The area was formerly an undeveloped piece of land but has since been redeveloped to include walkways, a playground and an area to naturally treat stormwater as well as an interpretive area for environmental education. The whole precinct hasn’t been finished yet and there are plans earmarked for bars, restaurants and cafes at this picturesque and central location as well.
The main feature here is the artificial wetlands accessed by a series of inter-connecting boardwalks which serves a number of purposes. Stormwater and runoff is collected from an 18 hectare area of East Perth and channelled into the settling ponds. The native reeds and plant filter the water before it makes its way into the Swan River, helping to preserve Perth’s iconic river. The birdlife here is amazing and shows that with a bit of thought and care, the river right in the middle of a city, can be a haven for wildlife.
Interpretive works spread throughout the area giving an insight into the environmental, historical and indigenous significance and perspective of the area. The Noongar history goes back millennia and this area was a site of importance for fishing and hunting. The western history associated with this area goes back to 1827 when Charles Fraser, a colonial botanist, explored the area. The interpretive works relay information into both the western and aboriginal outlook of this important site.
The playground is very well appointed. Large futuristic umbrella structures cover and shade the main play area. There are the usual climbing frames and web structures. The play area is set on two levels so the kids have a slide and mini climbing wall to move up and down from the different levels. As well as the usual play equipment there is a wheelchair swing for those less mobile. The key for the liberty swing is held by ‘Access Bike Hire’ which is a short stroll from the play area. Bikes and multi seat trikes can be hired here as well. So this also makes for a convenient place to explore the riverside all the way to the Bell Tower and beyond.
There is plenty of lawn area around the BBQs to relax and take in views of Heirisson Island and across the river to South Perth. A drinking fountain is also available but the area only has portable toilets at present.
All in all, it’s a little hidden gem right in the middle of our city. Mostly uncrowded and quiet and a great option if you are stuck in the city and want to have a little peace and tranquillity during your lunchtime or perhaps a starting point for a bike ride around the river. The area will only get better and more developed so pop down and enjoy it.