Augusta is a town on the south-west coast of Western Australia, where the Blackwood River emerges into Flinders Bay. It is the nearest town to Cape Leeuwin, on the furthest south-west corner of the Australian continent. In the 2001 census it had a population of 1694. It is within the Augusta-Margaret River Local Government area, and is in the Leeuwin Ward.
Augusta is located at 34°18’52″S, 115°9’31″E with Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park mainly on the ridge to the west of the town.
Augusta was formed in 1830. In March of that year, a number of settlers, including John Molloy and members of the Bussell family, arrived at the Swan River Colony on board the Warrior. On their arrival, the Governor of Western Australia, Sir James Stirling, advised them that most of the good land near the Swan River had already been granted, and suggested that they form a new sub-colony in the vicinity of Cape Leeuwin. The following month, Stirling sailed with a party of prospective settlers on board the Emily Taylor. After arriving at the mouth of the Blackwood River, the party spent four days exploring the area. Stirling then confirmed his decision to establish a subcolony, the settlers’ property was disembarked, and the town of Augusta declared at the site.
Augusta was a stopping place on the Busselton to Flinders Bay Branch Railway which was government run from the 1920s to the 1950s. Prior to that M. C. Davies had a timber railway system that went to both Hamelin Bay and Flinders Bay jetties in the 1890s.
Augusta was a summer holiday town for many during most of the twentieth century, but late in the 1900s many people chose to retire to the region for the cooler weather. As a consequence of this and rising land values in the Augusta Margaret River area, the region has experienced significant social change.