HEMA Map reference 74/E3


Marrinup - Western Australia


GPS 32 42 51 S 116 04 03 E




 Picnic tables BBQs Official campsite Suitable for caravans Pet friendly Walk trails Scenic





Marrinup was once a timber town but it burned down during catastrophic bush fires in 1961.


Today there is an open area in the forest where the town once stood that is used for camping. It is accessed from the Pinjarra - Dwellingup road via Grey Road. Grey Road is an unsealed road that leads north and it is well signposted. To reach the campsite follow Grey Road across the railway line and then bear right at the signposts showing Marrinup townsite and Marrinup Falls and P.O.W. camp.


The campsite is suitable for all types of vehicles but it is popular and can be crowded and noisy during peak times.


From 1943-46 there was a Prisoner of War camp operating nearby.


During World War Two there was a need to house prisoners of war and an agreement was reached with Britain to bring a number of prisoners to W.A.


No. 16. POW Camp was constructed in the bush near Dwellingup and the prisoners were used to provide labour on farms and for cutting timber. Marrinup could hold up to 1,200 prisoners and began operation in August 1943.


German and Italian prisoners were held in separate areas of the compound. A special screening process ensured that no radical elements were allowed to come to this camp but in general it was the Italians who were best suited to being used as labour on local farms. Germans tended to work more as timber cutters.


Prisoners were not forced to work but were instead paid a small amount in the form of tokens which could be exchanged for 'luxury' items like chocolate and cigarettes.


A number of prisoners enjoyed the life in Australia so much that when the war ended they applied to stay but immigration rules meant they had to return home first and make their application from there. This was not a popular decision and at least 30 men escaped and managed to stay in W.A. after the last transport ship had left Fremantle. Others returned home and successfully applied to immigrate.


Little is left to show where the camp once stood except for a clearing in the forest and a few building foundations.


Marrinup POW camp Marrinup POW camp guards Marrinup POW camp


The railway line you cross on the way to the campsite is used by the Hotham Valley steam group and if you camp at the townsite when the trains are running (mostly weekends and public holidays) you will hear the whislte of the steam engines and the choof choof sounds they make as they climb the gradient up the hill. The trains pass the foot of the campsite and there is always the chance of getting a great photo as the engines pass by.



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