ABC Saturday Breakfast: Hidden Treasures in the streets, trails and hills of Armadale

A full studio, full of fun with Ro, Molly, Matilda and Tom all part of the action. How cool is the ABC? Participating in making great programs and having my kids watching it all come together is very special. For this edition of Hidden Treasures we recounted the recent experience of a trip to Armadale that included Tom and his mate Nick.

Armadale is tucked up against the south eastern corner of Perth.  This side of the hills but right on the edge of them.

With our Hidden Treasures we often talk about one of the characteristics of a Hidden Treasure being that they’re often bypassed or driven through at a great rate of knots.

Armadale is a great example of a suburb that gets driven through a lot that is worth slowing down for and having a look around.

It was always the first taste of the city for me when we’d make the drive up in the Toyota Crown.  You’d hit those first traffic lights and be in awe of the city traffic and annoyed that Mum hadn’t stopped at the Pioneer Village. I always wanted my picture on one of those ‘Wanted’ posters.

It’s become Perth’s version of Melbourne’s Daylesford. Lots of places with the words wellness, calming, spiritual, organic and retreat in their names.

Ro loves her sport and so let’s start at the Champion Lakes Regatta Centre.  If you’ve ever wondered when flying into Perth what that big rectangular area of water is, it’s the home of rowing and there’s even a beach and some good walking and cycling tracks around the lake.  Remember, rowers row early if you want to catch the action.

Armadale Visitor Centre – lots of information and free maps with walking trails for trekkers, families and dogs. There’s also local produce including chutneys, jams, pickles and …. lemon butter!

Bert Tyler Vintage Machinery Museum has really well restored and refurbished agricultural machinery and there’s even a Furphy water cart.

The History House Museum has some good recognition exhibits of Aboriginal history in the district and also some very cool old harpsichords, pianos and organs with musical links to many of the old churches in the area.

Urban Art Trail – big murals by local and international artists.  How cool are murals? This is a walking tour through the urban heart of Armadale that has identified tired old spaces and turned them into breathtaking, inspiring places.

Heritage Tree Trail – Lou from the Armadale Visitor Centre has written the Heritage Tree Trail Guide that takes you on an urban walk to 13 of the best-looking senior flora citizens in Armadale.  There’s a Sugar Gum planted in 1910, Moreton Bay Figs planted in 1890, a Jarrah tree more than 500 years old, a carob tree which is the sole survivor of an orchard back in 1900 and lots of others all waiting for you to give them a big hug.

30km’s of Bridal Trails in Darling Downs, which isn’t an old 1950’s radio serial, it’s a horse inspired residential area in the southern Armadale area. (properties connected by the bridal trails.

Brackenridge Village and Retro Rescue Antiques and Collectibles is one of those shops where you keep saying, “I used to have this!”  I looked at the Skippy melamine cup and plate and was thrown back to my childhood having a vegemite sandwich and apple juice.  From daleks to car badges, glow mesh purses to optic fibre lamps, this store has more than enough for anyone who loves the stuff we used to have.

Locke View Poultry Zoo requires a call before you visit.  Astrid was kind enough to allow myself, Tom and his mate Nick to visit unannounced … but only after I made Tom and Nick clean out the cages and move a load of firewood. 

Astrid showed the boys some quails as they were hatching and how she helps the little chickens who are born unable to walk.  She makes little braces with bandaids and is a lot easier than making little crutches out of toothpicks.  She had such an impact on Tom that he is no longer saving his allowance for Nintendo games, he wants chickens.

Canns Road and Soldiers Road are part of the Armadale Hills Scenic Drive.  On the map you think you’ll take about half an hour to get from one end to the other but you end up taking three hours as, along the roadside, are signs that say, ‘Honey Here’, ‘Fresh Persimmons’ and other local produce as well as kangaroos that are paid by the Armadale Visitor Centre to sit in the bushland of Wungong Regional Park and wait for you to stop and get out of your car for a photo before skipping away.

