Brief History of Northam

Northam lies on the banks of the Avon River about a 100km east of Perth in Western Australia. The area around Northam and York was first explored in 1830 by Ensign Robert Dale and a party of colonists who were looking for suitable agricultural lands. The townsite was surveyed in 1830 and the town was gazetted in 1833. Northam was believed to be named by Governor Stirling after a village in North Devon, England.

Following the establishment of the town, Northam, with rich fertile land and close proximity to Perth, became a prosperous farming district. More history of Northam.

Things You May Not Know About Northam

Every Year the town is host to the Premier whitewater event, The Avon Descent . The race is one of the toughest whitewater boating events in the world.

Northam is the only place in Australia where white swans have successfully bred. There are over eighty swans living on the Avon River.

Over 180 buildings in the town are registered heritage properties. Richard Roach Jewell , the Colonial Architect, designed the Northam Police Quarters.

The Avon River Suspension Bridge which crosses the Avon River near the Fitzgerald Street Bridge is believed (by the locals) to be the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Australia.

C.Y.O’Connor’s pipeline was originally split into two smaller pipes to cross under the Avon River.

Things Are Looking Up In Northam

In the 1900’s a decision by the State Government changed the town forever. Northam was chosen, over York and Beverley, to become the point of departure for the rail to the eastern goldfields. As Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie boomed so did Northam and it is all reflected in the stunning architecture that still stands today.There are over 180 buildings in Northam that are listed as having heritage significance. Many of the these buildings can be found along Fitzgerald Street, Wellington Street and Hawes Street.