Overview : Woodman Point has had a chequered history. It has been a failed settlement, a quarantine station and an explosives reserve. Now a... more »
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Woodman Point has had a chequered history. It has been a failed settlement, a quarantine station and an explosives reserve. Now a... more » regional park, it has become a recreational focal point for people from surrounding areas to enjoy its beautiful beaches, go fishing and enjoy other pursuits.
Woodman Point Regional Park, on a gentle curve of coastline just south of Fremantle, is popular for diving, fishing, sailing, boating, swimming, cycling, walking and picnicking. With its proximity to the beach and jetty, it lures visitors from all over the metropolitan area. less «
Woodman Point Regional Park is located within the City of Cockburn approximately 20km or 30 minutes drive south of Perth City.
Access... more » to the park is via Cockburn Road, with direct access to recreation areas from Poore Grove, Nyyerbup Circuit and O'Kane Court. Car parking is available at Poore Grove, John Graham Recreation Reserve, Woodman Point View and the Jervoise Bay boat launch area. A continuous walking and cycle path along the Cockburn foreshore links the park to Fremantle.
The park is an ideal location to visit in the warmer months between November and March. Attractions include the John Graham Recreation Reserve and numerous historic sites from the period when Woodman Point was used as a Quarantine Station and ammunition store.
John Graham Reserve is the main recreation area and has toilets, car parking, picnic areas, BBQs and play equipment. Disabled access is provided. BBQ and playground facilities are available. less «
One of the park’s main attractions is the Magazine Jetty, about 9km south of Fremantle. With maximum depth of about 7m, it offers an excellent dive site, as long as divers take care to avoid fishing lines dangling on either side of the jetty.
The pier posts are covered with a great variety of invertebrate life. White, purple and pink sponges,... More feather duster worms, lacy stinging hydroids, a variety of anemones, sea stars, colourful nudibranchs, octopuses and other molluscs crowd onto each post, often draped with translucent veils of marine fungi.
At the end of the pier, the marine environment has reclaimed rejected logs and debris of an earlier era. Here, in the deeper water, the larger fish take advantage of the rich source of food. Marine life is particularly diverse on the northern side of the jetty. You’ll find a variety of fish feeding and sheltering among the invertebrates. Old wives, damselfish, leather jackets, blennies, yellowtails and boxfish are all found in large numbers. A profusion of colourful sea stars and sand dollars litter the sand between the posts.Less
In 1942, during the Second World War, three munitions magazines were built to house explosives. The buildings still exist. The munitions magazines have significant heritage value, as no other similar structures were built in Western Australia.
The jetty has been closed until further notice due to storm damage.
The Woodman Point Lighthouse was built in 1902 to replace the Arthur Head Lighthouse. It provided shipping with a safe route via Gage Roads into the newly constructed Fremantle Harbour designed by C Y O'Connor.
Mainly because of the area’s history, Woodman Point has largely been spared from the frequent fires that have ravaged areas of remnant coastal vegetation elsewhere in the metropolitan area. As a result, Woodman Point’s vegetation features mature, well-developed specimens of summer-scented wattle, chenille honey-myrtle and quandong, and the... More creepers native wisteria and old man’s beard. Woodman Point also contains the only remnant stand of the fire-sensitive Rottnest cypress (Callitris preissii) of any size left in the mainland metropolitan area (the only other large population is at Garden Island). The tree’s scientific name commemorates celebrated German botanist Ludwig Preiss, who first collected it from this area in 1839. Visitors to Woodman Point can easily recognise this tree because of its rich green foliage and typical conifer shape. It grows in dense thickets, where individual trees are closely spaced and all of similar height, as any projecting foliage is damaged by the salty coastal winds. Near the coast, Rottnest cypress is usually only about 3-8m high.
Stands of tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) —another tree species that has not fared well in the Perth metropolitan area since European settlement — are also found in a relatively healthy state at Woodman Point Regional Park, at the inland edge of the Rottnest cypress belt.Less
The Aboriginal name for Woodman Point — Nyyerbup — was recorded in November 1848 by Robert Austin. Not much is known about Aboriginal use of the area and there are no recorded archaeological sites, but after European settlement, the area was used for beach camping. Aboriginal people used to collect mussels and catch cobblers there.
