live in the towns of Margaret River and Augusta.
Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian continent, in the state of Western Australia.
Flinders Bay is a bay and locality that is immediately south of the townsite of Augusta, and close to the mouth of the Blackwood River.
The Flinders Bay Branch Railway, also known as the Boyanup to Flinders Bay Section ran between Boyanup and Flinders Bay, in South Western Western Australia.
Hamelin Bay is a bay and a locality on the south-west coast of Western Australia between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste. It is named after French explorer Jacques Félix Emmanuel Hamelin who sailed through the area in about 1801. It is south of Cape Freycinet.
Maurice Coleman Davies was an Australian timber merchant and pastoralist. Born in London, he emigrated to Tasmania with his family as a child, and later moved to Blackwood in the Victorian goldfields, then to Melbourne and Adelaide. He then relocated to Western Australia, where he created the M.C.Davies Company, later the M.C.Davies Karri and Jarrah Timber Company, a timber empire that employed hundreds of men, laid over a hundred kilometres of private railway, including the Flinders Bay Branch Railway, and even built its own private ports for exporting of timber. He also formed the Kimberley Pastoral Company and was its managing director.
St Alouarn Islands are a group of islands and rocks south-east of Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia, approximately 11 km south of Augusta in Flinders Bay.
Bussell Highway is a generally north–south highway in the South West of Western Australia. The highway links the city of Bunbury with the town of Augusta and is approximately 140 kilometres (87 mi) in length. The highway is signed State Route 10, except in Busselton where the construction of the Busselton Bypass in 2000 resulted in this stretch being changed to Alternate State Route 10 with the Bypass signed State Route 10.
In early 1961, a series of bushfires burned in the south-west region of Western Australia. The devastating fires burned large areas of forest in and around Dwellingup from 20 to 24 January, at Pemberton and in the Shannon River region between 11 and 15 February, and in the Augusta-Margaret River area in early March. There were also major fires which burned in the Darling Scarp around Kalamunda. The towns of Dwellingup and Karridale were largely destroyed by the fires, as were a number of smaller railway and mill settlements. There was no loss of human life.
Cape Freycinet is a point on the coast between Cape Leeuwin and Cape Naturaliste in the south west of Western Australia.
Whaling was one of the first viable industries established in the Swan River Colony following the 1829 arrival of British settlers to Western Australia. The industry had numerous ups and downs until the last whaling station closed in Albany in 1978.
Karridale is a small township in the south-west of Western Australia. It is located just north of Augusta and south of Margaret River between Caves Road and Bussell Highway. A newer township was built a short distance north east of the original Old Karridale following fires that destroyed the town in 1961. At the 2006 census, Karridale had a population of 285.
Kudardup is a locality in the South West region of Western Australia. The locality is in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and on the Bussell Highway, 312 kilometres (194 mi) south of the state capital, Perth.
Boranup, in the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River, is the site of a large coastal dune blow out known as the "Boranup sand patch" as part of the Boranup beach, and the site of a former M. C. Davies timber company mill. The sand patch area and sand blows affected the alignment of the Busselton to Flinders Bay railway.
The Ngari Capes Marine Park is a marine protected area on the lower south west coast of Western Australia, located approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of. The 123,790-hectare (305,900-acre) marine park was gazetted on 12 June 2012 and the park's western and southern boundaries are the limit of coastal waters of Western Australia, abutting the South-west Corner Marine Park located within the Australian Commonwealth exclusive economic zone.
Hamelin Island lies north of Cape Hamelin, just out to sea from the former Hamelin Bay Jetty, on Hamelin Bay, on the south west coast of Western Australia, about 7 km north of Cape Leeuwin.
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