On ABC Saturday Breakfast we discovered Port Kennedy and Secret Harbour. There’s no port and there’s no harbour. But there’s still a lot to do and for us to talk about.
When I was a boy, the area was wild and the only inhabitants were an odd collective of shack owners and my girlfriends family had a holiday shack at what was then known as Long Point and the sandy track needed a real four drive to get out there.
I tried desperately to reach her in my Ford Escort and failed miserably. Merrilee’s dad had to come and rescue the little Escort from a sandy grave.
These days there are boat ramps, golf courses and a golf pro shop that is unique in Australia as the only golf pro shop to sell pies and sausage rolls. They’re not made by Titleist or Callaway, these are freshly delivered by the Pinjarra Bakery! You can buy a few new tees for your golf bag and sneak a sausage roll into the side pocket. Just don’t drop your crumbs on the green.
Port Kennedy has a Leopard tank! Nearly 10 metres long and 42 tonnes of steel tracks, turret and gun barrel. A bunch of these steel behemoths were gifted to communities across WA and expect to see them on your travels through our towns, including Esperance, Geraldton and Bunbury but this is a great stop during your trip to Port Kennedy and Secret Harbour and I know it’s not quite a battleship but sitting on the barrel like Cher makes a great photo.
The tanks never left our shores, never fired a shot in anger and were used to train army personnel and feature in exciting tv recruitment advertisements.
Scientific Park sits alongside the sea from Long Point and extends down to Secret Harbour. From a science perspective the area provides a record of sea level and shoreline changes going back 7,000 years and from a visitor perspective the park is one of the Bush Forever sites that we last talked about when we discussed Mirrabooka so low impact recreation is allowed, like walking on paths and not running up and down the dunes.
Our good friend and activity, geocaching, is also on offer in the Scientific Park. Download a geocaching app and see what you can find in Scientific Park and also in nearby Lagoon Park where you can also usually find some black swans hanging around.
Remember when playgrounds were just at the corner of ovals and featured a steel slide that even in winter had families using them as barbeques?
There are lots of good playgrounds around Perth but this summer, for a daytrip with your kids or the grandkids, the day can kick off with a bang at the Harbour Playground. There are big things to climb up, jump off, scramble through and swing down and has an underwater theme with seaweed ropes, whirlpool nets and a giant octopus guarding its lair.
It’s a very accessible playground for kids with disability and the interpretive signage is also written in braille. It’s great to see councils investing in playgrounds that capture inclusiveness as well as imagination.
It is a great warm up act before walking through the dunes to the beach less than a minute’s walk away.
Would you like to meet the surf lifesaving crew with the biggest smiles in Perth? The Secret Harbour Surf Life Saving Club.
One of the reasons is that one of their members is 81-year-old Alan who joined as a young ‘un when he was 73. Rebecca runs the Nippers down there and is famous for training her up and coming lifesavers to never stop smiling, even when people are doing the wrong thing on a beach that is famous for always having waves. Thanks for calling into the show Rebecca!
Secret Harbour is renowned for having the only beach in Perth that has waves all year round that is perfect for skim boarders, boogie boarders, beginner and professional surfers. It’s a very popular beach on Boxing Day for debuting for all those Christmas present boogie boards.
It’s a wide beach that’s nearly 6 kilometres long so plenty of room for everyone to relax, paddle, splash and smash without getting in the way of other people.
Port Kennedy and Secret Harbour have Rockingham to the north and Mandurah to the south. Both of those destinations are loved by Western Australians for the fishing and other aquatic activities from boats, jetties and beaches.
Port Kennedy and Secret Harbour are a Hidden Treasure because if you spend some time there this summer, between the two bordering tourist hot spots of Rockingham and Mandurah, you’ll find a quieter spot and you’ll find a car spot closer to the beach and playgrounds and you’ll also find a great pie from a golf pro shop, just don’t walk in there with sandy feet.