Armadale is a hidden treasure within a hidden treasure.  There’s a lot that’s easy to discover in the heart of Armadale but if you take the time to get up to the hills and onto some winding backroads you’ll find even more treasure.

ABC Saturday Breakfast: Hidden Treasures discovers a shipwreck and how many rocks it takes to name a suburb

King Neptune from Perth’s iconic past … the Atlantis Marine Park

Click on the link below for a Hidden Treasures discussion about unexploded ordnance, a shipwreck, an icon and a suburb that’s more like a town:

Hidden Treasures recently crossed the fine line that exists between a ‘Sunday drive’ and a ‘road trip’. 

On this episode of Hidden Treasures on ABC Saturday Breakfast, Ro and I walked up and down dunes and along windswept beaches to find a shipwreck, find lost statues from Perth’s iconic past and find out how many rocks it takes to name a suburb.

How many suburbs in Perth would you find an internet description that says; 

“Large sections of the suburb are fenced off due to unexploded ordnance left behind from past military activity in the area.” 

How many Perth beachside suburbs would have a beach sign at a prominent lookout spot that warns of;

“No lifesaving service, steep stairs, dangerous current, submerged rocks, dumping waves and snakes.”

Welcome to Two Rocks. Perth ends here.

Two Rocks is the furthest northern extent of the Perth metropolitan area.  It’s over 60 kilometres from the Swan River.  Its better-known neighbour, Yanchep, is 7 kilometres to the south.

It’s a big suburb, more than 50 square kilometres with the suburb’s population living in just 2.3 square kilometres.

Two Rocks has a distinct feel.  It’s more like a seaside town than a suburb.  There are dinghy’s on street verges.  Flotsam and jetsam gathered after storms adorn the verandas of houses like some sort of trophy collection. In the southern suburbs we hang Christmas lights. Up here, they hang what the sea has hurled at them.

The adorning doesn’t stop there.  To complete the seaside town impression, many of the street poles have opportunistic handwritten signs selling a local service or seasonal produce.  Octopus is a current favourite for $20kg! I’m sure when the time is right there are signs that say, “Crays 4 Sale”.  Not lobsters.  Crays.

Not a bad price. I think it would be better to just say ‘Occy’

As you head up Two Rocks Road turn left at ‘The Spot’.  It’s a sandy track to the best left-hand break surf spot we’re allowed to talk about.  It takes a bit of paddling to get out to the break and if the waves are more than a metre there’s normally a rip.

As I drive into carpark at ‘The Spot’ I feel like a new cowboy in town swinging open the saloon doors.  All heads turn to look at this Narrogin plated vehicle that takes the last bay at the end of the line.  Tying my car up to the rail I turn and see that the faces are all still turned towards me.  Not only do I have Narrogin number plates but I’m wearing a flannelette shirt.

The black steamer wet suit clad lads give me a “G’Day” and I give one back and then we’re all friends, talking about the conditions and which way I need to trek to find the Alex T Brown, a shipwreck that reveals herself differently each season, depending on the wind and tides. 

The track from the car park to the shipwreck of the Alex T Brown

The Alex T Brown was a 65m, four masted schooner that blew ashore on this day(29 May) in 1917. Many parts of its hull and rigging can be found in Two Rocks and Yanchep, including the Yanchep Inn.  For my visit, I found a long line of metal rivets attached to a beam, possibly the backbone of the hull.  I sat next to the wreck, looking out to sea for a while before the trudge back to my mates in the carpark, a round trip of about 700 metres through up and down dunes and very soft beach.

A schooner lies here, the Alex T Brown

From the history of the sea to the history of iconic Perth let’s head to the lightly wooded and weed entangled paths of the old Atlantis Marine Park and make our way to King Neptune who sits on top of a small hill with a big smile and an impressive trident held in his mighty limestone hands.

