Mount Henry Peninsula

Mount Henry Peninsula is a land feature and reserve located 11 km (6.8 mi) south of Perth, Western Australia, on the north bank of the Canning River near the Mount Henry Bridge in Salter Point, Western Australia. It covers 11.9 hectares (29 acres), and includes both Banksia attenuata and Banksia menziesii woodland, and a muddy and desert biome. The peninsula features limestone slopes, shoreline vegetation, wetlands, and contains the most inland vegetated knoll of the Spearwood dunes on the Swan-Canning estuary, as well as a significant variety of natural conditions for birds and other fauna. The Mount Henry Peninisula is a designated Bush Forever Site, number 227.[1]

The peninsula is owned by the Congregation of Christian Brothers as part of the Aquinas College property, and is managed as a reserve with the Department of Environment and the City of South Perth for heritage conservation, education and passive recreation values. Senior students at Aquinas College are involved in the Community Service Program, and many choose to participate in Environmental Service.[2]

The "Canning River Wetlands", which takes in Mount Henry Peninsula, is on the Register of the National Estate,[3] (Australia's national inventory of natural and cultural heritage places which are worth keeping for the future). The future preservation of the Mount Henry Peninsula has been guaranteed through the signing of the Bush Forever program by the Christian Brothers as owners of the Aquinas College property.

Mount Henry Peninsula
Mount Henry Shoreline, Aquinas Bay.
Location Perth, Western Australia
Traditional land owners Noongar
First title holders Manning family
Size 0.119 km2 (29 acres)
Land title Privately owned
Current owners Aquinas College, Perth


The Noongar people have been acknowledged as the traditional owners of this area. Nyungar people used Mount Henry as a lookout to see where family camps were, from the smoke rising from their campfires. Fish traps were set around the peninsula, food was gathered and game driven onto it using fire-stick farming.

Mount Henry was named after Lieutenant John Henry of HMS Challenger, who led an exploratory party of 25 men from the ship on the first survey into the Canning River and Manning area in June 1829.[4][5]

In 1936 at the instigation of Br. Paul Keaney, a member of the Christian Brothers, and the Superior of Clontarf, that 165 acres (0.67 km2) were purchased from the Manning family at Mount Henry on the Canning River. The Christian Brothers established Aquinas College in 1938 and have retained from arrival the Mount Henry Peninsula bushland, following the belief that bushland is the perfect setting for a Christian Boys College: "In the heart of the bush the natural beauty of the surroundings will raise their minds to higher things."[6]


The Mount Henry Peninsula is a prominent headland with limestone outcrops on the shores of the Canning River, one of few remaining original ecosystems along the river.

Before conservation was a large concern to the college, the slopes were run down and decaying, the sandy soils and limestone slopes were constantly prone to erosion and damage by human interaction. Some had collapsed and were a major occupational hazard. At one point, the peninsula was used as a limestone quarry, the remnants of the quarry are no longer visible from the river or on the designated walking tracks.

In late 1996, the Mount Henry Conservation Group (MHCG) headed by Jan King started work on the peninsula. A large proportion of this work was the strengthening and re-enforcing of eroded slopes. Today, projects by the Mount Henry Conservation still continue to strengthen slopes and decrease erosion.


Mt henry peninsula banksia
One of the many banksias on the peninsula

Native species

Native flora in the Mount Henry Peninsula area are diverse as and change from reeds at the shore to banksia and tuart trees further inland.

The Mount Henry Peninsula is covered by open woodland of tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala), merging into low open woodland of marri (Corymbia calophylla), jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and the Western Australian Christmas tree (Nuytsia floribunda), with a very varied understorey the Mount Henry Peninsula is the only remaining bushland on the Swan Coastal Plain which includes plant communities of foreshores, limestone slopes, ridge woodlands and dampland.

At the base of the hill there is a small stand of swamp cypress (Actinostrobus acuminatus). Along the riverbank there is a different range of flora, including Juncus kraussii, Scripus nododsus and Suadea australis. The area supports over one hundred native species in all.


Two species of Banksia are found on Mount Henry Peninsula, B. attenuata (candlestick banksia) and B. menziesii (firewood banksia). B. attenuata flowers from spring into summer and the B. menziesii flowering occurs in autumn and winter, the presence of both these species on Mount Henry Peninsula means that at any time during an annual period, at least one of the species of Banksia will be in flower, This is a major factor in the support of Mount Henry Peninsula's bird population.

