Augusta, Western Australia
Augusta visitors centre
|Population||1,068 (2006 Census) |
|Elevation||14 m (46 ft)|
|LGA(s)||Shire of Augusta-Margaret River|
|State electorate(s)||Electoral district of Warren-Blackwood|
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 farthest south-west corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1,694; by 2006 the population of the town was 1,068.
Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park mainly on the ridge to the west of the town.
The first Europeans to see the area were the Dutch in 1622 who named the nearby Cape "Landt van de Leeuwin" or Land of the Lioness. Flinders renamed it in 1801 as Cape Leeuwin.
Augusta was formed in 1830. In March of that year, a number of settlers, including John Molloy and members of the Bussell and Turner families, had arrived at the Swan River Colony on board the Warrior. On their arrival, the Governor of Western Australia, Sir James Stirling, advised them that most of the good land near the Swan River had already been granted, and suggested that they form a new sub-colony in the vicinity of Cape Leeuwin.
The following month, Stirling sailed with a party of prospective settlers on board the Emily Taylor. After arriving at the mouth of the Blackwood River, the party spent four days exploring the area. Stirling then confirmed his decision to establish a subcolony, the settlers' property was disembarked, and the town of Augusta declared at the site.
During the 1880s, an expansion of the timber industry occurred following the construction of a timber mill at nearby Kudardup and the completion of jetties at Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay.
Augusta was a stopping place on the Busselton to Flinders Bay Branch Railway, which was government run from the 1920s to the 1950s. Prior to that M. C. Davies had a timber railway system that went to both Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay jetties in the 1890s.
In 1961, over 100,000 acres (40,469 ha) acres of farms, bush land and forests between Margaret River and Augusta were destroyed by bush fires. Augusta was saved from these because a serious fire a few months earlier had created a low fuel zone north of the town. The Augusta residents cared for the school children who had been evacuated from Karridale and Kudardup.
On 30 July 1986, a pod of 114 false killer whales became stranded at Town Beach, Augusta. In a three day operation, co-ordinated by the Department of Conservation and Land Management, 96 of the whales were carried by volunteers on trucks to more sheltered waters, and then successfully guided out into the bay.
Augusta was a summer holiday town for many during most of the twentieth century, but late in the 1990s many people chose to retire to the region for the cooler weather. As a consequence of this and rising land values in the Augusta Margaret River area, the region has experienced significant social change.
A bushfire threatened the town in 2011 and over 200 residents were evacuated. The fire had aready claimed 40,000 hectares (98,842 acres) before reaching the outskirts of East Augusta, but were later brought under control and no homes were destroyed.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Augusta (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 6 September 2008.
- "West Australian Vista - History of Augusta". 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
- "Dictionary of Australian Artists Online: Thomas Turner". Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of names". Retrieved 9 September 2008.
- "Augusta WA - History". 2008. Retrieved 10 September 2008.
- Matthews, H (2011) Karridale Bush Fires 1961 - A Disaster Waiting to Happen : Karridale Progress Association Inc, WA : ISBN 978-0-9871467-0-0
- "Whale rescue in 1986 changed not just the people who were there". ABC (Western Australia). 7 June 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "World watched as WA town saved the whales". The West Australian (Perth, Western Australia). 19 July 2011. Retrieved 8 July 2012.
- "Augusta residents 'poorly prepared' for fire threat". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 December 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Augusta, Western Australia|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- Shire of Augusta-Margaret River – official site
- Australian Local Government Association - Shire of Augusta
- Augusta portal
- South West portal
- Official Augusta Information Website
- Augusta Community Radio (2OceansFM Website)