The historical town of Toodyay is located 85km north-east of Perth and is
situated on the Avon River.
The first Europeans to explore the area were Ensign Dale and a small party from the Swan River Colony who were
in search of fertile land for new settlers. Settlers having arrived at the Swan River Colony in 1829 soon
discovered that the fertile land that Lieutenant Governor Stirling had promised, was not to be found. With
disgruntled settlers leaving, pressure was placed on the Colony to find land suitable for farming.
In 1830, Ensign Dale's expedition found a way over the rugged hills of the Darling Ranges and found a river that
Dale named "The Avon" and a grassy valley he called the "Avon Valley". Dale marked three potential town sites,
York, Beverley and Northam .
The Avon Valley would become the main agricultural and pastoral region up until the turn of the
century. In 1836 the original town site "Old Toodyay" was founded by a group of settlers including James Drummond
Senior, Captain Francis Whitfield and Alexander Anderson. Having climbed over the Darling Range at Red Hill and
establishing a new route to the Avon Valley via Jimperding they named a site, Toodyay, on a bend on the Avon River
(near the present West Toodyay Bridge).
Prior to this Europeans entered the Avon Valley via York and Northam. Unfortunately the Old
Toodyay townsite was situated in an area prone to flooding.
In 1861 a new town, Newcastle, was gazetted about five kms upstream, marking the decline of Old
Toodyay, as many moved to the new and safer town. Newcastle's name was later changed to Toodyay, in 1911, after
complaints were made over the mail confusion with Newcastle, in New South Wales.
The town of Toodyay grew and still grows from the agricultural activities of the early settlers
such as sheep, cattle, wheat, barley, vines and beekeeping. The name Toodyay is derived from the Aboriginal word
duidgee, meaning "place of plenty".The population of Toodyay today is approximately 3,800.
Things You May Not Know About ToodyayThe post code of Toodyay is 6566.
The infamous bushranger, Moondyne Joe (Joseph Bolitho Johns) roamed the hills around Toodyay in the 1860's and the town now
celebrates his exploits with the Moondyne festival each spring.
Important Links To Toodyay
Toodyay Visitors Centre
Toodyay Community and Business Guide