Gascoyne Overview

The Gascoyne subegion of the Western Australian Rangelands covers an area of approximately 264,497 square kilometres. It is bordered by the Murchison subregion in the south, the Pilbara subregion in the North, the Indian Ocean to the west and the Desert subregion to the east.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 264,497 people lived in the Gascoyne in 2011. View Tindale's tribal boundaries map to see the many language groups that make up the Gascoyne indigenous community.

Before the Gascoyne subregion was discovered by Europeans, it had been home to the Aboriginal people for thousands of years. In 1839, the British explorer Lieutenant George Grey and his party came across Bernier Island (approximately 48.3 km west of Carnarvon) and the Gascoyne River for the first time, however there was little settlement until the 1980s Murchison gold rushes. During this time the Aboriginal people were forced away from their traditional ceremonial and hunting sites.

The Gascoyne’s primary economic activities include pastoralism, horticulture, retail, tourism, mining and fishing. Pastoralism is the dominant land use of the region. Lease sizes are typically between 100,000 and 250,000 hectares.


Gascoyne Subregion

The subregion's horticultural crops include bananas, tomatoes, grapefruit, mangos, table grapes and a range of vegetables products grown along the Gascoyne River. The fishing industry includes prawn, scallop, crab and wet line fishing operations. Due to the warm climate and long coastline, which includes Ningaloo Reef and Shark Bay World Heritage Site, tourism is also an important industry in the Gascoyne subregion.