History

The Margaret River region is one of the world’s earliest continually inhabited areas with an Aboriginal history dating back over 50,000 years. Today, Margaret River is the largest wine producing region in Western Australia and attracts over 1.5 million visitors each year. The string of quaint coastal resort towns has much to offer, extending from wineries to breathtaking beaches and historical monuments. With Margaret River Unplugged, you’ll know all the must-see tourist spots, as well as some secret local haunts.

Busselton Jetty
The original Busselton Jetty was built in 1865, measuring 165 meters long. Ten years later, 131 meters were added due to sand drift. The heritage listed Busselton Jetty now extends 1.8 kilometers over stunning Geographe Bay, and is the longest timber-piled jetty in the Southern Hemisphere.

Pioneer Settlers
A distinguished pioneering family, the Bussell Family are the most well-known pioneer settlers of the Margaret River region. Brothers Alfred, John, Charles, Lenox and Vernon emigrated to Western Australia from England in 1829 and were part of the first settlement party in Augusta. The Margaret River itself was named in the late 1830s by John, the eldest of the pioneering Bussell brothers. To find out more about the history of this amazing region please go to http://www.mrdhs.com.au/?file=kop17.php

Pioneer Winemakers
The Margaret River wine industry developed in the late 1970's and quickly became the region's most famous asset. Rosabrook Wines claim the planting of the first commercial vineyard in the area, remaining one of the first wine producing pioneers of the Margaret River wine region.

To find out more about the wineries in Margaret River please go to http://www.winecompanion.com.au/wineries/western-australia/margaret-river/wineries

Ellensbrook House
Built by Alfred and Ellen Bussell in the 1850s, Ellensbrook House is the earliest European settlement along the coast. A beautiful heritage listed home, it is surrounded by national parkland. A walking trail leads from the house to a cave and the delightful Meekadarabee Falls, known to Aboriginal people as the "bathing place of the Moon. ”It is entirely fitting that Ellensbrook should be named after a woman, as it was women who played a major role in the development and management of the place.

In 1857 Ellen and Alfred Bussell chose the site of their new home. Sheltered from the winter storms, the site had access to fresh water and was surrounded by fertile soil.

Over the decades the house was built in stages by ticket-of-leave convicts, deserting seamen and local Noongars. The Ellensbrook venture was successful, with income derived from the sale of beef, butter and cheese. Much of the success was due to the practical skills, energy and sound management of Ellen. Alfred and Ellen left Ellensbrook in 1865.

Between 1871 and 1877 Ellensbrook was managed, and the homestead extended, by the eldest of their five daughters, Fanny. Later, the second daughter Edith made Ellensbrook her permanent home. In 1899 she established the Ellensbrook Farm Home for Aboriginal Children. The Home continued for 17 years during which time Edith continued the tradition of extending the main building.

The Noongar name for the locality is Mokidup, and it was a traditional summer camping spot for thousands of years.

https://www.nationaltrust.org.au/places/ellensbrook/

Gracetown
Located approximately halfway down the Cape-to-Cape Coast, Gracetown is a small settlement tucked away above Cowaramup Bay in the heart of the Margaret River Region. The houses of Gracetown are a mixture of old fibrous cement beach shacks from the 19060’s and contemporary designs built to take in the breathtaking ocean views.

Contact Margaret River Unplugged today for more local information.