Carnarvon Heritage and History

Even the briefest stay in Carnarvon will reveal the town’s historic past. There are striking historic buildings and edifices to discover (not least, the One Mile Jetty with its brand new One Mile Jetty Centre and fascinating Heritage Precinct buildings), a railway station museum for train buffs, the Pioneer Cemetery and the elegant Fascine which runs like a tree-lined ribbon along Carnarvon’s foreshore.


It could rightly be said that the One Mile Jetty put Carnarvon on the map. Despite being in need of some TLC, this important part of the region’s historic infrastructure has been an intrinsic part of Carnarvon’s story since 1890’s. 

Picture the scene. It’s 1899 and Carnarvon’s jetty is loaded with wool and livestock, sandalwood and pearl shell, waiting to be transported to Fremantle and the world beyond. What’s unusual about this relatively common-place scene is that, at the time, Carnarvon’s jetty was unique. Thanks to its long service, it enabled Carnarvon to gain the title of having the longest jetty in the north-west of Western Australia and was the first port in WA to export livestock on a commercial basis.

It was extended twice and in 1900 a tramway connecting the jetty to the town was built, allowing the transport of people and goods. In a dark chapter of its history, it was the departure point between 1908 and 1919 for Aboriginal people who were exiled to the Lock Hospital islands offshore – Dorre and Bernier islands. A new memorial has been erected close to One Mile Jetty, honouring their memories. More happily, the jetty has been a popular place for locals to fish from, swim around and use as a diving
platform. Until the 1950s, the jetty remained the safest and fastest means of transport for people, goods, supplies Celebrating an icon and produce to arrive or depart from Carnarvon – an extraordinary fact and testament to the importance of this simple structure.

The jetty is currently deemed unsafe and is closed to visitors. However, to reflect the jetty’s iconic status, a new One Mile Jetty Centre has opened, housing an exhibition created by Scott Watson and curated by Lorraine Fitzpatrick. It’s a fascinating way to explore the heritage-packed region and learn a little more about what has contributed to Carnarvon’s rich past. 

“The local hae a great deal of love for the One Mile Jetty – It was an absolute lifeline for the area because roads were so bad…” Lorraine Fitzpatrick. Click here to read the full interview with Scot and Lorraine, curators of the One Mile Jetty Centre at the Heritage Precinct with Gabi Mills. 


Built in the shadow of the OTC Satellite dish, the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum is marking the 50th Anniversary in 2019 of the Apollo 11 moon landing. 

It may seem unlikely, but Carnarvon will always play an important part in the story of the USA’s manned race to the moon. It was also a key part of the reason we all take watching live broadcasts from around the world for granted. It’s a double whammy of scientific excellence and is the reason why, seven years ago, Phil Youd decided to create a museum to commemorate these achievements.  Phil founded the Carnarvon Space and Technology Museum mostly, he says, ‘because it’s a good story for the town’. A passionate supporter of all things Carnarvon, until he began his passion project, he had no idea of Carnarvon’s connection to NASA’s space program.

ADDRESS 21 Robinson St, Carnarvon, WA 6701
PHONE (08) 9941 1146

The above information was sourced from