Atlantis Marine Park was the place to go throughout the 1980’s.  Built at the beginning of the 80’s and closed at the end of them.  There were dolphin shows and lots of water related adventures that involved tubes, mats and slides while wearing a pair of stubbies, a terry towelling hat and no sunscreen.

These days the remains of the park rival anything you’ll find in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt.  As well as King Neptune you can be an amateur Perth cultural icon archaeologist and discover statues of dugongs, narwhales and elephant seals and if that’s not enough statue action for you, head up to the gardens at the local tavern and you’ll find many other marine themed statues that were in the park.

Check out the local bakery and cafes that overlook the marina.  It’s a great spot to hold a coffee in one hand, pastie in the other and watch boats being launched and retrieved, old hulls being sanded and kids fishing from the marina jetty.

From the Tavern, cafes or bakery, it’s a great view of the action in the marina

Are there two rocks in Two Rocks?

There are definitely a couple of very impressive rocks that are at either end of the beach that begins at Wreck Point and then further up the beach at the Marina end.  The rock off Wreck Point has a raggedy hole that is a photographers dream in any weather.  The beach allows dogs and it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to walk to the other end where this bigger rock is a bit like a bridge with a tunnel at the bottom, that allows the breaking waves to impressively spray from. 

One rock
The other rock

Two Rocks is a hidden treasure because it’s a suburb that doesn’t feel like a suburb. It feels like the seaside town you used to visit and wish you could get back to.  You can.  It’s called Two Rocks. Perth ends here.

ABC Saturday Breakfast Hidden Treasures: Midland … the end of line and loving it.

The Amazing Ro Edwards on ABC Saturday Breakfast, getting Perth up and about every weekend

Ro Edwards on ABC Saturday Breakfast is getting Perth up and about every weekend and being a part of her show is exciting and a lot of fun. Our program Hidden Treasures is making a habit of discovering places that have always been there but maybe you just haven’t stopped there before.

Midland was originally proclaimed and named as Midland Junction in 1891 because it is the junction of major roads leading to Perth from the north and east.

Midland is the suburb where many adventures begin as travellers head east on Great Eastern Highway, or north on the Great Northern Highway, and it’s where travellers to Perth give a big sigh and say, “We’ve made it.”

Midland is the end of the line.  Literally.  The eastern metropolitan train line starts from Perth and finishes in Midland. Although I reckon that most Midland locals are adamant that the train line actually starts in Midland and finishes in Perth, making Perth the end of the line.

It’s the railway that is as connected to the community and history of Midland as a carriage on the tracks. 

I once had a conversation with the Sultan of Johor about his favourite town in Johor, called Muar.  He wanted Muar to be like Melacca, just up the road to the north.

I said ‘I’ve been to Melacca. I’ve been to Muar. They are both great.  Why do you want Muar to be like another town just up the road?  Why would you go to the trouble of becoming like something else that you then have to compete with anyway? Be yourself.  Be known for your history and build on that.’

I thought it was pretty good advice and so did he.

Midland is a bit like Muar. It’s not the best house in the street but it’s got really good residents who are really proud of showing off what they’ve got. Up the road there’s the historical glitz and glamour of Guildford, off to the north there’s the Swan Valley vineyards to sozzle your senses and over the back fence to the east are the hills of the escarpment, overlooking Midland.

Like so many of our Hidden Treasures, it’s not that you have to dig deep to find the treasure, you just have to know where to look.

Let’s stick with the history bit first, move through what you can do now, eat out of an old lunchbox and finish with a sport that’s huge in Midland and America.

For history, anyone who has driven out that way would know about the Midland Town Hall. 

Midland Town Hall

It’s impressive and always feels like you’re going to drive into it as you head along Great Eastern Highway which takes a gentle curve to the right as you drive past this great building is Midlands most recognisable building. Just like the road in front of it, it’s got a gorgeous curve to it that makes it not just impressive as Federation architecture but it’s charming and elegant.  With the addition of the clock atop its dome serving as a memorial to local men who lost their lives in war, it’s also a reminder of the sacrifice made by those men and their loss to the community.

