Ellensbrook - Western Australia


GPS 33 54 37 S 114 59 29 E




Entry fee and / or camping fee charged Toilets available Day use site only - no camping




Find us on Youtube     Find us on Facebook     Find us on Pinterest     Find us on Instagram     Support us on Patreon




When the Alfred and Ellen Bussel selected this site as the location for their homestead in 1857, it had been a traditional Noongar summer campsite for thousands of years. The Aboriginal name for the site was Mok-i-dup.

It was sheltered from the prevailing winter winds and had a year-round supply of fresh water. Perfect for the Aborigines and also perfect for the new arrivals, who, in typical colonial fashion, saw the land as something to be possessed by individuals.

The Bussels raised cattle for sale and also produced butter and cheese.

Three the Bussel's 13 children are buried at Ellensbrook along with a convict assistant and Alfred's brother Charles.

The venture was a success but Alfred and Ellen left in 1865 to live at Wallcliffe House and other members of the family came to live on the site and manage the property. Sadly Wallcliffe was destroyed by fire some years ago.

From 1871 to 1877, Alfred and Ellen's eldest daughter, Fanny, with her husband John Brockman, managed the property and she was later followed by the second daughter, Edith. A herd of 21 cows had to be milked every day and in the first year, about 680kg of butter was produced.

Edith managed Ellensbrook from 1878 until the 1920s.

In 1899 Edith established the Ellensbrook Farm Home for Aboriginal Children and it continued to operate for the following 17 years. It may be that the home was actually established by the Aborigines Department and run by Edith Bussel. Chief Protector, Henry Prinsep, was Edith's first cousin by marriage.

Nearby Meek-a-dara-bee Falls was known by the Aboriginal people as 'the bathing place of the moon'.

Legend tells that a girl, Mit-anne, visited place, but was scolded by her elders because gazing at the moon's reflection was said to bring death and sorrow. Mit-anne was in love with a boy, Nobel, but she had been promised to a tribal elder. She and Nobel escaped together, and lived at the falls. One night, the elder had warriors find and kill Nobel. Mit-anne was taken back to the camp where she died of exhaustion and grief. After her death, her spirit joined Nobel's, and it is said that they still live in the cave behind the waterfall

There is a small limestone cave hidden behind the flow of the waterfall. Aboriginal legends say that this cave was the dwelling place of two spirits, Mit-anne and Nobel.

The National Trust took over the property in 1979 and it was gradually restored. The interior was restored again in 2019.




Best time to visit:
















Become a supporter of this website for just $5 a month



Go to the Home Page Go to the Help Page Go to the Help Page

Western Australia Now and Then website - Copyright (c) 2019 - Marc Glasby. All rights reserved.