Carnarvon is located 904 km north of Perth on the west coast of the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia. One of the first things you notice when you arrive in Carnarvon is the enormously wide main street (Robinson Street). The street was built to accommodate the teams of camels and their wagons that brought wool in from the stations. The width made it easy for the Afghan drivers to turn them around.
Brief History of Carnarvon
Lying at the mouth of the Gascoyne River, Carnarvon, was originally settled by two farming families, the Browns & the Brockmans in 1876, after early exploratory expeditions were made by Francis Gregory.
The Aboriginals know this area as Kuwinywardu (Kow-win-wordo) meaning ‘neck of water’. The Aboriginal people of the area are the Inggarda, Baiyunga, Thalanji, Malgana and Thudgarri. The town was gazetted in 1883 and named after the 4th Earl of Carnarvon (Henry Howard Molyneux) who was the Secretary of State for the Colonies from 1866-1867 & 1874-1878. More History of Carnarvon .
Things You May Not Know About Carnarvon
The timber fascine along the Gascoyne River in Carnarvon was built by settlers in 1910 and completed in 1925. The fascine (timber retaining wall) is only one of two fascines in the world and was built to prevent erosion of the river banks during floods.
Carnarvon’s Big Banana was original used as a gimmick for a Service Station/Video Store in Northam , Western Australia.
Carnarvon is located at the only place in Australia where the desert reaches out into the sea.
Plantations use a sprinkler system for irrigation from water extracted from the underground aquifers in the Gascoyne River The Gascoyne River is the longest river in Western Australia.
There are over 70 banana plantations in Carnarvon, covering 350 hectares and producing over 4,000 tonnes of bananas annually.
The Bibbawarra Bore was used to supply much needed drinking water to cattle and sheep of the area. The hot artesian water from the bore would cool as it flowed down a 175m long trough to the waiting livestock.
Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous words “One small step for man. One giant leap for mankind” were relayed to the world via the OTC Dish at Carnarvon.
The most commonly grown Mango in Carnarvon’s Mango Plantations are Kensington Pride, accounting for nearly 90% of all crops.
The main street (Robinson St) is 40m wide, just as it was in the early days when camel teams would cart the wool into town. They needed all the room they could get to manoeuvre their carts.
Carnarvon once had a shark processing factory.
Charles Kingsford Smith lived in Carnarvon after setting up the Gascoyne Transport Company.
In 1941, the HMAS Sydney II was attacked and sunk by a German raider off the coast, west of Carnarvon. The location of the ship still remains a mystery. A memorial drive was built to honour the men lost in Australia’s worst naval tragedy.
One Mile Jetty became the first port in Australia to transport livestock by sea.
Where To Hang Your Hat ?
Carnarvon has quite a variety of accommodation to suit everyone’s tastes, needs and budget. They have over eight caravan parks, numerous hotels and a backpackers right on the waterfront.