Karridale, Western Australia

Last updated

Western Australia
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 34°11′S115°06′E / 34.19°S 115.1°E / -34.19; 115.1 Coordinates: 34°11′S115°06′E / 34.19°S 115.1°E / -34.19; 115.1
Population285 (2006 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 6288
LGA(s) Shire of Augusta-Margaret River
State electorate(s) Blackwood-Stirling
Federal Division(s) Forrest

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. [1]


Although settled for many years through its milling operations, the townsite was not officially gazetted until 1979.


Cutting a Karri tree at Karridale. c 1890 Karridale1885.jpg
Cutting a Karri tree at Karridale. c 1890

Karridale was established as a timber mill in 1884 by M. C. Davies who saw the potential from large virgin forests of Karri trees ( Eucalyptus diversicolor ) in the area. [2] The Karridale School opened in 1888. [3] At its peak the town was home to 300 men and their families who worked in the forest and at the M.C.Davies Karri and Jarrah Timber Company mill.

Timber from the mill was transported by rail to nearby Hamelin Bay where Davies had built a jetty to support his milling operations. A second jetty at Flinders Bay to the south supported the shipping operations when the weather was unsuited for loading on the west facing coastline. A major storm in 1900 which destroyed the Hamelin Bay jetty as well as a downturn in demand for timber in the early 1900s meant that the industry went into decline and the last mill was closed in 1913.

Karridale was a stopping place on the Busselton to Flinders Bay Branch Railway, which was government run from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Other timber mills in the area included Kudardup, Boranup and Jarrahdene. Between 1900 and 1914 approximately 17 million railway sleepers were cut from timber milled in the region. [4]

During the 1920s, Premier James Mitchell established the Group Settlement Scheme, which brought British settlers out to Western Australia with the aim of settling some of the underdeveloped areas of the state. Group 4 were sent to Karridale, and consisted of about 20 families who received a 160-acre (0.65 km2) block and a grant of £10 for the purchase of necessities plus an allowance of 10 shillings per day. Like those in many other areas in which the scheme operated, the participants endured severe hardship and isolation and many walked off the land, particularly after the onset of the 1929 Depression. The scheme was officially abandoned in 1930.

In 1961, the south west of the state suffered from a series of devastating bushfires that destroyed Dwellingup and totally destroyed the townsite of Karridale and 100,000 acres of farms, forest and bushland south of Margaret River. [5] In Karridale, the historic homestead of M.C. Davies was destroyed also.

Hamelin Bay and Karridale proximity - portion from 1899 map of the M C Davies company operations Hamelin and Karridale situation from map.jpg
Hamelin Bay and Karridale proximity - portion from 1899 map of the M C Davies company operations

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Eucalyptus marginata</i> Species of plant in the family Myrtaceae endemic to the south-west of Western Australia

Eucalyptus marginata, commonly known as jarrah, djarraly in Noongar language and historically as Swan River mahogany, is a plant in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae and is endemic to the south-west of Western Australia. It is a tree with rough, fibrous bark, leaves with a distinct midvein, white flowers and relatively large, more or less spherical fruit. Its hard, dense timber is insect resistant although the tree is susceptible to dieback. The timber has been utilised for cabinet-making, flooring and railway sleepers.

Torbay, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Torbay is a small town and a bay in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 20 kilometres (12 mi) west of Albany. Torbay is within the City of Albany local government area. The Torbay townsite was gazetted in 1910.

Shire of Augusta–Margaret River Local government area in Western Australia

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.

Augusta, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

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.

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.

Denmark, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

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.

Flinders Bay Branch Railway

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, 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.

Jarrahdale, Western Australia Suburb of Perth, Western Australia

Jarrahdale is a small historic town located 45 km south-east of Perth, Western Australia in the Darling Range. The name is derived from its situation in a jarrah forest. Established in the late 1800s as the state's first major timber milling operation, it played a key role in the development of Western Australia through the exportation of jarrah around the world. At the 2016 census, Jarrahdale had a population of 1,192. Since 2001, the historic precinct has been managed by the state's National Trust organisation alongside private residential and tourism-oriented developments.

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.

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.

Nanga Brook, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Nanga Brook is a former town located in the Peel region of Western Australia in the Lane-Poole Reserve between Dwellingup and Waroona.

Gleneagle, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Gleneagle or Glen Eagle is a locality in Western Australia. The locality is south east of the state capital, Perth, close to Jarrahdale on the Albany Highway

Timber railway lines of Western Australia

The network of railway lines in Western Australia associated with the timber and firewood industries is as old as the mainline railway system of the former Western Australian Government Railways system.

Witchcliffe, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Witchcliffe is a small town in the South West region of Western Australia, located a few kilometres south of Margaret River on the Bussell Highway. The name originates from a cave in the area, Witchcliffe cave, that was recorded by a surveyor in 1900. It is believed the name was given by the Bussell family whose property, Wallcliffe, was established in the area in the 1850s.

Kudardup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

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.

Millars' Karri and Jarrah Company (1902) Limited, commonly known as Millars, was a Western Australian focused timber and timber railway company.

Boranup, Western Australia

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.

Forests Department (Western Australia)

The Forests Department was a department of the Government of Western Australia created in 1919 under Conservator of Forests Charles Lane Poole, that was responsible for implementing the State's Forests Act (1918-1976) legislation and regulations.

Marrinup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Marrinup is a ghost town in the Peel region of Western Australia between Dwellingup and Pinjarra. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. The town was destroyed in the 1961 bushfires and the townsite is now used as a campground. The ruins of the townsite are heritage listed. Little remains of the town other than an old bridge over Marrinup Creek and some wooden railway sleepers.


  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Karridale (State Suburb)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 14 July 2011.
  2. Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – K" . Retrieved 8 June 2007.
  3. Karridale Primary School (1983), A Brief history of Karridale and the Karridale School, 1883-1983, The School, retrieved 15 December 2016
  4. "Local history". Archived from the original on 2 August 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  5. Matthews, H (2011) Karridale Bush Fires 1961: Karridale Progress Association inc, WA : ISBN   978-0-9871467-0-0