Matilda Bay

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Matilda bay towards the city

Matilda Bay (known earlier as Crawley Bay, Sutherland's Bay[1] and Eliza Bay) is a natural bay in the Swan River in Western Australia, adjacent to the Perth suburb of Crawley. It extends from Pelican Point to Mounts Bay Road below Kings Park.

The University of Western Australia is immediately opposite. Other landmarks on Matilda Bay include Matilda Bay Restaurant,[2] Pelican Point Sea Scouts, Royal Perth Yacht Club and Mounts Bay Yacht Club.

A well-known bronze sculpture that is located at the site of the former Crawley BathsEliza is displayed just offshore from Mounts Bay Road and depicts a woman preparing to dive.

Matilda Bay Reserve is a recreational parkland between Hackett Drive and the river. It includes Pelican Point which is an important breeding sanctuary for migratory birds.

Matilda Bay is believed to have been named after the wife of John Septimus Roe, Matilda (née Bennett).[3]


Crawley Bay in the 1890s. Originally part of Currie's land grant, it was later sold to Henry Sutherland and in 1910 acquired by the state. In 1922 it was vested in the University of Western Australia.

Captain Currie was the first colonial owner of the 32-acre (130,000 m2) estate surrounding the bay, and during this time it was known as Eliza Bay. Pelican Point was then known as Point Currie. The estate was sold in 1832 to the Assistant Surveyor and Colonial Treasurer, Henry Sutherland for ₤100. Sutherland changed the property name to Crawley Park in memory of his mother's maiden name[4][5] and the bay hence became Crawley Bay. The estate was acquired by the Government in 1910[6] and vested in the University of Western Australia in 1922.[1]

The US Navy had a fleet of Catalina flying boats based at Matilda Bay during World War II.[7]

In 1943, Qantas operated five Catalina flying boats between Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Matilda Bay in what was known as the Double Sunrise service.[8]

Image gallery[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Crawley Bay (Matilda Bay, Crawley), Perth, Western Australia". Australian National University. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "By Stream and Surf.". Western Mail. Perth: National Library of Australia. 25 November 1937. p. 15. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  4. ^ "Shenton House". UWA. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Brain, Alison V.(2001) Crawley Park and its occupants, 1829-1910. Early days, Vol.12, pt.1 (2001), p.39-46
  6. ^ "PARLIAMENT.". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 8 September 1910. p. 7. Retrieved 13 January 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Catalina Base". The University of Western Australia, Archives and Records Management Services. Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  8. ^ "WORLD'S LONGEST AIR HOP TO BE "KANGAROO SERVICE".". The Argus. Melbourne: National Library of Australia. 7 August 1944. p. 2. Retrieved 29 December 2010. 

External links[edit]

  • Recent aerial photos by Richard Woldendorp [1]
  • Earlier photographs of the Supermarina Southampton II flying boats by Reg Lambert [2] and Izzy Orloff of the same planes in 1928 [3]

Coordinates: 31°58′50″S 115°49′26″E / 31.98056°S 115.82389°E / -31.98056; 115.82389