|Population||336 (2011 census)|
|Elevation||69 m (226 ft)|
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.
The Torbay area is on the eastern fringe of the karri forest region, and with some notable blocks of remnant tall forest. Large granite outcrops are also common. Beaches on the bay tend towards fine white sand. Where streams occur, they are clear but stained dark brown in colour from high-tannin-content vegetation.
Children in the area usually attend schools in Albany, travelling there by school bus. There is also a local independent school, the Woodbury Boston Primary School.
The town is named after Tor Bay,a bay on the coast to the south originally named by Captain Matthew Flinders in 1801 after Tor Bay in Devon, the home port of Admiral Richard Howe's Channel Fleet, for whom Flinders had served as a midshipman from 1793 to 1794. Admiral Howe's nickname was "Lord Torbay". Flinders identified a number of local features with Lord Howe-related names, including Torbay (the bay), Torbay Inlet, Torbay Head and West Cape Howe (originally named Cape Howe by George Vancouver), to avoid confusion with James Cook’s Cape Howe in New South Wales. Pre-settlement explorers of the Torbay area included: Matthew Flinders, Robert Brown, Ferdinand Bauer and William Westall (Dec. 1801); Thomas Wilson (Dec. 1829); Roe and Stirling (Nov. 1835); and Charles Codrington Forsyth of HMS Pelorus (1838).
In November 1835, Roe and Stirling explored the Tor Bay area, scoping the area for shipbuilding.From the late 1830s to the 1860s an industry building vessels of up to 150 tons was established at Port Harding (Migo Island), using timber from the Guarinup Hills, half a mile behind the beach.
A shore whaling station was established on the beach at Tor Bay behind Migo Island in 1844. Whales were taken during the periods 1844-1846 and 1861-1864.
In 1886 railway contractors C & E Millar established sawmills at Bornholm to supply timber for the construction of the Great Southern Railway (Beverley to Albany railway). Timber was initially shipped out by lighter, schooner and the small steamer Active from Port Harding (Migo Island) to Albany, and later by tramline to Elleker.In 1889 the Torbay Estate, of 22,000 acres, was granted to Millars in consideration of extending the railway from Elleker to Torbay and establishing working sawmills there. The two Bornholm mills were shifted to Torbay and enlarged. A prosperous timber settlement was in evidence at Torbay for about six years. The estate concession extended from Wilgie Hill, at the Albany end of Torbay, to Youngs, the timber being hauled by tramline from 20 miles beyond Torbay as far as Hay River, before the mills were finally moved. By 1895 most of the suitable timber at Torbay had been felled. The railway was again extended to Denmark in 1896. In 1898 Millars Karri and Jarrah Forests Limited offered the Torbay Estate back to the government provided they could retain ownership of the strip of land occupied by the Elleker-Torbay railway, which under their contract was to revert to the government after 14 years. The land was subdivided and sold for agricultural purposes in 1900.
Millars' Elleker-Torbay-Denmark railway line closed on 31 May 1905. During negotiations over the sale of the railway line the State leased the line and WAGR rail services began on 3 May 1907.In 1908 Millars sold the railway to the state government. Line extension works beyond Denmark were started in 1926 and on 11 June 1929 the first passenger service ran to Nornalup. The Nornalup-Denmark-Torbay-Elleker rail service was permanently shut down on 30 September 1957 and the rails were lifted in 1963.
Local industries include dairy farming, beef cattle, plantation forestry, specialist horticulture, arts and crafts and tourism, along with rural businesses that service farmers (mechanics, lime supply, machinery and labour hire etc.). A seasonal commercial fishing industry occurs within the bay based on catches of herring and Australian salmon during the February–April period.Torbay has been a traditional potato growing area for over a century, particularly for seed potato production. While some pumpkins are grown and the area is suitable for cauliflower production, potatoes are the major horticultural crop. The area currently produces about 50% of Western Australia’s requirements for seed potato production.
Tor Bay, which includes Port Harding (named in 1838 by master's mate Charles Forsyth after Captain Francis Harding of HMS Pelorus) and Port Hughes (named in 1831 by Roe after Private Thomas Hughes of the 63rd Regiment) as well as Torbay Inlet, lie between Torbay Head and Stony Island. Torbay Head is the most southerly point on the mainland of Western Australia and the most western point of the Great Australian Bight.Islands within Tor Bay include Migo Island, named after the Swan River native Migo, Richard Island, named after Admiral Richard Howe, both by Roe in 1835; and Shelter Island.
