Harvey is a town located in the South West of Western Australia along the South Western Highway, 140 km south of Perth, between Pinjarra and Bunbury. It has a population of 2,606.[1]


Harvey's name is derived from the nearby Harvey River, named by Governor James Stirling in 1829, soon after the river's discovery by explorers Alexander Collie and Lieutenant William Preston RN.

Although not positively known, the river is most likely named after Rear Admiral John Harvey. In 1817–18, Harvey was Commander in Chief of the West Indies Station - Stirling served under him while in charge of HMS Brazen, and Harvey recommended him for promotion. Stirling named a number of Western Australian features after his former navy colleagues.[2]

According to James Battye, Stirling selected 12,800 acres (52 km2) known as Wellington Location 50A and established the Harvey River Settlement. The only improvement he made to the land, as far as is known, was the erection of a hunting lodge near the present town of Harvey, known as "The Hut", featuring a shingled roof, jarrah walls and hexagonal paving blocks. In the 1880s, this hut became the childhood home of children's author May Gibbs. Stirling called the area around the town of Harvey "Korijekup", using the Noongar name meaning "place of the red-tailed black cockatoo".[3]

Uduc Road, Harvey, at dusk

The area was settled slowly over the remainder of the 1800s. During the 1860s, Australind, originally the site of a failed grandiose settlement scheme, was the centre of the Harvey District community. In 1863, a road was gazetted from Pinjarra to Brunswick Junction, which was built by convicts between 1864 and 1876 - it was called the "foothills route" and later became the South Western Highway.

Harvey was developed as a private town in the 1890s by a group of investors following the opening of a railway station there in 1893. However, Cookernup, little more than a railway stop today, had a greater population, and had a telegraph office and school years before Harvey.

The population of the town was 93 (66 males and 27 females) in 1898.[4]

In 1926 the Harvey Road Board sought the declaration of a townsite, but this did not occur until 1938.

In February 2006, EG Green & Sons, the owner of the brand since 1919 and responsible for about 90% of Western Australia's beef exports, went into administration. In April, however, the brand was rescued by a new consortium who acquired EG Green & Sons and recreated it as Harvey Industries.[5]

In 2010, Harvey gained national attention when 19-year-old Jessica Moloney became a finalist in the popular Fox8 show Australia's Next Top Model. She came in fourth place in Cycle 6 of the series.

Harvey Internment Camp Shrine

Present day

South Western Highway leaving Harvey

The town is the seat of the Shire of Harvey and is the centre of the Western Australian dairy industry. It contains an agricultural college and the headquarters of both the Harvey Fresh (1986) and Harvey Beef (1919) brand names, and each year in April (previously October) hosts an agricultural show. In addition, Harvey Senior High School, two primary schools, dining and shopping facilities, accommodation (hotel, motel, caravan park, farm stay), council offices and the Forest Products Commission's Timber Technology Centre are located within the town.

The railway station contains a museum which documents early life in the town, and the Stirling Cottage (actually a replica of it built 500 m downstream from the original in 1994 after the original cottage succumbed to the elements in the 1960s)[6] has been converted into a tourist information centre and tearooms. An unusual feature is the Italian Internment Shrine, built by Italian internees of Harvey No. 11 Camp during World War II and believed to be one of the only monuments of its kind in existence.

On Harvey Dam Wall. The tower is visible on the middle-right.

Harvey is home to Harvey Dam, which is a popular recreational angling (licensed) and tourist destination, with picnic facilities, walkways and historical information.[7] Harvey Dam's wall can be traversed completely on foot.

In 2015 Harvey received a new war memorial with detailed casualty counts and information relevant to major Australian engagements.[8]

On 7 January 2016 the residents of the town were urged to evacuate immediately by Western Australia's Department of Fire and Emergency Services due to an approaching bushfire. Patients at the Harvey District Hospital were evacuated to nearby hospitals along with residents from local nursing homes.[9] On the evening of 8 January, after catastrophic losses in nearby Yarloop, the fire was threatening the town.[10] Harvey was evacuated late on the afternoon of 9 January, but conditions eased the following day and the alert level was downgraded.[11]


The main road route through the area is South Western Highway (Route 20; Perth to Bunbury via Pinjarra and Waroona). Uduc Road, the town's main street, goes to Old Coast Road near Myalup.

Harvey station is located on the South Western Railway and served by Transwa's twice daily Australind service from Perth to Bunbury.[12]


  1. ^ a b Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Harvey (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 30 June 2007.
  2. ^ Western Australian Land Information Authority. "History of country town names – H". Retrieved 17 January 2007.
  3. ^ Shire of Harvey. "History". Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2006.
  4. ^ "POPULATION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA". Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954). Perth, WA: National Library of Australia. 22 April 1898. p. 23. Retrieved 31 May 2012.
  5. ^ ABC. "Landline - Harvey Beef". Retrieved 28 December 2018.
  6. ^ Harvey Visitor Centre. "Business Listings - Stirlings Cottage". Archived from the original on 21 August 2006. Retrieved 25 October 2006. An abridged version of this text is on a sign outside the cottage.
  7. ^ "Harvey Dam". South West Attractions. South West Attractions. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  8. ^ "Harvey War Memorial". Shire of Harvey. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 1 August 2015.
  9. ^ "Waroona fire: Wind change pushes flames south towards Harvey; residents urged to leave". ABC News. 7 January 2016. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  10. ^ "WA fire: Yarloop devastated with 95 homes lost, bushfire now threatening Harvey". ABC News. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 8 January 2016.
  11. ^ "WA fires: Emergency warning for Harvey, Waroona, Hamel and Yarloop". 10 January 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  12. ^ Australind Timetable Archived 15 June 2017 at the Wayback Machine Transwa

External links