15 Phillimore St,
Fremantle WA 6160
Ph: (08) 9430 4166
31st October 2016

Denham Foreshore Revitalisation by Fremantle Creatives

We just got back from Denham, Shark Bay where they held the 400 year anniversary of Dirk Hartog landing in Shark Bay. This was the first recorded landing of Europeans in Australia.

As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Denham foreshore was revitalised – including public art, interpretive nodes, new shade shelters, playground, car park and jetty. A lot to get done and not a lot of time to do it, considering the contract was only awarded in January!

We were lucky to be part of a great Freo team of creative people who designed and built this project. The team was led by Francis Burke’s landscaping company Earthcare. Landscape design was by Freo company UDLA. Safe Haven Studio (not Freo based but they used to be) designed the public art sculpture “Union”.


View of Shark Bay on the flight in
View of Shark Bay on the flight in


The Denham foreshore
The Denham foreshore


The amazing foreshore redevelopment work by Earthcare
The amazing foreshore redevelopment work by Earthcare


playground with ship-wreck theme
A section of the great new playground with ship-wreck theme by Earthcare


Our company, Wayfound designed the wayfinding and interpretive signage for the Denham Discovery Trail. This trail links the interpretive nodes along the foreshore redevelopment and other historic landmarks around the streets of Denham. Aside from Dirk Hartog, the town has an amazing history to tell. We were fascinated by the stories. Shark Bay is also a World Heritage site because of its unique natural environment.

This project had a lot of challenges, especially the harsh environment with strong winds, hyper-saline sea water, blowing sand, sea gulls and extreme UV. So, we had to find a signage system that was going to last is such an extreme environment. We decided to go with anodic aluminium, which we previously used for the “Manjoree Trail” on Bathers Beach in Fremantle. The process anodises the artwork directly to the marine grade aluminium plate. The completed signs were then mounted on pedestals constructed from timber salvaged from the old town jetty, which was demolished a few years ago.

The finished result is a fantastic transformation of the Denham foreshore from what was a disjointed mix of facilities to a wonderful family and community space that integrates the Shark Bay Discovery Centre directly with the foreshore. If you are up that way, you must visit the new playground – it is inspired! Old and new materials meet in a wonderful space with a ship-wreck theme.


Installation of the foreshore interpretive nodes
Installation of the foreshore interpretive nodes


European Explorers interpretive node
The completed ‘European Explorers’ interpretive node


Union sign
‘Union’ sign with the impressive ‘Union’ sculpture in the background


Pogey, Pearls & Pastoralism interpretive node
‘Pogey, Pearls & Pastoralism’ interpretive node


A Natural Treasure interpretive node
‘A Natural Treasure’ interpretive node