About Camp Quaranup

The history of Camp Quaranup.


The Commonwealth Quarantine Station, Albany, was established in 1875 as a consequence of West Australian Government officials being quarantined on Rabbit Island (Mistaken Island) and having to live in tents with basic rations and ablutions. The ensuing outcry and increasing migration to Western Australia forced the Government to plan a small quarantine station on an isolated parcel of land across the harbour at Vancouver Peninsula. As immigration increased more buildings were added, in particular between 1898 and 1904.

The main reasons for increased immigration were wars in Europe and South Africa and the subsequent huge displacement of people, and the opening up of vast tracts of agricultural land and the discovery of gold in Western Australia. Quarantine measures were also increased as people from all over the world poured into Western Australia. Some immigrants brought deadly diseases with them, thus starting epidemics. As ships were quarantined, the passengers were sent to the quarantine station.

As immigration declined in the late 1900s, and with advances in medicine, the quarantine station became less used and was eventually closed in the 1930s. Between the 1930s and 1950s several community groups used it but gradually the station fell into serious disrepair.

The quarantine station was then privately leased to the Wheeler family in 1956 and the name was changed to Camp Quaranup. Eventually, the State Government took over the lease and ran it primarily as a recreation camp.

Rob and Jo Lucas operated Camp Quaranup as a recreation camp for 19 years from 1992, facilitating recreation programs and accommodation opportunities for Western Australians.

The department now operates Camp Quaranup, continuing to deliver recreation camp services in one of the few intact, working ex-quarantine stations in the world.

Page reviewed 16 August 2021