Boodjargabbeelup and Lake Vasto
Updated: Aug 3, 2020
Point Fraser (Boodjargabbeelup)
We've walked the loop around the bridges a number of times but have never really stopped to take in the beauty of Lake Vasto, Ozone Reserve and Point Fraser.
Point Fraser Foreshore Reserve can be accessed off Riverside Drive. Paid parking is available here and services both the recreational side of Point Fraser as well as the waterfront dining and entertainment at On the Point. You can also park here to explore Ozone Reserve and Lake Vasto on the other side of Riverside Drive.
Boodjargabeelup, the Noongar name for Point Fraser which translates to "the place of river, water and the land" was traditionally a rich hunting and fishing ground. The area was redeveloped in 2003 as an innovative and beautiful demonstration wetland. This wetland collects and treats stormwater, which includes oil from cars, nutrients from fertiliser and contaminants such as litter and chemicals, before they enter the Swan River. I am so glad city councils fund the redevelopment and maintenance of wetland areas as they are so vital to a healthy river system and we reap the benefits with pristine river views.
Point Fraser features a series of pathways and boardwalks with interpretive signage colour coded to detail the environmental (green), historical (purple) and cultural trails (orange). As you wander the trails you will discover stories and quotes about the area's past and present and it's relationship to the broader foreshore and city, inscribed into the benches.
We also found a small, natural track that meandered through the trees right on the river bank - a great adventure for the kids to explore the river beaches and maybe find some local river oyster shell. Just keep in mind being so close to the river this trail can get muddy and swampy after rain and is also snake habitat because of the nearby wetlands.
The playground has been designed to foster fun and learning in a natural environment. The area has been planted with species native to the Swan River foreshore, some of which were traditionally used by the Noongar tribes as food, medicine and fuel. Although some of the play equipment is traditional it's placement in settings with hills and valleys surrounded by natural landscaping gives the area a nature playground feel. The different levels on which the playground has been built may make it a bit tricky for younger children to negotiate. There are also no clear lines of sight over the playspace due to the natural setting so you will need to follow your child to keep them in sight, particularly as there is open water at the nearby wetlands.
From the playground we walked around the On the Point complex following the boardwalk. If this is not possible you can cut through the middle of the complex to get to the other side. The views down the Swan Estuary to South Perth and the Narrows are amazing!
You can also hire a wide variety of bikes, kayaks and SUP boards from About Bikes Hire at Point Fraser. There are large grassy areas, public barbecues, benches and toilets within the foreshore reserve.
Lake Vasto and Ozone Reserve
Lake Vasto curves alongside Riverside Drive leading up to the Causeway and is part of Ozone Reserve, a large green space between Plain Street and Adelaide Terrace. Ozone Reserve has a very large covered gazebo, barbecues, toilets and the Lake Vasto Playground. Large grassy areas surrounding the lake are ideal for picnics.
The Lake Vasto Monument at the edge of the lake was dedicated in 2004 to honour the sister city agreement between the City of Perth and the Italian city of Vasto. The larger Monument to Migrants stands tall with the young family looking over the bow of the ship at their new land. This monument commemorates the early and ongoing contribution of migrant communities to the development of Australia.
Paved paths can be found on both sides of the lake and as you head towards Plain Street you come across a boardwalk over the lake. The paths are ideal for cycling as they are wide and flat.
For a bit of excitement you can walk to the eastern edge of Ozone Reserve and take the footbridge over Adelaide Terrace.
Once across Adelaide Terrace it is only a short 5 minute walk to beautiful Queens Gardens and the Peter Pan Statue.