Welcome to the Shire of Dumbleyung
The Dumbleyung Shire is located 267km south east of Perth in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia. Dumbleyung is known for its grain and livestock production and various biodiversity industries including: cereals, summer crops, oil Mallees, yabbies, emus, poultry and trout. Covering an area of 2551 sq km, the two towns of Dumbleyung and Kukerin service the Dumbleyung Shire which has a population of 605 (2011 statistics). Both towns have all the necessary amenities and facilities to comfortably cater for tourists and visitors. All popular sporting and cultural organisations are available to the community and visitors.
The name Dumbleyung is thought be derived from the Aboriginal word ‘Dambeling’ meaning large lake or sea. Pioneers arrived in the district in 1875 and established their farms out of virgin bush having to tolerate a shortage of fresh water, finance, medical supplies and loneliness. Sandalwood cutters and pastoralists began to settle at Nippering, north of Lake Dumbleyung. By 1915 the post office and hall were the only remaining evidence of township at Nippering, with Dumbleyung 10km east becoming the larger and thriving township where the terminus of the Wagin-Dumbleyung railway was located.
The name Kukerin is thought to be a combination of the names of two sandalwood cutters – Cooke and Ring, omitting the ‘g’. By about the mid 1870’s John Holland (Hollands Track) had taken up a pastoral lease of 9,000 acres at Merilup spring and established a sandalwood depot. Following this period, much of the surrounding area was opened up by the sandalwood cutters. In 1904 the Rabbit Proof Fence was commenced, a huge undertaking from north of Yalgoo to Point Anne in the south. The arrival of the railway line to Merilup (later renamed Kukerin) was a bonus for settlers. On 7 September 1928 the Kukerin Hotel began trading and is still operating to this present day providing drinks, meals and accommodation.
The first recorded sighting of the lake was in 1843 by explorers, Landor and Lefroy. It is the largest open lake in Western Australia’s southwest at 13km in length and 6.5km wide, covering an area of 5200 hectares. Despite the extreme salinity recorded, the lake continues to provide a habitat for many varieties of water birds. Lake Dumbleyung received world recognition when Donald Campbell broke the world water speed record on 31 December 1964 travelling at 276.33 miles per hour (444.71km) in his boat ‘Bluebird’. A unique granite memorial to Donald Campbell can be seen at Pussy Cat Hill, a prominent feature and vantage point to view the entire lake area.