Mount Barker

 

 

MOUNT BARKER

 

GPS 34 37 52 S 117 40 02 E

 

 

 

 

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Cranbrook

Rocky Gully

Nearby Towns

Porongurup

Narrikup

 

 

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STATISTICS

Distance from Perth

359 Km

Population

2761

Average Rainfall

729.9mm

Mean Max Temp

20.2C

Mean Min Temp

9.4C

 

SERVICES

Police

08 9851 1122

Fire and Rescue

08 9851 1774

Medical

08 9892 1222

Visitor Centre

08 9851 1163

 

CARAVAN PARKS

Mount Barker

08 9851 1691

 

HOTEL / MOTEL / B and B

Plantagenet Hotel

08 9851 1008

Valley Views Motel

08 9851 3899

 

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

 

 

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link to Mingor.net website

 

DESCRIPTION

 

Mount Barker is on the Albany Highway about 360 km from Perth and just 50 km north of Albany.

Although the town is located only 50 kilometres north of Albany it has a considerably different climate. While Albany can be getting drenched by rain, Mount Barker can be bathed in sunshine.

The area has become an important wine region after first test plantings were carried out in the 1960s. today more than 23 vineyards operate in the Mount Barker and Denmark region.

Wheat, Sheep, Cattle and timber are also important industries in the area along with a very healthy tourism sector.

There are some stunning natural attractions almost on the doorstep of the town with the best known being the Porongurup and Stirling Range.

Man made attractions include the chapel and St. Werburghs and the old police station museum.

The museum is far more impressive than it looks as you pass by on the road, in fact it is one of the best rural museums in the state.

Mount Barker is one of the many RV friendly towns in Western Australia and offers free overnight stops for self contained motorhomes and caravans.

There are many other types of accommodation available, including a caravan park, hotel and various farm stay and bed and breakfast properties.

 

HISTORY

 

Named by Dr. Thomas Wilson in honour of his friend Capt. Collett Barker, commandant of the settlement at Albany. Wilson reported that:

'we observed that its banks were covered with luxuriant grass, sprinkled with yellow buttercups which put us in mind of home and that the 'gently swelling lightly wooded adjacent hills are well adapted for sheep-walks'.

Capt. Barker was killed by Aborigines near the mouth of the Murray River in South Australia in 1831.

The area was first settled in the 1835 by Sir Richard Spencer. Spencer died in 1839 (one source says he drowned when the boat he was in overturned after piloting a ship out of King George Sound at Albany but another says he died of a stroke.) but his wife continued to operate the property until her death in 1855. Augusta Spencer (a daughter of Sir Richard and Lady Spencer) married George Egerton-Warburton and a book about his life called, 'The Way of St. Werburghs' by Dawn Crabb, is available through the Library and Information Service of W.A. It is worth reading as it gives an excellent insight into the early life of the colony.

George Egerton-Warburton was responsible for the construction of St. Werburghs Chapel.

A track from Perth to Albany was established in 1835 and by 1860 there were enough people using the route to warrant the building of the Bush Inn. The inn became a stopping point for Cobb and Co coaches but with the arrival of the railway in 1899 its importance diminished.

The town site was formally declared in 1899, although a private site had been established in 1893. By 1910 there were 75 orchards in the area and over time the emphasis has moved from apples to grapes.

 

TALL TALES AND TRUE

 

Bad Spirit Place

 

There is a tale about the local Aboriginal people (the Noongar) regarding the Stirling Range as a 'bad spirit place' and being reluctant to spend a night in that area. If anyone has more information on this local belief then we would like to find out more about it. (Thanks to Caroline Horton for the initial info.)

 

MAP

 

 

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OTHER INFORMATION

 

ATTRACTIONS

 

Old police station, Barker Hill lookout, Porongurup Ranges, Old gold mine, Stirling Ranges.

 

BUILDINGS OF NOTE

 

St. Werburgh's Chapel 10Km south west. 1872-4, Railway station 1923, Old mining battery 1874, Abbeyholme 1869, The Round House.

 

FAMOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS

 

Ross Ryan (Folk singer)

 

ELECTORAL ZONES

 

State : Blackwood-Stirling

Federal : O'Connor

 

OTHER INFO.

 

Postcode : 6324

Local Government : Shire of Plantagenet

 

PHOTOS

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