Donnybrook is situated between Boyanup and Kirup on the South Western Highway, 210km south of Perth, Western Australia. The region is known for its apple production.
Donnybrook is long proud of its apple production and has many town icons bearing the fruit. Such can be seen on the main street, where apple shaped lights line the entrance of the Old Railway Station. These lights (six in total, on three posts) have in recent years been restored to their former luscious green glory. Atop the east Donnybrook hill lies an even larger tribute to the apple, a giant tower with an apple at the top. From the top of the apple visitors can view Donnybrook and its surrounding areas.
A yearly tradition in Donnybrook occurring in Easter is the Donnybrook Apple Festival. In recent years the festival has not occurred, but community interest assures it will continue again in the future. During the apple festival, the citizens of Donnybrook gather on Egan Park to celebrate the apple. The festival includes agricultural displays, sideshow alley and of course, the crowning of the Apple Queen. The Apple Queen has long been a citizen of the Donnybrook/Balingup area, aged between 17 and 25 years. In recent years this has been changed to the title of “Ambassador” and males are now allowed to enter. During the contest, local girls compete for the title by attending dinners, doing community service and riding on giant apple shaped floats. From these floats they give apples, fruit and lollies to the children lining the closed-off section of the South Western Highway.
During the street parade the Catholic Church of Donnybrook blesses the holy apple, assuring a good harvest in the years to come. The Shire of Donnybrook also had a mascot, Donny Applebrook. Donny was a giant green apple who promoted the festival. Donny has since disappeared from public life.
Aside from apples, Donnybrook economy also relies on tourism. Many tourists pass through the town, admire the apples and sometimes enjoy apple treats at local cafes. Other visitors include backpackers from all over the world. Many of these backpackers earn money by picking fruit (largely apples) in the area.