After a Mayoral Ball to mark completion of renovations, it’s now a popular cabaret venue and hall for hire (which isn’t as dodgy as it sounds).

The Midland Railway Workshops were the burning, molten metal heart of Midland.  You could hear the work being done for nearly a hundred years by a workforce that came from all over Perth but mostly came from the surrounding streets of Midland.  These days, a walk through and around the sheds is remarkable. 

Midland Railway Sheds

They are towering buildings with big industrial doors and windows and while they’re industrial buildings they are beautiful, magnificent and inspiring.  In the years ahead they may become spaces for sport, for the arts, for movie studios, for many things but for now just get out there and enjoy exploring these big buildings that built trains and rolling stock are also a photographers dream in any light.

Midland Railway Sheds

Trillion Trees partners with the ABC tv series Fight for Planet A and the nursery grows more than 200,000 seedlings each year and is a great oasis to wander around and purchase some native plants from volunteers from a range of diverse backgrounds and employment training programs. They’re also working with local schools, including Woodbridge Primary School and Moorditj Noongar College, teaching the kids about cultural ecology.

The Midland Junction Arts Centre is the cultural heart of Midland provides workshops for all ages, has three galleries, workspaces for artists and want-to-be artists and works really hard to engage the community in creative ways.  A huge range of workshops are available including after school ceramics for the kids, life drawing for the adults and tactile tours for participants with disability to experience the arts through discussion and touch.

Blue Beautiful Exhibition at the Midland Junction Arts Centre (Yes you can have a slushy! Beat that Banksy!)

The Robot Bun Factory is an example of the quirky cafes springing up all over Midland, some selling records and bric-a-brac, others selling local art but when a café gets you coming back you know it’s not just about the robots and free board games, it’s about bao buns served in 1950’s style tin lunch boxes and a local crew doing their best to put a funky pin in the map of Midland.

There’s always action at the Robot Bun Factory Cafe

The Midland Farmers Markets are one of the oldest markets with the freshest fruit and vege produce alongside live music and pickles, cakes and jams. The next one is tomorrow and its out the front of the City of Swan offices on Market Square.

While Guildford has the antique shops, Midland has second hand shops and charity shops that are a rummagers delight and my teenage daughter Matilda’s obsession as she searches high and low for clothes or diligently and silently flicks her way through boxes of old records.

Watch some baseball or teeball at Charlie Hodder Baseball Field.  Baseball has a rich history going back to the 1940s and a rich competition that is great fun to watch in the stands with a hot dog.

Photo courtesy of the Swan District Baseball Club

Midland is a hidden treasure because it’s not trying to be like something else.  Surrounded by glamourous neighbours, it has dug its heels in and supported by a rich rail history, they are building a community and attracting visitors for the art and culture, fresh produce, funky cafes, collections of charity shops and sport you might have only seen before in the movies and on tv.

ABC Perth Saturday Breakfast: Hidden Treasures Visits Coogee

The Coogee Hotel … now the Coogee Common

Coogee was a great suburb to explore and discuss on Hidden Treasures for ABC Saturday Breakfast. Ro and I flicked back and forth between the then and the now and it’s what I love most about Coogee because what was once horrible is now wonderful.

ABC Saturday Breakfast with Roanna Edwards

Coogee is a coastal suburb just to south of Fremantle and north of Kwinana and is very small for suburban Perth, just over 3sqm which makes it smaller than its northern coastal strip suburban cousin, Cottesloe.

If you’d been driving through Coogee on Cockburn Road in the 1970’s and even the 1980’s and someone in the car had said, “You know, all this will be a hidden treasure one day”, you most likely would have laughed and said they were crazy. 

