Matilda Bay


On the Swan River there is a natural bay, Matilda Bay which is believed to have been named after Matilda, the wife of John Septimus Roe. He was, in the 1800s, the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia and was, for a number of years, a member of Western Australia’s legislative and executive councils.

Whats so interesting about Matilda Bay you may ask.

Nothing, I might have responded, if I hadn’t be commuting along the Mounts Bay Road, every day Monday thru Friday for the last couple of months. Due these regular trips I became aware of two features of the Matilda Bay shore line.

The first being a bronze statue, of a woman preparing to dive, mounted on a pedestal some meters offshore.  Eliza  is located at the site of the former Crawley Baths.

Apparently, when they opened in 1914, the baths were the largest enclosed body of water in the southern hemisphere. They were demolished in 1964.

Eliza – Matilda Bay, Perth, W.A.

Although Eliza was just dressed in seagull poo yesterday, during my many passes she has been adorned with all manner of clothing, banners and balloons. No one is sure who dresses Eliza but past costumes have included a Santa Claus outfit with beard and coincident with the Melbourne Cup, a frock and champagne flute.

The second feature to catch my eye is the Crawley Edge Boat Shed

Crawley Edge Boat Shed – Perth, W.A.

A few years ago this structure was due to be demolished. Like the phoenix it has risen again and has become another icon of Perth, with many tourists travelling here to specifically take selfies.

Crawley Edge Boat Shed – Perth, W.A.

Note: Mounts Bay Road is a very busy road. There are no parking facilities adjacent to either of these features. The nearest parking requires a short, not unpleasant, walk along the shore line.

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