Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Badgingarra WA


Postcode: 6521

Badgingarra is a small town located in the Wheatbelt region of Western Australia, about 205 kilometres (127 mi) north of Perth in the Shire of Dandaragan. The town was gazetted in 1955 and takes its name from nearby Badgingarra Pool. “Badgingarra” is an Indigenous Australian word said to mean “water by the manna gums”.

Badgingarra was the name given by Aborigines to the pool of water on the river located opposite the old town site (which is about 5 km east of the town on the Moora road) where the badgeon wattle grows prolifically.

The first Europeans to pass through the area were the Gregory brothers (Augustus Charles, Francis and Henry Churchman) who travelled through the area in 1848 on their way to explore the Gascoyne region. Subsequent visitors to Badgingarra pool included Alexander Forrest who came through the area in 1877 and the pastoralist and politician Henry Lefroy in 1895.

Badgingarra Farm was taken up near the pool by William McNamara around 1894 and a small settlement grew up. Today Old Badgingarra is virtually non-existent. It is no more than a few isolated buildings and the school.

In the early days William McNamara bred horses for the horse trade to India but he remained isolated and there was little development. This lack of development has done much to ensure that the area still has large unspoilt tracts of banksia, dryandra, hakea, grevillea, kangaroo paw and mallee scrub.

It was as recently as 1948 that George Lang recognised the potential of the area and it was due to his efforts that the land was opened up for selection. Superphosphate, trace elements and subclover made farming viable and the main agricultural activities resulted in wool, fat lambs, beef cattle, wheat, oats and lupins. The old township was abandoned and the present town was built when the Brand Highway was opened.