About Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre
Your river retreat
The Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre is more than a physical site available for group bookings. It's a special place where Western Australians of all ages can participate in unique and exciting activities within the Perth metopolitan area. Whether it is the conquest of the first abseil, the team success crossing the acid river or paddling on the swan river, it will be an experience and an adventure to remember always.
Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre is perched on the cliff escarpment in Bicton, overlooking the Swan River. It features magnificent river and city views from its broad acre parkland environment.
The centre is at the hub of the precinct surrounded by parklands and includes the Point Walter Public Golf Course, Point Walter Reserve and the Swan River where there are dual use paths for walking and cycling.
The centre was first established as a migrant camp in 1948, as a ‘gateway to a new life’. In 1972 it was used by the Education Department and was home to the Graylands Teachers College.
It was taken over by the Ministry for Youth, Sport and Recreation in 1980 and run as a recreation camp.
In 1986, during a redevelopment, the remaining migrant hostel buildings were demolished. The Ministry officially re-opened the facility on 26 September 1986, first hosting the members of the Costa Smerelda Yacht Club – the Italian syndicate that challenged for the America’s Cup held in Fremantle.
The facility was used to stage youth leadership courses, sport and fitness seminars, live-in educational conferences and other community based programs. Today the facility still plays an important role in improving educational and recreational outcomes for young people.
Following the refurbishment of the centre in 2005, which was funded through the DSR Capital Works Program, the construction of an additional accommodation dormitory, dining rooms, new day area, change rooms and ablutions as well as significant upgrades to existing amenities has been provided.
Local points of interest
There are many places of interest within walking distance of Point Walter. It is encouraged that groups heading to Point Walter use the local attractions to attain the full value of the Point Walter precinct. Its foreshore reserves hold significant biological, community, cultural (Aboriginal heritage) and recreation value. The following is information that may assist when planning your stay.
Point Walter Reserve
Point Walter Reserve encompasses the Point Walter Golf Course and Walter’s River Cafe. It hosts a variety of foreshore recreational areas including playgrounds, cycle routes and various tracks and walks.
A 10 minute drive or 1 hour walk, Fremantle hosts a variety of sightseeing attractions or shopping possibilities for visitors.
Blackwall Reach can be used for a variety of educational or recreational experiences. The 20 metre high limestone cliffs are home to a range of flora and fauna, which also hold cultural significance relating to Aboriginal history. Information can be found on the educational signage along the purpose-built boardwalk.
Swan River Estuary Marine Park
The Alfred Cove Marine Park encompasses mudflats, sea grass beds and intertidal vegetation such as sedges and salt marshes, which provide many different habitats for a host of animals.
Swan River Dreaming Tours – Indigenous Tours WA (Noel Nannup)
Indigenous Tours WA offer 90 minute tours of both Indigenous and Aboriginal heritage within and surrounding the Point Walter precinct.
Yelakitj Moort Tours – Point Walter
Point Walter, known as Tjuntalup Boodja – ‘place of the white sand’, explores the native vegetation and sources of food supplies for Aboriginal people along the banks of the Swan River.
Point Walter Golf Course contains 10 grassed tennis courts, and the 18-hole golf course is highly regarded for its quality fairways, greens and picturesque landscape. More information about Point Walter Golf Course.
Information for camp leaders and supervisors
What is your role on centre programs?
All client groups with participants under the age of 18 years must supply appropriate adult supervision at each activity site. Point Walter staff will supervise the clients in relation to their safe participation in the activity. Client groups have the responsibility to monitor the behaviour of participants in matters not relating to the activity.
Teachers and adults play a vital role in ensuring participants have an enjoyable camp experience. Point Walter staff will allocate at least one (if not two or three, depending on the size of your group) suitably qualified instructor in charge of facilitating the activity. DSR requires one member of the client group supervisory team (teacher or adult) to be in attendance with the group during each program.
