You can get a rough idea of what was there from this pamphlet:
This pamphlet was scanned and sent to me by Sue Manuel - I didn't know that there were any of these still left in existence; but she hung onto one - Thanks Sue! (Also note that I blanked out the phone number as it has been re-issued to a local business.) Click images for larger versions!
Apart from the King Neptune statue, the most iconic image of the park is the intricate Dolphin Statue that used to stand next to the main entrance:
I originally wanted to get a photo of the statue from the same angle, but there are trees and bushes in the way. The statue is now more isolated as the sign and wall that were behind them is now gone.
It is a totally different experience to walking around other abandoned places such as the old Carine Tafe in Perth. Because the park is out in the open, plants have taken over almost all of the remaining structures.
Of note, many of the plants in the area are exotic tropical plants that have no real business growing on the Western Autsralian coastline. There is a dense proliferation of tropical plants that have survived on the marine park land which aren't found outside the fences.
It is hard to see, but there is a flight of steps buried under those plants. It is practically impassable.
Not that there were many structures to begin with. Looking at some of the old photos, it's pretty clear that other than the main pools, a few small buildings and the spectator stands, most of the land was flat and open.
The most interesting building is also the one that is not mentioned anywhere. In the above photo you can see a white domed building in the background. This is the only known photo of that building and its function is not written anywhere. If you know what it was, feel free to drop me a line.
Update: That is how the Phil Renkin Rec Centre used to look (commonly referred to as the "Binishell"). It was made by blowing up a large balloon and pouring concrete over it. The technical details are more complex than that, but that's the simple version. The Two Rocks Library is in that building and it has been expanded and no longer looks the same. Plus there are a lot of trees around it now.
In this photo you can just see the curvature of the old building hiding under the additions that have been made since it was first built.
However, the other building in the background (the one that looks like a star) is still there:
I don't know what it was for originally, but after the park closed, the Two Rocks Sea Rescue took it over and moved it. In the old photo it is near the wading pools, but it is now nearer the coast.
It seems to have been converted over to a small office, although it too is now abandoned.
The building is quite dilapidated and next to a publicly accessible area that is used for parking vehicles with long trailers (next to the marina). The third building in the old photo above (the brick one) has been totally removed, not even the foundations remain.
I wasn't able to find many photos of the park from when it was open. Other than King Neptune, most of the remaining elements don't show up in the old photos, or there aren't any photos of what is there now from when it was all still shiny and new.
There's lots of little things to show that something substantial was once there.
These cables are jutting out of a wall in the middle of nowhere. Clearly there was something here before. One has to wonder how many ducts, pipes and other assorted debris is buried under the ground.
There was quite a fanfare when the park first opened, with the then Premiere of Western Australia, The Hon. Ray O'Conner in attendance, big ceremony, balloons and such: (click images for larger version)
(The above scans were sent to me by Denise in July 2011)
Originally written: December 2009
Last updated: July 2011