Quaranup Complex


City of Albany

Place Number



Quaranup Rd, Geak Pt, on the Vancouver Peninsula Albany

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Camp Quaranup
Quarantine Station

Local Government



Great Southern

Construction Date

Constructed from 1875, Constructed from 1903

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 27 Oct 2020
State Register Registered 14 Dec 2001 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 30 Jun 2001 Category A+
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 27 Oct 2020 Exceptional
Register of the National Estate Permanent 21 Oct 1980
Classified by the National Trust Classified {Lscpe}
Classified by the National Trust Classified 04 Apr 1977

Statement of Significance

Quaranup Complex, comprising the Lower Area (9 structures), the Upper Area (24 structures) and the Isolation Area (6 structures); featuring buildings erected in Victorian Georgian style stone structures and Federation Bungalow structures; located in a bush and an ocean setting, has cultural heritage significance for the following reasons: The site has historic significance for its role in disease control, the arrival of new migrants, visitors and returning soldiers through the Port of Albany during the late 19th and early 20th century. The site has high social value as the first disembarkation point for many migrants and visitors to the state, and as a recreational camp visited by many Western Australian children, infrequently since the 1930s and more consistently from 1957, when the site was officially converted to a holiday camp. The place has aesthetic value for its impressive design, location and setting. The site has scientific value for its demonstration of late 19th century medical and social beliefs in, for example, its position on a high and windy ridge reflected the concept of ‘miasma’ or disease carrying vapours that prevailed at this time; and for its potential to contain archaeological deposits which can inform us about the past use of the site. The site is representative of a purpose built quarantine station of the late 19th century. The site is a rare example of an 1870s – 1940s quarantine station in Western Australia. The site is also considered to contain intrusive elements, such as the modern ablutions block, the modern dining room, the infill along the verandah of the Caretaker’s Quarters, the CGI sheds to the east of the Caretaker’s House, the carpark west of the laundry and the change in roof colour from red to olive green and the change from CGI cladding to colourbond.

Physical Description

The former quarantine station was a purpose-built structure designed by the Western Australian Public Works Department, embodying various medical and social, ideas of the period between the 1890s and early 20th century, although infrequently used for the intended purpose of quarantine and medical isolation. The complex of buildings comprises mainly stone and timber framed structures in varying architectural and vernacular styles, including Victorian Georgian – reflecting original Quarantine House – and Federation Carpenter Gothic and Federation Bungalow – represented mainly by the second campaign of building in the 1890s. There remaining structures include: jetty, powder magazine, waiting room, bathing block, fumigation block, funicular railway, hospital, sleeping quarters, kitchen, underground tanks, laundry, workshop, caretakers cottage, nurse’s quarters, isolation hospital, morgue and cemetery. For detailed physical description of the place refer to H+H Architects, ‘Quaranup Complex Conservation Management Plan’, prepared for Department of Sport and Recreation, June 2016


