A Brief History of  Gwelup



 

The Lake Gwelup was first recorded in Lands Department records in 1878 as Gwelup Swamp and in more recent years the surrounds have been cleared and filled seeing recorded as a lake. 

In 1831 land near Lake Gwelup was first granted to Thomas Mews. It passed through several owners before being acquired by Henry Bull of Sydney in 1891. Gwelup was subdivided by Bull during 1898 and 1899; however, development was relatively slow and the land was mainly used for market gardens in the early years. Along North Beach Road and surrounding suburbs there are remnants of older, rural-style homes and market garden cottages. From the 1970's Gwelup was transformed from a rural area to a modern residential suburb. Until recently only a few market gardens along North Beach Road remained as a reminder of earlier times.

Lake Gwelup is part of the Perth group of wetlands which also includes Big Carine Swamp, Careniup Swamp, Lake Monger, Herdsman Lake and Jackadder Lake as well as many other smaller wetlands. Great portions of the wetlands that once existed in the metropolitan area have been subject to reclamation or completely filled.   

Nearby Careniup Swamp: Careniup Swamp was first recorded as part of a survey in 1844. The name "Karrinyup" appears to have derived from this swamp, which is located on the northern boundary of Gwelup. These lakes all tend to have irregular elongated or regular circular shapes occupying depressions in the limestone dunes and occur at altitudes of less than 10 metres.

Throughout the wetland regions, aboriginals hunted for kangaroo, emu, snakes, tortoise, mudfish, gilgies and water birds and their eggs, to name a few food sources. Aboriginal sites are known to have existed in a few locations about at Gwelup and other the lake systems.

Lake Gwelup is home to many species of local flora and fauna as well as international visitors such as migratory water birds. Local species include: Black Swan (Cygnus atratus),  Western Long-necked Tortoises (Chelodina oblonga) who eat mosquito larvae as juveniles. The Western Green and Gold Bell Frog (Litoria moorei) Banjo Frog (Limnodynastes dorsalis) are among the frogs that can be found at the lake. Unfortunately, many larger reptile have not survived human intervention and the presence of dogs and cats.

 

Sources:

City of Stirling

City of Vincent

Department of Land Administration

Various internet resources