Quarantine Station (fmr), Woodman Point


City of Cockburn

Place Number



O'Kane Ct Munster

Location Details

Address includes: 132 & Lot 50 Cockburn Rd, Munster; Lots 57 & 181 Woodman Point Vew, Munster; Lots 180, 300 & 301 O'Kane Court, Munster

Other Name(s)

Woodman Point Recreation Camp

Local Government




Construction Date

Constructed from 1886, Constructed from 1923

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
Heritage List Adopted 14 Jul 2011
State Register Registered 31 Mar 2006 HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument, HCWebsite.Listing+ListingDocument

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Municipal Inventory Adopted 10 Apr 2014 Category A
Register of the National Estate Nominated 28 Jul 1983
Classified by the National Trust Classified 08 Mar 1983
Register of the National Estate Registered 26 Oct 1999

Statement of Significance

Quarantine Station (fmr) is a rare example of a quarantine station in Western Australia and played an important role for nearly 100 years in preventing the spread of contagious infections and diseases. Quarantine Station (fmr) demonstrates quarantine practices from the late 19th century to the 1970s and provides evidence of 19th century burial practices for those who died in quarantine. Quarantine Station (fmr) includes a substantial and intact complex of similarly designed and distinctive early 20th century buildings and is nestled in a picturesque natural coastal environment.

Physical Description

Land was reserved for a quarantine station at Woodman’s Point in 1876 and the first buildings were erected in 1886. They were added to and updated from time to time over the years, a major expansion taking place during World War I. The station finally closed in 1979. The Quarantine Station is set on a large area of land on Woodman Point. The majority of the buildings are asbestos clad with corrugated asbestos roofs. They are a basic design and very few have verandahs. Amongst the older buildings are some more modern structures which still maintain the simple uncluttered architecture of the original buildings. While the buildings hold an inherent technical interest, they also form a group in an attractive setting, close to the ocean with adjoining bushland. The bushland has been well protected by the restricted access to the site and this has added to its natural ecological value. There are a number of species of plants and animals which flourish undisturbed in the bushland. The buildings in the main complex are the accommodation blocks for passengers, seamen’s quarters, former residence for medical officer (now offices) and surgery, dining hall with attached kitchens, scullery, pantries, laundry, fumigation block, ablution block and a recreation building. Part of the stone fence which originally enclosed the central buildings remains on the south eastern side. At a little distance to the east from the central section is an enclosure containing the isolation hospital and a detention centre and to the northeast is a former medical officer's residence. In the central section there are also newer structures such as garages, sheds for machinery and plant and a house occupied by the caretaker, which is not in character with the original buildings. There is also a modern kitchen block which was designed sympathetically. The buildings and the grounds are well maintained. Notable features are the dining hall with its fine polished jarrah floor and timber ceiling, which has been painted white, the ablution block with its cubicles, and the fumigation block. Not to be forgotten are some graves of people who died while at the station. These are listed in the Lonely Graves of Western Australia reference. The grave markers range from headstones to simple wooden crosses.


Land was reserved for a quarantine station at Woodman Point in 1876. (In 1827, Stirling named the Point after Thomas Woodman, the purser of the Success). The first buildings of the Quarantine Station were erected in 1886 on advice from the medical authorities. The aim was to isolate plague sufferers from the mainstream of hospital patients at Fremantle. Those who died of contagious diseases at the Station were cremated in the crematorium which is well preserved to this day. The presence of the crematorium was quite unique at that time because cremation was still a very uncommon practice during the 1920s. It was considered against the doctrine of the resurrection of the body and reconciliation with the soul on the day of the Last Judgement. The crematorium was last used in 1943. Within the confines of the station are some graves. These are listed in ‘Lonely Graves of Western Australia’. One of the graves is that of Sister Rosa O’Kane the source of the name of O’Kane Court in Munster, the official address of the Quarantine Station. The existing complex of buildings was built in the post WWI period before 1923. All buildings have had their original exteriors replaced with asbestos cladding and roofing. The Station is of historical interest in that it played a great part in the public health system of WA for 100 years until it closed on 1979. Quarantine Stations as a class of institutions are in themselves relatively scarce in Australia. The station is one of a small number of examples of Federation and Western Australian immigration peculiarities. It can be regarded as evidence of a function no longer practised. The quarantine station is also of interest in its records of outbreaks of diseases such as scarlet fever, small pox, bubonic plague and Spanish influenza after WWI. In more recent years Vietnamese refugees landing on the Western Australian coast were held until cleared of possible health problems. The experience of the people detained in the station varied greatly. Some regarded it as a detention/concentration camp while others expressed a different opinion. Athol Thomas, a reporter for the West Australian in 1969, said the station was more like a holiday camp. He was referring to the 230 acres of bushland surrounding the station which included restricted water in which ‘guests’ could swim, fish and sail. The quarantine station was closed down as isolation could be done within local hospitals or at Fairfield in Victoria. The Woodman Point area was purchased from the Commonwealth Government for $2.5 million and vested in the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation. The area is now used as a recreational camp.


INTEGRITY: Many modifications but original buildings kept AUTHENTICITY: Original buildings replaced 1919-23




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
National Trust Assessment, & various newspaper articles attached to National Trust Assessment Form National Trust WA
HCWA Database No. 499 State Heritage Office
"Conservation Plan for Woodman Point Recreation Camp".

State Heritage Office library entries

Library Id Title Medium Year Of Publication
7913 Specification: additions and alterations to Woodman Point Recreation Camp for Department of Sport and Recreation. Heritage Study {Other} 2005
7945 Hazardous materials. Additions and alterations to Woodman Point recreation camp for Department of Sport and Recreation. Heritage Study {Other} 2005
9424 The enigma of Clarence: Woodman Point or Mount Brown? Journal article 2008
883 An assessment of cultural significance and a conservation plan for Woodman Point Recreation Camp ( the Former Woodman's Point Quarantine Station). Heritage Study {Cons'n Plan} 1995
6652 Woodman Point : a regional recreation/conservation park : concept and development plans. Report 1988
7573 The hidden community : Woodman Point Quarantine Station, Munster, Western Australia. Heritage Study {Other} 2005
5793 Woodman Point Regional Park : draft management plan 2002-2012. Report 2002
9905 The hidden community - Woodman Point quarantine station. Journal article 2010
9522 Woodman Point Regional Park: management plan 2010. Report 2010
8308 Woodman Point Recreation Camp (former Woodman Point quarantine station) archival record. Archival Record 2006
8307 Woodman Point recreation camp (former quarantine station) report on colour investigation and proposal for new interpretive colour scheme. Report 2006

Place Type

Individual Building or Group


Epoch General Specific
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Other
Original Use GOVERNMENTAL Quarantine Station

Architectural Styles

Victorian Regency
Inter-War California Bungalow
Post-War International

Construction Materials

Type General Specific
Wall BRICK Common Brick
Roof METAL Corrugated Iron
Wall STONE Limestone
Wall ASBESTOS Fibrous Cement, flat
Roof ASBESTOS Fibrous Cement, corrugated

Historic Themes

General Specific
TRANSPORT & COMMUNICATIONS River & sea transport
SOCIAL & CIVIC ACTIVITIES Sport, recreation & entertainment
DEMOGRAPHIC SETTLEMENT & MOBILITY Immigration, emigration & refugees
OTHER Other Sub-Theme

Creation Date

30 May 1989

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

02 Jul 2020


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.