Point Walter Reserve, Point Walter Golf Course and Blackwall Reach Reserve

Author

City of Melville

Place Number

25434

Location

1 Stock Rd Bicton

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Point Walter Reserve

Local Government

Melville

Region

Metropolitan

Construction Date

Demolition Year

N/A

Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Category
Municipal Inventory Adopted 17 Jun 2014 Category A

Child Places

  • 06070 Point Walter Honour Avenue Memorial Drive
  • 18715 Point Walter Former Army Camp Site (whole site including watch house)

Statement of Significance

Point Walter Reserve is a place of exceptional cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: the site borders the Swan River and retains natural bushland and marine characteristics; the site has significance to the Aboriginal people, for a period extending well back prior to European settlement; the place has historic value for original naming by Captain James Stirling, and for early settlement in 1830 by Lionel Lukin and Alfred Waylen; the place has early association with the Melville Roads Board, in 1912, the Fremantle Tramway Board, in 1915, officially opening in November 1914; Point Walter has since the 1920s been a popular community place for camping, swimming, crabbing and public recreation, to the present day. The Point Walter Golf Course is important for the retained natural bushland setting, the introduced public golf course amenity and is a place of historic significance as part of the Point Walter Reserve. Blackwall Reach Reserve is important as a place of natural coastal vegetation, an Aboriginal place of significance, and now a recreational site. SIGNIFICANT ITEMS: The site overall for historic reasons; the natural and introduced landscape; the marine foreshore, jetty and the sand bar; and the memorial tree plantings.

Physical Description

Point Walter Reserve The place comprises the natural and introduced landscape abutting the bank of the Swan River, and incorporates the sand bar, jetty, public roads and pathways, paved parking areas, tennis courts, and grassed recreational areas and public amenities. Point Walter Golf Course Natural bushland with undergrowth cleared, tree stock retained, and greens, fairways and clubhouse/carpark introduced in the bushland setting. Blackwall Reach Reserve A publicly accessible natural landscape reserve incorporating limestone cliffs and caves at the junction with the Swan River, indigenous landscape of trees and undercover, with sensitively introduced walkways, viewing platform, safety fencing, carpark and interpretive signage. CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS: Point Walter Reserve - Natural and introduced landscape; introduced tennis courts, roadways, pathways, jetty, parking areas, public amenities and interpretive material; Point Walter Golf Course - Natural landscape; and introduced golf course, clubhouse and car parking area; Blackwall Reach Reserve - Natural land and marine characteristics; introduced pathways, interpretive signage, paved carpark, and safety fencing.

History

Point Walter and Blackwall Reach were part of the Beeliar Nyoongar campsites and hunting grounds. In the summer months the large variety of plants and animals in the area provided the Aborigines with an abundance of food and other resources. The Beeliar Nyoongars would regularly burn sections of these areas which kept the understorey low and was considered a useful technique for flushing out game. The Aboriginal name for Point Walter is Dyundalup (Dyoondalup) and for Blackwall Reach is Jenalup; the Swan River was named ‘Derbarl Yerrigan’ which means ‘brackish place of the turtle’. Point Walter Reserve In 1827, Captain James Stirling in his exploration of the Swan River to identify a suitable site for settlement, named Point Walter after his brother, Walter. Land was acquired in 1830 by the first European settlers Lionel Lukin and Alfred Waylen (hence Alfred Cove). Waylen built a villa at Point Walter in 1830 (later burned down), and acquired a further 700 acres in 1831 extending his grant from Point Walter as far east along the Swan River frontage to Alfred Cove. Popular access by the community saw the area used for camping, swimming, picnicking and crabbing. A jetty was subsequently constructed since access was solely by water; ferries and yachting parties frequented the Point and the two tearooms constructed to service the visitors. A tavern, adjacent to the jetty was known as ‘The Halfway House’, midway between Fremantle and Perth. A timber bathing shed was developed just east of the jetty. In December 1915, a tramway was constructed linking Canning Road with Point Walter, so popular was this recreation site. A limestone road was eventually built, providing access for horse-drawn vehicles from Canning Road. In 1907 (1895?) the State Government purchased Point Walter, declaring the site as an A-Class Reserve. In 1912, the Melville Roads Board was appointed to manage the Reserve. The Reserve was officially opened in 1914 on 30 November. The Perth-Fremantle railway opening saw a decline in popularity for Point Walter, which became a ‘quiet backwater’. Steamers on the Swan River stopped using a narrow and shallow channel that had been cut in the sand bar, preferring to negotiate around the bar, and the tearooms facilities struggled through lack of patronage. A growth in ocean beach patronage by the public saw a further decline in the use of Point Walter. The control of the Reserve, as a consequence, passed to control by the Parks and Gardens Board in 1929. The Depression of the 1930s had a further negative impact, through unemployment, on the recreational use of the Reserve. World War II further impacted badly on public use of the Reserve. Point Walter fell into disrepair until in November 1952 the Reserve was vested in the Melville Roads Board at which time old buildings were removed, the river beach was restored, a new kiosk constructed, new changerooms and new toilet facilities provided. In 1980, the Department of Sport and Recreation took control of 6.5 hectares of the Reserve - the area that had been in use for Army Training purposes and, following World War II, a Migrant Settlement Hostel/Camp from 1948 to 1972. In 1986, the remaining Hostel buildings were removed and a considerable sum spent to develop that inland section of the Reserve as a sport and recreational facility to be seen on that site today in 2013, managed by the Department of Sport and Recreation for use as a new centre for sport and conferences. Today, Point Walter Reserve is a popular well-maintained public recreational centre, readily accessible by ferry and yachts to the jetty or by road from Canning Highway. Point Walter Golf Course The golf course site was formerly part of the Point Walter Reserve, a property acquired at Point Walter in 1830 by the initial settlers Lionel Lukin and Alfred Waylen and becoming part of the A Class Reserve acquired by Government in 1907. The Reserve is now managed by the City of Melville. Blackwall Reach Reserve Blackwall Reach Reserve is a designated conservation and recreation area, once an important Aboriginal women’s area called Jenalup. Aborigines from the Beelia family group and Whadjug tribes called the trail, on the south side of the river, Yorga meaning “women’s trail”. Jenalup was a place for women and children to learn life skills at a place plentiful in fish, native yams, and limestone caves providing fresh water. The sandbar at the adjoining Point Walter, then known as Dyundalup, was the connection between the trails in a favourite tribal ground for the Nyungar people. ‘Dyundalup’ means ‘place of long white flowing hair’, the sand bar and the white waves breaking over it. Blackwall Reach was named in 1896 by Commander L. S. Dawson RN, Admiralty Surveyor, after an area in the Thames River near Greenwich, UK. The reserve formed part of a farm and tavern in the later 1800s, connected by a tramline from Canning Highway until the 1950s. The site is important for its natural landscape of coastal vegetation, limestone formations, aquatic species and dry land species.

Condition

Sound and well maintained.

References

Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Place ID 100634 Australian Heritage Council Register of the National Estate documentation for Place ID 100634 ‘Point Walter Migrant Reception Centre’; Australian Heritage Council
Interpretive material on site;
‘Blackwall Reach and Point Walter Bushland Management Plan’, City of Melville July 1994
Turner R; "Point Walter". Undated
Chate A; "Point Walter Reserve in the 1920s". 1997
‘Swan River, Perth, Western Australia’, Creative Spirits 22 November 2012.

Place Type

Urban Open Space

Creation Date

10 Jun 2015

Publish place record online (inHerit):

Approved

Last Update

01 Jan 2017

Disclaimer

This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.