The Bickley Outdoor
Recreation Camp is more than a physical site available for group
bookings. It's a special place where Western Australians of all ages can
participate in unique and exciting activities in a tranquil bush
Whether it is the conquest of the first abseil, the team success of
building a raft or sharing a camp-fire with your peers, your time at
Bickley will be an adventure to remember.
Bickley Outdoor Recreation Camp is located on the Darling Scarp alongside the picturesque Bickley Reservoir, 25 kilometres from the Perth CBD.
The camp offers dormitory and leaders’ accommodation for up to 76 people, tent camping for 50 people and a day use area for up to 100 people.
The facilities, equipment and programs are ideal for school, corporate, sporting, church, youth, family and community groups wishing to experience a variety of recreational and educational opportunities.
The natural bush setting means you can choose from a diverse range of outdoor activities including abseiling, flying fox, vertical challenges, leap of faith, crate climb, canoeing, raft making, orienteering, team building,
search and rescue, mountain biking and swimming.
Bickley is also ideal for field studies, music camps, retreats, leadership and professional development camps.
Our professionally trained staff can design and organise the right recreational experiences for your camp, function or professional development day.
The foundations of the Bickley Youth Camp, as it was first known, go back to the early 1940s when, in response to a governmental need for the promotion of healthy recreation for the youth of Australia, the concept of a youth camp was discussed.
The National Fitness Council was designated to investigate possible sites for a camp and the idea reached fruition on June 3rd, 1945 when the official opening ceremony at Bickley Camp in Orange Grove took place. At that time, a dining room, lecture hut,
kitchen, store and shower rooms were the only buildings erected and campers were accommodated in tents. Perseverance and hard labour on the part of the volunteers moulded the camp’s character and encouraged the workers to appreciate this facility
more than if everything had been provided for them. Voluntary organisations of all kinds came to the Bickley Youth Camp to experience the new concept of camping and to learn the skills of sharing and living together.
Bickley, the State’s model youth camp, was discovered by the Gould League of Western Australia in 1951 and annual, fortnight-long camps were held for many year six school children until the early 1990s. The T.S. Edmondson sanctuary was established
by the Gould League with its commemorative sundial, seats and birdbath.
Improved facilities were gradually added to the Bickley Youth Camp, starting with the erection of huts. These old army-style buildings replaced the original tents. The construction of a 55 yard Olympic standard swimming pool, in the Bickley Reservoir
was well received. The jetty was constructed using original timbers from the old Causeway, Perth.
A subsidised fee structure applied and in the early days it cost one shilling and threepence a day to camp at Bickley with proviso that 'special rates may be given to non-working groups'.
Another early addition to the camp was the old Pickering Brook schoolhouse. This stands just inside the gates and has been used over the years as a recreation room.
In the early 1950s, a youth hostel was built at the Bickley campsite by the Youth Hostels Association and was later gutted by fire.
Ted Bogan was the initial warden from 1945 to 1959; he didn’t have separate accommodation at camp and had to leave for the weekends when there was a camp in. Ted would catch a lift with the Water Supply crew early on Monday morning to get back to
A Warden’s hut was fitted out for the next warden, Bert Wilkinson. Bert retired in 1976.
Bill Booth, the next warden spent many hours building the stone walls, barbecue area and the amphitheatre. Bill remained as an enthusiastic warden until 1988.
In 1985 the dormitories were rearranged and ablution blocks were incorporated under the same roof.
Recreation activities started to emerge with the arrival of Russell Small, the inaugural camp manager. One of the first ropes courses in the state was constructed and became a well utilised facility for over twenty years. Abseiling, canoeing, orienteering
and other recreation activities started to become part of a campers’ itinerary.
In 1995 the Department of Sport and Recreation (formerly the National Fitness Council and various other names) camps chain started to focus on all their camps having a higher degree of structured recreational activities. Bickley staff members Craig Waite
and David Hall were heavily involved in creating the range of programs available to client groups and were instrumental in training up a variety of other professional instructors to assist with the program delivery.
Aaron Bertram became the new camp manager in 2005. With the support of his staff the camp has been able to expand its program options even further. In 2017 the department had a name change and is now called Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural
Industries (DLGSC). The camp constructed a masterplan that will influence future improvements to tent camping facilities and the accommodation and meeting assets at this unique site.
All clients with participants under the age of 18 must supply sufficient adult supervision at each program activity location. Bickley staff will supervise the participants while participating in department facilitated programs and minimise the risk of injury to them wherever possible.
