In 1839 explorer George Grey named the river after
Sir Roderick Imprey Murchison who was President of the Royal
In 1966 a residence for the Shire Clerk was constructed but Murchison is not a town. In 1985 a roadhouse was built but the shire remains the only one in W.A. without
an official town site. The roadhouse was re-built in 2011.
In 1988 the Murchison Settlement was gazetted.
Located 644 km from Perth, Murchison Settlement is the administrative hub and service centre for the 29 pastoral leases in the area. The total population
is less than 120.
The shire is very remote and there are few travellers so it is best to be well prepared if you intend to go here. Make sure you carry plenty of water, food, spare tyres and items that
may be needed to repair your vehicle if it breaks down.
All roads in the shire are unsealed and there are no mechanical repair services available.
The sparse population in the area (and accompanying lack of radio noise) led to it being selected as a site for the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory.
Rainfall in the area averages only 250mm but this can vary widely depending on weather systems moving down from the north west. There is enough rainfall to
support a pastoral industry that is mainly dedicated to the production of wool and meat.
Accommodation consists of the Murchison Oasis Roadhouse and Caravan Park (08 9961 3875) and Wooleen Station (08 9963 7973).
Attractions in the area include; A Museum, Errabiddy Bluff, Bilung Pool, Wooramel River gorges, Old stock well, Ballinyoo Bridge and Wooleen Station.
The origins of life on Earth
A meteorite shower that fell over Murchison settlement may provide scientists with the clues to the origins of life on Earth. Particles found on the meteorite fragments show the ability
to form cellular membranes. It is believed that fragments like this landing on the Earth's surface around 4 billion years ago may have been the original building blocks for the first microbes.
Scientists are today trying to replicate this process in the laboratory.
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