Omeo Wreck to South Beach with the old South Fremantle Power Station
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
After exploring the Urban Art in South Fremantle and on another occasion exploring from the Omeo Wreck south to Woodman Point I felt we had to close the gap and explore north from the Omeo Wreck to South Beach. Previously at the Omeo Wreck I noticed there was a Noongar Tourist Trail which went between Socrates Park and the Port Coogee Marina so this was our starting point.
The Noongar Tourist Trail visits a number of parks which feature the glass Kidogo Artworks before moving on to the Lookout at Bombay Park and looping back to the coast at Ngarkal Beach. Read the dedicated blog for more information. Descending from the Lookout we diverted north along Lullworth Avenue, emerging at the Port Coogee Play Park off Caledonia Avenue. This little park had a shipping container themed tower, a pirate ship, a flying fox, water and sand play and wood and stone climbing elements.
From here we crossed the barren open space which is yet to be developed emerging at Robb Road. We followed Robb Road north for a minute or two until we saw a narrow rough dirt side track heading up the slope. We climbed this hoping for a view of the old South Fremantle Power Station. We emerged onto a rough but wide dirt track which ran alongside the power station affording us fabulous views of the decrepit building and the graffiti art around it. There were so many photo opportunities as the spectacular backdrop of the ocean gave this ugly building a kind of beauty. I coined the word beaugly (beautiful ugly!). We followed the dirt track for most of the length of Robb Road, half expecting to see some rough sleepers but although there was evidence that people hung out here we didn't come across anybody. The track was rough but you can't see the power station from the road so it is worth the scramble to get up to this level.
At the end we crossed Mc Taggart Cove and took the footpath into C.Y. O'Connor Reserve. The beginning of the path was beautifully shaded and the trees formed a dark tunnel to walk through but as we circled around the car park and the "oval" the trees ended and we were walking in full sun. This path is fully paved and dual use.
A little way along there was a sign for the horse and rider statue but it was somewhat degraded. At this point here was a "sculpture" of what looked like cattle yards so we explored these, not really understanding how this related to a horse and rider (stay tuned as all became clear on the return leg!)
Continuing along the path winding it's way around we could see the spit at Catherine Point come closer and then it was behind us as we emerged at the North Coogee Dog Beach Car Park at Rollinson Road. There was a mobile coffee van here, toilets, a ship themed shaded playground, exercise equipment, barbecues and picnic tables.
We continued along the coastal path for another 10 minutes, side tracking slightly to walk along the boardwalk near Bistro 21and then coming out into the South Beach Park area with it's large shaded playground, barbecues and picnic facilities. We watched the people shooting hoops at the South Beach Recreation Reserve before stopping for a much needed coffee and snack at the South Beach Cafe, which was our starting point on our South Fremantle Urban Art Walk.
Crossing over the Railway Line at Ocean Road we wandered through the Barrow Park green strip which runs alongside South Beach Promenade, enjoying the artworks. The small lake and fountain provided a photo opportunity before we continued along the winding track.
After passing a few more sculpture we came across the North Coogee Pump Track, a small but challenging dirt bike track. There is also a playground here, a climbing wall, picnic tables and some pots which may be part of a community garden.
At the end we followed the path and then Lancelin Way back to Rollinson Road. We crossed over for a quick look at the old Pump Station site.
Back west along Rollinson Road we crossed the railway tracks and continued through the park back along the path to Catherine Point where we diverted to trudge along to the end of the point - there really was no point to this!
Back from the spit we rock scrambled onto CY O'Connor beach, removing socks and shoes, and enjoyed walking along the water's edge. This beach has so many shells! There were many along the tide line but even more under water where the wavelets were breaking. Very pretty!
A little way along you start to see the remains of Robbs Jetty at the water's edge. Further out there is what looks like an anchor but as you come closer you can see the horse and the rider - this is the C.Y. O'Connor statue signposted on the walking track! I little bit of research about Robbs Jetty also explained the cattle yards! And just to add a little more to this perfect setting is the wreck of the SS Wyola.
Continuing along C Y OConnor beach you get closer again to the Old South Fremantle Power Station. From here there is less colour but it is still strangely beautiful with the sand dunes in the foreground.
As you round a small rocky outcrop you see an old aqueduct or pipeline. It is a mess as it is falling down and broken but it has been painted with colourful graffiti and is again strangely beautiful. On closer inspection you can identify some of the metal and other elements - brickworks, pylons, etc and with the stunning blue of the water in the background it is really spectacular!
Heading away from the water there are a couple of sumps filled with green water immediately in front of the power station. Shoes still off the sand is hot and the surface is quite rough as we explore further. Beware as hidden amongst the sand and rocks are rusty pieces of metal so take care here with the kids.
At the end of the dog beach you emerge at the bottom end of Caledonia Loop and can head west along Chelydra Park. Look carefully and you will notice that all the mansions along here have private access into the park (nice!) We climbed the stairs on to the breakwater but the view was mostly just water so we headed over to boat jetty which provided us with an amazing insight into how the people here live.....with private jetty access to the canal. We walked back along Chelydra Point admiring the mansions - if I had to live here I would definitely live on the south side with water access - that beats private park access by a mile!
We continued through Caledonia Park with it's stunning views back up the canals and were awestruck at the stunning sea life mural painted around the house on the corner of the canal off Othello Quays!
Beyond this was a pontoon and then around a slight bend we were at Ngarkal Beach. This beach is a wonderful shallow safe swimming beach for little ones while still providing excitement for kids old enough to swim out to the pontoon and jump off into the deeper water. It is also very scenic with the Maraboo Bridge in the background looking like a whale's ribcage! At the southern end of the beach is the Ngarkal Beach Water Park and what I named the dinosaur nursery! There are also toilets and change rooms and picnic facilities. I had a lovely chat with an elderly local who used to ride his bike from Fremantle to deliver meat to the Power Station. Ngarkal Beach is also the third point of interest on the Nyungar Tourist Trail.
Around past the Maraboo Bridge you can wander along the boardwalk and admire all the boats moored in the marina, passing the Dome Cafe and then walk along the foreshore passing the brewery, admiring the architecture and fabulous location of the Regis Aged Care Home and then passing the very well camouflaged major shopping centre which includes a Woolworths and a Caffissimo. There are a number of cafes and eateries along with other businesses in this area.
From here it was only a short walk back to the car parked at the Omeo Wreck. We took another photo of the snorkellers - the sea breeze is in so the water is a little choppier than it was about 4 hours ago when we started our walk. We walked 13 km in total but there is no need to do it all in one hit as we did...you can easily break this up into smaller sections.
#portcoogeemarina #ngarkalbeach #noongartouristtrail #socratespark #lucretiapark #arabellapark #kidogoglassartworks #northcoogeepumptrack #bombayparklookout #omeowreck #catherinepoint #cyoconnorbeach #cyoconnorstatue #southfremantlepowerstation #horseandriderstatue #cyoconnorreserve #southbeachfremantle #shorelinenatureplaypark #northcoogeedogbeach #ngarkalbeachwaterpark #barrowpark
In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.