Matilda Bay - Crawlwy Bay - Western Australia


GPS 31 58 41.00S115 49 16.54 E




Toilets available Wheel chair access provided Tables and / or seats and / or shelters provided Fire places or BBQs available Pets allowed on leash Boat launching possible Swimming allowed Fishing allowed (some sites may require a freshwater license.) Sight seeing area Push bike trails Walk trails Phone access nearby Unpowered water craft allowed Authorised parking facilities Day use site only - no camping




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Matilda Bay was named after the wife of John Roe, the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia.

The park is located by the Swan River opposite the University of Western Australia and is a popular recreation spot close to the city of Perth .

Prior to European settlement it was an area of significance to the Aborigines due to the presence of hot water springs, water holes and abundant fish life in the river.

Originally taken up as part of a land grant to Capt. Currie in 1829, ownership passed to Henry Sutherland in 1837. Sutherland built a 2 storey house that was to eventually be incorporated into the university. In 1875 ownership passed to George Shenton and in 1910 the state government resumed the land for public recreation and the foreshore area became a camp ground.


Tramway - Perth to Nedlands - Lost Perth Facebook page


A tramway once ran from the city along the river to Nedlands Baths.

In 1914 much of the original land grant was incorporated into the university and the original house became quarters for the School of Engineering. Later it housed the University Chaplain.


Nedlands hot pool - Lost Perth Facebook page


From the 1920s to the 1940s the site changed dramatically due to dredging and landfill works. During WWII the reserve was used for military purposes and two bases for catalina flying boats were established in the Crawley area.


Catalina base Crawley Bay WWII - Lost Perth Facebook page


Today the reserve houses yacht and rowing clubs plus a restaurant and kiosk. Perth Dinghy Sailing Club was originally established near Barrack Street Jetty in 1903 and moved to Matilda Bay in 1960. Royal Perth Yacht Club, also originally located near Barrack Street, moved to Matilda Bay in 1953. A third sailing club to use the area (Mounts Bay Sailing Club) was established in 1897.

Other groups to use the area included 2 rowing clubs and a Sea Scouts group.

The two swimming jetties at Crawley Bay will be very familiar to those people who have used the area as will the brown spotted and clear jellyfish that inhabit the waters of the bay. Few, however, will remember the Crawley Baths that date from 1910.


Crawley Baths - Lost Perth Facebook page



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