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Boyup Brook, Western Australia

Coordinates: 33°50′02″S 116°23′17″E / 33.834°S 116.388°E / -33.834; 116.388
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Boyup Brook
Western Australia
The Boyup Brook Visitor Centre in April 2022
Boyup Brook is located in Western Australia
Boyup Brook
Boyup Brook
Coordinates33°50′02″S 116°23′17″E / 33.834°S 116.388°E / -33.834; 116.388
Population540 (UCL 2021)[1]
Elevation194 m (636 ft)
Area211.8 km2 (81.8 sq mi)
  • 269 km (167 mi) south east of Perth
  • 126 km (78 mi) east of Bunbury
  • 31 km (19 mi) north east of Bridgetown
LGA(s)Shire of Boyup Brook
State electorate(s)Warren-Blackwood
Federal division(s)O'Connor

Boyup Brook is a town in the south-west of Western Australia, 269 kilometres (167 mi) south-southeast of Perth and 31 kilometres (19 mi) northeast of Bridgetown. The town lies on Kaniyang land within the Noongar nation.[2]

The name Boyup is derived from the name of a nearby pool "Booyup", an Aboriginal term meaning "place of big stones" (large granite outcrops common in the area) or "place of big smoke" (from burning the many surrounding grass trees).[3][4]

The town's economy is primarily agricultural. It is a Cooperative Bulk Handling receival site.[5]


About 1839, John Hassell brought sheep and cattle from the eastern states of Australia via Albany, and acquired a lease of land along what would later become Scotts Brook, south of the current town site. Although he grazed this stock in the area, the leases did not become permanent, and Hassell later moved to Kendenup.[6][7][8]

In 1845, Augustus Gregory followed the Blackwood River from the junction of the Arthur and Beaufort Rivers downstream for about 170 kilometres (110 mi).[9][10] He carved his initials and the date into a jarrah tree, approximately 16 kilometres (10 mi) north-east of where the town now lies.[3][11] That tree is now dead, but the stump and the markings remain. The stump – now known as the Gregory Tree – has been covered for preservation.[3]

The first permanent settlement in the area was a 12,000-acre (4,900 ha) lease, south of the current town site, along what became known as Scotts Brook. This lease was granted to William Scott[Note 1] and his wife Mary (née Keane),[12][13][14][15] who arrived in 1854, having travelled from Albany.[16] They named the property Norlup,[17] and in about 1872 built a new house that remains to this day[18] (albeit with more recent extensions and renovations), and is now listed on the Heritage Council of Western Australia's register.[10]

In 1861 James George Lee Steere, in partnership with Mr J H Monger, took up a 100,000-acre (40,000 ha) lease near the Blackwood River.[3][13][14] Shortly afterwards, his wife Catherine[Note 2] and their baby son travelled from Bunbury to join him.[19][20]

In 1871 William Forrest[Note 3] moved into the area,[3] to a farm called Dwalganup.[21][22]

By 1882 there were nineteen families in the area.[3] In 1896 land was set aside for a future town[4] and the Upper Blackwood Road Board district (which became the Shire of Boyup Brook in 1961) was created as a separate local government area.[23]

Boyup Brook was declared a town on 9 February 1900.[3][24] The district had an area of 1,240 square miles (3,200 km2), and in December 1900 an estimated population of 400.[25] Milestones in the town's early history include:[3][26]

  • 1900 – The town's first building was opened, a school, with 15 students.
  • 1909 – A railway line from Donnybrook reached Boyup Brook.
  • 1910 – The Agricultural Hall was opened.
  • 1911 – A permanent policeman was assigned to the town. The hotel was opened. The railway line was extended from Boyup Brook to Kojonup and Katanning.
  • 1912 – An official post office was established. (An unofficial post office had existed for three years prior to that.)
  • 1914 – Land in the town site was opened for leasing.
  • 1924 – The Upper Blackwood Soldiers' Memorial Hospital was opened.
  • c. 1930 – Electricity was generated and distributed within the town site.
  • 1936 – The town hall was opened.

Name of the town[edit]

The town was originally gazetted as Boyup[4] by an Executive Council minute dated 31 January 1900.[27]

However the name Boyup Brook was in common use by the locals,[4][28] the Progress Committee and the Upper Blackwood Road Board. In 1908 residents suggested that the town be renamed to Boyup Brook, to avoid confusion with the similarly named Boyanup. Lee Steere, by now the Speaker of the Assembly and member for Nelson, which included the area, strongly supported the use of the name over that of "Throssell", which had been advocated by some at the time.

The name was ultimately changed to Boyup Brook on 5 February 1909[29] to match the railway station that was built in 1908–1909.[30] Even after the change, there was still confusion about the name within the government, as can be seen in the name and text of the Boyup-Kojonup Railway Act 1909, assented some 10 months after the official change of name.[31]

Country music festival[edit]

The town hosts the Boyup Brook Country Music Festival, an annual event, held in February each year. The festival has been held since 1986 and the attendance at the event has increased from 500 at the first festival to over 13,000 in recent years. It was originally held on the town's football oval, but in 2007 the purpose-built "Music Park", with a permanent 18-metre (59 ft)[32] stage and sound shell, was officially opened and the festival has been held there each year since.[33]


Boyup Brook has many sporting teams within the community. In summer, cricket, tennis, swimming and lawn bowls are prominent, while in winter, Australian rules football, field hockey, netball and golf are played.