Due to the sensitivity of both Banksia species to Phytophthora cinnamomi dieback, other less lethal weed killers are used on Mount Henry Peninsula.

Introduced species

Lachenalia reflexa

Native to South Africa, the yellow soldier is an introduced weed to the Mount Henry area. The yellow soldier species is so dangerous to natural flora and fauna that it has been placed on the national weed alert program, one of only 28 weeds to be recognised as extremely dangerous at a national level to natural bushland in Australia.[7] Reaching approximately 10 cm when in flower, this weed spreads readily though the distribution of seeds. Yellow soldier plants are also able to regenerate from root systems left after fire or incomplete removal of the plant.

The only effective form of removal for the yellow soldier is through spot-spraying of herbicides. The ability to quickly germinate from seed requires multiple courses of spraying to completely eliminate yellow soldier. The herbicide used has been specially developed by the Department of Agriculture and Food[8]


The Mount Henry area of the Canning River is one of several undergoing extensive regeneration. These areas are now sanctuaries for both native flora and fauna, including 37 bird and 11 reptile species. Recorded fauna include:


BlueTonguedLizard 2005 SeanMcClean
Blue tongued lizard

There are many different species of lizards on the peninsula. Most commonly occurring is the blue tongued lizard however there has also been encounters with armless lizards. There has been little interaction with snakes as they seem to move away from any human movement and interaction within the dense vegetation. There are very few dugites present on the peninsula. The Department of Conservation and Environment has been surveying the lizard populations among other things to determine whether they can start a baiting program for introduced species.


There are other varieties of birds such as the honeyeater which is sighted throughout the bush on a regular basis, and the crow. seagulls can be found around the school area at times but have not yet inhabited the peninsula itself. The most notable bird life on the Mount Henry Peninsula are the osprey (Pandion haliaetus).

The osprey is the main avian predator of larger fish in the area. Commonly called a fish hawk, the osprey has a long body of around 60 cm (24 in) and a wingspan of 135–180 centimetres (53–71 in). They can be found nesting on dead trees, utility poles, pylons and floating buoys. Osprey may only be present for a few weeks of the year but can take up to 2 fish per hour 30–60 centimetres (12–24 in) long). Average consumption rate has been estimated at 0.23 kilograms per day (0.0059 lb/ks). The osprey currently nesting on the Mount Henry Peninsula is nearly a permanent resident of the area; it is nested on a platform and post donated by Western Power after a fire swept through the bushland in late 1997.

The osprey is notable as the best example of the predator-prey relationship within the Mount Henry Peninsula region. It is an ecological specialist (it depends on particular types of diet or habitat). The osprey's main diet is fish, and its opposable back claws let it grasp fish as it dives. It is believed to be the only bird in the area to fully submerge itself in a dive. The osprey feeds on nearly any fish which it can digest - fish species identified in the Mount Henry-Canning River area are black bream,[9] Swan River goby and Perth herring.


There have been few sightings of the bandicoot- however, on these rare occasions, the species has been narrowed down to the long nosed bandicoot which is found all around Australia.

The bandicoots have been recorded as present on the peninsula since the first Europeans settled in the area, at one point during the history of the peninsula the population of bandicoots dwindled due to the introduction of rabbits to the area. The Mount Henry Conservation Group has eradicated all rabbits from the area and there are records of bandicoots re-inhabiting the peninsula.[10]

Community Service Program

The Community Service Program at Aquinas College presents an opportunity to teach the students some of the aspects of bush regeneration, quite a foreign subject and viewpoint in most cases, and through involvement, enable them to gain some understanding of the value of bushland and how we can assist in its conservation. The Group consists of local community members, staff, parents, and students.

Peninsula projects

Major projects have been achieved since the Conservation Group began, with the assistance of grants and partnerships. Such projects include;

  • Preparation of Information Boards for the shoreline and bushland (Funded by the National Estate Grants Programme).
  • Areas of the steep limestone slopes which were badly eroded have been retained and re-vegetated.
  • Heavy jarrah has been planted and grown for terracing.
  • A slope near Mount Henry Bridge was severely eroded by clambering. Tracks were created, junior school children planted trees and fences were mended.
  • Following a large bush fire, Western Power, Park Engineers and CALM staff installed an osprey nesting platform to replace the fallen dead Tuart on the slope in which an osprey pair had been nesting.
  • Contractors have been employed to spray the burnt area with Fusilade against Veld grass. The spraying program has been supplemented by hand weeding.
  • The City of South Perth have placed rabbit bait traps to try to kill off rabbits.
  • The MAMSJH Foundation, started in 1990, seeks to rejuvenate plants and oxidise flora on the timeless peninsular. It is most well known for the Bank-sir for Banksia Day on 12 July of each year.[10]


