Donnybrook, Western Australia

Last updated

Donnybrook
Western Australia
Donnybrook main street.jpg
Donnybrook Main Street
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Donnybrook
Location in Western Australia
Coordinates 33°35′S115°49′E / 33.58°S 115.82°E / -33.58; 115.82 Coordinates: 33°35′S115°49′E / 33.58°S 115.82°E / -33.58; 115.82
Population2,824 (2016 census) [1]
Established1894
Postcode(s) 6239
Elevation63 m (207 ft) [2]
Location38 km (24 mi) from Bunbury
LGA(s) Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup
State electorate(s) Collie/Preston
Federal Division(s) Forrest
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
23.1 °C
74 °F
9.8 °C
50 °F
973.1 mm
38.3 in

Donnybrook is a town situated between Boyanup and Kirup on the South Western Highway, 210 kilometres (130 mi) south of Perth, Western Australia. The town is the centre of apple production in Western Australia. The town is also known for its picturesque abundance of English Oak trees, as well as the Apple Fun Park, a large outdoor playground in the centre of town. [3] [4]

Contents

History

The first humans known to live in the area were the Noongar Aboriginals. It was first settled by Europeans around 1842 when George Nash and others moved to the area. [5] They named the place "Donnybrook" after Donnybrook, then a suburb of Dublin, Ireland, that they came from. [5] The eastern part of the town was formerly called Minninup. [5] The western portion of the townsite is currently known as Irishtown. The town of Donnybrook was gazetted in 1894. [5]

The population of the town was 430 (294 males and 136 females) in 1898. [6]

In 1897, Richard Hunter discovered gold about 6 kilometres south of the Donnybrook townsite. [7] Hunter eventually sold out to Fred Camilleri (a well known prospector from Kalgoorlie) and Camilleri was able to interest the internationally renowned Polish geologist Modest Maryanski. [8] It was on the basis of Maryanski's report that a new company "Donnybrook Goldfields Ltd" was floated on the London Stock Exchange in 1899. [8] A mini gold rush occurred, resulting in the Government gazetting the Donnybrook Goldfield - in the process making provision for a new town to be called "Goldtown". [7] From the census of 1901, it was known over 200 gold miners were camped on the goldfields. [7] The excitement was short-lived however, and the Hunters Venture mine closed in August 1903. [7] The area was worked during the Great Depression by locals Laurie and Foster Payne, then re-pegged and explored during the 1980s and again from 2004-5. [7]

Geography

Climate

Donnybrook experiences a Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csa). Although summers are usually dry, heavy downpours in the summer are not uncommon. Donnybrook gets 93.9 clear days annually.

Climate data for Donnybrook
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)43.5
(110.3)
44.6
(112.3)
42.4
(108.3)
37.3
(99.1)
30.6
(87.1)
28.5
(83.3)
23.9
(75.0)
26.7
(80.1)
31.6
(88.9)
35.3
(95.5)
39.1
(102.4)
42.6
(108.7)
44.6
(112.3)
Average high °C (°F)30.6
(87.1)
30.5
(86.9)
28.0
(82.4)
24.1
(75.4)
20.0
(68.0)
17.5
(63.5)
16.5
(61.7)
17.3
(63.1)
18.8
(65.8)
21.2
(70.2)
24.9
(76.8)
28.2
(82.8)
23.1
(73.6)
Average low °C (°F)14.1
(57.4)
14.4
(57.9)
13.0
(55.4)
10.4
(50.7)
8.2
(46.8)
6.7
(44.1)
5.7
(42.3)
6.1
(43.0)
7.1
(44.8)
8.4
(47.1)
10.5
(50.9)
12.4
(54.3)
9.8
(49.6)
Record low °C (°F)3.3
(37.9)
1.7
(35.1)
1.6
(34.9)
−0.2
(31.6)
−1.2
(29.8)
−2.5
(27.5)
−3.0
(26.6)
−2.6
(27.3)
−2.2
(28.0)
−0.5
(31.1)
0.4
(32.7)
1.7
(35.1)
−3.0
(26.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches)12.7
(0.50)
14.9
(0.59)
25.1
(0.99)
49.6
(1.95)
134.4
(5.29)
187.1
(7.37)
186.8
(7.35)
148.9
(5.86)
102.3
(4.03)
62.9
(2.48)
32.8
(1.29)
16.5
(0.65)
973.1
(38.31)
Average precipitation days3.23.24.78.715.018.521.019.416.212.47.94.6134.8
Average afternoon relative humidity (%) (at 1500)35363947576463595650423749
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology [2]

