Yunderup Nature Observatory

Our Club has a cottage on Cooleenup Island in the Peel Harvey Estuary, at Yunderup, south of Perth. This facility is available for rental under the auspices of Club members.

Don ServentyIn early 1970, the Club approached the then State Lands and Survey Department to request a grant of land at the Murray River Delta, and in May 1970, vesting in the club of two blocks of land adjoining the Nature Reserve was approved. The location is close to Coopers Mill (see photo below). The vesting was for the purpose of establishing a Nature Observatory, to be utilised for the study and documentation of the flora and fauna of the delta islands and the associated waters. The Nature Observatory was established in 1985. The founder of our Club, the late Dominic Serventy owned a property nearby, and considered Cooleenup Island and the adjoining islands of the Murray River delta a location well suited to the study of natural history.

For several years, the club organised fund-raising for the observatory, and in 1985 Otto Mueller lead a team of volunteers for construction of the building.

The cottage has sleeping facilities for 13 people, and is fully furnished. There is a large community room, fully equipped kitchen, laundry and toilet facilities, and three bedrooms. There is room for an extra camp bed in the study, where there is a small library with reference books, and diaries for recording of observations.

Yunderup Nature Observatory - photo Alan Notley
Yunderup Nature Observatory – photo Alan Notley

For bookings and more information – please contact the Club Office. You will need to have access to your own river transport to the Field Station, and for exploration of the Murray River and the east shore of the Harvey Estuary. For bird watchers, the Field Station is in an outstanding location, and for botanists the area provides much interest in winter and spring.

The property has its own jetty for mooring small boats – photo Alan Notley

Dining Area – photo Alan Notley

Kitchen – photo Joe Froudist

Study – photo Joe Froudist

Coopers Mill

Coopers MillCoopers Mill is located on the Nature Reserve within walking distance from the Field Station. The original stone windmill section of Old Cooper’s Mill was built on Cooleenup Island in Yunderup by the Cooper family, who arrived in Western Australia in 1830. Construction of the mill began in 1843 and was completed in 1847. Unfortunately Joseph Cooper senior was killed in an accident before the mill was completed. The mill was operated by his sons until 1850 when the sails were destroyed by fire.