Point Walter

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Point Walter viewed from across the river, in Mosman Park

Point Walter is a point in the Swan River, Western Australia. It is located on the southern shore and forms the western end of Melville Water. Point Walter is located in the suburb of Bicton and is on the opposite side of the river to the suburbs of Mosman Park, Peppermint Grove, and Dalkeith. It is popularly used for kitesurfing, windsurfing, fishing, passive recreation, swimming, diving courses[1] and picnicking.[2] Point Walter was named in 1827 by Sir James Stirling, in honour of his favourite older brother, Walter Stirling.[citation needed]

The Sandbar[edit]

Point Walter is notable for the sand bar or spit that extends over 1 km into the river, sections of which often submerge under high water. The Sandbar is a prevalent in Dreamtime of the local Aboriginals, the Beeliar family, who were part of the Whadjuk Noongars. The group believed the Sandbar was the hair of the Charnok woman Junda. The nearby cliffs at Blackwall Reach were her footprints. The Charnok woman is said to have carried spirit children in her hair, who, when they fell out, formed rock. When she reached Wave Rock, she jumped off it into the sky, with her hair forming the milky way and the spirit children forming the stars. The area was known to Aboriginals as Dyoondalup/Dyundalup, meaning in Noongar 'Place of Long Flowing White Hair' or 'Place of white sand'.[3] Blackwall Reach is known to the Aboriginals as Jenalup, a word meaning 'The Place Where Feet Make a Track.' It was a woman's place, and when the group wanted to move to another part of the river, the men would swim across the river to the sandbank, where they would meet the women, as it was a meeting place.[4]

The Sandbar is home to the nesting grounds of several bird species. They include the Pied Oystercatchers, the Red-Capped Plovers, Black Swans and the Fairy Tern. The local government has made a conservation effort with the campaign 'Don't Buzz That Bird', telling people not to get too close to them.[5]

Events and Infrastructure[edit]

Port Walter viewed from Freshwater Bay, Claremont

It is the site of various cultural monuments and activities, including a war memorial avenue and the free Point Walter concert, featuring people such as James Morrison.[6] In the past the venue has hosted the 'YAC it up', which featured Birds of Tokyo and Bob Evans.[7][8] Point Walter also contains Walters River Café.[9]

Point Walter also contains the Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre, a centre initially set up as a migrant camp in 1948 until 1972, when it was used by the Education department as a home for the Graylands Teachers College. Since the 1980 take over by the Ministry for Youth, Sport and Recreation, it has been run as a recreation camp. It received a renovation in 1986 in which the migrant camp buildings were destroyed, and after reopening it hosted members of the Costa Smerelda Yacht Club - an Italian Syndicate that was part of the American Cup held in Fremantle. It was again refurbished in 2005 through funding from the DRS Capital Woks Program.[10]

Erosion[edit]

In 2012 Natural Area Management was contracted by the City of Melville to undergo reversal of erosion that had occurred over the last 10 years due to losses of beaches and grassed areas, factors aided by the undercutting of tree roots. Through finishing initial works in 2013, the area was completed in early 2014.[2]

References[edit]

  • Melville (W.A. : Municipality). Council.(2004) Blackwall Reach and Point Walter Bushland management plan Booragoon, W.A.: City of Melville.
  • Turner, Ric (1986) Point Walter : a history from corroboree to cup for Western Australian Government, Department for Sport and Recreation. Floreat Park [W.A.]

External links[edit]

  • [1] Point Walter Reserve Bookings.

Coordinates: 32°00′40″S 115°47′12″E / 32.0112°S 115.7866°E / -32.0112; 115.7866