Nearly 70 years ago a local Salmon Fishing industry was started in Geographe Bay with a shed at Eagle Bay to process the fish.

The Wadandi people (‘salt water people’) are the Aboriginal custodians and traditional owners of Meelup Regional Park. The area was home to the Wadandi group of Nyungar people for thousands of years before the first Europeans landed in the area in 1801 and local settlement began in 1830. The Wadandi people relate strongly to the limestone coast and cave region, believing the spirits of their people live within the cave. ‘Meelup’ is an Aboriginal Nyungar word meaning ‘place of the moon rising’ because the moon appears to rise out of the sea on a few days of the year. It is known that the Wadandi people camped in the freshwater lagoon above Meelup Beach and the landscape and natural features of the park are permeated with social and spiritual significance. “Ngari” Salmon Fishing is an important tradition for the Wadandi people and an important seasonal food source learn more here...

The traditional owners maintain a central connection with the natural environment of the park. A Pibulmun Wadandi custodian, Wayne Webb, said that the Park supports significant features such as fresh springs, whales, rocks, trees, ceremonial ground, tharlu and quarry sites. Wayne said that “there is so much significance (jn the park) that it continues to be used to this day”.

“ The biggest haul of Eagle Bay was in 1956 when about 200 tons of fish were driven in at speed from 1.5 miles out by sharks and dolphins putting two tons of fish high and dry on the beach. Every net on the beach was run around them including the “iron curtain” an ex-army camouflage net. That was at 4pm and a remarkable achievement was that 17 trucks including two semi trailers from Waroona had been loaded with cleaned fish by 9.30 next morning. It was the practice for anyone who could come at a moments notice to be very welcome to come and clean for 10 shillings an hour.”

Joyce Miles and Jack Couch

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You can help preserve this special place in the following ways:

Stay on designated trails  |  Do not light fires in the park  |  Park in designated areas  |  Leave your pets at home  |  Use the bins and toilets provided  |  Do not dump garden waste  |  No Camping


Telephone: (08) 9781 0444
Fax: (08) 9752 4958