Woodman Point... More features in a Dreaming story told by local Nyoongar Trevor Walley. Gumbar Yondock Ancestral Crocodile travelled down from the north and pushed himself onto the land, where his tail cut a deep channel in Cockburn Sound (now known as Gage Roads) and pushed up Rottnest (Wadjemup). The sound of rushing water woke the rainbow serpent (Waugal). Waugal smelled the salt and went out to investigate. A battle between the two pushed up Carnac (Ngooloormayp) Island. At Woodman Point, the Waugal manoeuvred and carved out Jervoise Bay with his tail. Waugal bit the tail of crocodile, who then gave up. Waugal heard the sea water come rushing into the Swan River (stirred up because of all the fighting) and anchored the severed tail across the entrance, using hair from his chin and armpit and the crocodile’s toenails to anchor the tail down. This formed a reef across the Swan River mouth, and it was jagged like the tail of a crocodile (this reef once blocked the mouth of the Swan River at Fremantle, before it was removed to create Fremantle Harbour). Waugal then made crocodile walk back up north whilst its spirit remained as Garden Island. Hence, Garden Island is known as Meeandip Yondock (Yondock with tail missing).
Woodman Point was named in 1827 by Captain James Stirling after Thomas Woodman, the Purser of the HMS Success. Between 1829 and 1830, 495 people arrived aboard three ships, the Gilmore, Hooghley and Rockingham, to settle on the peninsula. They set up makeshift camp under primitive conditions at ‘Clarence’, founded by entrepreneur Thomas Peel when he arrived at the Swan River Colony too late to receive fertile land along the river. In the first year, 40 settlers died of scurvy, dysentery and other ailments and a further six died during childbirth. The settlement was a failure and was soon deserted.Less
Woodman Point Recreation Camp first opened in 1979 when the then government purchased the site from the Commonwealth Quarantine Service for use as a recreation camp.
The State Government operated the camp with minimal staff until early 2004, when the Department of Sport and Recreation realised that the camping environment presented opportunities... More to address the fitness and health of all Western Australians. To this end, a new management regime of full-time professional staff was appointed and a large range of recreational programs were introduced. In 2006 a large renovation program began. This included fire protection systems to all buildings on site, new sewerage, re-wiring of all buildings, a new underground electrical supply and all buildings were re-clad.
Woodman Point offers a wide range of accommodation, catering for all types of groups and budgets. For administration and bookings contact 9492 9999
Managed by the Department of Sport and Recreation and completed in October 2007, the Woodman Point adventure training centre, known as 'The CUBE' is an modern, innovative roping facility designed for all ages and abilities. Activities available include rock climbing, climbing elements, high ropes and abseiling from several heights both indoors and... More outdoors and a 120m long flying fox. Located next to the Recreation Oval, the CUBE has catered for groups of all ages and abilities from local sporting and community groups, workplace adventures for teachers and companies and to special needs groups, such as the Association for the Blind and MS Society.
The CUBE has both indoor and outdoor activities, allowing for programs in all weather. The CUBE has an office, separate briefing room, change rooms, ablution facilities and personal storage space. Activities can range from basic participation in floor-based team-building activities, through to training for abseiling, high-rope courses and rock climbing. All programs are delivered by highly-trained and experienced instructors registered with the National Outdoor Leaders Registration Scheme.Less
In 1876, a few hectares at the tip of Woodman Point were designated as a quarantine station to isolate people arriving by sea who had contracted infectious diseases. The first recorded use of the station was in December 1886, by 127 passengers from the ship Elderslie, as there were two cases of scarlet fever aboard. An isolation hospital was one... More of the earliest buildings constructed in the park (1886 or later). An adjacent area of 170ha, which had been gazetted a quarantine ground for stock, was used extensively in 1897 when cattle diseases broke out in the Kimberley.
In 1903, the quarantine station for people was enlarged. A tramline ran from the isolation hospital to a morgue and crematorium, used to dispose of bodies of unfortunate people who died of smallpox, leprosy, bubonic plague or other diseases. When the area was in active quarantine, yellow flags would be flown and the gates kept closed.
After 1918, the quarantine station was used to process returning servicemen and new buildings were constructed for this purpose. The ‘Fumigation Block’ was built in 1923 and contained a boiler room, which generated steam for fumigation of luggage and clothing. Internees and Prisoners of War during the Second World War were placed in the ‘Asiatics Quarters’. Machine gun towers are said to have stood near the beach to deter attempts to escape. The crematorium was last used in 1943, when four soldiers died of smallpox.
During the 1950s, thousands of immigrants passed through the quarantine station on the day of their arrival in Australia, to have their clothes and luggage fumigated as a safeguard against accidental introduction of foot-and-mouth disease. However, the quarantine station closed in 1979. It is now the Woodman Point Recreation Camp managed by the Department of Sport and Recreation.
Two hour interpretive tours are conducted by Friends of Woodman Point Recreation Camp at a cost of $10 per person. Tours are available on weekdays or weekends (morning or afternoon teas provided).
For bookings phone 0412 987 478 or e-mail Friends@woodmanpointquarantinestation.comLess
Public boat-launching facilities and private sailing clubs were established on the southern coast of Woodman Point after 1980.
The boat launch ramp at Jervoise Bay is one of the most valued in Perth, offering excellent access to Cockburn Sound and to nearby islands.