Popular beaches on the bay include Perkins Beach, Muttonbird Beach and Cosy Corner, all accessible by car. Cosy Corner Beach is the most well-known, and is a popular family beach with picnic and camping facilities. Children's swimming lessons are held there in the summer. There are other beaches that are accessible only by four-wheel drive vehicle. The Bibbulmun Track passes around the edge of the bay, coming down long steps from the steep hills above Cosy Corner and following the beach around the curve of the bay and across the mouth of Torbay Inlet along Muttonbird Beach to near Shelter Island.
A 6.33 kilometres (3.93 mi) diameter impact crater on the planet Mars was in 1988 named after Torbay.
West Cape Howe National Park is a national park in Western Australia, 390 kilometres (240 mi) southeast of Perth. The park is found between Albany and Denmark within the City of Albany and in the Great Southern region.
William Bay National Park is a national park in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 369 km (229 mi) southeast of Perth and between the towns of Denmark and Walpole.
Torbay is a borough in Devon, England, administered by the unitary authority of Torbay Council. It consists of 62.87 square kilometres (24.27 sq mi) of land, spanning the towns of Torquay, Paignton and Brixham, against an east-facing natural harbour Tor Bay of the Lyme Bay sheltered part of the English Channel. A popular tourist destination with a tight conurbation of resort towns, Torbay's sandy beaches, mild climate and recreational and leisure attractions have given rise to the nickname of the English Riviera.
Admiral of the Fleet Richard Howe, 1st Earl Howe, was a British naval officer. After serving throughout the War of the Austrian Succession, he gained a reputation for his role in amphibious operations against the French coast as part of Britain's policy of naval descents during the Seven Years' War. He also took part, as a naval captain, in the decisive British naval victory at the Battle of Quiberon Bay in November 1759.
Albany is a port city in the Great Southern region in the Australian state of Western Australia, 418 kilometres (260 mi) southeast of Perth, the state capital. Albany is the oldest colonial settlement in Western Australia, predating Perth and Fremantle by over two years.
John Septimus Roe was the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia. He was a renowned explorer, a member of Western Australia's legislative and executive councils for nearly 40 years.
Albany is a Legislative Assembly electorate in the state of Western Australia. Albany is named for the port and regional city of Western Australia which falls within its borders. It is one of the oldest electorates in Western Australia, with its first member having been elected in the inaugural 1890 elections of the Legislative Assembly. It is regarded as a swinging seat, and has been held by the Labor Party since the 2001 election, at which the present Member, Peter Watson, was first elected.
King George Sound is the name of a sound on the south coast of Western Australia. Originally named King George the Third's Sound, it was referred to as King George's Sound from 1805. The name "King George Sound" gradually came into use from about 1934, prompted by new Admiralty charts supporting the intention to eliminate the possessive 's' from geographical names.
Cape Leeuwin is the most south-westerly mainland point of the Australian continent, in the state of 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.
Walpole is a town in the south-western region of Western Australia, located approximately 430 kilometres (270 mi) south southeast of Perth and 66 kilometres (41 mi) west of Denmark.
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.
Elleker is a small town in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, situated about 16 kilometres (10 mi) west of the regional city of Albany. It is situated along the Lower Denmark Road; the main tourist route from Albany to Denmark.
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 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.
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.
The Shire of Denmark is a local government area in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, about 55 kilometres (34 mi) west of Albany and about 420 kilometres (261 mi) south-southeast of the state capital, Perth. The Shire of Denmark covers an area of 1,860 square kilometres (718 sq mi), and its seat of government is located in the townsite and locality of Denmark.
Bornholm is a small township in the Great Southern region of Western Australia located between Albany and Denmark on the Lower Denmark Road.
Western Australian Government Railways railway system during its peak operational time in the 1930s to 1950s was a large system of over 6,400 kilometres (4,000 mi) of railway line.
The Ngari Capes Marine Park is a marine protected area on the lower south west coast of Western Australia, located approximately 250 kilometres (160 mi) south of. The 123,790-hectare (305,900-acre) marine park was gazetted on 12 June 2012 and the park's western and southern boundaries are the limit of coastal waters of Western Australia, abutting the South-west Corner Marine Park located within the Australian Commonwealth exclusive economic zone.