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Donnelly River timber mill
Donnelly River Village is a former timber mill town and present-day holiday village in the Shire of Nannup, in the South West region of Western Australia. The Village is located at a point between Nannup, Bridgetown and Manjimup on the Donnelly River, a small, seasonal river at this point, which flows into the Southern Ocean at 34°29'02.4"S 115°40'27.8"E. The name also applies to a winery downstream on the Vasse Highway and the township's cottages are sometimes confused with cottages built on the lower reaches of the Donnelly River at 34.482273S 115.683438E.
The town was named for the river which flows through it, which in turn was named by Governor James Stirling after Admiral Ross Donnelly, a friend of his wife's family and Rear Admiral of the Red.Although the town was officially called "Wheatley" the name Donnelly River or Donnelly River Village is more commonly used. Some previous residents and other locals also refer to the town as 'The Donnelly'.
The Donnelly River site was first used as a timber mill by the Wheatley family in 1912 to cut cross arms and telegraph poles, but it closed after two years. In 1947, Bunnings made plans to build a new mill on the Wheatley site to work timber in new permit areas held by the company, with a steam engine purchased from Onkaparinga Woollen Mills in South Australia - Donnelly River became the only steam-driven mill in the South West, officially opening in 1951. The mill and town subsequently provided employment and family homes for a large community for nearly 30 years - many of these families have remained in the district.
It was shut down in 1978 as part of a Forests Department policy to close less efficient mills, and is now heritage listed.
Donnelly River Village is a small township in the picturesque Donnelly valley located about 300 km south of Perth, Western Australia. It is a preserved mill town surrounded by karri forests. The majority of buildings in the village are built around a central Karri parkland which hosts an old play ground called 'Belmont Park', as it was once renovated by volunteers from a school in Belmont, Perth. The central parkland also has a 'chair' flying fox. Wildlife including emus, kangaroos, kookaburras and parrots are often seen in the area. There are numerous bush walks from the village and the Bibbulmun Track passes through the town. The town is also situated on the Munda Biddi Trail.
The village now comprises a group of over 40 significant buildings, including cottages, a primary school, the previous Workers' Club, a general store and others. The Primary School building is now used to house a historical display, which is curated by the Friends of Donnelly Village and also provides budget accommodation for Munda Biddi riders and Bibbulmun Track walkers. Visitors can request a key to the history display at the General Store. The old Primary School lunch shelter can be used by walkers and riders free of charge. Cottages in the village originally, mostly built for timber mill workers have been restored and now provide holiday accommodation. The General Store is open 7 days a week and offers basic groceries and snack foods that are sought by trail users. The General Store also operates a cafe for snacks and light lunches and administers cottage bookings. Many other buildings were removed when the mill closed, but in the last decade, much work has been done to protect and improve the remaining buildings, within heritage guidelines.
The old mill itself is also heritage listed and is owned by the State Government of Western Australia, however there is little being done to preserve this area of Donnelly Village. The Mill site itself is fenced off from the public. Much of the structure is now unstable.
Donnelly Village is now a significant employer in the area.
Other nearby natural attractions in the area include Four Aces, One Tree Bridge and Glenoran Pool. Donnelly Swimming Dam is a popular picturesque swimming and picnic spot. Nearby towns of Bridgetown, Nannup and Manjimup provide essential services within about 30 minutes of picturesque driving. The whole area is ideal for cycling. Donnelly Village is about one hour's drive from the timber town of Pemberton and the world renowned Margaret River area and about 2 hours drive from the south coast.
Shannon National Park is a national park on the south coast of Western Australia, 302 km (188 mi) south of Perth and 55 km (34 mi) southeast of Manjimup. It was declared a national park in 1988. The park covers the entire Shannon River basin. It is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.
Walpole-Nornalup National Park is a national park in the South West region of Western Australia, 355 km (221 mi) south of Perth. It is famous for its towering karri and tingle trees. red tingle trees are unique to the Walpole area. The park is part of the larger Walpole Wilderness Area that was established in 2004, an international biodiversity hotspot.
The Bibbulmun Track is a long-distance walk trail in Western Australia. It runs from Kalamunda in the east of Perth to Albany, and is 1,003.1 kilometres (623.3 mi) long.
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region in the Australian state of Western Australia, 418 km southeast of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years.
Eucalyptus diversicolor, commonly known as the karri, is a eucalypt native to the wetter regions of southwestern Western Australia.
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.
Pemberton is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, named after original settler Pemberton Walcott.
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.
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.
Denmark is a coastal town located on Wilson Inlet in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 423 kilometres (263 mi) south-south-east of the state capital of Perth. At the 2016 census, Denmark had a population of 2,558; however, the population can be several times the base population during tourist seasons.
South Western Highway is a highway in the South West region of Western Australia connecting Perth's southeast with Walpole. It is a part of the Highway 1 network for most of its length. It is about 406 kilometres (252 mi) long.
Yornup is a small town in the South West region of Western Australia, situated between Bridgetown and Manjimup on the South Western Highway.
Nannup is a town and shire 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 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.
Vasse Highway is a Western Australian highway connecting Busselton and the South Western Highway 15 km south of Manjimup. It is 151 kilometres (94 mi) long and travels through jarrah and karri hardwood forests for most of its length, with some small agricultural areas and wineries nearby, and forms the main street of the towns of Nannup and Pemberton.
The Shire of Nannup is a local government area in the South West region of Western Australia, approximately 280 kilometres (174 mi) south of the state capital, Perth and 60 kilometres (37 mi) southeast of the coastal resort town of Busselton. Its seat of government is the town of Nannup, where about half of the Shire's population reside.
The Shire of Mundaring is a local government area in eastern metropolitan Perth, the capital of Western Australia. The Shire covers an area of 645 square kilometres (249 sq mi) and had a population of approximately 38,000 as at the 2016 Census.
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.
The Donnelly River is a river in the South West of Western Australia. Its main tributaries are Barlee Brook and Carey Brook. The river runs primarily through state forest reserves, although 25 private landholdings are situated along the length of the river. Clearing of the catchment area is estimated at 20% with the land mostly being used for viticulture, horticulture, dairy, grazing and tourism.
Tourist Drives in Western Australia are routes through areas of scenic or historic significance, designated by route markers with white numbers on a brown shield. Tourist Drives were introduced into Western Australia while Eric Charlton was the state government Minister for Transport in the 1990s. The 28 numbered routes collectively traverse more than 2,000 kilometres (1,200 mi) across the state. In addition to the Tourist Drives, there are unnumbered routes such as the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail, and local governments may designate and maintain local scenic drives, generally unnamed and unnumbered.