Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Dowerin WA


Postcode: 6461

Dowerin is a town and shire located 156 kilometres (97 mi) northeast of Perth in the central Wheatbelt region of Western Australia.

In 1906 the government extended the railway from Goomalling to the developing Dowerin Agricultural Area and decided to develop a townsite at the terminus. The Aboriginal name of the site chosen was “Wuguni”, but “Dowerin”, also an Aboriginal name, was already in local use for the place, and was the name gazetted in 1907. The name is derived from nearby Lake Dowerin, first recorded on maps around 1879. One source suggests Dowerin is the Aboriginal word for the twenty eight parrot (Dow-arn), and another suggests it means “place of the throwing stick” (dower).

Dowerin is home to the Dowerin GWN Machinery Field Days, a two day machinery show. It is held in late August each year with in excess of 600 exhibitors and attracts several thousand visitors to the town.

Running since the mid 1960s, the event also showcases rural produce. It is a community owned event, run by a board, with three full time staff and 400 volunteer staff.

Between 1927 and 1939, the town hosted one of the major racetracks in the state. The Second World War brought an end to the racing and when it started again afterwards, racers moved to a track at Caversham. Later, they moved from Caversham to Wannneroo, which today is known as Barbagallo Raceway.

In May 2007, a vintage car motoring event was run to commemorate the town’s history and its association with motor racing in Western Australia. Known as Theo’s run, the event is named after Theo Maisey, who raced on the Dowerin track in its heyday in the 1930s and is expected to become an annual event. The 2007 event included a vintage car run from Perth with Jaguar and Riley cars participating.