Lake Jualbup - Shenton Park
Updated: Jan 23, 2020
We discovered Lake Jualbup in Shenton Park as part of the free bi monthly guided see Subi on Sunday walks.
Lake Jualbup ("a place where water rises in the season of spring") was an important wetland for the local Noongar people. In the early days of white settlement a timber miller named James Dyson worked in the area. Willows and other introduced trees were planted on the island and around the lake sucking up all the water and turning it into a swamp. It became known as Dyson's Swamp and later was renamed Shenton Park Lake, after the land developer and politician, George Shenton. The Aboriginal name "Jualbup" was restored to the lake in 1996.
Over time the lake became a dumping ground but it was eventually cleaned up and a brick wall was built around the lake. Unfortunately the turtles were unable to navigate the wall to nest so it was eventually demolished and native gardens now line part of the lake foreshore providing a wildlife buffer between the public areas and the lake. A few of the willow trees remain but most have been removed and replaced with native species.
A flat paved path follows the edge of the lake. There are two playground areas located near each other on the south western edge of the lake. The older naturally shaded playground is suitable for toddlers. The newer shade sailed playground is great for climbing and has a dome shaped rope maze, swings, see saws and as a nod to the local turtles three turtle statues to climb over or sit on. Picnic benches are located here and there is a gazebo a little further away. Plenty of open green space invites picnics and ball games. There is a short boardwalk out into the lake. Note the playgrounds are not fenced and are near water.
The path around the lake includes a section of the Beach to Bush Trail, part of the Whadjuk Trail Network, so keep an eye out for the balga trail markers in the pavement. As you head around the lake clockwise from the playgrounds along the walled section there is a toilet block up on the left. Continue on and you will come to the landscaped foreshore areas as you complete the loop. The loop will take you about 20 minutes to complete.
Street parking is available along Excelsior Street which is lined with magnificent mature trees.
We extended our walk beyond the toilet blocks turning onto Evans St opposite the Masonic Hall. Always on the lookout out for the unique architectural features of the heritage houses we came across the old railway caretaker's cottage, now private property. I love how the street lights reflect the heritage of this suburb.
We passed Linton and Kay Galleries on Nicholson Road before crossing over Railway Parade at the lights to explore the Nash Street Underpass with it's beautiful murals. The images represent the importance of the land to all who live here. The Indigenous experience of this country forms the roots of the human history of this place.