Marrinup is a ghost town in the Peel region of Western Australia between Dwellingup and Pinjarra. Its local government area is the Shire of Murray.[1] The town was destroyed in the 1961 bushfires[2] and the townsite is now used as a campground.[1][3] The ruins of the townsite are heritage listed.[4] Little remains of the town other than an old bridge over Marrinup Creek and some wooden railway sleepers.[5]

The campsite features toilets, tables and barbeques. A 4.5 km (2.8 mi) walk trail from the townsite to the remains of an defunct Prisoner of War camp.[1]

The town was initially established in the 1880s as a timber town to fell the jarrah trees in the surrounding forests.[5] A horse-drawn tramway was constructed in 1902 from Pinjarra to serve a sawmill that had been constructed in the town and the line operated for around two years. The Western Australian Government Railways railway line followed the tramway path when they built the line to Dwellingup that was completed in 1910.[4] The timber company, Millars, operated a timber mill between 1910 and 1930 alongside Marrinup Brook. Several houses were built within the townsite as well as a company general store. The Marrinup School was built and completed in 1911 and opened to students in 1912. The building still exists and is used an RSL Hall in Dwellingup.[4]

After 1930, the townsite had become abandoned[4] as a result of a decline in timber resources and milling operations being moved to Dwellingup.[5] A POW camp was established during World War II in July 1943[6] to house prisoners of war after an agreement was reached with the British to house of prisoners in Western Australia. The prisoners provided labour on farms and for cutting timber. The Marrinup camp was able to house up to 1,200 prisoners and commenced operations in August 1943. German and Italian prisoners were kept in different parts of the compound. All that remains of the camp is a clearing in the forest and some building foundations.[2] The camp ceased operations in August 1946.[6]

The remains of the town were lost in a bushfire in 1961.[5][2]

The Marrinup Cycle Trail, an 8 km (5.0 mi) looped mountain bike track also starts and finishes from the eastern side of the townsite.[7]

Notable residents

Dorothy Tangney, Australia's first woman senator, lived in Marrinup as a child.[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Marrinup Townsite camping grounds". Shire of Murray. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "Marrinup". Western Australia now and then. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ "Marrinup Townsite". Explore Parks WA. Department of Parks and Wildlife. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d "Marrinup Townsite (Ruins)". InHerit. Heritage Council of Western Australia. 1 July 2017. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d "POW Camp - Marrinup Trail" (PDF). Visit Peel. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Camp 16 - Marrinup POW Camp". Australia @ War. 2001. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Marrinup Trail". Dwellinup WA. 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  8. ^ Lawrence, Carmen (2012). "Tangney, Dame Dorothy Margaret (1907–1985)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. 18.