in the Ongerup area
Typical small and sleepy wheatbelt town.
Ongerup is a typical wheat and sheep town
located on the south easterly edge of the
wheatbelt 388 km from Perth and 153 km north of
It was named 'Ongerup' after a local
Aboriginal word which was said to mean 'place of
the male kangaroo'.
The area was explored during the 1840s and
1850s but it wasn't until 1870 that the Moir
family moved to the area and began grazing
In the early years of this century land in
the Ongerup area was surveyed and divided in 405
ha lots. This denser settlement combined with
the arrival of the railway in 1913 resulted in
the development of the town to service the
Uncharacteristically the railway closed down
in 1957 and grain from the area is now taken by
road to the terminal in Albany.
Today Ongerup is a typical, sleepy rural
service centre. Intelligent planning and
considerable natural appeal have given the town
an interesting tourist base.
Things to see:
Ongerup and Needilup District Museum
The major attraction is the Ongerup and Needilup
District Museum which is located in the Old
Railway Barracks in the main street. It is an
interesting local folk museum with good displays
of domestic memorabilia, an extensive collection
of farm equipment, and a focus on the natural
history of the area.
Each year in the grounds of the Museum a
remarkable Wildflower Display is held in late
September - early October. Like so much of
southern Western Australia, Ongerup is
inordinately proud of its wildflower displays
with all the promotion material declaring that
the area has at least 1300 different species
ranging from salmon gums to tiny trigger plants.
The Wildflower Display actually boasts 300-400
species all labelled with their botanical names.
It has been held each year since 1978.
Another well attended local event is the annual
Ongerup Shears which is held on the Queens
Birthday long weekend. This event, first held in
1983, has become the premier shearing
competition in the Western Australian