The Denmark River was given its modern name in December 1829 by naval ship's surgeon Thomas Braidwood Wilson after his mentor, naval surgeon Alexander Denmark, Physician of the Fleet. Wilson found the river while exploring the area in company with the Noongar Mokare from King George Sound, John Kent (officer in charge of the Commissariat at Frederick Town, King George Sound), two convicts and Private William Gough of the 39th Regiment, while his ship the Governor Phillip was being repaired at King George Sound.
Tourism started when American soldiers, stationed in Albany during WWII, made outings to Denmark. After the war, Denmark became a popular holiday destination for Western Australians.
By the 1960s the population had increased to 1,500 and Denmark was becoming attractive to alternative life-stylers and early retirees. Intensive agriculturists such as wine growers had discovered the value of the rich karri loam for their vineyards. Within 50 years the area became a wine subregion of critical acclaim, as part of the Great Southern Wine Region.
Denmark is a coastal town located on Wilson Inlet in the Great Southern region of Western Australia, 423 kilometres (263 mi) south-south-east of the state capital of Perth and approximately 70km from Albany.