Island Gateway

The Island Gateway project incorporates upgrades within the main arrival and departure point of Rottnest Island including the Settlement Mall, Wadjemup Museum and surrounds.

The first stage of the Island Gateway project is nearing completion. It includes making the Settlement Mall an even more pedestrian-friendly place and improving services and family-friendly amenities in the surrounding areas.

Project description

The Rottnest Island Management Plan (RIMP) 2020-24 identifies the enhancement of the overall visitor experience as a key initiative. The project encompasses enhanced pedestrian access and traffic management, upgrades to signage within the visitor arrival area, and upgrades to the Settlement Mall, playground and surrounding public realm.

Works completed to date include:

  • The refurbishment of the Wadjemup Museum to provide new cultural and heritage displays, collections and immersive experiences, as well as an upgrade of the Museum gardens. Learn more about the Wadjemup Museum here.
  • Activating the full extent of the mall, and infrastructure and amenity upgrades to reduce congestion and make the mall and surrounding areas an even greener, more enjoyable, pedestrian-friendly part of the Island. 
  • New public artwork to welcome visitors at the main arrival and departure point of Rottnest Island (Wadjemup), located between the Main Jetty and the Visitor Centre.
Works to be completed during 2022 include improved play equipment and the refurbishment of the Visitor Centre public toilets.

New welcome statement

  • Public artwork to welcome visitors at the main arrival and departure point of Rottnest Island (Wadjemup), located between the Main Jetty and the Visitor Centre.
Works to be completed during 2022 include improved play equipment and the refurbishment of the Visitor Centre public toilets.

Called Koora-Yeye-Boordawan-Kalyakoorl (Past-Present-Future-Forever), the sculpture has been constructed in limestone, concrete and aluminium, and creates a powerful statement at the end of the Main Jetty.

The sculpture is the work of Western Australian artists Sharyn Egan and Jahne Rees with significant input from the Whadjuk Noongar community. The sculpture responds to an overarching theme of Gnalang Wadjemup (Our Wadjemup), integral to Noongar culture yet encompassing universal principles of welcome to all who visit the Island.

Standing at a height of 9m, the sculpture comprises two main elements: a traditional shield made of limestone concrete, entwined with the figure of a breaching whale made of thick contoured aluminium pipe. The whale, which can be seen when the sculpture is viewed from the side, carries the human spirit traveling from the physical world to the spiritual realm. When viewed from the front, the shield bears the image of a proud Noongar warrior standing tall with his spear. From this vantage point, the aluminium pipe used to depict the whale looks like prison bars, referencing Rottnest’s century-long history as a prison for Aboriginal people.

Sandblasted text on the shield gives visitors insight into the artwork’s meaning.

A birds-eye view of the sculpture shows a map of Wadjemup, including its salt lakes and the ‘Emu in the Sky’ — a constellation known to Aboriginal astronomers all over Australia.

The sculpture was installed during November 2021, and officially launched in December 2021.  

Project key features

Key features of this project include:

  • Upgrades to mall infrastructure, including water and electrical services
  • New landscaping including a new grassed areas and shrubbery
  • Installation of additional shelter and shade elements
  • Improved play equipment
  • New furniture – tables, seating and bike racks.
  • Improved lighting to activate the Settlement Mall in the evenings
  • Improved signage in the area
  • A new welcoming sculpture at the base of the Main Jetty.

Estimated project completion

Stage 1: Museum Refurbishment, Settlement Mall Upgrades and Artwork > Complete
Playground: > Mid-2022



New sculpture to welcome visitors to Rottnest Island (Wadjemup). Entitled Koora-Yeye-Boordawan-Kalyakoorl (Past-Present-Future-Forever), the artwork celebrates the Rottnest Island’s rich Noongar heritage and importance as a national tourist icon.





New look settlement Mall.





Related documents

Download the Island Gateway Design Vision (PDF 9.5MB)

Acknowledgement

This project has been made possible by funding from the Australian Government and the State Government of Western Australia.

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