The cottage was constructed in 1931 initially for short term accommodation for visitors as well as honeymoon couples. Later t was used for staff accommodation. In its time, beautiful gardens surrounded the cottage and views could be sought right across the valley. The building fell into disrepair but has been full restored and is now the Parks Administration building.
Just up from the Concourse and the Pool is the Margaret Simons Pergola. This long pergola was erected in memory of Margaret Simons 1860 – 1937 who was the wife of J.J. Simons. The pergola is reported to be one of the largest in the Southern Hemisphere and is made up of huge stone pillars topped with large jarrah logs. Recently it was refurbished and deteriorating timbers replaces.
Araluen… a wonderful treasure set in a lush secluded valley in the Perth Hills, some 35 kms south east of Perth. Araluen is a botanical park known for its tulip showing in the Spring known as the ‘Yates Springtime in Araluen’. Along with the tulips, native wildflowers can be seen throughout the year as well as roses and other blooms. You maybe lucky and also see a kangaroo or wallaby on your walks.
Scattered around the park are plenty of picnic areas, with table as well as electric barbeques which are provided free for visitors on the concourse area. There are also some wood-fired barbeque’s and firewood around the park. .
The Pool and Pergola area provides stone seating and walls which are used for outdoor events such as concerts throughout the year and Christmas Carols in December. Wintertime tends to clutter the pool with debris from surrounding trees.
The Pool or artificial lake was completed in 1940 to replace the old one. On the western side a heavy stone pergola was built with 16 pillars 11ft high and on top, were heavy jarrah logs. The pergola was then draped with magnificent wisteria. Natural stones paved the area.
The gardens are fed by water from a storage dam on the northern boundary of the park. Water is also released from the Canning Dam from within the park which allows the creek flows throughout the Park all year around. Previously during the summer months, the water flow was either greatly diminished or non-existent.
The Log Cabin was built In 1931 and was built of natural round logs with the floor being of rough stones. The Canadian styled building had a fireplace and a front port which provided a wonderful view of the valley. All that remained of the building in 1990 was the fireplace and some of the foundations. A few roof trusses and window frames were found stacked nearby. It is not known who demolished the building. The site has now been converted into a shelter for visitors.
Araluen Park is a recognised heritage site, with both the gardens and the structures being viewed as State heritage treasures. The National Trust of Australia (WA) has classified Araleun and the property has been placed on the Municipal Inventory of Heritage Places and the Register of the Heritage Council of WA.
Just up on the hillside beyond the Concourse, as clearly defined, is the ‘Old Dunnies’. This is one of the few buildings in the park that has not as yet been restored. Who knows whether they will be, they are certainly a bit of a hike compared to the newer ones around the park.
This is one tree that really stood out on the Concourse. This is a purple stemmed Box Elder which grows to a height of 30 ft tree (and 7 ft wide) and produces long clusters of maroon flowers in the spring. The new shoots are maroon.
The terraced gardens were started in 1937 and planted with rhododendrons. . They were built with half round recesses at which point English lilac was planted. In 1990 when the Araluen Foundation began restoration of the gardens, there was almost no trace of these terraced gardens. It took the clearing away of tonnes of leaf little, fallen trees and soil to reveal the full extent of the terrace. Today you can still see some of the English Lilac which was originally planted.
Plans for Chalet Healy were drawn up in 1935 as a guest house which was to supply meals and with limited sleeping accommodation with a shop attached. In 1937 the Chalet Healy, named after T.V. Healy of Valcluse NSW, officially opened by the then Governor of W.A. Sir James Mitchell. Healy generously contributed to the building being completed. For many years the Chalet operated as a guesthouse. The chalet was restored in 1993 and again in 2003 and now operates as a restaurant and kiosk. The restaurant can be booked for parties and other occasions as well as just for individuals for dinner. The kiosk is open 7 days a week for light snacks and a sausage sizzle on Sundays. Lunch, morning/afternoon teas are served in the restaurant from 10.00am to 4.00pm.
Known as the Roundhouse, although the building is not actually round, this building sits on the original Youth Australia campsite. The Roundhouse is a gift shop which features anything from brightly colour appliqué to a large range of retail therapy. There are huggable cushions, teddies, frogs, ducks and Australian animals. Tulips of course feature a lot in the choices of goods to buy. There are also a range of ceramic tiles and gifts featuring Australian birds and wildflowers.
Aspro Cottage is one of the domestic buildings which was constructed in the valley between the late 1920’s and the nearly 1930’s. Natural and locally sourced materials were used in the building of this lovely jarrah cottage. The building has since been restored and will accommodate up to 30 people. There are two small rooms and a large main room with a lovely stone fireplace. There is a kitchen and bathroom/toilet. The cottage can be hired at a daily fee.