Bridgetown, Western Australia

Last updated

Western Australia
Bridgetown WA main street 01.jpg
Hampton Street, the main street of Bridgetown
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 33°57′30″S116°08′17″E / 33.95833°S 116.13806°E / -33.95833; 116.13806 Coordinates: 33°57′30″S116°08′17″E / 33.95833°S 116.13806°E / -33.95833; 116.13806
Population2,812 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 6255
Elevation156.6 m (514 ft) [2]
LGA(s) Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes
State electorate(s) Blackwood-Stirling
Federal Division(s) O'Connor

Bridgetown is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 270 kilometres (168 mi) south of Perth on the Blackwood River at the intersection of South Western Highway with Brockman Highway to Nannup and Augusta.



The area was originally known as Geegelup, which was believed to mean "place of gilgies" in the Noongar language, referring to the fresh water lobster that inhabits the area. However recent research suggests the actual meaning of Geegelup may be "place of spears".

In 1852, A.C. Gregory made the original survey of the Geegelup area and in 1857, Edward Godfrey Hester (now honoured in nearby Hester) and John Blechynden settled there. In 1861, convicts built the road from Donnybrook into the area. [3] In 1864 the Geegelup Post Office was established in a building on Blechynden’s property. [4] A basic police station that had existed since c1862 was substantially reconstructed by former convict, Joseph Smith on the south bank of the Blackwood River in mid 1867. Mounted Constable Abraham W. Moulton was the first permanently appointed policeman. [5]

The townsite was surveyed in April 1868 by Thomas Carey, who proposed the name Bridgetown for two reasons - "as it is at a bridge and the Bridgetown was the first ship to put in at Bunbury for the wool from these districts", and was approved and gazetted on 9 June 1868. [6] [4]

From then until about 1885, many buildings including the primary school (1870), post office, new police station (1880) and two hotels were constructed, many of which are still standing today. In 1885, the Bridgetown Agricultural Society was formed and local farmers produced sheep, cattle, dairy products, timber, fruit and nuts. The building boom in Western Australia during the gold boom of the 1890s saw an increased demand for sawn timber, and numerous mills opened in the Bridgetown area. [4] The coming of the railway in 1898 enabled quick access to markets for the many orchardists and helped establish the beginning of a tourist industry. [7]

Until the 1980s, the land surrounding Bridgetown was almost exclusively used for broadacre agriculture and improved pasture. From the late 1970s, the area became increasingly attractive to tourists as a tranquil and picturesque country town an accessible distance from Perth. Some people, attracted by the area's aesthetic qualities and rural lifestyle moved to the town permanently, which resulted in a strong demand for residential and hobby farm allotments, at a time when there was a coincident global downturn in agricultural markets. Many farmers sold up, and much of the most aesthetically pleasing land was subdivided and sold. The demographic change had a profound impact on the town's industry, replacing demand for farm services with demand for services in the tourism and recreation sectors. However, the dramatic increase in infrastructure such as housing, roads and power reticulation detracted from the rural aesthetic that attracted the influx in the first place. [8]

Present day

Bridgetown is the seat of the Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes and the centre of a productive agricultural district. Many buildings in the town centre are over a century old. The town has a Jigsaw Gallery and Museum, which claims to host the only jigsaw collection of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and also a primary school (1870) and high school (1962), district hospital, telecentre, shire offices, roadhouse, agricultural showground, shopping facilities, accommodation for travellers (hotel/motel, B&Bs, caravan park) and numerous picnic spots along the Blackwood River. The rural residential area of Kangaroo Gully to the town's east has grown since the 1990s. Each year, Bridgetown hosts many events, [9] including:



Bridgetown experiences a cool Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb).

Climate data for Bridgetown (averages: 1998–2018; extremes: 1907–2018)
Record high °C (°F)43.5
Average high °C (°F)30.0
Average low °C (°F)13.2
Record low °C (°F)0.9
Average precipitation mm (inches)17.2
Average rainy days3.93.65.811.418.221.324.323.419.
Source: Bureau of Meteorology [15] [16]

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Local government areas of Western Australia

The local government areas of Western Australia (LGAs) are those areas, towns and districts in Western Australia that manage their own affairs to the extent permitted by the Local Government Act 1995. The Local Government Act 1995 also makes provision for regional local governments (referred to as "regional councils", established by two or more local governments for a particular purpose.

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 main city in the region.

Cunderdin, Western Australia Town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia

Cunderdin is a town located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia 156 km east of Perth, along the Great Eastern Highway. Due to it being on the route of the Goldfields Water Supply Scheme it is also on the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail. It is a rural community consisting of a district high school and an agricultural college.