Driving along Cockburn Road in 2021 and it’s a very different story.  From shipwrecks to colonial remnants this is a suburb that has gone from the need to quickly wind up your car window (remember those?!) to block the smell of Robbs Jetty and the skin drying sheds, to walking through fragrant vegetable gardens and olive trees and being welcomed by bees more interested in pollinating carrot and caper bush flowers than angrily protecting their domain.

Let’s start with the best shed in Perth. Technically it’s in neighbouring Munster but its such a great place to start and is just off Stock Road.  It’s called Barn Finds and is a big rusty shed full of everything old you ever imagined could ever have been made.  From a huge World War Two floating mine, to kids tricycles, cool drink signs, tools and toys it is packed and time here to explore and rummage is recommended along with the consideration of a tetanus booster but we’re all used to a jab to protect us these days!

Barn Finds in Munster, just off Stock Road

Lake Coogee between Stock Road and Cockburn Road has good walking tracks around the lake and there are also some interesting remnants of two Pensioner Guards cottages and a well, from where many of the Pensioner Guards settled around 1876 after their service to their colony.

Sticking with the remnant part historic Coogee are the limestone kilns on Cockburn Road that were built around 1900 when the thriving industry of extracting lime for building and agriculture purposes was good work for most men in the district.

Lake Coogee
Historic Lime Kilns

The Coogee coast has always been pristine and from Woodman Point right up to the border with South Fremantle where the old power station is, you’ll find great beach fishing, great picnic facilities and tuck shops, jetty’s for jumping off, a shipwreck called the Omeo and the adjacent snorkelling trail that is just a twenty meters off shore and Perth’s best and most accessible snorkelling attraction, and a stretch of brilliant white beach and calm water that is perfect for a day of sunbathing or swimming until the sun goes down behind Garden Island on the horizon.

Steps to the Omeo, just 20 metres offshore

Just a couple of minutes walk from the Omeo is the marina with a series of boardwalk style cafes where you can sit and play, “I’d have that one” as you point at a boat you like the most.

The Coogee lookout has one of the best vantage points in Perth and on the clear day that I was there recently I could see Rottnest, Carnac and Garden Island, down to Rockingham, across to the hills of the escarpment, up to the Perth CBD and across to the harbour cranes of Fremantle.

Finally, I want to take you to the Coogee Hotel, built and completed in the early 1900’s and from being a local watering hole it later became a orphanage before lying derelict for the second half of the 20th Century.

It’s now heritage listed and been renovated and operates as the proud, beating heart of Coogee, the Coogee Common.

There’s a restaurant and lounge bar and private dining rooms that are decorated in the style of days gone by but it’s the gardens that are the star of Coogee Common.  Not only will you see the staff wandering around the garden snipping and picking bits and pieces for your brunch or lunch but you can wander the gardens or if you’re lucky, get a tour with Scott the owner. 

He showed me rows of veges and creeping caper bushes, he helped Tom overcome his fear of bees by showing him their hives, nestled in amongst a row of olive trees and rosemary bushes.  He showed me barrels of olives, stalks of kale, the fruit of the prickly pear which I remember fondly from trips to Puglia in Italy and he showed me a loofah which I just thought was a bath sponge but is a species of cucumber.  He gave Tom some seeds so as well as Toms passion for companion planting he can now grow his own bath sponges which I’m hoping may encourage him to bathe more often.

Coogee Common garden
The garden is full of hard workers
Wherever you look there is produce ready for your plate

Coogee Common is one of those places that during it, you’re already planning your next visit.

Vegetarian options are the standout meals because of the fresh produce from the garden but being presented with Fremantle sardines and the option of fish of the day caught off Rottnest earlier in the morning just puts a smile on your face.

So there you have it.  What was once a horror drive through smells and sights that aren’t easily forgotten have been beaten into submission by the new smells and sights of Coogee. 

I also learnt from Tom, who must have learnt it from Scott at Coogee Common about companion planting.  Evidently there are good planting companions like apples and chives or sunflowers and cucumbers but there are also bad companions like wormwood which doesn’t like all other plants.

