Coordinates: 33°50′17″S 117°09′07″E
Mean maximum temperature: 21.2 °C (70 °F)
Mean minimum temperature: 9.2 °C (49 °F)
Annual rainfall: 531mm (20.9inches)
Kojonup has a population of approximately 2,151 (2006 census) and is located 256km south-east of Perth, 166km north east of Albany on the Albany Highway. Its name is derived from the Noongar word Kodja – a stone axe once made by Indigenous people of the area. The first known European to mention the region was surveyor Alfred Hillman who arrived in 1837 after being guided to the Kojonup freshwater spring by Aboriginals. In the same year a military outpost was established, mainly for the protection of travellers and the regular mail service from Perth to Albany.
These early days of Kojonup saw the town’s economy totally dependent on sandalwood cutting and kangaroo hunting. By 1845 the outpost had grown to support a barracks, built on the site of the freshwater spring. In 1865, the appointment of a mounted police constable marked the phasing out of the military presence. By the late 1860s the military had left and the barracks became a focus for community gatherings. Many of the area’s early farms were set up by former soldiers with settlement grants. The barracks is one of the oldest buildings in WA and today is the home of the Kojonup Pioneer Museum.
The town's first police station was built in 1869 and the first hotel licence was granted in 1868. Around this time the wool industry was booming and by 1906 the Shire of Kojonup had 10,500 sheep. The sheep population has risen steadily ever since. By 1989 it was thought more than 1million were grazing on the shire’s paddocks.
The significance of the wool industry is commemorated by the huge wagon located on the Albany Highway as you enter/leave the town which was unveiled on Australia Day 2001. The town’s sporting facilities include an 18-hole golf course, tennis club, skating park, a 50m outdoor swimming pool, football and hockey ovals, netball courts and a shooting range. It also has all major facilities including a large supermarket, bank, newsagent, service stations, hotels and caravan site.
Further information can be found at: www.kojonupvisitors.com - (08) 9831 0500 or www.kojonup.wa.gov.au - (08) 9831 1066.