Wharncliffe Mill


The Wharncliffe Saw Mill was constructed and opened by the Forests Department of Western Australia in 1967.  It was fully operational for 14 years, producing sawn pine from local pine plantations (pinus radiata and pinus pinaster species).  The saw mill employed 10 people who, on average, cut 90 logs per day.  The timber was used primarily in the construction of packing boxes and crates etc.   The timber was transported by truck to the Wonnerup Siding in the Tuart Forest near Busselton and sent by train to Perth.  In the latter years of the mill’s operation, it was leased to a private saw milling company until its closure in 1982.

The Chimney Trail at the north of Wharncliffe Mill takes you to Keenans Number 1 Mill, which was built in the early 1960’s by the Forests Department. It was the first pine sawmill in Margaret River. The mill only operated until 1967 when Keenans Mill Number 2 (Wharncliffe Mill) was built.


The old working mill building now offers a great undercover space

(image courtesy of the Department of Parks and Wildlife)


The only remnants of the original mill is the round chimney, where the curved bricks were especially made, it is one of the last examples of curved chimneys in Western Australia.



The old chimney can still be seen (image courtesy of the Department of Parks and Wildlife)


Margaret River


Aboriginal culture and history


The traditional custodians of the land, the Wardandi people are understood to have occupied the Margaret River region for over 50,000 years.  Evidence of early occupation has been discovered in the caves along the Leeuwin Naturalist Ridge.  The Wardandi people share aspects of their culture with visitors to the region, and give a fascinating insight into the landscape and people of the South West.


Go on tour with an Aboriginal guide or visit the Wardan Aboriginal Cultural Centre to learn first-hand about traditional culture and the lives the regions Aboriginal People.  Josh Whiteland from Koomal Dreaming offers a spectacular tour of Ngilgi Cave with a mesmerising didgeridoo performance deep inside the cave.  It is an experience not be missed, and offers a truly unique perspective of the cave, with fascinating insights in to Aboriginal traditions, knowledge and culture.  


 For more information see our aboriginal culture section


European history


The first European sightings of Cape Leeuwin were by the Dutch in 1621.  The Europeans first settled in Augusta in 1830, and set up timber, agriculture and dairy farming industries.  Group settlement houses sprung up in the 1920’s to provide housing for the immigrant workers, and many of these group houses can still be found in the region.  Two ‘groupies’ (as the old mill cottages are locally referred to), have been relocated out the Wharncliffe Mill site. The Augusta Historical Museum is home to a small yet fascinating collection of artefacts, photographs and books giving an insight into the settlement of Augusta in 1830, which was only the third European settlement in Western Australia.

The original town site was officially gazetted north of the river, and in 1923 the first store was opened on Carters Road (just near Wharncliffe Mill).




Rejuvenate with an invigorating hike
(image courtesy of Tourism WA)


Exhilarating thrills abound on the surrounding off road cycle trails
(image courtesy of www.margaretriver.com)


Ride In - Ride Out


to the exhilarating

mountain bike trails

Ride In - Ride Out


Reinvigorating walks

on our doorstop

Ride In - Ride Out


Popular walk & cycle trail

at the end of our driveway

Ride In - Ride Out


camp amidst the Jarrah, Marri and Karri trees

Ride In - Ride Out


Huge undercover area

for all seasons