So Coogee makes it as one of my favourite hidden treasures because it has transformed itself and I want to go back with family and friends and do it all again.

ABC Saturday Breakfast: Hidden Treasures in Mirrabooka

The Shaping Futures Mural

For Hidden Treasures on ABC Saturday Breakfast, Ro and I discussed Mirrabooka. While it was sad to have to phone in for the show, rather than the scheduled Outside Broadcast at Mirrabooka Square, it was a good opportunity to share with listeners just what a great community and range of activities, and food, can be found in Mirrabooka.

Mirrabooka is only around 12 kilometres north of the Perth CBD.  At its core is a population that makes it one of Australia’s most culturally diverse areas with more than 50 nationalities calling Mirrabooka home.

Mirrabooka doesn’t have an iconic pub or historical landmark and there isn’t a drawcard that is likely to feature on a postcard but that’s not what a hidden treasure is.  A hidden treasure is something you need to discover that you value and want others to value.

I haven’t spent enough time in Mirrabooka to know if cultural diversity is what best defines the community but I know from growing up in a small regional community and working in regional communities across Western Australia what to look for when I’m trying to find a heartbeat, searching for a soul and finding stuff to do.

Let me tell you a little story of a recent Mirrabooka experience.  My son Tom and I visited a local treasure last weekend, the Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant.  It’s run by a family and we met the father who greeted us and the daughter who served us and here’s the point;  when we left an hour later we knew all about the family who worked in the restaurant, we knew that the restaurant is named after a town in Ethiopia that is renowned for its churches that are cut into the rocky ground and often joined by tunnels and trenches.  We learnt about Ethiopia’s great coffee, the amazing national dish which is a bread called injera and filled with the health benefits Teff flour and we even had a discussion about Ethiopia’s former Emperor, Haile Selassie.  Here was a family filled with passion for their homeland and their new land.  That’s a hidden treasure.

Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant

Mirrabooka is part of the Bush Forever Project, that seeks to protect significant plant and animal populations in the Swan Coastal Plain.  The Bush Forever Conservation Area in Mirrabooka is a beautiful 130 hectares of banksia and wallaby filled wilderness that you can walk through and feel connected to, even though it’s bordered by major roads, including Reid Highway.  Like its famous cousin Kings Park though, it’s big enough to not hear the traffic and small enough that you won’t get lost.

Beautiful Banksia’s in the Bush Forever Project

Mirrabooka has a Harmony Art Trail that celebrates and is inspired by the different cultures that live in Mirrabooka. 

Murals abound throughout the area including the Harmony Mural on the walls of this shopping centre, featuring Indian style Mandalas which traditionally signify unity and across the road from the shopping centre is the famous Shaping The Future mural, first painted by artist Steve Cross nearly 30 years ago and given a facelift just a few years ago.  Shaping The Future features faces from many backgrounds, including Syrian, Filipino, Greek, Vietnamese and Aboriginal.  The central character is the laughing face of local legend and Noongar Ballardong Elder Doolan-Leisha Eatts.

The Shaping Futures Mural

Mirrabooka is held together by a community that comes together and does stuff well.  There are regular community markets but it’s more than a place to find some cheap toys for the kids or some plants for the garden.  The stallholders are encouraged to participate in a program run by Mercycare and the City of Stirling to learn how to run a stall like a business; including customer service skills, hygiene when preparing and serving food and marketing what is being sold.

Finally, Mirrabooka has an ongoing program that has flourished since it was launched by the City of Stirling and the State Government.  The Mirrabooka Library resources and the people who work there are treasured by the community. In 2017 the Mirrabooka Community Hub was launched with a range of services that focus on youth development, multicultural women’s health, craft clubs and newcomer tours but it’s the Innovations Lab I want to tell you about this morning.