Industry

Donnybrook is the home of Western Australia's apple industry. [9] In 1900, the first Granny Smith apple tree was planted, and the apple orchard industry grew after World War I. [10]

Apples are harvested between March and May, with apple blossoms prominent in October. [9] Donnybrook's industries also include timber, beef, dairy and viticulture. [9] Many visiting backpackers earn money picking fruit from orchards in the area between November and June. [11] Many apple trees are being replaced with avocado trees.

Tourism

Apple decorations along Donnybrook's main street Donnybrook apple decorations.jpg
Apple decorations along Donnybrook's main street

Donnybrook has many town icons bearing the apple. On the main street, apple-shaped lights line the entrance of the Old Railway Station. These lights have recently been restored. Atop the east Donnybrook hill is a 20-metre-high (66 ft) tower with an apple at the top. The apple is part of The Big Apple Farmstay.(formerly the Big Apple Tourist and Wildlife Park). From the top of the apple, farmstay guests can view Donnybrook and its surrounding areas. The Lady William big apple is made of fibreglass and is 7.5 metres (25 ft) tall with a diameter of 6.5 metres (21 ft), [10] making it one of Australia's "Big Things".

Apple festival

Finalists in the 1954 Apple Queen competition from Donnybrook, Manjimup and Bridgetown Donnybrook Apple Queen finalists 1954.jpg
Finalists in the 1954 Apple Queen competition from Donnybrook, Manjimup and Bridgetown

The Donnybrook Apple Festival is held every year during Easter. [9] During the apple festival, the citizens of Donnybrook gather at Egan Park to celebrate the apple. The festival includes agricultural displays, sideshow alley, a Saturday evening concert & fireworks display and a street parade. [12] During the street parade the Catholic Church of Donnybrook blesses the holy apple, assuring a good harvest in the years to come.

The Apple Festival also had a mascot, Donny Applebrook, created in 1997. [13] Donny was a giant green apple who promoted the festival.

Apple Fun Park playground

The centre of town is home to the Apple Fun Park outdoor playground, which opened in Easter 2008 in time for the Donnybrook Apple Festival that year. [14] The expansive fruit-themed park contains children's play equipment and an adult exercise area, as well as a shaded picnic area with public barbecues. [14] At the time of its construction it was the largest free-entry playground in Australia, and it attracts up to 50,000 visitors each year. [4]

In April 2021 the playground was temporarily closed and the play equipment demolished as it had reached the end of its design life. The playground is expected to reopen in September 2021 featuring a new, larger design and new equipment though some original play equipment will be retained. [4]

English Oak

Donnybrook is home to Australia's largest known English Oak. [15] The tree, believed to originate from 1893 is a landmark within the town. There is also a time capsule under this tree. [16]

See also

Related Research Articles

Katanning, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Katanning is a town located 277 kilometres (172 mi) south-east of Perth, Western Australia on the Great Southern Highway. At the 2016 census, Katanning had a population of 3,687.

Norseman, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Norseman is a town located in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia along the Coolgardie-Esperance Highway, 726 kilometres (451 mi) east of Perth and 278 metres (912 ft) above sea level. It is also the starting point of the Eyre Highway, and the last major town in Western Australia before the South Australian border 720 kilometres (447 mi) to the east. At the 2016 census, Norseman had a population of almost 600.

Esperance, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Esperance is a town in the Goldfields–Esperance region of Western Australia, on the Southern Ocean coastline approximately 720 kilometres (450 mi) east-southeast of the state capital, Perth. The urban population of Esperance was 12,145 at June 2018. Its major industries are tourism, agriculture, and fishing.

