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Shire of Denmark

About the area

Name origin

The Shire of Denmark is named after the Denmark River, which was named after physician, Dr Alexander Denmark.

Location and boundaries

The Shire of Denmark is located on the south coast of Western Australia, about 400 kilometres south of the Perth CBD. The Shire of Denmark is bounded by the Shire of Plantagenet in the north, the City of Albany and Wilson Inlet in the east, the Southern Ocean in the south, and Nornalup Inlet, the Frankland River and the Shire of Manjimup in the west.

Included areas

The Shire of Demark includes the localities of Bow Bridge, Denmark (part), Hay (part), Hazelvale, Kentdale, Kordabup, Mount Lindesay, Mount Romance, Nornalup, Ocean Beach (part), Parryville, Peaceful Bay, Scotsdale, Shadforth, Tingledale, Trent and William Bay.

Economic region
Shire of Denmark

Land use

The Shire of Denmark is a predominantly rural area, with a small township at Denmark, and villages at Nornalup and Peaceful Bay. Land is used largely for agriculture and viticulture, with fishing and tourism also being important industries. The Shire encompasses a total land area of about 1,860 square kilometres.


The Shire of Denmark is served by the South Coast Highway.

Settlement history

European settlement of the Shire dates from the 1840s, with land used mainly for cattle grazing. Population was minimal until 1895, when a timber mill was established in Denmark to create timber sleepers for the railway lines from Perth to Albany and Fremantle. Land then became used more for agriculture, particularly fruit and vegetable growing. The timber mill ceased operations in 1905, with subsequent timber mills operating from 1950 to 1976, and 1966 to 1992. The population of the Shire was relatively stable between the 1940s and the early 1970s, at about 1,800 people. The population increased from the 1980s, rising to about 2,100 in 1981, then to about 3,200 in 1991, and continuing to increase to about 5,000 in 2011.

Indigenous background

The original inhabitants of the Shire of Denmark were the Noongar Aboriginal people.