In cricket, Boyup Brook currently participates in the Warren Blackwood Association, having competed in the now disbanded Donnybrook Blackwood Cricket association. They have won five premierships, in 2001, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2013.

The Boyup Roos football team participates in the Lower South West Football League. The Roos have won three premierships, in 1981, 2012 and 2022. The tennis and netball clubs run both juniors and seniors. The hockey club has their own junior club, as well as a ladies team that participates in the Bunbury competition. Golf is played during the winter weeks.


  1. ^ Some sources refer to Scott as "Commander", "Commodore" and/or "Captain". Schorer 1968 uses all three titles, but Erickson 1979, 1988 doesn't mention any title.
  2. ^ The history page on the shire's web site Archived 18 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine shows her name as Caroline, but all other references list her as Catherine.
  3. ^ William was the brother of Sir John Forrest.


  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (28 June 2022). "Boyup Brook (urban centre and locality)". Australian Census 2021. Edit this at Wikidata
  2. ^ AIATSIS Map of Indigenous Australia, Aboriginal Studies Press, AIATSIS, 1996. [1]
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Boyup Brook – History, Shire of Boyup Brook, 2005, archived from the original on 18 May 2009, retrieved 19 December 2010
  4. ^ a b c d "History of country town names – B". Western Australian Land Information Authority. Archived from the original on 14 March 2022. Retrieved 19 December 2010.
  5. ^ "CBH Receival Sites – Contact Details" (PDF). 2010. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 31 March 2013.
  6. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 9.
  7. ^ Statham, Pamela (1979). Dictionary of Western Australians 1829–1914. Vol. I, Early Settlers, 1829–1850. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. p. 148. ISBN 0-85564-159-2.
  8. ^ Erickson, Rica (1988). The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians pre-1829 - 1888. Vol. II, D–J. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. p. 1399. ISBN 0-85564-273-4. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  9. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 2.
  10. ^ a b Register of Heritage Places – Assessment documentation – Norlup Homestead (PDF), Heritage Council of Western Australia, 24 March 1998, archived from the original (PDF) on 12 March 2012
  11. ^ Boyup Brook: Shire and Town Attractions, Promaco Geodraft, archived from the original on 16 February 2011, retrieved 19 December 2010
  12. ^ AUS-WA-L Archives, Ancestry.com, 2010, retrieved 19 December 2010
  13. ^ a b Erickson, Rica (1979). Dictionary of Western Australians 1829–1914. Vol. 3, Free, 1850–1868. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. pp. 451, 490, 747. ISBN 0-85564-163-0.
  14. ^ a b Erickson, Rica (1988). The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians pre-1829 - 1888. Vol. III, K–Q. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. pp. 1696, 1838, 2202. ISBN 0-85564-276-9. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  15. ^ Erickson, Rica (1988). The Bicentennial Dictionary of Western Australians pre-1829 – 1888. Vol. IV, R–Z. Nedlands, Western Australia: University of Western Australia Press. p. 2756. ISBN 0-85564-277-7. Retrieved 26 April 2024.
  16. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 10.
  17. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 17.
  18. ^ Boyup Brook – Places to See, Shire of Boyup Brook, 2005, archived from the original on 18 February 2011, retrieved 19 December 2010
  19. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 25.
  20. ^ Muir 1982, p. 26.
  21. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 272.
  22. ^ Muir 1982, p. 11.
  23. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 43.
  24. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 45.
  25. ^ Schorer 1968, p. 51.
  26. ^ Schorer 1968, pp. 40, 42, 61, 66–68, 134, 147, 176.
  27. ^ "Townsite of Boyup (Upper Blackwood) (per 1378/99)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 31 January 1900. p. 1900:501.
  28. ^ Lands and Surveys file on Boyup Brook at the State Records Office
  29. ^ "Change of Name of Boyup Townsite (per 1378/99)". Western Australia Government Gazette. 5 February 1909. p. 1909:207.
  30. ^ File 1378/99 v1, Upper Blackwood Progress Townsite Boyup Brook, Department of Lands and Surveys. Accessed at State Records Office, Perth.
  31. ^ "Boyup-Kojonup Railway Act 1909 (No. 38 of 1909)". 21 December 1909. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  32. ^ Boyup Brook Country Music Club. "About Us". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  33. ^ Boyup Brook Country Music Club. "Our History". Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  • Schorer, Albert (1968), History of the Upper Blackwood, Bunbury, Western Australia: South West Printing and Publishing Co. Ltd.
  • Muir, Alison & Dinee (1982), Forrest Family, Pioneers of Western Australia, 1842–1982, J.R. Muir & Son, ISBN 0-9592883-0-9
  • Boyup Brook, The Sydney Morning Herald, 2006, retrieved 19 December 2010

External links[edit]