Group supervisors are required to take responsibility for the monitoring of the group and individuals’ behaviour, and enforce disciplinary actions as required. Bickley staff members have the right to discipline or remove participants from a program either temporarily or permanently if they are deemed a risk to themselves or others in the group.
We encourage adult group leaders to build a strong rapport with their group, provide duty of care, assess risks where appropriate and enjoy the experience.
We expect group leaders to ensure the following:
There may be occasions where adult group leaders are asked to help facilitate certain aspects of a program. The instructor will discuss this responsibility with the adult group leader prior to the program.
It is recommended that a supervision roster is developed to supervise free time, meals and other activities. It is also recommended room checks are done after ‘lights out’ to ensure participants are asleep.
It is encouraged that all staff are briefed about their roles and responsibilities prior to coming to camp.
As well as including the items on the participants gear list, the group leader should also pack:
The majority of client groups will receive a client briefing upon arriving at camp. Groups arriving on weekends or late at night may not receive this briefing.
It is recommended for groups arriving during these times to have a camp leader attend the camp prior to the group arriving to discuss the camp rules, cleaning requirements, risk management and emergency response protocols and other important information.
Bickley Outdoor Recreation Camp is a beautiful place, you can help protect it by:
The boundaries of the camp are shown on the map.
The consumption and storage of food and drinks in accommodation areas can attract unwanted guests and cause damage to camp property. We ask clients not to eat or drink within all dormitory areas.
Mattresses are not to be removed from their location without camp management approval.
Water fountains are located in the Kookaburra camp-site area in several locations.
A water fountain is located next to the washing up area in the Billabong camp-site area.
A number of bins are located throughout the camp. Bins that are dark green or light blue in colour are for non-recyclable materials (general waste). Bins that have a yellow lid or are yellow in colour are for recyclable products excluding Containers for Change items. Bins that are orange in colour are for Container For Change items. There is also a large white metal bin to the south of the Kookaburra kitchen for cardboard products. Cardboard products should be flattened before placing in this bin. It is very important that the correct items are placed in the bins located at the camp..
It is highly recommended that enclosed and secure footwear be worn at all times when outdoors. Secure and enclosed footwear is required for all department facilitated programs, including aquatic programs.
Damages and breakages should be reported to the adult group leaders and camp staff as soon as possible. This will allow for repairs or replacements to be organised and address any safety concerns.
Damages and breakages will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The circumstances that led to the damage/breakage occurring will be taken into account when determining liability and cost recovery.
The adult group supervisors are responsible for the creation of duty rosters for the participants and themselves. Camp duties may vary depending on whether the group chooses to self-cater or use the camp caterers. Duties may include cleaning the dining room after meals, the dormitories, meeting room and the camp grounds.
The Kookaburra dining room is supplied with sufficient rectangular trestle tables and chairs to cater for the capacity of the area. Groups can set up the tables and chairs in a configuration to suit their needs and group size.
Bickley Outdoor Recreation Camp is located in the Bickley Valley catchment area and has numerous species of flora and fauna within and outside the camp boundaries. Wildlife that lives in the Bickley Reservoir is protected and is not to be removed under any circumstances. The feeding or removal of wildlife including wild flowers is prohibited.
Going on a camp is exciting for most children but can be
terrifying for others. It is important that parents talk with their
children prior to them going on camp to discuss any concerns they may
have, such as missing home; sharing with others; or fear of
participating in a certain program.
Parents/guardians should reassure the child that they are in good
hands and that the school and Bickley staff will take good care of them.
Remember to also discuss what they are looking forward to or are most
excited about attending camp. Talking with your child on a number of
occasions prior to them attending camp will help prepare them for the
Children who have had a sleep over at family member’s or friend’s
house prior to camp are generally less likely to be homesick while on
When staying at Bickley, the following items are required by each guest:
It is important that the adult group leaders and Bickley staff have
ready access to relevant medical information to be able to respond
appropriately to an emergency situation and prevent further injury.
Medications should be stored appropriately and located within close
proximity to the person to whom the medication belongs.
Bickley provides traditional camp-style accommodation. The Kookaburra
dormitories do not have heating and cooling and we request that you do
not bring heating or cooling items on camp. The camp has a limited power
capacity and can be overloaded by additional high power consumption
items. Please ensure you bring plenty of warm clothing and bedding
during the cooler months and loose and light clothing and bedding in the
Do not submit enquiries with this form.