Guilderton

Guilderton is a small coastal fishing village at the mouth of Moore River, north of Perth. The town is a popular holiday destination for Perth residents who commonly refer to it as Moore River. The area has been used as a camping and recreation spot since 1905 when the residents of nearby Gingin petitioned for a road to be constructed to the area. The area was declared as a recreation area in 1907.

Guilderton was originally known as Gabbadah, an Aboriginal term meaning "mouthful of water", until its gazetting as a town in 1951, though the name Moore River remained in use for many years. The river mouth regularly opens and closes depending on the seasons, and alternates between a closed lagoon and a tidal estuary.

Soldiers used the area during World War II both for rest and recreation and as a base for horseback beach patrols.

In 1983, the Federal Department of Transport established a lighthouse at Wreck Point, Guilderton near the river mouth at a cost of $240,000. This was the last brick tower style lighthouse built in Australia.


Naming Guilderton

When the secluded and pretty little township at the mouth of the Moore River was finally formally gazetted in 1951, the historian Henrietta Drake-Brockman recommended that it be named Guilderton in honour of the Vergulde Draeck (Gilt Dragon), a Dutch trading ship wrecked on a reef north of the river-mouth near Ledge Point in 1656, and the thousands of guilders worth of silver coins it was carrying.


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Where is it?

94 km north of Perth, 39 km south east of Lancelin, 38 km west of Gingin.


Relics from the Vergulde Draeck shipwreck

While the wreck had not yet been discovered, there was already speculation that it was somewhere in the vicinity, as in 1931 a young boy who was playing in some sandhills uncovered about 40 Dutch coins. They were all dated between 1619 and 1655, indicating that they could have been from the Vergulde Draeck, given that it was wrecked in 1656. Another thirty-two years went by before the wreck was found.

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