Please note that with flying fox programs we will require an able teacher or adult to supervise or assist students in the dismount of the flying fox.
We try to minimise the work of teachers or adults during their stay, however, teachers and adults may be asked to deal with student misbehaviour on a case-by-case basis. DSR instructors will use low-key behaviour management techniques to ensure participants are engaged during the activities. It is an expectation that teachers and adults support the DSR instructor when required, throughout the duration of the program. We recommend asking participants to stand aside for five minutes to reflect on their behaviour and the effect it has on them personally and the group. The teacher or adult can help in the reflection process.
Creating a positive experiential learning environment
We encourage the adult supervisor of the group to ensure the following so that participants enjoy their experience during camp programs:
- Participants are on time and prepared adequately for the specific program.
- Participants are encouraged through a positive, non-intimidating approach towards the outcomes of the activity.
- They participate in the activity with the group, however, if the activity requires problem solving or decision making, refrain from providing too much support as this can impede on the skill being demonstrated by participants.
At times, teachers and adults may be asked to help facilitate certain aspects of the activity. This would be during times of questioning or debriefing to enhance experiential learning. The instructor will discuss this responsibility prior to the start of the activity.
What is your role outside the programs?
It is recommended that teachers and adults discuss supervisory roles and responsibilities for meal times, at night and other free times. It is also recommended that room checks are done after lights are out to ensure participants are asleep. It is encouraged that a duty roster is developed to ensure staff are aware of their roles and responsibilities. A template for a duty roster can be found on our website:
Before attending Point Walter
In the lead-up to the camp please use the organisational checklist.
What camp leaders should bring:
- Shorts and tee-shirts (no sleeveless shirts to promote sun safety)
- Warm clothing: jumpers and tracksuit pants
- Swimming attire
- One towel for water programs
- Two pairs of enclosed shoes (one set for water programs – camp specific)
- Hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- Water bottle
- Alarm clock
- First aid kit
- A day-use backpack
- Point Walter Client Information Pack
- Relevant paperwork including student medical forms, emergency response document
- Booking ID/forms
- Group list
- Cable gate letter (code)
- Emergency mobile phone number of the group leader (please give this number to parents of campers to contact in an emergency).
A template for a supervision roster is available.
Please familiarise yourself with our emergency plan
. The Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre emergency mobile number is 0419 919 018. Camp leaders should provide their own emergency mobile number to parents and campers.
All DSR camps staff are required to have a current senior first sid, or equivalent qualification as a minimum. In the event of an injury occurring to a participant during one of our programs our staff will provide first aid care. First aid care may be handed over to the client group if they have personnel capable of delivering an equivalent or better standard of care due to their training and experience upon their request.
Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre management highly recommends that every client group should have at least one qualified and current first aid practitioner and their own comprehensive first aid kit onsite at all times.
Oxygen and advanced first aid equipment is onsite in the office and all full time staff are trained in its use. Should an ambulance need to be called, please notify camp staff or contact the emergency on-call number.
Emergency assembly area
There are two separate emergency assembly areas located at Point Walter Recreation and Conference Centre. Please find these points on our Emergency Response Manual.
To facilitate programs at Point Walter, all staff must have completed a DSR induction and have been deemed competent by a senior staff member in the particular pursuit they are facilitating. Depending on the program being facilitated, qualifications relating to that outdoor activity are also required by DSR.
The camp conducts programs such as abseiling, climbing, leap of faith, high ropes and flying fox. The minimum qualifications of an instructor to dispatch these activities is National Outdoor Leaders Registration Scheme, or competencies agreed to by the Camps Chain Safety Group.
Point Walter centre management strongly recommends that every camp has at least one qualified Aquatic Rescue Qualification (ARQ) through Royal Life Saving WA, or Surf Rescue Certificate recognised by Surf Life Saving WA in attendance and in control of every eight persons when in or near the water. It should be remembered that aquatic rescue qualifications are current for 12 months only, and unqualified persons should only be used as additional support.
