Star Swamp Bushland is a 96 hectare conservation reserve 15 km north of Perth, Western Australia. The Reserve is a declared Bush Forever site [no. 204] and comprising a 4 hectare seasonal freshwater lake with paperbark trees and 92 hectares of Banksia, Tuart, Jarrah and Marri woodlands, and areas of low heath.
The bushland provides a breeding site and sanctuary for both waterbirds and other bushland bird species and over 65 species of birds have been recorded. It is also an important habitat for many species of reptiles, insects, and spiders.
The main flowering period is between August and October, but there are some flowers to be found at any time of the year. Over a dozen species of orchids occur in the bushland and several hundred flora species have been listed.
Star Swamp Bushland is an A-Class reserve, vested in, and managed on behalf of the community, by the City of Stirling. The Reserve has been set aside for the purposes of conservation, passive recreation and education.
Star Swamp is a remnant of the once extensive chain of wetland lakes and swamps which filled low-lying areas between ancient sand dunes. From the mid 19th Century, the area comprising the Star Swamp Bushland Reserve was part of a dairy and cattle lease. Early in 1868, J H Okely of Wanneroo, applied for Tillage Lease 5063, a 100 acre block which included Star Swamp. The origins of the naming of the swamp are unclear.
The area was used as a camping area and watering place for drovers using the Coastal Stock Route and, during the Second World War, a squadron from the Australian Army 10th Light Horse Division was stationed nearby on coastal watch duties, using the swamp for watering the horses.
In the early 1900s, the area west of Star Swamp was sub-divided for housing development, gradually expanding to be a popular seaside holiday destination. More recently the area surrounding the Reserve has been absorbed by the rapid growth of Perth’s northern suburbs.
In the 1970s, local residents waged a strong campaign of community action to prevent the area from being developed for housing. This eight year campaign was supported by local politicians, academics and environmentalists and resulted in the gazettal, in 1985, of the Star Swamp Bushland as an A-Class Reserve.
The Reserve has many good walking trails and the 1.4 km sign-posted Star Swamp Heritage Trail highlights historic points of interest. The Henderson Environmental Centre opened in 2002, giving local groups, teachers and environmentalists a focal point for activities within the Reserve.