Coast Australia S2 – Episode 4 Recap
EPISODE 4: SOUTH WESTERN AUSTRALIA – Perth to Augusta
Neil Oliver begins this journey in the rigging of the Duyfken, a replica 16th Century Dutch ship, the first known European vessel to visit Australia. Emma Johnston heads to Cockburn Sound to explore the world’s first, fully-submerged, large-scale wave energy conversion project. Neil Oliver learns of the professional triumph and personal tragedy behind the construction of Fremantle Harbour. Xanthe Mallett joins the Police Dive Squad off Dunsborough for an exercise in underwater body retrieval. Neil Oliver retraces the steps of six Irish prisoners-of-conscience whose daring escape off Rockingham beach nearly triggered a war with the United States. Tim Flannery travels to the vineyards of Margaret River to see if he can taste the maritime clime in its signature drop. Neil Oliver discovers the perfect Coast vehicle to gad about in, while Alice Garner visits a small coastal chapel in Prevelly to explore its link to a wartime history of resistance on Crete. Finally Brendan Moar journeys to Augusta to expose the strength of a great pioneer, and her legacy as a world-class botanical collector.
DUYFKEN / NEIL OLIVER
Location: Duyfken sails out of Fremantle
Neil meets Western Australian sailor (of America’s Cup fame) John Longley aboard the replica of the 16th Century Duyfken – the original vessel being the first known European ship to chart northern Australia. John explains the ship was built in the ‘plank first’ method – and altogether different methodology employed by shipwrights after the 16th century.
WAVE ENERGY / EMMA JOHNSTON
Location: Cockburn Sound
Emma Johnston discovers how to tap into the perpetual ebb and flow of waves to make energy. Due to its position facing uninterrupted ocean the Cockburn Sound in South Western Australia is the perfect place for a commercial wave energy farm. A kilometer of coastline there would provide enough energy to power 20,000 homes. So it’s no surprise that the world’s first wave farm using large-scale wave energy converters is well underway there.
FREMANTLE PORT & CY O’CONNOR / NEIL OLIVER
Location: Fremantle Port & CY O’Connor Beach
Fremantle Harbour Master Captain Allan Gray explains the C.Y. O’Connor’s effective Harbour design. It’s served the Port so well for over a hundred years –that’s changed very little. But the story of C.Y. O’Connor is bigger than Fremantle Harbour. He was employed by John Forest to build ‘Railways, Harbours, Everything’ – and as his great grandson, Mike Lefroy recounts – he had many successes (including the goldfields pipeline). However, bad press and callous politicking made life difficult for this misunderstood genius and he ended his life on the beach that now bears his name. His life and death are commemorated in an evocative ocean-based sculpture by Tony Jones.
BODY RECOVERY UNDERWATER / XANTHE MALLETT
Location: Wreck of HMAS Swan off Dunsborough (Eagle Bay)
The HMAS Swan was commissioned into the Royal Australian Navy in 1970 and although she was decommissioned 1996 – her service continues to this day. On 14 December 1997 she was sunk 1.3 nautical miles off Point Piquet – and is now a purpose built dive site for recreational divers. Xanthe joins the Police Dive Squad on their biannual visit to the site to test equipment and train for underwater body retrieval.
CATALPA RESCUE / NEIL OLIVER
Locations: Bather’s Beach, Fremantle Prison & Rockingham Beach
It’s one of Australian history’s most daring escape stories; An American whaling boat, The Catalpa used by Irish republicans to free prisoners from Perth’s Freemantle prison.
The story begins on 10th January, 1868 on Bather’s Beach in Fremantle where John Boyle O’Reilly first stepped ashore to serve time as a convict for his involvement in the Irish Republican Brotherhood.
Neil visits Fremantle Prison where O’Reilly and other Irish prisoners of conscious (the so-called ‘Fenians’) served some of their sentence before escaping further down the coast at Rockingham beach.
GROUP SETTLEMENT SCHEME / NEIL OLVIER
Location: Margaret River
Nowadays Margaret River is best known for its great wine and surf the pioneering folk who arrived in the early 1920s faced a wholly daunting prospect: Lured by the assurance of ‘Ready-Made Farms’, Post-World War 1 English migrants flocked to this region, in what was known as the Group Settlement Scheme. The area was heavily wooded and many of the ‘Groupies’ (as they were known) had no farm skills. It was an unmitigated disaster with many families simply walking-off their farms. The scheme was abolished in 1930 but it would be another thirty years until the Margaret River truly came to life…
COASTAL TERROIR / TIM FLANNERY
Location: Wilyabrup, Margaret River (Cullen Wines)
In the 1960’s an observant scientist and a couple of doctors from Perth noted that the Margaret River’s climate is akin to that of the south of France. Indeed it’s the Maritime climate of the Margaret River that moderates temperatures perfectly for grape growing. Tim visits Cullen Wines, one of the three pioneering vineyards in the Margaret River to discover its coastal location is the key to its great wines.
PREVELLY / ALICE GARNER
Location: Prevelly, Margaret River
The Chapel of St John the Theologian is a whitewashed Greek chapel overlooking the ocean at Prevelly in the Margaret River district of Western Australia. It stands as a personal tribute by Geoffrey Edwards (a survivor of Battle of Crete) to the people of Crete who bravely hid and protected allied forces – helping them to escape in June 1941.
GEORGIANA MOLLOY / BRENDAN MOAR
Brendan Moar journeys to Augusta to uncover the story of a colonial woman and her extraordinary legacy to Australian botany. With Augusta the second British settlement after Swan River, Molloy was among the first settlers and her story reflects the hardship facing these pioneers who first arrived on the South West coast in 1830. Brendan meets local author Bernice Barry, who gives us an insight into Georgiana’s arduous life and love of botanizing.
The seeds she collected were sent to England for cultivation, and her immaculate specimens are still in the archives at Kew Herbarium. To find out more about the significance of Georgiana’s collection, Brendan meets West Australian botanist, and former director of Kew Gardens, Stephen Hopper: Mrs Molloys’ was the first and finest example of Coastal Flora of the South-West that gained international notoriety.
CAPE LEEUWIN LIGHTHOUSE/ NEIL OLIVER
Journey’s end at Cape Leeuwin, the southernmost Cape of Margaret River. Named by the Dutch in 1622 after the first known European ship to visit these waters – the Leeuwin (‘Lioness’) Cape is where the Southern Ocean meets the Indian Ocean.