Queens Park and the Matagarup Bridge

A little way from our hotel we found Queens Gardens established in 1899 on the site of a brickworks. An oasis of green amongst the flood lights of the WACA , tall office blocks and hotels of the city. Situated as it is just across the road from the WACA it must be a busy place on match days. The Western Australian Cricket Association was officially established on 25 November 1885, the WACA ground was officially opened, occupying a site of old swamp land to the east of the city. The association has a 999-year lease over the land (which expires in 2888).

The black swan is the emblem of Western Australia and it adorns many public buildings and it is featured on the Western Australia State Flag.

There’s a replica of Sir George Frampton’s famous statue of Peter Pan, which was presented to the children of Western Australia in 1927 by the Rotory Club of Perth. the original is in Kensington Gardens London, only 4 copies have been made from the original mould.

Little Egret

In November 2017, the Government announced that the bridge would officially be named “Matagarup Bridge”, where “Matagarup” is the Nyungar name for the whole area – waters included – around Heirisson Island, and which means “place where the river is only leg deep, allowing it to be crossed”. It had previously been referred to as the Swan River Pedestrian Bridge.

The structure is designed as a 3-span steel cable-stayed bridge, with the two piers in the river bed. The bridge maximum height of 72 metres (236 ft) is reached in midspan of the central span. The length between the abutments is 400 metres (1,300 ft), with a 160-metre-long (520 ft) central span. The total length of the pedestrian crossing is 560 metres (1,840 ft), which includes a 100-metre (330 ft) ramp at the East Perth end to route pedestrians away from nearby residential areas.

The bridge’s structural shape resembles two flying swans, with the bridge arches representing the wishbones, but it can also be seen as a swimming dolphin, a Wagyl serpent or a ribbon. 900 metres (3,000 ft) of multicolour LED lighting cover the bridge. (The Wagyl is the Noongar version of the Rainbow Serpent in Australian Aboriginal mythology, from the culture based around the south-west of Western Australia).

Design modifications were made to allow bridge climbing as a tourist attraction. The modifications include the addition of handrails along the wishbones and a viewing elevated platform. The structural design already included stairs for bridge inspection and maintenance works. The addition of a zip-line from the top of the bridge to the ground is also being considered.

The estimated cost of the bridge, as of June 2015, was $54 million by January 2018, the construction cost had increased to $91.5 million.

Cormorant drying out.
Detail of the chest feathers
Bright red bottlebrush (Callistemon).
No seafood for supper then!
Another view of the bridge.
The End

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