Coordinates: 33°32′0″S 118°30′0″E
Pingrup is a small agricultural-based country town 359km south east of Perth and 195km north east of Albany renowned for its annual race day. It is named after the nearby lake which first appeared on charts of the area in 1873. The meaning of the name is not known. In 1923 the Great Southern Railway line was extended easterly from Nyabing to Pingrup and land surveyed for a townsite at the railway terminus.
When the name of the siding was being decided, it was thought Pingrup was too similar to Tingerup and Geina, a name which had been used for the area around 1900, was suggested. The name was not acceptable to local settlers, who proposed 'Lake Pingrup' as an alternative. After much deliberation it was decided Pingrup was a more desirable name and the town was officially gazetted on May 9, 1924. In recent times Pingrup was the destination for the country’s shearers to check out each other’s skills in regular competitions held at the Shears Shed until 2001.
Approximately 35km from Pingrup is Lake Bryde and East Lake Bryde, located at the head of a chain of lakes which extend to Lake Magenta and form part of the Swan-Avon drainage system. The lakes are classified as an ephemeral wetland with a hydroperiod of between five and eight years, which means there is hardly ever any water in them. The lake system has been identified as important to bird life, with 16 species recorded there and is not suitable as a tourist destination, as the biological assets in the area are already under threat from recreational activities and hydrological changes.
Also close-by are the “Pink Lakes”, which are connected to the Chinocup Lake system and part of an ancient river network which stretched from Lake Grace to Pingrup. These salt lakes are pink because of halo bacteris, a salinity loving bacteria which thrives there and produces a reddish pigment.
For more information, go to http://www.kent.wa.gov.au/index.php or phone 08 9829 1051.