Pemberton, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Pemberton is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, named after original settler Pemberton Walcott.

Bridgetown, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

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.

Kings Park, Western Australia Park in Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Kings Park is a 400.6-hectare (990-acre) park overlooking Perth Water and the central business district of Perth, Western Australia.

Bullabulling, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Bullabulling is a small townsite located 526 km (327 mi) east of Perth, Western Australia on the Great Eastern Highway in the Goldfields-Esperance region.

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.

Nannine, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Nannine is a ghost town in the Mid West region of Western Australia. It is located on the northern bank of Lake Anneen, approximately 35 kilometres (22 mi) south-southwest of Meekatharra, and 735 kilometres (457 mi) north-northeast of Perth.

Mount Morgans, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Mount Morgans, known as Mount Morgan until 1899, is an abandoned town in Western Australia 900 kilometres (559 mi) northeast of Perth and 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Laverton on the original Malcolm-Laverton Road, in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Mount Margaret, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Mount Margaret was an abandoned town located 900 kilometres (559 mi) northeast of Perth and 31 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Laverton in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Widgiemooltha, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Widgiemooltha is an abandoned town in Western Australia 631 kilometres (392 mi) east of Perth between Kambalda and Norseman in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. It is found on the southern shoreline of Lake Lefroy.

Beria, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Beria is an abandoned town in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia, located 8 kilometres (5 mi) north of Laverton on the Laverton-Leonora Road.

Burbanks, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Burbanks is an abandoned town in Western Australia located between Coolgardie and Londonderry in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Dunnsville, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Dunnsville is an abandoned town in Western Australia located 46 km north-west of Coolgardie in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Kunanalling, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Kunanalling is an abandoned town in Western Australia located between Coolgardie and Balgarri along the Coolgardie North Road in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia. It is located in the Shire of Coolgardie.

Londonderry, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Londonderry is a ghost town in Western Australia, located 14 km South West of Coolgardie in the Goldfields-Esperance region of Western Australia.

Horseshoe, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Horseshoe is an abandoned town in Western Australia located in the Murchison goldfields within the Mid West region of Western Australia situated between Meekatharra and Newman. The town is adjacent to the Peak Hill goldfields.

Western Australian gold rushes

In the latter part of the nineteenth century, discoveries of gold at a number of locations in Western Australia caused large influxes of prospectors from overseas and interstate, and classic gold rushes. Significant finds included:

Callion, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Callion is an abandoned town in the Goldfields-Esperance region in Western Australia. It is between Coolgardie and Leonora, in the Shire of Menzies.

References

  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Donnybrook (State Suburbs)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 June 2019. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. 1 2 "Climate statistics for Donnybrook". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 20 December 2018.
  3. "How Donnybrook, 'the ugliest town in Australia', reinvented itself". 8 February 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  4. 1 2 3 "WA's legendary Apple Fun Park playground in Donnybrook knocked down to make way for new design". 15 May 2021. Retrieved 16 May 2021.
  5. 1 2 3 4 "Landgate History of Country Town Names: D". Archived from the original on 26 October 2009. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  6. "POPULATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA". Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954) . Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 Olsen, Graeme. "South West Life: The Donnybrook Goldrush". Archived from the original on 31 December 2007. Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  8. 1 2 "Australia's South West: The Donnybrook Goldrush" . Retrieved 18 January 2008.
  9. 1 2 3 4 "Tourism Western Australia: Donnybrook" . Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  10. 1 2 "Next 89km: Big Apple, Donnybrook". Archived from the original on 6 October 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  11. "Backpackers Ultimate Guide: Southwest WA". Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  12. "Donnybrook Apple Festival" . Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  13. "Donnybrook Apple Festival: 1997". Archived from the original on 5 January 2009. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  14. 1 2 "Biggest Free Entry Fun Park In Australia To Be Built In Donnybrook". 11 January 2008. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2008.
  15. Nina Smith (8 December 2009). "Australia's biggest oak tree" (PDF). Community Profile. Donnybrook-Bridgetown Mail.
  16. "Register of Heritage Places Assessment Documentation" (PDF). Heritage Foundation of Western Australia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 June 2009.