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Roley Pool Reserve

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The Roleystone Hills area contains many great bush reserves, but a real gem among them is the Roley Pool Reserve. 
This reserve follows the Canning River along the steep sided Canning Valley for two kilometres between Heritage Drive and the Soldiers Road Bridge.

The reserve contains a thriving colony of Quendas (Western Brown Bandicoots), as well as Brushtail possums, Western Grey Kangaroos, and if you are lucky you may even see a native Water Rat which can usually be distinguished by a white tip to its tail.

The water is home to at least four native species of fish: Western Minnow, Pygmy Perch, Nightfish, and Freshwater Cobbler, as well as the introduced Mosquito fish and Carp. These feed on the native glass shrimp that can be seen in the shallows, as well as gilgies and juvenile marron.

The picturesque valley reserve, with attractive stony outcrops and permanent flowing water also has some of the oldest history of European settlement in Western Australia. The area was settled by Captain Charles Churchman in 1831.

The original Albany coach road, surveyed in 1836, followed a well worn Aboriginal path up the valley from Kelmscott and along the reserve. In those days, when journeying to towns in the south west coaches were required to cross the Canning River at a ford where the Thompson Road Bridge presently lies and then traverse the hills to join up with what is now the South West Highway.

The old ford was also the site of the first staging post for horse drawn carts on their journey from Perth to Albany. It later became the homestead site for the Buckingham family after they bought all 5559 acres of Roleystone from the late Churchman estate in 1856.

The Buckinghams at times helped Joseph Bolitho Johns, otherwise known as Moondyne Joe, (Western Australia’s own bushranger) who at times used the rocky outcrops along the reserve as shelter and protection.

The core of the reserve is the Roley Pool itself, which is a pretty natural pool that is accessed by steps from Collins Road. This is the original Roleystone swimming hole, and was a popular swimming place for Roleystone residents from the early 1900’s.

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Stretching from the early 1920's right through to early 1960's Roley Pool was the main social gathering point for the local community with even a Roleystone Swimming Club based here. In the early 1920's Mr. Bert Collins a local orchardist who lived in Roleystone joined the Royal Life Saving Society (a membership he maintained right up until his death in 1946) and began teaching life saving instructions to the community and was elected as the formal instructor for the newly formed Roleystone Swimming Club. 

There were many swimming carnivals held at Roley Pool with visitors from numerous clubs including Pickering Brook. When the Armadale Council purchased the land adjacent to Collins Road, the Roleystone Progress Association constructed change rooms on the site. Every year prior to swimming commencing local members of the community would go down to Roley Pool and clean out the rocks and sticks which were bought down the River by the strong winter flows. Connected to the main Roley Pool is a smaller shallow pool on the high side which was where the younger members of the community used to learn how to swim.

Photo  below 1940 diving board at the pool

Even with the creation of Canning Dam in early 1940's there was still sufficient water flowing for a healthy swimming pool to be functional. It wasn't until the early 1960's when the flow virtually ceased that there were real health issues with the water quality and swimming at the pool was then banned by the local authority.

More information about our water supply can be found in Bush Topics:Introduction to Roley Pool

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Collins Rd, Roleystone WA 6111

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Distance from Perth CBD:  28km S.East
90 steps down from road, multiple nature pools, no toilets, nature tails
many picnic spots on the flat rocks on edge of shallow ponds

Trail length: 1.2km I Difficulty: Medium  I Time 1-2hrs  I Experience: Family Friendly
Surface: hard compressed earth rocky in sections  I Elevation 90m East 65m West - change 30m


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  • Roley Pool Reserve natural ponds 90 steps down, part of Canning river and the 1.2km Interpretive rocky trail BEST HASHTAGS  #RoleyPoolReserve  #RoleytsoneWA  #TrailsPerthWA   #VisitPerthWA   #PerthAd #theta360
  • Roley Pool Reserve natural ponds 90 steps down the valley part of the Canning river alongside the 1.2km Interpretive rocky trail BEST HASHTAGS  #RoleyPoolReserve  #RoleytsoneWA  #TrailsPerthWA #theta360
  • Roley Pool Reserve natural ponds 90 steps down the valley part of the Canning river alongside the 1.2km Interpretive rocky trail BEST HASHTAGS  #RoleyPoolReserve  #RoleytsoneWA  #TrailsPerthWA #theta360
  • Roley Pool Reserve natural ponds 90 steps down the valley part of the Canning river alongside the 1.2km Interpretive rocky trail BEST HASHTAGS  #RoleyPoolReserve  #RoleytsoneWA  #TrailsPerthWA #theta360
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Roley Pool Reserve has a cluster of natural ponds over a 400 m zone, 90 steps down from the road into this reclusive valley in Roleystone, the pools are part of the Canning river and alongside the 1.2km Interpretive rocky trail

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