The area in which Heirisson Island is currently located is an important area for Noongar people. Once comprising of a small chain of islands and surrounding mud flats, this area is known as Matagarup, which refers to the place where the river is only leg deep. Where the island currently stands was a much smaller island known as Kakaroomup. This area was a main crossing point from one side of the river to the other, where Noongars could wade through the water. A statue of Whadjuk Noongar warrior Yagan was erected on the island in 1984 to recognise Yagan’s strong leadership and resistance fighting during the early years of the Swan River Colony.
In 1801, Heirisson Island was named after French midshipman François-Antoine Boniface Heirisson, who was on the French ship Le Naturaliste, which was a scientific expedition led by Nicolas Baudin.
Today the island is still used as the main crossing from one side of the river to the other, using the causeway bridge. The island has a number of facilities, such as seating barbecues, picnic shelters, a children’s playground, a kangaroo sanctuary and toilets.
This site is managed by the City of Perth. For more information visit the City of Perth.