The One Mile Jetty is located on Babbage Island in Carnarvon, Western Australia. Its a great rickety adventure to walk. Construction began in 1897 by contractors Atkins and Law and was completed in 1904. The timber jetty is 1493 m long or 1.6km and is the longest jetty in the north-west of the State. It became the first port in Australia to transport livestock by sea and was used as a deep- sea port for shipment of local produce & wool to Perth.
Brief History of One Mile Jetty
In the late 1800s Carnarvon’s pastoral industry was on the rise but they had no port for ships to transport their produce to Fremantle. Farmers began lobbying the government and by 1897 the jetty was built.
Originally, horses were used to pull cargo trucks and passenger carriages along the jetty to and from the ships and into town. The horses were later replaced by steam and diesel powered wagons.
Between 1910-1916, Aboriginals who were diagnosed with leprosy or syphillis, were transported from the jetty to Dorre and Bernier islands, where leper hospitals (Lock Hospitals) were located.
By 1976 the jetty ceased operations after a new Small Boat Harbour was built.
One Mile Jetty Today
Surprisingly the jetty is still in good condition, though the ‘sea sections’ and ‘head’ are starting to deteriorate. Since 1998 the jetty has been under restoration and you can sometimes see the maintenance train chugging along the line.
The One Mile Jetty is now a popular fishing spot for the locals who catch Mulloway, Tailor and Brim all year round. You can walk the full length of the jetty or you can take a ride on the “Coffee Pot” train all the way to the end. One of the best times to take a stroll along this icon is when the sun is about to set. If you get down low you can see the train lines slightly warped.
Closure of One Mile Jetty
Sadly, the One Mile Jetty has been closed indefinitely due to structural and safety concerns. The Announcement made in August 2017 has sent shock waves though Carnarvon tourism. The closure means the popular Coffee Pot Train will also cease.
On the 27th of October 2011, a fire damaged a section of the jetty causing $40,000 worth of damage. The fire was spotted by an early morning jogger who alerted the caretaker. Police have not ruled out arson.