Hotham Vallery steam train heading for Dwellingup





GPS 32 42 51 S 116 04 03 E








North Dandalup

Nearby Towns






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Distance from Perth

97 Km



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08 9538 1057

Fire and Rescue

08 9538 1168


08 9531 8000

Visitor Centre

 08 9538 1108




Visit website

08 9538 1157



Hotel / Motel

Visit website

08 9538 1000

Forest Lodge

Visit website

08 9538 0333





link to website




The area around Dwellingup is famous for its fruit production. Stone fruit season coincides with summer and prices are usually around half of that in suburban shops.

South of Dwellingup you will find some excellent campsites along the river. Some, like Baden Powell are suitable for large vehicles and caravans. DPaW administer the area and camping fees are payable. Island Pool is one of the best swimming spots along the river. The area is called Lane-Poole Reserve and was named after Charles Edward Lane-Poole the first Conservator of Forests in W.A. Charles Lane-Poole was largely responsible for the introduction of legislation in 1918 that controlled the logging of forests and reduced the wholesale destruction that was happening before that time.

In Lane Poole Reserve there is a fire ban from 15th December-15th March. Bring your own wood for fires outside fire ban season. Dogs are currently ALLOWED in this area if on a leash.

A fee free campsite is available at Marrinup townsite about 4km west of Dwellingup. Access is from Grey Road.

The Hotham Valley Railway wends its way up the steepest section of track in W.A. from Pinjarra, through the state forest to Dwellingup. It is an absolute must for train buffs and a chance for the rest of us to recapture the romance of the age of steam.

The steam trains only run in the cooler months of the year due to the risk of bushfires over the summertime. At other times diesel trains are used.

Options available on the Hotham Valley railway include the Steam Ranger, the Restarant Train and the Forest Explorer that goes east to Etmilyn Siding.

On weekends the town attracts groups of motorcycle riders and various car clubs who like to visit the town and then tour the area. I'm not quite sure what the locals make of the dozens of Harley Davidson bikes roaring up and down the main street but it certainly injects some cash into the town's economy.

The Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddy trails pass through Dwellingup and the area is a popular place to ride bicycles and enjoy walk trails.



Timber cutters moved through the area before it was settled, harvesting jarrah, marri and blackbutt trees.

The town site was surveyed by WF Rundall in 1909 and he suggested the names; Dwellingerup, Marrinup and McLarty. A mis-spelling saw the town gazetted as Dwelingupp in 1910 but this was amended in 1915. The name comes from an Aboriginal word meaning 'place of nearby water'.

The original appending of the double 'p' to the town's name appears to have been done for other towns like Kirupp, Kulikupp, Manjimupp and Mungalupp. This came about from a decision by the Royal Geographical Society about the pronunciation of various Aboriginal words. This would have led to the towns ending with an 'oop' sound instead of the 'up' sound we have come to know today. The R.G.S. rule was abandoned in 1915.

In 1910 a government railway was constructed from Pinjarra to Dwellingup and this is the same railway that the Hotham Valley trains now run on.

The town was mostly destroyed by bushfires on January 24th 1961. A wet winter followed by a dry spring and summer caused the fuel load in the surrounding forest to build up. Lightning strikes started a series of fires around the south west and hot conditions and high winds caused a fire storm. For 4 days and nights fire fighters and residents fought back the fires north of town but on the 5th day 41c degree heat and strong north west winds drove the fire into the town. 161 homes, 74 cars, the mill, church, police station, town hall, shops, post office and forestry centre all burned to the ground. It is a credit to the forestry department that no lives were lost.

The fire also destroyed many small timber settlements in the area such as Nanga Brook, Holyoake, Marrinup and Banksiadale.

Dwellingup was the only town to be rebuilt. The fire also destroyed many small timber settlements in the area such as Nanga Brook, Holyoake, Marrinup and Banksiadale.

Anyone interested in reading about the events during the fire should read a book by Roger Underwood titled "Tempered by Fire".

Dwellingup was chosen as a home for the Forest Discovery centre mostly because of its connection to the timber industry. The centre aims to educate people about the management of the forest and the resources that area utilised.

Facilities include a fine art gallery, gift shop, interpretive centre, walking trails, hands-on learning activities, and a function centre and workshop space for hire. Accommodation is also available at the Jarrah Forest Lodge.




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Lane Poole Reserve, Marrinup Townsite, Marrinup P.O.W. camp, Murray River, Nanga Mill campsite.




Hotel, Hall.




State : Murray - Wellington

Federal : Canning




Postcode : 6213

Local Government : Shire of Murray



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