Exmouth Water Spray Ground
The Federation Park Water Spray Ground was completed in July 2013. An opening event was enjoyed by the children of Exmouth during the July School Holidays with smiling parents watching on. It is a fantastic and unique representation of our regions natural and cultural heritage values and a new fun filled attraction for Federation Park.
This project would not have been possible without the generous financial contributions from Department of Regional Development through their Royalties for Regions funding program, Landcorp, Variety WA, Caring for our Country, Ningaloo Coast World Heritage Program and the Shire of Exmouth.
Story of the Water Spray Ground
Elements of the Water Spray Ground
Daily from 9.00am to 6.00pm
Story of the Water Spray Ground
The Exmouth Water Spray Ground was a sub-project of the Town Centre Revitalisation Project and is the centre piece of the redeveloped Federation Park situated within the heart of the town centre.
The nautical and marine theme that is the basis of the design encapsulates important aspects of the North West Cape’s cultural and environmental heritage which has received World Heritage status. The interpretive signage features of the water spray ground serve as a key education tool providing interactive information about the importance of the Ningaloo Coast World Heritage area and its globally important and unique species (such as humpback whales, turtles and dolphins) encouraging children to actively learn through play, exploration, role play and interaction with others. In addition, it aims to create a sense of pride and connection to their country and a desire to help look after it.
The unique design and the location of the facility provides a significant enhancement to Federation Park and the Town Centre. The spray ground is not only a fun, engaging, freely accessible, interactive year-round facility for children of all ages and abilities/disabilities, but it also serves as a landmark visible from the Ross Street Mall (main shopping precinct), linking the mall to Federation Park and the Exmouth Paltridge Memorial Swimming Pool.
The spray ground is completely disabled accessible, free entry and open day light hours all year round. The flat surface of the main spray pad area means that over 90% of the spray ground is safely and easily accessible for all users whether able bodied or wheel chair bound. The only area not accessible by wheel chair (i.e. the other <10%) is one corner that has been designed as a series of small steps with water cascading from a shallow pond at the top down to the main spray pad level. This particular feature has been designed specifically with very young children in mind, i.e. something that toddlers and crawlers can sit on, crawl on and explore. So in reality, even this feature does not exclude access and use by mobility challenged children, as the intended way to use it is at ground level.
In the evening well designed lighting transforms elements of the water spray ground (eg small sailing boat) into public art.
Exmouth and the Ningaloo region have a reputation for nature based tourism and adventure junkie type activities. Be they visitors or locals, there are many people that do not have the financial means or physical ability to participate in such activities as Whale Sharking, SCUBA Diving, Game Fishing etc. The spray ground will provide an opportunity for such people to let their imagination take them on a journey where they can interact with some of the wonders of the region and gain knowledge and understanding of the significance from the interpretive/interactive signage.
Elements of the Water Spray Ground
The Cape Range National Park represented by the Cave feature and its inhabitants hidden within its rock walls:
The North West Cape karst geological system contains a complex groundwater hydrology that includes multiple partially filled caves, some of which have a direct connection to the sea and are subject to tidal fluctuations.
The sub-surface geological hydro-geological system supports subterranean fauna of national and international significance, including stygofauna (aquatic) and troglofauna (air-breathing). Click here for more information on the Cape Range National Park and its significant fauna.
Marine Life of Exmouth and the Ningaloo Reef represented by the Humpback Whale, dolphins and turtles:
Exmouth and the broader Ningaloo Region is thriving with an abundance of various speices of marine life. The Ningaloo Marine Park and Exmouth Gulf both provide significantly important and unique environmental conditions for marine life, hence our World Heritage status.
Species seen in significantly large numbers within our waters include whalesharks, turtles, dolphins, whales, sharks, stingrays, fish, corals, molluscs, the list goes on. Click here for more detailed information on the Ningaloo Marine Park and its marine life.
The VLF Radar Array represented by the star shape:
Built in 1965-67, the VLF Transmitter and Antenna System are symbolic of the very reason that the town of Exmouth exists today. Exmouth was established in the late 1960’s primarily to service the then U.S. Naval Communications Station now known as Naval Communication Station Harold E Holt (NCSHEH).
The station is sited on the northern most tip of the peninsula known as North West Cape. The Very Low Frequency (VLF) antennas are large spider webs of wire forming an array supported in a top hat arrangement. The VLF transmitter and antenna system is used to relay communications with U.S., Australian and allied submarines.
Maritime History represented by the boat feature:
Pearling in Western Australia: existed well before European settlement. Coastal dwelling Aborigines had collected and traded pearl shell with fisherman from Sulawesi for possibly hundreds of years. Pearling centred first around Nickol Bay and Exmouth Gulf and then around Broome to become the largest in the world by 1910. To this day it remains an important part of the Western Australian economy.
Shipwrecks: There are many documented shipwrecks along the North West Cape dating back hundreds of years. Few of the most significant are the Barque Stefano Shipwreck 1875 and the Mildura Wreck which can still be seen to this day from the tip of the North West Cape and what brought about the construction of Vlaming Head Lighthouse.
Whaling: Norwegians operated from Jervis Bay, and Frenchman’s Bay (Albany), before basing their activities from Norwegian Bay (Point Cloates) in the State’s North-West. Between 1913 and 1916 they caught more than 4,000 whales making considerable profit from the whale oil and fertilizer they produced. In 1916 they abandoned whaling when dwindling numbers made the industry less viable. Between 1925 and 1929 the Norwegian Bay Whaling Company operated profitably from Point Cloates once whale numbers had recovered. Then again from 1936 foreign whalers operated off the North-West, killing 7,000 whales in three years.
Prawning: A detailed history of prawning can be seen at the 'Big Prawn' located adjacent to the Exmouth Visitor Centre on Murat Road. Click here for a pdf version of the interpretive panels.
Fishing: Recreational fishing including bottom fishing, spear fishing, shore-based fishing and game fishing are not only enjoyed by locals but also contribute greatly to Exmouth's thriving tourism industry.
Oil & Gas: An industry of emerging and growing importance for the sustainable growth of Exmouth.