Hillarys Boat Harbour

Hillarys Boat Harbour is a marina and tourist precinct located in Hillarys, north of Perth, Western Australia and on the Indian Ocean.

Restaurants and promenade
Boat pens.

Coordinates: 31°49′31″S 115°44′24″E / 31.8252929°S 115.7399524°E / -31.8252929; 115.7399524

Beach circa 2015, with waterslides of The Great Escape visible in the background prior to demolition.


Hillarys Boat Harbour was the first such major marina in the north metropolitan region of Perth. Construction of the new Harbour commenced in September 1985.[1] Boat launching facilities were completed in October 1986 and boats started moving into pen moorings two months later, just before the start of the 1987 America's Cup Challenge Series.

In 1989 receivers were appointed to sell the assets of the Lombardo Group and Sorento Quay was sold to the Japanese group Victoria Co.[2] The Wyllie Group bought Sorrento Quay, the retail precinct at Hillarys Boat Harbour in 1999 for $16 million from Victoria Co.[2]

In late 2004, the Wyllie Group announced a $9 million plan, designed by Cox, Howlett and Bailey Woodland Architects, to expand the boat harbour's Sorrento Quay shopping precinct by expanding the northern side of the facility with 800sqm of retail and dining space and a two-storey tavern of 1,500sq metres.[3]:11[2] A 175m footbridge with a drawbridge, would cross the harbour from the new area to the northern parking area.[2][3]

The WA Planning Commission approved the now $12 million project in 2005 and the Wyllie Group lodged an application for a building licence in November of the same year.[2]:3

In May 2006, the WA Department of Planning and Infrastructure committed $5 million to expanded the area they managed at the boat harbour with boardwalks, upgrades to picnic areas, new barbecue facilities, toilets, improved lightning, trees, grass and shade structures with work to begin in August of that year.[4]:73

The new development cost $30 million when it was opened by MLA Rob Johnson on 13 December 2008.[5]:60 The new Breakwater Tavern had been fitted out at $7 million by the Reid family.[5] A further 19 marine pens had been constructed and the new Rottnest Island ferry terminal.[5] Another stage was planned with the redevelopment of the old tavern and adding of more shops and food and beverage facilities.[5]

Dogs are not permitted at Hillarys Boat Harbour[6]


Hillarys is also home to AQWA - The Aquarium of Western Australia which showcases the marine life and unique regions of Western Australia's 12,000 km coastline. The aquarium is open daily from 10am to 5pm. Other attractions in and around the harbour include helicopter flights, fishing charters & cruises. A ferry also departs from here to Rottnest Island daily.

In 1995, an amusement park named The Great Escape opened on the eastern side of the harbour, adjacent to the beach. The complex included three water slides, trampolines, dry attractions and a mini-golf course called "Wacky Putt". In June 2016, the park closed after its tenancy lease wasn't renewed, but briefly reopened with the dry attractions, trampolines and Wacky Putt operating in Summer 2016. The park was eventually demolished in November 2017 after standing idle for nine months.[7]

On 12 September 2018, after leaseholder Wyllie Group struck a deal with local family company, Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf, plans emerged of a complex in the former Great Escape site that would include two themed 18-hole golf courses, a double flowrider, a cafe, a small bar and a beach kiosk, with completion scheduled in March 2019.[8] However the next month, the project was suddenly cancelled following negative publicity surrounding a shareholder of Pirate's Cove Adventure Golf and his previous business relationship with notorious child rapist William Goad.[9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Aquaculture Magazine. Achill River Corporation. 1989. p.40
  2. ^ a b c d e Drummond, Mark (13 October 2005). "Sorrento Quay set for $12m expansion". The West Australian.
  3. ^ a b D'Anger, Jenny (27 December 2004). "$9m upgrade". The West Australian.
  4. ^ "New boardwalk for Hillarys in $5m facelift". The West Australian. 20 May 2006.
  5. ^ a b c d Saunders, Cathy (17 December 2008). "No rest for Wyllie at Sorrento". The West Australian.
  6. ^ "Hillarys Boat Harbour". hillarysboatharbour.com.au.
  7. ^ "Bye bye waterslides: Hillarys Great Escape water park set for complete demolition". WAToday. 15 November 2017. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  8. ^ "Pirate adventure-themed golf course and surf machine planned for former Great Escape site at Hillarys Boat Harbour". The West Australian. 12 September 2018. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Sex fiend link sinks $5m golf theme park at Hillarys Boat Harbour". The West Australian. 17 October 2018. Retrieved 11 February 2019.

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