Hidden within every town and city of Western Australia is a treasure trove of history and wonder. Western Australian Vista unlocks some of those treasures with a comprehensive guide to the towns of Western Australia. Discover the history behind each town and what makes each one so unique.
Prior to European settlement, Aboriginal tribes were custodians of the land. The first known Europeans to have explored the Perth and Western Australia area, prior to settlement, were the Dutch in 1697, lead by Willem de Vlamingh, and then over a hundred years later by the French in 1801, lead by Nicolas Baudin.
In 1826, in response and fear of the French established their own colony along the Western Australian coast, the British set up a small settlement, at King George Sound (later named Albany). The small detachment headed by Edmund Lockyer, consisted of 18 soldiers, one captain, one doctor, one storekeeper and 23 convicts were sent as a labour force.
Three years later, in 1829, Captain Stirling and the first settlers landed in the new Swan River colony. Perth, the capital city of Western Australia, was officially founded on the 12th of August 1829 by Lieutenant Governor James Stirling on King George IV’s 67th birthday and was later proclaimed a city in 1856.
After a most turbulent start, the colony expanded to the south and to the north. However, when Paddy Hannan discovered gold at Mt Charlotte in 1893, the State would experience a boom like it had never seen before. As people flocked into the State to find their fortune on the goldfields, grand buildings, roads and railways were established, thanks in part to the vision of John Forrest and C.Y. O’Connor. Western Australia had finally established itself.