Several incidents of sickness on board ships arriving in Albany, which was the main port for Western Australia, led to demands for a proper quarantine station. These incidents included sickness aboard the Bombay in 1865, a suspected smallpox victim from the Rangatira in 1872 and a sick passenger from the Baroda in 1873. A Quarantine Commission was set up and recommended either Geake Island or the adjacent mainland Narrinyup/Geake Point as the best sites for a station. Narrinyup was chosen. In 1874, a building contract was awarded to Samuel Wood for two cottages and outbuildings, completed at the beginning of 1875. A jetty was also built costing £530, and a flagstaff. Of particular interest at the quarantine station is the powder magazine built on Geake Island, located on the island for security reasons. This windowless stone building with an iron door was used to store ammunition for Albany’s defence. It was completed in 1878 and built by Charles Donat Keyser. Keyser was a local Albany builder (1829 –1900), who built many other prominent buildings in Albany including: the J. McKail & Co Store (1880), National Bank (1881) and Union Bank (Albany House) (1884) all on Stirling Terrace; Brackenhurst (68 Brunswick Rd) (1881); and Treasure’s Building (137-139 York St) (1882). The island was named in honour of Digory Sargeant Geake, an early settler in Albany who built and ran the town’s first hotel. Later a causeway from the island to the mainland was built and Geake Island became Geake Point. By the mid-1890s, a major building campaign was embarked upon for the quarantine station at Quaranup. In 1895/1896 a new isolation hospital was built. In 1896 a new jetty was constructed by contractor A. R. Wright. By 1897, the stone kitchen block, third-class quarters (minus the dining room), luggage store, laundry and new quarters for the medical officer (attached to the caretaker’s quarters) were the first buildings to be completed, building contract awarded to W. Sangster. Many other buildings, also built by Sangster, were completed by 1898: Albany Quarantine Station: Four dormitories for married couples, one for single men and one for single women with large dining room and four bathrooms and lavatories, in one block with surrounding verandahs. A large dining and dayroom added to the existing buildings. Detached kitchen block containing cookhouse, scullery, servant’s dining hall, cook’s room, and three storerooms, connected by covered way to the main buildings. In the caretaker’s separate block, two rooms added for medical officer and three for attendants. Large laundry block, general store block for luggage, etc, female bathing shed, disinfecting house with patent disinfector and laundry, mortuary, and isolated infection hospital with special wards and nurses quarters.[Public Works Department, 1898, in H&H ‘Quaranup Complex CMP’ 2016] The isolation hospital was located away from the main complex area to ensure separation, and on top of that it was also fenced with a locked gate. A fumigation bath house and a jetty were built in 1903. In 1909, the place was transferred to the Commonwealth Government. Other significant additions were made to the complex over the next 20 years. These included an engine shed and tramway (Messrs Macara and Purtell, 1912); new store, retaining walls, road and bathroom block (1913); concrete storage tank (C. McDonald, 1919); and new nurses quarters (G. Lithgow, 1921). The quarantine station became an important facility particularly during wartime, for returned servicemen from both the Boer War and World War I. With its substantial facilities, the station also became a popular place for community, church and school groups who were allowed free use of the station complex for holiday programs and camps when it was not required for quarantine purposes. Fremantle’s build up as the State’s leading port, widespread vaccinations overseas and stricter quarantine measures led to fewer contagious diseases. Apart from its use by the armed forces, the last major epidemic the station coped with was influenza in 1930. However, the station was again acquiesced for war purposes, when in World War II sailors from the American Navy were billeted there. The American soldiers came from the South Pacific region but also joined other servicemen responsible for Fort security. (See Albany Forts). In 1956 the quarantine station was leased to Mr and Mrs Edward Wheeler for reuse as a hostel, and officially opened under its new name “Camp Quaranup” on 14 December 1957. A new road was constructed into the complex. The Wheelers operated the holiday camp until their lease was terminated in 1969, though the Wheelers were allowed to continue living there. Initially the place went back to State control then in 1970 it was vested in the Shire of Albany for recreation purposes who subsequently leased the main area comprising the buildings to the Camp Quaranup Committee in 1971. Several improvements and adaptions were made mostly by volunteer groups such as Lions, Apex and Rotary. By the late 1970s the historic facilities were starting to show signs of aging and deterioration and a report was commissioned to identify works and offer solutions. The place was then passed to the newly established Department of Youth Sport and Recreation – later called the Recreation Camps and Reserves Board. The heritage significance of the place was officially confirmed in 1980, when Quaranup was placed on the Register of the National Estate and major works were carried out in the early 1980s. The place was variously leased over the next 30 years, including to R & J Lucas, essentially continuing as a recreational camp facility. Quaranup is still operated on a non-profit basis for use by community organisations, youth groups, schools and service bodies.


Integrity: Moderate Authenticity: High/Moderate




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Heritage TODAY Site visit and Assessment 1999
HA Sunter-Smith (camp warden); "History of Quaranup".
Heritage council of Western Australia assessment for entry on interim basis State Heritage Office 1992

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
9731 Great Southern strategic plan for Maritime heritage tourism. The story of the sea in the South. Report 2010
9728 Quaranup jetty conservation works final report. Conservation works report 2011
11669 Quaranup Complex Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2016
500 Camp Quaranup, Albany, WA : conservation works report. Heritage Study {Other} 1994
11597 Quaranup Recreation Shed Conservation works report 2012
2894 Old quarantine station, Camp Quaranup Albany (Final report). Heritage Study {Other} 1997
1927 Albany and surrounds : data relating to items of heritage significance. Heritage Study {Other} 1980
1434 Camp Quaranup (Former Quarantine Station) : Conservation Plan Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1996
11464 Quaranup Complex: Recreation Shed (Fmr Disinfecting Block) Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 2012
2517 Restoration of the Old Hospital at Camp Quaranup (Old Quarantine Station) Albany : conservation works. Heritage Study {Other} 1993
7370 Conservation works to the powder magazine, Camp Quaranup, Albany (final report). Conservation works report 2005
220 Restoration of the old hospital at Cape Quaranup (old quarantine station) Albany Heritage Study {Other} 1993

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Quarantine Station

Architectural Styles

Federation Bungalow
Victorian Georgian

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall STONE Other Stone

Historic Themes

General Specific
PEOPLE Early settlers
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Racial contact & interaction
OUTSIDE INFLUENCES World Wars & other wars
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Immigration, emigration & refugees

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

11 Mar 2022


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.