Manjimup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Manjimup is a town in Western Australia, 307 kilometres (191 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. The town of Manjimup is a regional centre for the largest shire in the South West region of Western Australia. At the 2016 census, Manjimup had a population of 4,349.

Boyup Brook, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Boyup Brook is a town in the south-west of Western Australia, 269 kilometres (167 mi) south-southeast of Perth and 31 kilometres (19 mi) northeast of Bridgetown. The town lies on Kaniyang land within the Noongar nation.

Shire of Bridgetown–Greenbushes Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Bridgetown–Greenbushes is a local government area in the South West region of Western Australia, about 80 kilometres (50 mi) southeast of Bunbury and about 260 kilometres (162 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. The Shire covers an area of 1,340 square kilometres (517 sq mi), and its seat of government is the town of Bridgetown.

Kirup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Kirup, originally named Upper Capel, then Kirupp, is situated between Donnybrook and Balingup on the South Western Highway, 228 kilometres (142 mi) south of Perth, Western Australia in the upper reaches of the Capel River valley.

Mullalyup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Mullalyup is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, situated between Kirup and Balingup on the South Western Highway, 231 kilometres (144 mi) south of Perth. The town is in the shire of Donnybrook-Balingup, known for its scenic Blackwood River Valley and agricultural industries.

Bridgetown may also refer to:

Nannup, Western Australia Town in the South West region of Western Australia

Nannup is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 280 kilometres (174 mi) south of Perth on the Blackwood River at the crossroads of Vasse Highway and Brockman Highway; the highways link Nannup to most of the lower South West's regional centres. At the 2011 census, Nannup had a population of 587.

Northcliffe, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Northcliffe is a town located in the lower South West region of Western Australia, about 28 kilometres (17 mi) south of the town of Pemberton. It is part of the Shire of Manjimup. At the 2006 census, Northcliffe had a population of 412. Currently, Northcliffe serves a population of around 770 people within the town and surrounding areas. Approximately 31% of the population have post-secondary qualifications.

The West Australian Forest Alliance is an organization made up of a number of West Australian environmental activist groups—concerned with the destruction of Old Growth Forests in the South West region. It is a successor to and includes membership of the earlier groups the Campaign to Save Native Forests, South West Forests Defence Foundation, Great Walk Networking, and other member groups of the Conservation Council of Western Australia

Jurien Bay, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Jurien Bay is a coastal town in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, 220 kilometres (137 mi) north of Perth facing the Indian Ocean.

Blackwood Valley is a wine region in the south-west of Western Australia, approximately 260 km south-south-east of Perth.

Greenbushes, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Greenbushes is a timber and mining town located in the South West region of Western Australia. The 2016 population was 362.

Blackwood-Stirling was an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia. It took parts of the South West and Great Southern regions of Western Australia.

The Lower South West Football League is a country Australian rules football league incorporating teams from towns located within the South West and Great Southern regions of Western Australia.

David Donald Reid was an Australian politician. He briefly served as a member of the Western Australian Legislative Assembly in 1971–1972 representing the seat of Blackwood, then in 1974 was appointed to the Australian Senate to serve out a vacancy which ended the same year.

The Shire of Greenbushes was a local government area in Western Australia, based in the town of Greenbushes. It was established as the Greenbushes Road District on 2 February 1900. The territory of the new road district was largely severed from the Upper Capel Roads Board.

Northcliffe Branch railway

The Northcliffe Branch, also known as the Northcliffe Section or Picton to Northcliffe Line, is the railway route between Picton and Northcliffe in Western Australia.


  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Bridgetown (State suburb)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 May 2019. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. "Bridgetown WA 6255 Elevation". Distancesto. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
  3. Shire of Bridgetown-Greenbushes. "Tourism - Heritage". Archived from the original on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 3 November 2006.
  4. 1 2 3 "Register of Heritage Places - Assessment Documentation: Bridgetown Post Office". Perth, WA: Heritage Council of Western Australia. 2 September 1997. Retrieved 29 May 2019.
  5. Bridgetown Historical Society
  6. Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – B" . Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  7. Bridgetown Historical Society
  8. Tonts, Matthew; Greive, Shane (2002). "Commodification and creative destruction in the Australian rural landscape: the case of Bridgetown, Western Australia". Australian Geographical Studies. 40 (1): 58–70. doi:10.1111/1467-8470.00161.
  10. 1 2
  15. "Climate statistics for Bridgtown". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 5 December 2018.
  16. "Climate statistics for Bridgtown Comparison". Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 5 December 2018.