Melbourne Vale


Shire of Woodanilling

Place Number



Albany Hwy & Orchard Rd SW Woodanilling

Location Details

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 18 Mar 2003 Category 4

Statement of Significance

The site is a prominent natural feature of the landscape and is associated with the first European exploration of the area

Physical Description

Located across the Beaufort River in the south west corner of the shire. It is an extensive area covering a total of 8,000-10,000 acres with the valley extending north as far as Toojelup Pool. The flat nature of the land through which the Beaufort River flows upstream from Toojelup Pool probably accounts for the lack of notable pools in the river until Quongering (near Marribank Mission). To the north of Melbourne Vale lie the Kenine and Kunmallup Hills.


It was named by Surveyor General John Septimus Roe in 1835, during an exploration expedition between Perth and Albany ordered by Governor Stirling to verify Captain Thomas Bannister's glowing reports about this region during his overland excursion in 1830/31. Roe's party, which included Stirling, left Kelmscott on 4 October. After reaching Albany (where Stirling returned by sea) and travelling via York they returned to Perth on 31 December 1835. It was on this return journey that Roe named many of the Great Southern landmarks. On 20 December, Roe passed midway between the present towns of Katanning and Kojonup and after naming a watercourse 'Francis Brook' wrote "Had the pleasure to name the river to which it was a tributary the 'Beaufort' after my esteemed friend, Captain Francis Beaufort, Hydrographer to the Admiralty." Further explorations by Alfred Hillman and Governor Stirling crossed the Beaufort River in the following two years. Hillman's marked track between the colonies two major ports, Perth and Albany, crossed the Beaufort some kilometres to the west from where the later line of the (King George's) Sound Road (Albany Highway) was later marked out by Surveyor Gregory. The deep pools of the Beaufort were to provide water for travellers and the pastoralists and were an important factor in the development of the area. Roe described the view from Francis Brook (near Marribank) in his diary - "Our northerly course was then resumed, over forest land almost level, timbered chiefly with white and blue gum, and bearing only occasional patches of grass. To the north of this country was hilly as far as visible, and to the north west appeared a wide break or valley in the high land, through which the Beaufort River, on which we dined today will in all probability be found to flow -west towards the sea. I named it 'Melbourne Vale' after the noble Lord at the head of the British Government."


Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
John Bird;" Round Pool to Woodanilling", p 3 1985

Place Type



Epoch General Specific
Original Use OTHER Other

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

05 Oct 2004

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

01 Jan 2017


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