The town site of Tambellup is located 317 km south-east of Perth on the Great Southern Highway. It is 23 km south of Broomehill in Western Australia’s Great Southern agricultural region.

The area around Tambellup was settled by pastoralists in the late 1840s. In 1849, Surveyor General John Septimus Roe passed through the area, referring to Morrison’s south-west station at “Tambul-yillup”. Later, the area was settled by the Norrish family. The spelling commonly used for the place then was “Tambellelup”. The Great Southern Railway opened in 1889 and a station was established at Tambellup. It appears that the shortened version of the name was created by the railway, as the timetable in 1889 uses the Tambellup spelling. Tambellup was gazetted as a town site in 1899.


The meaning of this Aboriginal name is not known. One source describes it as “place of thunder”. Another explanation is that Tambellup means “place of Tammars”. Tammar being the Aboriginal word for a marsupial that used to frequent the area.


The main street of Tambellup is Norrish Street, named after its first European settler, Josiah Norrish (1841-1884). Josiah was attracted to the area in 1872 by its large stands of sandalwood. Today, the main industry in Tambellup is sheep and crop farming.


In 2012, the Tambellup CRC was successful in securing a Lottery West Grant for the “History Project”. Invaluable work was completed as a result of the History Project. The community in and around Tambellup rallied to provide the much sought after information and built a living monument to the town site, its people and the settlement history of the region. Part of the project was to develop a web site knows as Tambellup Treasures.


Hard cover publications of A Glimpse into the Past is available to purchase from our Gift Shop.