Pinjarra, Western Australia

Last updated

Western Australia
Pinjarra 001.jpg
Australia Western Australia location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Coordinates 32°37′48″S115°52′16″E / 32.63000°S 115.87111°E / -32.63000; 115.87111 Coordinates: 32°37′48″S115°52′16″E / 32.63000°S 115.87111°E / -32.63000; 115.87111
Population4,910 (2016 census) [1]
Postcode(s) 6208
LGA(s) Shire of Murray
State electorate(s) Murray-Wellington
Federal Division(s) Canning
Mean max tempMean min tempAnnual rainfall
??941.4 mm
37.1 in

Pinjarra is a town in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, 82 kilometres (51 mi) from the state capital, Perth and 21 kilometres (13 mi) south-east of the coastal city of Mandurah. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. At the 2016 census, Pinjarra had a population of 4910. [1]


Pinjarra is an area rich in history, and is the home town of a former State Premier - Sir Ross McLarty. It is near the site of the Pinjarra massacre, where between 14 and 80 Noongar people were killed by British colonists in 1834.


The name was often shown spelt "Pinjarrup" on early maps, while the accepted spelling for many years was "Pinjarrah". There are conflicting theories regarding the meaning of the name, and it is usually said to mean "place of a swamp", as a corruption of the Aboriginal word "beenjarrup". [2] However, Pinjarra is more likely to have been named after the Pindjarup people who frequented the area. [3]

Pinjarra is one of the earliest European settlements to occur in Western Australia; one of the first settlers in the area was Thomas Peel, who established a settlement at the mouth of the Murray River in 1830. [2] In 1831, land was reserved for a townsite near a ford over the river. By 1834, word had spread about the rich loamy soils and pastures, bringing more Europeans to the area. [2] [4] In 1834, at the insistence of Thomas Peel, a group was organised and lead by Governor James Stirling to do something about the Aboriginals; this group attacked the village consisting of over 20 mia-mias just after dawn. They approached from both sides of the river, forcing the people into the river where they caught the victims, mostly women and children, in a crossfire. Many bodies were left to float down stream. Official reports referred to it as a battle, it was not until over 150 years later that it was recognised as one of many massacres by colonialist in Australia. [5] Surveys were carried out in 1836 and land allocated to settlers in 1837.[ citation needed ]

By early 1898 the population of the town was 400, 300 males and 100 females. [6]

A British child migration scheme run by Kingsley Fairbridge established a farm school in the area in the early 1900s. Hundreds of orphaned children were educated at Fairbridge Farm between 1913 and 1981. Fairbridge Chapel was built at Pinjarra, in 1924 to Herbert Baker's design.

The author Kenneth (Seaforth) McKenzie grew up in Pinjarra, and parts of his experiences as a child living near the Murray River are found in his first novel The Young Desire It .

In 1974, an alumina refinery was established by Alcoa Australia Ltd, causing a boost in the population of Pinjarra and nearby Mandurah. [2] [4] Pinjarra is also the site of the world's largest bauxite mine.


Pinjarra contains one shopping centre, Pinjarra Junction, which opened in 2008. [7] It contains a Target, Coles Supermarket, Best & Less, Subway, The Reject Shop, Chicken Treat, Muffin Break, Liquorland and Sports Power.

Pinjarra contains Pinjarra Primary School, Pinjarra Senior High School, and St Joseph's Catholic Primary School.

Future and growth

Because of its close proximity to Mandurah and recent infrastructure and amenities investments, Pinjarra's population is likely to increase significantly through new subdivisions surrounding the original town-site. Armadale Railway Line also planning to extend till Byford in first phase and till Pinjarra in second phase. [7] [ timeframe? ]


Pinjarra station is located on the South Western Railway and served by Transwa's twice daily Australind service from Perth to Bunbury. [8] In September 2012 a Transperth bus service was inaugurated between Murray Hospital in southern Pinjarra and Mandurah railway station, via Mandurah Forum on Pinjarra Road, and Pinjarra town centre. [9]

Pinjarra is also on the South Western Highway between Armadale and Bunbury, something which has both helped and hindered the town. Traffic through the town during holiday seasons has been known to stretch for kilometres north or south. As a result, there have been calls for the construction of a road bypass of the town. [10]


Pinjarra is the operating base for the Hotham Valley Tourist Railway. Peel Zoo, known for its bird wildlife, is situated near Pinjarra.

Notable people

Related Research Articles

Mandurah City in Western Australia

Mandurah is a coastal city in the Australian state of Western Australia, situated approximately 72 kilometres (45 mi) south of the state capital, Perth. It is the state's second-largest city, with a population of approximately 97,000, ahead of that of nearby Bunbury.

Perth railway station

Perth Railway Station is the largest station on the Transperth network, serving the central business district of Perth, Western Australia. It serves as an interchange between the Armadale, Fremantle, Joondalup, Mandurah and Midland lines as well as Transwa's Australind service.