The upkeep of the Mount Henry Bushland area is extremely costly, mainly because of its vast size. Funding and grants from charitable organisations, corporations and government are vital to continue the upkeep of this environment. The following companies and organisations have assisted in the funding and upkeep of the area:[2]

See also

Mount Henry (Montana)


  1. ^ Western Australian Planning Commission (December 2000). "Estuaries, Rivers and Creeks Descriptions (Vol 2 Part B)" (PDF). Bush Forever 2000 Bush Forever Site Description. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  2. ^ a b Aquinas College (July 2001). "Aquinas College Service Learning Program". Service Learning Journal Description. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  3. ^ "Place ID 17241". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment.
  4. ^ "Origin and meaning of street and place names" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 September 2006.
  5. ^ J.S. Battye (1924). "Western Australia, A History from its Discovery to the Inauguration of the Commonwealth. Ch. 4". Project Gutenberg of Australia. Retrieved 14 March 2007.
  6. ^ CBC Annual, 1937.
  7. ^ CRC for Australian Weed Management (April 2006). "Weeds in the Media" (PDF). p. 62. Archived from the original (PDF) on 1 October 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  8. ^ Department of Agriculture and Food (November 2006). "Yellow Soldier Research and Solutionis" (PDF). Department of Agriculture and Food. Retrieved 16 November 2006.
  9. ^ Swan River Trust. "Karlodinum Micrum Bloom 2003" (PDF). Retrieved 16 November 2006. - Black Bream
  10. ^ a b Aquinas College (3 August 2007). "Aquinas College Service Learning Program". August 3 Mount Henry Peninsula environment presentation. Retrieved 30 July 2007.

Further reading

  • Mt Henry Peninsula Foreshore Management Plan. Ecoscape (Australia) Pty Ltd (for City of South Perth). 2004. - Q 333.782 ECO, Battye Library, Perth.

Coordinates: 32°1′55″S 115°51′40″E / 32.03194°S 115.86111°E

Actinostrobus acuminatus

Actinostrobus acuminatus, commonly known as dwarf cypress, creeping pine or Moore cypress pine, is a species of coniferous tree in the Cupressaceae (cypress family). Like the other species in the genus Actinostrobus, it is endemic to southwestern Western Australia, where it can be found along the shorelines of rivers. The Mount Henry Peninsula is an example of the environment in which this cypress is found. It shares the common name dwarf cypress with several other plants, and shares the name creeping pine with others.

It is a shrub or small tree, reaching 1-4.5 m tall. The leaves are evergreen and mixed scale-like and needle-like, except on young seedlings, where they are all needle-like. The leaves are arranged in six rows along the twigs, in alternating whorls of three; the scale leaves are 2–4 mm long, the needle leaves 10–20 mm long. The male cones are small, 3–6 mm long, and are located at the tips of the twigs. The female cones start out similarly inconspicuous, but mature in 18–20 months to 15–20 mm long, with a pointed apex.

Aquinas College, Perth

Aquinas College, locally abbreviated as Aquinas, is an independent Roman Catholic single-sex primary and secondary day and boarding school for boys, located at Salter Point, a suburb of Perth, Western Australia.

Aquinas opened in 1938 when boarders and day students from Christian Brothers College (CBC Perth) moved to the new campus at Salter Point. The history of Aquinas begins with CBC Perth which was founded in 1894 in the Perth central business district. Aquinas was the beneficiary of CBC Perth history, honours and achievements for the period 1894–1937.The campus at Aquinas was built on elevated land which is part of the 69-hectare (171-acre) site at Salter Point. The site includes a large area of bushland on the Mount Henry Peninsula with over two kilometres (one point two miles) of water frontage on the Canning River.Currently, Aquinas College accepts day students from Years 4 to 12 and boarding as well as day students from Years 7 to 12. Aquinas also has years K – 2 and will add Year 3 in 2018. School fees range from $5,937 for a Kindergarten day student to $46,404 for a Year 12 international boarding student. The campus includes expansive sporting grounds, and boarding facilities for 210 students.Its sister school is Santa Maria Ladies College in Attadale.