The ratio of qualified supervisors to persons in the water varies between organisations from around 1:8 to 1:20 and is constantly being reviewed by most organisations. Surf Life Saving WA can be contacted for the latest information on (08) 9293 9444.
Water safety personnel should be dressed ready to respond to an emergency and should have appropriate aquatic rescue equipment (e.g. rescue tubes on location). These may be obtained from the camp office. All rafting and paddling programs are conducted under qualified staff instruction. Personal floatation devices (PFDs) are worn by all participants and a safety dinghy is provided for the reassurance of novice paddlers as required.
Our alcohol policy
can be found on our website. In all instances, the application form must be sent to the camp manager well in advance of the camp.
At Point Walter
Upon arrival you will need to check in at the front office. The group leader will be given an accommodation brief by one of our staff members who will ensure all appropriate paperwork has been completed. Other matters of concern include:
A gate code will be given to you prior to arrival and is to be used by you and your guests only. Gate codes will expire at the end of the duration of your stay. It will only be entered on your arrival to the site.
When you check-in at the front office you will be given dormitory keys. These will open all of the dorm and dining room doors that you have access to. Please remember not to take keys offsite. We recommend you store the keys in your lockable dining room.
Accolade Catering will take care of all the cooking and washing up during your stay. All you need to do is clear the plates to the central cleaning area. This will be explained to you by your helpful chef. When you arrive it is recommended that you confirm with the chef your meal times and that any dietary requirements have been accounted for.
Tables and chairs
The dining rooms are equipped to easily seat more than your dorm’s capacity. The chairs and tables are located in a store room within the dining room. These are to be packed away on your departure as indicated by the signs located in this area. Please ensure all tables and chairs are returned and that chairs are stacked in piles of five prior to departure.
Dining room set up
You are responsible for the set-up of your own tables and chairs. Feel free to arrange these in any format you wish to suit your group’s needs for both dining and/or meetings. You do not share your dining room with other groups so equipment can be left set up, however, please ensure security of your valuables as the camp takes no responsibility for any loss during your stay. Please keep doors closed to prevent local wildlife entering the rooms and be sure to switch off air-conditioning, lights and fans when not using the room.
During your stay
The following are a few things to be mindful of when staying at Point Walter. These include:
Bins have been provided in various locations for your use. These should be empty (or close to it) upon your arrival onsite. They will be emptied after you depart. Should you notice that your bins are becoming full, please inform a staff member who will ensure they are emptied. Please do not leave rubbish bags out of bins to avoid wildlife onsite making a mess with it.
Toilets and showers
Each dorm area has showers and toilets and provisions for disability access. Prior to entering the dorms we ask that after returning from the river, groups use the outside taps to remove any excess sand. There are also toilets located within your dining room. If you notice the toilet paper supplies becoming low, please inform one of our staff members who will restock it.
Your group has free access to a washing machine and dryer. You will need to provide all washing detergent for these machines. An ironing board and iron are also available. A laundry facility is available for Osprey residents and is situated in the dormitory block. For Aviary residents the laundry facility (including the dryer) is behind the kitchen.
Cleaning responsibilities and equipment
There is cleaning equipment located within your dining room. It is your group’s responsibility to ensure your dorms and dining room are kept clean during your stay. This includes any mopping of spilt liquids and removal of sand from the floors.
If your group is participating in any of our recreation programs onsite, it is the group’s responsibility to be at each program site on time. If you do not know where programs are, please speak with one of our staff members who can provide a map to point out the meeting area for each of the programs.
Audio visual equipment
The Pelican and Graham Russell Conference rooms are equipped with a projector and screen and DVD player for your convenience. Groups using the Cygnet Dining Room are given preference to use the Graham Russell Conference Room and access this AV equipment.
Point Walter provides wireless internet in the Graham Russell Conference Room and seminar rooms. We ask that you do not download large amounts of information as all users onsite share this facility.
