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Capel is a town in the South West region of Western Australia, located 212 kilometres (132 mi) south of Perth and midway between Bunbury and Busselton.
The town is located on the Capel River and is approximately 19 metres (62 ft) above sea level. Capel has a Mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers and cool wet winters. Daily temperatures range from 13 °C to 40 °C in summer, and from 5 °C to 27 °C in winter. Average annual rainfall is about 830 mm.
Historically, Capel is a farming area; traditional agricultural pursuits include dairy and beef. In recent times, Capel has become popular for hobby farms, and a number of innovative agricultural pursuits have been introduced, including alpacas, viticulture, aquaculture and growing of blue gums. There is also some mining of mineral sands in the Shire, and tourism is increasingly important to the Shire's economy.
The Capel area was originally inhabited by the Noongar Aboriginals. It was settled very early in the history of colonial Western Australia. The Capel River was visited by Frederick Ludlow in 1834, but it was not given an English name until the Bussell family settled in the area. The name honours Capel Carter Brockman (1839–1924), daughter of John Bussell (1803–1875), who was named after a Miss Capel Carter, a cousin of the Bussells in England with whom Bussell family members corresponded. In the 1830s a number of settlers followed the Bussells into the area, and both James Stirling and John Hutt, (the first two Governors of Western Australia) took up land in the region.
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