Between Busselton and Margaret River, Cowaramup lies in the heart of
wine country. The name originates from the Aboriginal word Cowara, which is the native name for the purple crowned lorikeet. As an
unusual and perhaps difficult to pronounce name, Cowaramup quickly became known as 'Cowtown'.
The name finally gave birth to the idea that 'cow town' should have a few cows around the place and so a series of cow sculptures
sprang up around the town.
The area around Cowaramup is filled with places to visit and things to see. natural attractions like caves, forest and beaches are
complimented by man-made attractions such as cheese factories, chocolate factories, breweries, food outlets of all kinds and of couse
The town was developed as a result of the 'group settlement scheme'. Groups 12,13,18,20,51,62 and 122 were
all established in the area and each group consisted of between 16 and 22 families. Each family received a grant of about 160 acres.
The Group 12 campsite was situated close to 23 Mile Well on the Busselton to Margaret River
road. The first town site (west of the railway siding) was surveyed in 1925 and the present site was gazetted in 1930.
The railway arrived in 1923 and was officially opened the following year with a free ride for local residents to the annual Busselton show.
1923 also saw the opening of the Group 12 school and the building of a butcher shop that was later expanded to include general goods. An official
post office opened in 1925 and Deakin's store opened at around the same time.
The inaugural Cowaramup show was held in 1927 and it ran each year for the next ten years.
The first development in the area dates from 1922 but times were very tough and with the coming of the Great Depression
many settlers were either forced off, or abandoned their blocks. By the time World War Two started some 60% of the settlement blocks
had been abandoned.
The end of WW2 saw a new influx of settlers arrive in the area as the soldier settlers took up land.
The railway was closed in 1957 as it was seen as too costly to keep open.
Originally M C Davies
operated timber milling operations in the area but this was soon followed by dairy farming, beef production, pig breeding,
sheep farming, deer farming and of course wine production. There are now more than forty vineyards in the area. Timber was milled in the area until
the 1970s but the last mill closed when suitable stands of timber ran out.
The first grapes were grown by a Mr. Meleri prior to 1920 but it was not until 1967 that Vasse Felix,
the first commercial winery, was opened.
Most locals relied on tank water until 1973 when a more comprehensive water scheme was connected to the town.
Nearby Cowaramup Bay (Gracetown) is a popular tourist destination especially with surfers.
Rails to trails
This project has resulted in an 18 kilometre walkway from Cowaramup to Margaret River along what was once the old railway line.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
No information for this section yet. If you know of something we can add here please contact us and let us know.
Wineries, Cowaramup Bay, Cheese Factory, Brewery, Chocolate Factory, Forest, Beaches.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Church, Town Hall.
State : Vasse
Federal : Forrest
Postcode : 6284
Local Government : Shire of Augusta Margaret River
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