History & Heritage
Whiteman Park is a unique recreation and conservation reserve that covers nearly 4,000 hectares of natural bushland and leisure facilities in Perth’s northern suburbs.
The History of Whiteman Park
The Park takes its name from Mr Lew Whiteman (1903-1994) who purchased land in the area in 1939 for the purpose of grazing cattle, before developing the popular picnic spot of Mussel Pool in the 1960s.
From 1977 to 1990, landholdings were purchased by the State government from numerous owners, including Mr Whiteman, with the understanding that it be owned and used by the community in perpetuity.
The creation of the parkland also served to protect the Gnangara Water Mound, a vital source of drinking water for the Perth metropolitan area, and create a haven for local flora and fauna.
In 1986, Whiteman Park was officially opened and named in recognition of Mr Whiteman’s pioneering development of the public open space.
Areas west of Beechboro Road and along the Bennett Brook south to the Swan River came under Whiteman Park management in 1999 and 2001.
Transport heritage is a strong cultural theme at Whiteman Park. Nowhere else in Australia can you find an opportunity to experience such a wide range of transport heritage in one place.
Whiteman Park’s transport heritage theme dates back to the 1960s, when Lew Whiteman assembled a collection of waggons and machinery on the land he then owned around Mussel Pool.
There are now five independent community groups based at Whiteman Park; each hold significant transport heritage collections and provide rides and displays for visitors. These groups are the:
- Motor Museum of WA,
- Tractor Museum of WA,
- Bus Preservation Society of WA,
- Western Australian Light Railway Preservation Association (operating Bennett Brook Railway), and the
- Perth Electric Tramway Society (operating the Whiteman Park Heritage Tramway).
Revolutions Transport Museum is Whiteman Park’s own integrated transport heritage display. The Museum is the storytelling hub of the Park that aims to transform the way we think about transport and how it shapes our lives and our neighbourhoods. Bringing all the modes of land transport together in one place, Revolutions tells stories in the Western Australian context and is also home to the Whiteman Collection. Make Revolutions your first stop on the Transport Heritage Trail.
Take a journey on the Transport Heritage Trail, starting at Revolutions Transport Museum.
Whiteman Park is reserved for parks and recreation in the Metropolitan Region Scheme, creating a space for the community whilst also protecting a major underground drinking water source, the Gnangara Water Mound. It is also one of the largest conservation and recreation parks located in an urban environment in the world.
We are dedicated to the education and conservation of environmental, transport and cultural heritage.
The vision that guides our work, is to create a world class metropolitan park that safeguards biodiversity and cultural heritage.