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Boyup Brook, WA

Quiet service town on the Blackwood River and the Boyup Brook known as the Country Music Capital of Western Australia.

Boyup Brook is a quiet town servicing the surrounding sheep, beef cattle, oat and barley producers. Its main attractions include a wide range of vernacular sculpture, the very unusual Harvey Dickson's Country Music Centre and a range of interesting walks along the banks of the Boyup Brook and Blackwood River.


Boyup Brook is located 262 km south of Perth and east of Busselton.


Origin of Name

Most sources suggest that Boyup is an Anglicised version of a local Aboriginal word, 'booyup' which means either  'a place of big stones' or 'a place of much smoke'.


Things to See and Do

Walks in the Area
There is a useful brochure available at the Tourist Centre or it can be downloaded http://www.boyupbrooktourism.com.au/Town-Walk-Trails-June%202011.pdf. It includes details of the town's four main walking trails.

Bicentennial Walk Trail
This is a pleasant 6 km (90 minutes) walk around the edges of the town which passes beside Boyup Brook and the Blackwood River. In spring the wildflowers are particularly impressive.

Bridle Trail, the Flax Mill and the Skeleton Bridge
This trail is shared by horse riders, cyclists and walkers. It starts behind the old railway station and shares the path with the Bicentennial Walk Trail along Boyup Brook till it reaches the Flax Mill precinct (the mill was built during World War II to treat flax which was being grown in the district. Production at Boyup Brook reached a peak in 1943 when the mill was operating 24 hours a day and employing over 400 people. It continued to operate until 1965) where it forks to the left and joins the disused railway line. It continues to ‘Skeleton Bridge’ (it opened on 21 May, 1912, closed on 3 June, 1982 and has an 80 metre span) over the Blackwood River. After passing the Flax Mill, the path becomes a wide, open trail with panoramic views of farmland and the floodplain.

Kura Kartaga Langa Reserve - Boyup Brook Billabong and Trail
Kura Kartaga Langa is a Noongar expression meaning 'place of special memories' and this short, fifteen minute walk to a rock pool which is the Boyup Brook billabong is a peaceful retreat from the town centre. Before World War II migrants lived in the area and, although living in very primitive conditions, they developed superb vegetable gardens in the rich riverbank soil.

The Heritage Trail
Created in the Bicentennial Year this comprehensive historic trail identifies 24 places of interest around the town. Each place is identified with a plaque.

The Boyup Brook Sculpture Stalk
Talk about an enthusiasm for vernacular sculpture. There is a downloadable brochure - http://www.boyupbrooktourism.com.au/Sculpture%20Stalk%20Jan%202011.pdf - which depicts a total of 27 works of vernacular sculpture in the town including the famous Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash sand sculptures; a series of "hologram" works including Shakespeare and a farmer with a plough; symbolic pieces of farm equipment at the entrance to town; trees turned into giraffes and guitarists; and stumps fashioned into elaborate shelters.

Roo Gully Wildlife Sanctuary
As the Roo Gully Wildlife Sanctuary website explains: "Roo Gully is not a commercial wildlife park. It is a working wildlife sanctuary, specialising in the care of injured and orphaned marsupials, but also cares for many other species of Australian wildlife." If you want to just look around it is free although a donation would be appreciated. It is a wonderland of marsupials and birdlife. The sanctuary is only 1 km from Boyup Brook and is clearly signposted in the town. It is out off the Arthur River-Dinninup Road. Check out http://www.members.iinet.net.au/~roogully/Wildlife_Sanctuary.htm.

Carnaby Collection of Beetles and Butterflies
Keith Carnaby (1910-1994) was an amateur entomologist who was well known in international entomological circles for his superb collection of jewel beetles. It is claimed that the Carnaby collection of jewel beetles, located at the town's visitor information centre, is the best outside the British Museum of Natural History. Beyond the jewel beetles the collection also houses butterflies and moths which Carnaby collected by exchanging some of his beetle collection with museums around the world. The centre is open Monday to Friday 10.00am - 4.00pm and Saturday 10.00 am - noon. There is a downloadable brochure on Keith Carnaby at http://www.boyupbrooktourism.com.au/Carnaby%20Collection%20%20Feb%20%202012.pdf which recounts in detail how he spent most of his life creating the collection.


Other Attractions in the Area

Harvey Dickson's Country Music Centre
Located 5 km from Boyup Brook on the Arthur River Road this is a truly vernacular Aussie experience. Created by Harvey Dickson it is a very personal homage featuring old road signs, vacuum cleaners, boots, vinyl records and sand sculptures of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash - created by a local sand artist with the amusing name, Sandy Chambers. The highlights are the Record Room which is filled with Elvis memorabilia and three "Guitar Men" carved out of trees and standing 10 metres tall. There is also a stage and a bar and each year the centre plays host to a rodeo (October) and a Country Music Festival (September). Check out http://www.harveydickson.com.au/ or contact (08) 9765 1125.

Gregory Tree
In 1845 Assistant Surveyor A. C. Gregory explored the area and, in the course of the exploration, blazed a surveyor's bench-mark on a jarrah tree outside of town. The tree and the mark have deteriorated over the years. It is located on Gibbs Road. There is a brochure, with a map, which can be downloaded from the web - http://www.boyupbrooktourism.com.au/Gregory%20Tree.pdf - it  provides detailed instructions on how to inspect the tree.

Boyup Brook Country Music Festival
Known as the Country Music Capital of Western Australia, Boyup Brook holds its annual Country Music Festival on the third weekend of February each year. Check out http://www.countrymusicwa.com.au for more details.



* Prior to the arrival of Europeans the area had been occupied by the Bibbulmun people of the Kaniyang Aboriginal language group.

* There is some evidence that as early as 1834 explorers from Perth crossed the Blackwood River.

* The first European known to enter the area was Assistant Surveyor A. C. Gregory who marked a tree to the northeast of the town with the year '1845' and his initials.

* In 1854 Commodore Scott, following a trail blazed by John Hassell, took up land and settled at Scotts Brook south of the town where he built a homestead which he called "Norlup".

* In 1861 James George Lee Steere settled on the banks of the Blackwood River.

* In 1871 William Forrest took up land which he named Dwalganup. By 1882 there were 19 families in the district.

* The township of Boyup Brook came into existence in 1900 when a local school was opened.

* By 1909 the railway from Donnybrook reached the tiny settlement.

* In 1940 a flax mill was built in the town to meet the wartime demand for the product. It closed in 1965.

* In 1982 the last timber mill in the area closed.


Visitor Information

Boyup Brook Visitor Centre, cnr Bridge and Abel Streets, Boyup Brook, tel: (08) 9765 1444, Open 10.00 am - 4.00 pm and Saturday 10.00 am - noon.


Useful Websites

The Boyup Brook Tourist Association has its own website which has useful information about accommodation and eating. Check out http://www.boyupbrooktourism.com.au/

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3 suggestions
  • Hello I’m looking for more information about the Aboriginal people who lived in the area. If any one could help I would really appreciate it.

    • There were quite a few families that lived in and around the Boyup Brook area.
      Gilbert and Jean Smith lived out near Mayanup and later shifted into a reserve in Boyup Brook.
      The other names that come to mind were the Hill Family, Khan, Rilley. Some of these families could have lived out of the town. Kulicup, Dinninup, and Wilga areas. Sorry I lived in town so some of them would come to school on the buses. Left Boyup Brook in 1970.