Reabold Hill

Scaling the summit of Reabold Hill is a priority for all trainee mountaineers.  At a stunning 93 metres above sea level, it is the highest peak Perth's inner metropolitan area can offer. 

The Indian Ocean from Reabold Hill overlooking the park.

Looking 93 metres down to the Indian Ocean.

Walking up the eastern approach on a hot summers day, will certainly challenge your level of fitness.  If you are less inclined on the gradient, driving up the western face might be your thing.  It is much more rewarding to walk up the hill, as motoring turns the experience into a rather large speed hump.   There is a nice boardwalk on the summit to finish things off.

Perth from Reabold Hill.

 

Perth From Reabold Hill.

A lofty 93 metres above sea level.....at low tide.

Originally this landmark was known as One Tree Hill.  In 1839, Henry Trigg was granted the land around One Tree Hill.  He established a lime quarry and kilns, to supply limestone for many of Perth's original buildings.  As a result of Mr Trigg's business, the area became known as the Limekilns Estate.  Things kind of got a little gruesome after Mr Trigg left the area in 1844.

A daunting challenge on a hot day, with no water, carrying a backpack full of house bricks.

 

Reabold's Reign of Terror
 (1844 - 1879)

During the early years, this region was isolated, and frightful things happened at the base of Reabold Hill.  In 1844 the estate was purchased by Mr Walter Padbury, who was a butcher.  He built an abattoir and slaughtered animals in the area for many years.  In 1869 the Birch Brothers purchased the estate off Walter, and established a vineyard.  However these guys also liked to slaughter animals, so they maintained the abattoir.  Scary stuff.  Want to read something even scarier? Check out the story about the Bold Park Bunyip.

Cow feeding on grass.  Taken near Reabold Hill under controlled conditions.
 

Cow.

Fortunately, The Reign of Terror ceased in 1879 when Mr Joseph Perry acquired the land, for his horse-breaking, and stock dealing business.  We can only hope that no further slaughtering occurred.  Just to make sure, the Perth City Council purchased the Limekilns Estate in 1917.  They set aside the area as parkland to be forever enjoyed by the people of Perth, with no slaughtering. 

The Slaughtering Fields are now Playing Fields.

Reabold Hill and Bold Park Bushland opposite the Perry Lakes Playing Field.

Pine trees were planted in the area to kick things off, and the reserve was named Bold Park.  This was in honour of Mr William Bold, the Town Clerk of the City of Perth, and a major promoter of the park concept.  The pine trees have now grown to maturity.   Joseph Perry pulled one off, by having two lakes in the park named in his honour.  Consistent dry summers have nearly dried up Perry Lakes, though he still holds the naming rights.

 

The Indian Ocean from Reabold Hill.

So what became of One Tree Hill?  During the Bold Park renaissance, the Mayor of Perth was Mr Frank Rea.  With the big ticket items already named, the only solution was a compromise.  Frank's surname was stuck in front of William Bold's, and the name, Reabold Hill was formulated.  Tourists and locals alike, now enjoy the park's abundant wildlife, and marvel at Reabold Hill's commanding view of the Perth metropolitan area and Indian Ocean.

The Indian Ocean From Reabold Hill

 

PERTH ALERT:  One more thing.  Henry Trigg's old quarry has been converted into an open air amphitheatre.   The slaughtering continues to this very day, though is now safely confined to the plays of William Shakespeare.

The Quarry Amphitheatre: Opened in 1986 & able to seat 644 people.

The Quarry Amphitheatre.  On a clear night you can view a galaxy of stars.

The associated lime kilns operated until 1906, and evidence of their existence can still be explored.  While the bigger limestone blocks were used for building, the smaller pieces were burnt in the kilns to produce lime.  Today the kilns are hidden by bush, in the hillside near Perry House.  Sure they don't look like much, though half the fun is in the search.

The site of the old Lime Kilns.

The Lime Kiln Site.  Historically significant though visually deficient.

Camel Lake:  Once you have rediscovered the old kilns why not head off in search of Camel Lake, and view the mysterious Camel Circles.  This is a tough one, as the lake has now dried up.  It is sign posted, though can be easily dismissed when walking by.

Camel Lake:  No Water & No Camels!

Camel Lake.  Finding it, is a walk in the park.

Camel Lake was once used as a quarantine area for camels, imported during the Gold Rush.  This all happened during the late 19th Century. The camels were well suited to the dry conditions on the goldfields.  This semi-permanent wetland was isolated, and ideal for breaking in the camels.  A famous explorer named Ernest Giles, rested his camels at the Lake, after his epic journey from Port Augusta to Perth, in May 1875.   The camels are now long gone, however evidence of tethering is still visible on some of the trees.  Look for the distinctive circular marks on the trunks.  Before long you'll start to see Camel Circles on every tree, so quit while you're ahead.

Camel Circles are still visible on the trunks of some trees around Camel Lake.

 

Camel Circles.

Ernest Giles & The Camels
PERTH TOUR MAY 1875

These days Perth enjoys such artists as Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams.  Back in 1875 we had simpler tastes, and went wild over an explorer with camels.  Apart from resting at Camel Lake, Giles transformed the undercroft of the Perth Town Hall into a temporary camel stable.  Most of Perth's residents got caught up in all the excitement, or was that excrement?

 

LOCATION:  Reabold Hill is located next to Oceanic Drive in the Suburb of City Beach.  The Bold Park Reserve covers 437 hectares, and is one of the largest remaining areas of natural bushland in the Perth metropolitan area. Bring a good pair of walking shoes, as there are many bush tracks to explore.

Copyright 2007 LifeOnPerth.com