Mill Point Reserve


City of South Perth

Place Number



Mill Point Foreshore South Perth

Location Details

Other Name(s)


Local Government

South Perth



Construction Date

Demolition Year


Statutory Heritage Listings

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Heritage Council Decisions and Deliberations

Type Status Date Documents
(no listings)

Other Heritage Listings and Surveys

Type Status Date Grading/Management
Local Heritage Survey Adopted 14 Nov 2000 Category C

Statement of Significance

• The place has aesthetic value as an area of well maintained and landscaped parkland adjacent to the river and established residential area. • The place has aesthetic value as a landmark in the streetscape as it is visible from the Narrows Bridge and its evolution is observed by many commuters from all parts of the metropolitan area. • The place has historic value for its association with the indigenous occupation of the land prior to, and following, European settlement in 1829. • The place has historic value for its association with the early settlement of the peninsula when Millers Pool was used by the adjacent mill for transport. • The place has historic value for its association with the many programs of works and improvements undertaken by successive authorities which have changed the shape and extent of the shoreline on the peninsula. • The place has research value for its potential to provide information about the success or failure of regenerated coastal environments since the establishment of the new environmentally sensitive landscape. The place has social value for the many members of the community who have used the parklands for passive recreation.

Physical Description

The Mill Point Reserve extends around the South Perth promontory under the Narrows Bridge. The area to the east of the Bridge was upgraded in late 2016/early 2017 to create a new public space with a jetty in the manmade lake, seating areas, new planting and parking facilities. The two green sections of Reserve are separated by the road and parking facilities under the Narrow before returning to a parkland setting to the west of the bridge, providing gardens and additional parking facilities as well as boat ramp access to the river. The Reserve is fully accessible to vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists with a road way leading through the area supplemented by separate walkways and cycle paths. The Main Roads Department has erected a plaque on a natural limestone plinth that blends into the landscape.


Mill Point Reserve, while a natural feature in itself, has been substantially modified by European settlement over time. Mill Point Reserve was once the traditional camping and fishing grounds of the Ballaruk Aboriginal people. As a rich area of food and water the foreshore was a logical location for early settlers to camp. The establishment of Shenton's Mill near this site was prompted by the location of the pool at the peninsula which provide sheltered mooring for boats. The Aboriginal name for the area is ‘Buryalup’, which was part of the Whadjuk territory. Descendants of the people who traditionally used the area include Corrie and Violet Bodney, traditional custodians for the area. Their link to the area was by continuous association through their great-great-grandparents, Moonyel and Kunyiath. The Bodneys’ early memories of the area include camping there as children, and they continued to fish for crab, cobbler and mullet throughout their lives. During the 1930s, the foreshore and river on the eastern and western side of Mill Point underwent considerable 'improvement' works including dredging, infill and construction of solid walls on the rivers edge. These changes removed areas of swamp land that were the habitat for many of the native species that were sought by the indigenous people. Nevertheless the area was still popular with campers and the land on the peninsula was becoming more densely settled. The construction of the Narrows Bridge and Kwinana Freeway from 1959 created further dislocation from the river foreshore on the western side of the peninsula. The freeway as a barrier had the positive outcome of enabling the native flora and fauna to regenerate and this area of the river and foreshore are now well recognised for the quantity of migratory birdlife. In 1994, the Main Roads Department and the City of South Perth erected a plaque on the site to recognise the original occupants of the land. The plaque was a result of consultation with the custodians of the land after clearance was required to carry out work on limestone river walls. After 12 months negotiation, the plaque was prepared with words formulated in conjunction with Aboriginal people. In 2005, the City of South Perth was approached by the Managing Director of Lawrence Associates Architects, Garry Lawrence, with a draft concept plan for the restoration and reuse of the ‘Old Mill precinct’ as a tourist-oriented heritage precinct. This proposal included a range of elements which provoked discussion in the community about the future use of the land on the peninsular. One well received element in the plan was the reinstatement of the former Miller’s Pool, close to its original shape and location within the Mill Point Reserve, with an outlet into the Swan River and sedge inlets to create breeding sites for swans. At a meeting in September 2014, the Council decided to endorse the concept of the reinstatement of Miller’s Pool for further design development and community and stakeholder engagement. Works began on the project in late 2016 and was formally opened in February 2017. The Miller's Pool project resulted in landscape, environmental and amenity improvements include picnic and seating areas, a boardwalk and small viewing jetty across the pool and planting of native vegetation and trees. A view towards the Old Mill was highlighted by an avenue of trees. Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD) principals were used to treat storm water run-off and approximately 30,000 native seedlings and plants, and almost 90 trees were planted in the area, with 20 existing trees retained on the site including two significant Eucalyptus trees. Interpretation and public art were included in the project and the City of South Perth's Aboriginal Reference Group worked collaboratively with an indigenous advisor for comment and approval of the public art installed on the site.


High / Moderate




Ref ID No Ref Name Ref Source Ref Date
Front Page "Southern Gazette" 5/7/1994

Place Type



Epoch General Specific
Original Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve
Present Use PARK\RESERVE Park\Reserve

Historic Themes

General Specific

Creation Date

24 Jul 1997

Publish place record online (inHerit):


Last Update

06 Apr 2021


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