The College is affiliated with the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA), the Junior School Heads Association of Australia (JSHAA) and the Public Schools Association (PSA).

Christian Brothers' College, Perth

Christian Brothers College, informally known as CBC Perth or The Terrace was an Independent school for boys situated on St Georges Terrace in the centre of Perth, Western Australia. The college opened in January 1894, and the college was a founding member of the Public Schools Association in 1905. The college was the second high school (1894) and the second boarding school (1896) in Western Australia. In 1938 boarders and some day students at CBC moved to the new Aquinas College campus at Salter Point. Brother C.P. Foley, who was the headmaster of CBC Perth and who at the same was the first headmaster of Aquinas took with him the Christian Brothers College crest and colours, honour boards, and Public Schools Association membership. Brother Foley insisted the heritage of CBC Perth from 1894-1937 belonged to Aquinas. To further enhance Aquinas as the premier the Christian Brothers College, the main building at Aquinas was designed in the Federation Arts and Crafts architecture of CBC Perth. Meanwhile, although most of the day students remained at CBC Perth, numbers were depleted and the college immediately accepted an overflow of students from St Patrick's Boys School on Wellington Street. CBC Perth continued as a day school from 1938-1961. In 1962, the students and staff of CBC Perth moved to a new site on the East Perth foreshore and the college was renamed Trinity College.

Kwinana Freeway

The Kwinana Freeway is a 72-kilometre (45 mi) freeway in and beyond the southern suburbs of Perth, Western Australia, linking central Perth with Mandurah to the south. It is the central section of State Route 2, which continues north as Mitchell Freeway to Clarkson, and south as Forrest Highway towards Bunbury. A 4-kilometre (2.5 mi) section between Canning and Leach highways is also part of National Route 1. Along its route are interchanges with several major roads, including Roe Highway and Mandjoogoordap Drive. The northern terminus of the Kwinana Freeway is at the Narrows Bridge, which crosses the Swan River, and the southern terminus is at Pinjarra Road, east of Mandurah.

Planning for the Kwinana Freeway began in the 1950s, and the first segment in South Perth was constructed between 1956 and 1959. The route has been progressively widened and extended south since then. During the 1980s, the freeway was extended to South Street in Murdoch, and in June 2001, it reached Safety Bay Road in Baldivis. The final extension began as the New Perth Bunbury Highway project, constructed between December 2006 and September 2009. In early 2009, the section north of Pinjarra Road was named as part of the Kwinana Freeway, with the remainder named Forrest Highway. The freeway has been adapted to cater for public transport, with the introduction of bus priority measures in 1987, and the 2007 opening of the Mandurah railway line, constructed in the freeway median strip.

List of Perth landmarks

Landmarks in Perth comprise man-made structures, or natural features that command the horizon physically, or the cultural landscape, usually by historical or political significance.

Mount Henry

Mount Henry may refer to one of these mountains:

Mount Henry (Alberta), Canada

Mount Henry (Montana), in Glacier National Park, United States

Mount Henry (Enderby Land), in Antarctica

Mount Henry (Ross Dependency), in Antarctica

Mount Henry Bridge

The Mount Henry Bridge carries the Kwinana Freeway and Mandurah railway line over the Canning River in Perth, Western Australia, approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) south of the Perth central business district. At 660 metres (2,165.4 ft) long, it is the longest road bridge in Western Australia. It spans the river between the Mount Henry Peninsula and the suburb of Brentwood.


The Noongar () (also spelt Nyungar, Nyoongar, Nyoongah, Nyungah, Nyugah, Yunga) are a constellation of peoples of Indigenous Australian descent who live in the south-west corner of Western Australia, from Geraldton on the west coast to Esperance on the south coast. Noongar country is now understood as referring to the land occupied by 14 different groups: Amangu, Ballardong, Yued, Kaneang, Koreng, Mineng, Njakinjaki, Njunga, Pibelmen, Pindjarup, Wardandi, Whadjuk, Wiilman and Wudjari.The members of the collective Noongar cultural block descend from peoples who spoke several languages and dialects that were often mutually intelligible. What is now classed as the Noongar language is a member of the large Pama-Nyungan language family. Contemporary Noongar speak Australian Aboriginal English (a dialect of the English language) laced with Noongar words and occasionally inflected by its grammar. Most contemporary Noongar trace their ancestry to more than one of these groups. The 2001 census figures showed that 21,000 people identified themselves as indigenous in the south-west of Western Australia.

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