The Innovations Lab is a space that provides resources for community members to explore new technologies, invent new technologies and make community connections through the exploration of ideas in the world of 3d printing, laser cutting, computer coding, making robots and opportunities through the use of Virtual Reality and using bananas to make keyboards and play tunes on it using an electronics kit called Makey Makey.

Visit Mirrabooka and enjoy a bushwalk, a cultural art trail walk, great local markets with lots of craft and food, great food from a range of very authentic and passionate cafes and restaurants and try out your skills in the Innovations Lab and keep an eye out with what’s always happening in the Mirrabooka Regional Open Space which has regular events that include lots of family activities including animal farms and you wouldn’t believe it … even more local food.

If Mirrabooka had one of those number plate slogans that regional communities love to have it would have to be, “A community thrives here” or maybe “We have lots of food”.

Exotic, authentic and exciting food at the Lalibela Ethiopian Restaurant and many other culturally diverse restaurants throughout Mirrabooka

ABC Saturday Breakfast: Hidden Treasures explores suburban war memorials and services.

Chris Parry, Jo Trilling and Molly Schmidt, presenting and producing Hidden Treasures for ABC Saturday Breakfast

When I was a boy growing up in Narrogin the old men and women in my community had been soldiers and nurses at Gallipoli and the Western Front in World War I. They had been Prisoners of War on the Thai Burma Railway and they dropped supplies to the soldiers on the Kokoda Track.

Attending the Narrogin War Memorial on for the ANZAC Day Dawn Service was all about watching the glowing orange line of cigarettes being drawn on by the old fellas, followed by raking coughs.

It was all about being quiet, and being a small gathering. It was about taking the time to remember, for as Lord Byron wrote, “There are deeds that should not pass away and names that must not be forgotten.”

On ANZAC Day across Western Australia there will be over 70 services but there are many more memorials than that across our suburban and regional communities.

For a special Hidden Treasures program, we looked at the smaller memorials and services throughout our community. Acknowledging the popularity of the big services at Kings Park and Fremantle, I’d like to suggest some of the special places for smaller crowds that might interest you.

Wadjamup Island holds a beautiful service on Thompson Bay. A predawn ferry ride in the darkness from the mainland to the island, watching the sun rise over Perth on the distant horizon and imagining the troop ships departing Fremantle for foreign shores and enjoying a hot gunfire breakfast after the service is one of Western Australia’s very special ANZAC Day experiences.

Above: Wadjumup Island ANZAC Day Dawn Service in Thompson Bay

Ocean Reef in the northern suburbs is a spectacular memorial with a 6 metre high arch that focuses your attention on the horizon out to sea. It’s located at Bat Harbour Quays in Ocean Reef.

The Sandakan Memorial in Kings Park is tucked away behind the Kings Park Tennis Club and remembers the more than 2400 Prisoners of War, including 137 Western Australians, who lost their lives at Sandakan and on the three death marches in 1945. Just a little walk away from the memorial are three plaques for the Dorizzi brothers, Herb, Tom and Gordon. These three were brothers from Toodyay who lost their lives at Sandakan and on the death marches.

Above: Memorial Plaques for the Dorizzi Brothers from Toodyay

North Fremantle has a very poignant memorial on Queen Victoria Street. In 1901 North Fremantle was admitted to the Western Australian Football League. In World War One, half the team was killed. With the loss of the entire forward line, the ruckman, ruck rover, fullback and other players, the team never played again.

Above: North Fremantle War Memorial on Queen Victoria Street

Finally, the ANZAC Cottage in Mount Hawthorn, built in a day for a returned serviceman in 1916, is open over the ANZAC Day long weekend. It’s a great opportunity to visit with your family and remember that paying tribute to our fallen and those who have served is just part of the ANZAC story. We also reflect on the lives and communities at home who lost loved ones and whose lives and communities would never be the same again.

Above: ANZAC Cottage in Mount Hawthorn

Visit your local memorial, discover one in a distant suburb and learn their story and place in our community.

Lest we – or anyone – forget.