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Capel / Capel Shire

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Capel / Capel Shire
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Capel / Capel Shire - Cities, Towns and Localities
Located south of Bunbury is Capel Shire, that includes Capel, Boyanup, Dalyellup, Elgin, Gelorup, Gwindinup, Peppermint Grove Beach and Stratham. Capel is located on the Capel River, mid-way between Bunbury and Busselton. The Capel River flows into Geographe Bay at Peppermint Grove Beach. The Preston River forms part of the shire’s north eastern boundary and the Ludlow River forms part of the south western boundary.

Surrounded by the City of Bunbury, Shire of Dardanup, Shire of Donnybrook-Balingup and the Shire of Busselton, the shire is part of the popular South West region in WA. Capel Shire has a Mediterranean climate of a hot, dry summer, tempered by a cool afternoon sea breeze that blow in across the bay and wet, mild winters.

It is this climate and the red alluvial soil over limestone plain that supports a strong viticulture industry in the Geographe region. The region is recognised for chardonnays and merlots, with other varietals including petit verdot, viognier, verdelho, tempranillo and sangiovese. The region supporting varieties that would not ripen in cooler regions.

The Capel Shire area was first settled in the 1830’s with farming conducted on the coastal strip and in the river valley. The nearby Tuart Forest, which is the last remaining natural stand of Tuarts in the world, provided timber for sleepers and wagons. Relics of the era can still be found throughout the area. Today, there is a diverse agricultural sector encompassing dairy, beef, timber and orchards, the Capel Shire also being popular with hobby farms. Another major industry in the area is mineral sands mining, as well as the production, sales and marketing of titanium mineral products and zircon.1

Check out our listing of Capel accommodation and South West accommodation. In addition to our listed online travel guide information, contact the local tourism visitor centre for your destination for more attractions, tours, local maps and other information.

Information Centre

Balingup Visitor Centre

Bunbury Visitor Centre

Busselton Visitor Centre

Collie Visitor Centre

Donnybrook-Balingup Tourist Information Centre

Harvey Visitor Centre

Nannup Tourist Information Centre

Capel / Capel Shire Attractions

• The shire has 29 km of beautiful white sand beaches, where diverse aquatic activities include crabbing, diving, swimming (there are some safe family spots to swim), surfing, fishing, boating, whale watching etc. Contact the visitor centre to confirm beach access for the launching of boats at Forest, Peppermint Grove, Minninup and Dalyellup.
Capel Wetlands Centre
• Tuart Drv, CAPEL WA • Ph: 08 9727 1070 (For school excursions and group bookings)
• Capel Wetlands are a migratory destination and home to scores of waterbirds. With wetlands eco systems being a valuable but diminishing resource on which much of our wildlife depends, Iluka Resources Limited has set about reversing that trend by undertaking a project to create a Wetlands Centre of international standing on land that was once a pine plantation.
The Scarred Tree
• The remnant of a tree trunk exhibiting a ‘scar’ made long ago by the Wardandi is preserved at the Capel Shire administration centre. This scarred tree trunk came from a dead eucalypt found east of Davies Road 15 kilometres north of the Capel-Donnybrook Road and was discovered during a heritage survey of a power line route.

The scar was made when the tree’s bark was removed to expose the sapwood. To remove the bark Aboriginal people would cut an outline of the shape they wanted using stone axes and cut the bark to the desired depth. The bark was then levered off using an adze or wedges of stone or wood.

Aboriginals used the bark from scars for many uses e.g. coolamons (containers), wanda (shields), meero (spear throwers) and for roofing of mia mia (shelters). Some scar trees have footholds which were used to climb trees to reach food such as nuts, honey and possums.

Scar trees were also used to mark boundaries of a group’s territory or ceremonial area, or to point to something important such as a water hole or burial ground.

An Aboriginal elder has interpreted this scar as a tribal boundary marker. Few scarred trees remain in the South West but a number are listed on the State’s Register of Aboriginal Sites and are preserved.

Source: Shire of Capel Local Profile

Tuart Forest National Park
• Located on the coastal plain between Capel and Busselton is the largest naturally occurring Tuart Forest in the world. It was the first State Forest established in Western Australia, covering an area of some 2,280 hectares. The forest has a unique mixture of Tuart, Peppermint trees and grasses, giving the area a park-like appearance, and is ideal for picnics and bushwalking.
• There are some great wineries in the South West region including Capel. Contact the local tourism centre for information and cellar door details.
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Capel / Capel Shire Events • Western Australia Events
Capel Fest
• April
• The annual CapelFest and Art Classic is a major regional event celebration of rural community life, celebrated with entertainment including live performances such as bands and street theatre, market stalls, log chopping competitions and much more.
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Capel / Capel Shire Distance

Distance to Capel
• Following are some approximate distances by road to Capel:
• Augusta 118
• Balingup 68
• Bridgetown 94
• Bunbury 29
• Busselton 25
• Collie 79
• Donnybrook 37
• Dunsborough 51
• Harvey 68
• Margaret River 84
• Nannup 74
• Perth 196
Distances given are only approximation, they should be verified with the appropriate maps.
The Australian Automotive Motoring Associations also offer select access to travel trip planners.

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Capel / Capel Shire Other Links

• Capel / Capel Shire Community/Local Government Links

1 Shire of Capel - Local Profile, 2011 (PDF), Retrieved February 3, 2012
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