Security and valuables
To ensure the safety of your valuables please lock all dorms and dining halls while they are unattended. The camp takes all care, however is not responsible, in regards to lost items.
Prior to departure
Prior to your departure, please visit the centre office and complete any further paperwork. You will be asked for formal records of adults and children who stayed at the camp on each night, as well as the number of day visitors who attended each day. Please gather an accurate record of these numbers prior to the last day of your stay.
You must have vacated the dormitories by 12.30pm and dining room prior to 2pm. Should you require different times please arrange this at the time of booking. We may be able to accommodate this, however, due to operational requirements we cannot guarantee we will be able to extend these hours.
Any lost property found during your stay or after your departure is collected and placed in our lost property cage. Uncollected goods are donated to local charities should they not be collected after one month.
Loss or breakage
Should anything be lost or broken please inform our staff members during your stay. Additional costs associated with repair or replacement may be charged.
Although all accommodation areas are thoroughly cleaned prior to your arrival, to make our job easier your group, prior to departure, are required to do a basic clean around the areas you have utilised.
- Ensure one mattress and pillow on each bed.
- Pick up all rubbish from the areas utilised.
- Remove any lost property from rooms.
- Mop all spills in rooms and dining halls.
- Please ensure that each bed has been stripped of its pillowcase and linen. You will be required to place these in a common area, along with your towel that has been provided, to be picked up by our cleaning staff. Prior to departure, please check sleeping and bathroom areas to ensure no personal items have been left behind and all rubbish is placed in the bin provided.
- Fold any doonas and blankets and place on shelf.
- Turn off all lights and fans.
- Leave blankets and pillows in room.
All tables and chairs must be packed away and stored correctly in the storeroom. Follow the instructions on the signs in these areas. There is no need for you to mop the entire dining hall, however, please mop any excessively dirty areas.
As you leave the centre please ensure that you drop all keys and your file to the office. If the office is unattended you will have been advised where to leave the file when you check-in.
An invoice will be forwarded to your group after your stay with details of all accommodation and program related charges. Catering charges will be invoiced separately by Accolade Catering.
We seek feedback and improvement ideas. Please take the time to complete and return the feedback form that you will receive in the post following your stay.
Information for parents/guardians and guests
Getting ready (for camp)
Going on a camp is exciting for most children, but can be terrifying for others. It is important that parents discuss with their children prior to them going on camp any concerns they may have; missing home; sharing with others; and fear of participating in a certain activity. Reassure them that they are in good hands and that the school/organisation’s staff and DSR staff will take good care of them. Remember, discuss what they are looking forward to or are most excited about camp. It will help prepare your child for their camp experience if you talk to him/her regularly beforehand.
What to bring (for participants)
When staying at Point Walter the following items are required by each guest:
- Towels (one beach towel). One bath towel is provided
- Water bottle
- Insect repellent
- Personal medication – e.g. diabetes, Ventolin, Epipen. Medical conditions and medications must be discussed with the camp leader
- Bathers/board shorts and rash vest. Participants must wear sun smart clothing during water programs (protect full torso/shoulders, e.g. shirt, rashvest, shorts)
- Two pairs of trainers/sneakers (ALL roping and land based activities require enclosed footwear and water boots for paddling or raft building programs)
- Sufficient clothing suitable for the season and intended activities
What to leave at home
- Chewing gum
- Spray aerosol cans including deodorant or insect repellent (use roll-on types if required)
- Camp participants are advised not to bring valuables to camp (e.g. jewellery, money, portable music and gaming devices etc)
- Mobile phones – parents to contact camp leader in emergencies
- High heeled shoes or ugg boots
Medical conditions and medications
It is important that group supervisors and DSR staff have ready access to relevant medical information to be able to respond appropriately to an emergency situation and prevent further injury. Medications should be stored appropriately and located within close proximity to the person to whom the medication belongs.