The town is the centre of one of the most picturesque regions in the whole of the south west with 85 percent of the shire being covered by
forest. The road between Nannup and Bridgetown winds its way over a series of hills and is best seen at the end
The area is very popular with visitors and there is a wide range of accommodation available.
Much of the area is still heavily forested and nature based activities such as bushwalking, camping, birdwatching etc. are just some of the reasons
people are drawn to the area.
Exploration began in 1834 by Thomas Turner and the first land was taken up at Dudinalup in 1851. Times for the first settlers were tough
as they cleared huge stands of karri to provide grazing lands for their cattle. Most of the clearing had to be done with little more than a cross
cut saw and axes. Today timber, dairy and fruit are the area's main activities.
A bridge was built across the Blackwood River in 1866 and soon afterwards a police station and post office were constructed nearby. The area was
first referred to as Lower Blackwood. In 1885 George Layman (MP) asked for land for a townsite to be reserved near the bridge. The town was
surveyed in 1889.
The town site was gazetted in 1890 and the first school in the district established in 1903. The name is said to be Aboriginal for 'meeting place by the
water'. (One source quotes 'place of parrots'. Perhaps it is the 'meeting place of parrots by water'??)
In 1909 a railway link to Jarrahwood and to the South Western Railway was completed but as with many towns in the south west, once road transport
took over, the railway was closed down.
Fires in the area are quite frequent and many of the original buildings have been destroyed over the years. The Bunnings timber mill which has occupied
the same site since 1926 was destroyed by fire in 1954.
In the park near the Vasse Highway there is a memorial to Marinko Tomas, a local youth, who was the first West Australian to be killed in the Vietnam War.
Over the years there have been many reported sightings of the Thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger) around the town. Fossils found in caves to the west actually
do show that these dog like creatures did once inhabit the area, but all attempts to confirm living specimens have failed.
The last claimed sighting of what has become known as the 'Nannup Tiger' was by a CALM ranger back in 1990.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
Sightings of a strange creature dubbed the Nannup tiger have been reported for many years and range from Esperance
to Geraldton. The sightings started in the 1960s and have persisted despite the lack of any conclusive evidence.
Some people describe it a dog like others as cat like. There is a possibility that large feral cats may be mistaken for something much bigger and
another theory is that a carnivorous marsupial such as Thylacinus Cynocephalus has managed to survive in the more uninhabited regions of the
south west. Without any conclusive proof of the existence of these creatures, this remains a creature firmly rooted in myth.
One of my own nephews swears that he saw a very large panther like cat cross the Bibbulmun Track in front of him one
evening. The experience certainly un-nerved him and he made quick time to the nearest camp site.
Blackwood River, Donnelly River, Old police station, Scott National Park, Barrabup, Workers Pool, Heritage Trail, River Walk Trail, Kondil Park
Wildflower Walk, Karri Gully Walk Trail, Kealley's Gem Museum, The Old Gaol, The Historical Society in the Main Roads Building.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Old police station 1922, Hotel, Church, Town hall 1903, Former Road Board office 1923, Jalbarragup bridge 1900.
State : Blackwood-Stirling
Federal : Forrest
Postcode : 6275
Local Government : Shire of Nannup
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