IT was supposed to be Western Australia’s answer to the glittering Gold Coast. A theme park built off the back of Perth’s economic boom. But just nine years after opening, it shut its doors and is now abandoned and ruined.
Atlantis Marine Park sat 60km north of Perth in the small fishing town of Two Rocks. Built in 1981, it was part of Alan Bond’s ambitious plan to build a resort and residential area called Yanchep Sun City, a proposed satellite city to support a population of 200,000.
It was hoped that Perth’s massive expansion would be matched with a growth in tourism and even Japanese investors were brought in as financial backers.
Atlantis Marine Park was initially a huge success with families from WA and beyond flocking to the park to watch the live dolphin shows, swim in the pools, ride pedal boats and have their obligatory photo with King Neptune, a huge statue at the entrance to the park.
However in 1990, just nine years after opening, Atlantis shut its doors. Western Australia’s boom never eventuated and the 1987 stock market crash put a halt to prosperity.
Atlantis closed due to financial difficulty and was left abandoned. It has since been damaged by vandals and has become overgrown and derelict.
Old statues can still be found scattered throughout the grounds as well as broken walls and concrete pools. For years it was a no man’s land, popular with dog walkers.
However just last month the iconic King Neptune was restored to its former glory after a petition by locals who started an online campaign for something to be done with the ruins.
The mammoth statue was cleaned, sealed and repainted. Taking 11 men and 70 litres of paint, the restoration took two weeks to complete. Volunteers cleared the gardens and fixed the broken fences and the park is now open to the public on weekends.
The site is currently owned by the property developers Fini Group and a plan has been put forward to develop the area into a mix of retail, commercial and public open spaces including the preservation of King Neptune.