Armadale railway station, Perth

Armadale railway station is a railway station on the South Western Railway, 30 kilometres from Perth station serving the suburb of Armadale. It is the terminating point for Transperth Armadale line services and a calling point for Transwa Australind services.

Waroona, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Waroona is a town located in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, between Pinjarra and Harvey. The town is the seat of the Shire of Waroona. At the 2016 census, Waroona had a population of 2,934.

<i>Australind</i> (train)

The Australind is a rural passenger train service in Western Australia operated by Transwa on the South Western Railway between Perth and Bunbury.

Harvey, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

Harvey is a town located in the South West of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, 140 kilometres (87 mi) south of Perth, between Pinjarra and Bunbury. It has a population of 2,750. Harvey Town is known for its dairy industry and oranges.

North Dandalup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

North Dandalup is a small town in the Peel region of Western Australia along the South Western Highway between Serpentine and Pinjarra. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray. At the 2011 census, North Dandalup had a population of 346.

South Western Highway

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.

Electoral district of Murray-Wellington

Murray-Wellington is an electoral district of the Legislative Assembly in the Australian state of Western Australia. The seat's current member is Labor MLA Robyn Clarke.

Shire of Murray Local government area in Western Australia

The Shire of Murray is a local government area of Western Australia. It has an area of 1,710.1 square kilometres (660.3 sq mi) and is located in the Peel Region about 80 kilometres (50 mi) south of the Perth central business district.

South Western Railway, Western Australia

The South Western Railway, also known as the South West Main Line, is the main railway route between Perth and Bunbury in Western Australia.

Murray River (Western Australia)

The Murray River is a river in the southwest of Western Australia. It played a significant part in the expansion of settlement in the area south of Perth after the arrival of British settlers at the Swan River Colony in 1829.

Transperth Trains

Transperth Trains is a division of the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia. It is responsible for operating Perth’s urban passenger rail system, as part of the Transperth network.

Forrest Highway Highway in Western Australia

Forrest Highway is a 95-kilometre-long (59 mi) highway in Western Australia's Peel and South West regions, extending Perth's Kwinana Freeway from east of Mandurah down to Bunbury. Old Coast Road was the original Mandurah–Bunbury route, dating back to the 1840s. Part of that road, and the Australind Bypass around Australind and Eaton, were subsumed by Forrest Highway. The highway begins at Kwinana Freeway's southern terminus in Ravenswood, continues around the Peel Inlet to Lake Clifton, and heads south to finish at Bunbury's Eelup Roundabout. There are a number of at-grade intersections with minor roads in the shires of Murray, Waroona, and Harvey including Greenlands Road and Old Bunbury Road, both of which connect to South Western Highway near Pinjarra.

South Yunderup, Western Australia Town in Western Australia

South Yunderup is a township near Mandurah, Western Australia, located on the south bank of the Murray River within the Shire of Murray. Its postcode is 6208, and in the 2011 Census, it had a population of 2,235 with a median age of 50. South Yunderup is also the second-largest township in the Shire of Murray after the main town, Pinjarra.

Furnissdale is a locality near Mandurah, Western Australia, to the south of Pinjarra Road and near the Serpentine River entrance into the Peel Inlet within the Shire of Murray. Its postcode is 6209. At the 2011 census, Furnissdale had a population of 1,027.

Thomas Watson was a surveyor and early settler of the Swan River Colony in what is now Western Australia.

Pinjarra Road

Pinjarra Road is a major west-east road connecting the two major centres of the Peel Region, Mandurah and Pinjarra. Mostly a dual carriageway, it also forms the termini of both the Kwinana Freeway and Forrest Highway.

Pinjarra railway station

Pinjarra railway station is located on the South Western Railway in Western Australia. It is located at the town of Pinjarra.

Harvey railway station, Western Australia

Harvey railway station is located on the South Western Railway in Western Australia. It serves the town of Harvey.


  1. 1 2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Pinjarra (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 29 October 2019. OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
  2. 1 2 3 4 "Pleasant town on the banks of the Murray River", The Sydney Morning Herald , 8 February 2004, retrieved 28 March 2011
  3. Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – P" . Retrieved 17 April 2007.
  4. 1 2 "The History of Settlement" (url). Peel Inlet: Western Australia: History. at Mandurah WA. 1996–2000. Retrieved 28 March 2011.
  5. Palmer, David; Collard, Leonard (1996). "NIDJA BOODJAR BINJARUP NYUNGAR, KURA, YEYE, BOORDA": THE GCALYUT RESEARCH AND TRAINING PROJECT". The Gcalyut Research and Training Project. Retrieved 26 November 2019.
  6. "Population of Western Australia". Western Mail . Perth, Western Australia: National Library of Australia. 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  7. 1 2 Archived 27 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  8. Australind Timetable Transwa
  9. "New routes 600 and 604 servicing North Yunderup, South Yunderup, Mandurah and Pinjarra". Transperth. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  10. "Fight to get Pinjarra Bypass on the Road: Randall". Don Randall MP. Retrieved 4 July 2013.
  11. "St John's Church". Shire of Murray. Retrieved 18 September 2019.