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Naval Base Holiday Park


City of Cockburn

Place Number

There no heritage location found in the Google fusion table.


Cockburn Rd Henderson

Location Details

Other Name(s)

Naval Base Caravan Park
Naval Base Shacks

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1933, Constructed from 1950

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents More information
Heritage Area Adopted 14 Jun 2012

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
RHP - To be assessed Current 30 Nov 2012

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management More information
Category Description
Municipal Inventory Adopted 14 Jun 2017 Category B

Category B

Considerable significance Very important to the heritage of the locality. Conservation of the place is highly desirable. Any alterations or extensions should be sympathetic to the heritage values of the place.

Statement of Significance

Naval Base Holiday Park has been a holiday destination since 1933, and has been used by generations of families from Cockburn and the wider area. It has exceptional social historical value as a popular and well used holiday destination.
Naval Base Holiday Park is a good example of holiday camps which used to exist along the Western Australian coastline but have disappeared in the face of development. As a holiday destination the overall site has a high degree of authenticity.
Although the condition of individual shacks varies, as a whole the shacks at Naval Base Holiday Park have a uniformity of scale that creates a unique landscape, and gives the place significant aesthetic appeal, especially when combined with the coastal setting.
Individual shacks within the Heritage Area have changed over time. The design and construction of the shacks demonstrates the resourcefulness, versatility and creativity of the shack builders and their occupants.
The evolution of the shacks is considered to be one of the distinguishing characteristics of the Heritage Area, and it is acknowledged that individual shacks and overall site plan will continue to evolve over time. However, it is considered important that this occurs in a manner that does not adversely impact on the heritage significance of the Heritage Area.
For this reason it is not considered that there is any distinction in the level of contribution made by individual shacks to the heritage significance of the Heritage Area. Rather, it is considered that the following overall characteristics of the Heritage Area are essential to conserving its heritage significance:
1) The ongoing use of the site as a holiday destination;
2) General uniformity of scale of the shacks;
3) Modest scale and simple informal ‘holiday shack’ character of the structures;
4) General uniformity of siting and spacing between the shacks, noting that the future spacing will have to meet other regulatory requirements.

Physical Description

Naval Base Holiday Park is a Heritage Area of 178 shacks settled on the mainland, along Cockburn Road in Henderson. It has been a holiday destination since 1933, and used by generations of families from Cockburn and the wider area.
Set along limestone cliffs, the site is adjacent to Challenger Beach opposite Garden Island. There are five rows of campsites and 178 holiday shacks. Most of the shacks are a conglomeration of assorted building fabric (often recycled from other buildings), and vary in their condition.
The original shacks comprise a caravan with a permanent walled annexe extension. There is little to no vegetation on the site but the shacks are often surrounded by manicured lawns.
Overall, there is a uniformity of scale, with many of the shacks being within the original size limit of 16’ x 17’ (approx 5.2m x 5.2m).
Although individual shacks have changed since 1933, as a holiday destination the overall site has a high level of integrity and authenticity.


The site now occupied by Naval Base Holiday Park is associated with the attempts at settlement by Thomas Peel in 1829. Consequently, it is possible that there are archaeological remains at the site which may warrant investigation at a future time.
Naval Base Holiday Park has a continuous history as a holiday destination since c.1933. The original Caravan Park extended towards Kwinana, partially situated where heavy industry now exists, and was a weekend retreat for urban residents. When the southern element of the Park was privatised during the 1950s, rising costs resulted in more intensive use of the current site.
Unlike other similar sites in Western Australia, the occupiers of shacks at Naval Base Holiday Park are not squatters. The place has been subject to the control of local government since the Park’s inception in 1933, although it is unusual to have lease agreements on a camping reserve.
The original ‘holiday homes’ comprised a caravan with a walled annexe, although in at least one case a bus was utilised. A rule in the early days of the camp was that all homes had to have wheels.
Subsequently, permanent shacks have been built, in theory with a maximum sized building of 16’ x 17’.
An ‘unwritten rule’ states that extensions must only be to the east or west so as not to block views to the ocean.
The shacks have no internal running water and no externally supplied electricity. Residents cook and power refrigerators with gas, use solar panels for electrical power and get their water from nearby community taps. Two large ablution blocks are available for the residents.
Swimming, snorkelling and fishing are popular activities, and the attraction of the Park is shown by the extended families that have a long association with the site. Oral history interviews with three residents demonstrated an attachment to the recreational lifestyle they and their families have experienced over the decades.


It is possible that there are archaeological remains at the site.






Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
C Day & E Fuery; "Interview with John Nelson & Sue Rutland". 4/5/2001
C Day & E Fuery; "Interview with Mick Nicholides". 4/5/2001
Newspaper clipping and magazine reports from 1994-2001, courtesy Barry Doubikin
"Weekend Courier Rockingham-Kwinana News" 24/7/1998
"The Bulletin". 25/1/1994
"Cockburn Herald". 1997-2001
C Day & E Fuery; "Interview with Barry Doubkin". 4/5/2001
"Cockburn Gazette". 1997-2001
"Weekend Courier Rockingham-Kwinana News". 16/4/1999

Other Keywords

Naval Base Holiday Park is also a designated 'Heritage Area' pursuant to the City of Cockburn Town Planning Scheme.

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Present Use COMMERCIAL Other

Historic Themes

General Specific
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment

Creation Date

31 Aug 2004

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

14 Sep 2021


This information is provided voluntarily as a public service. The information provided is made available in good faith and is derived from sources believed to be reliable and accurate. However, the information is provided solely on the basis that readers will be responsible for making their own assessment of the matters discussed herein and are advised to verify all relevant representations, statements and information.