Mixed feelings (gemfyre) wrote in abandonedplaces,
Mixed feelings

The Ruins of Atlantis

Two Rocks is a small seaside town about 60km north of Perth. These days it has little going for it apart from a nice marina and a dozen new developments springing up in the vicinity.

In the 80's it was known as the home of Atlantis Marine Park. A park with performing dolphins and seals (they even had a leopard seal, I don't think it performed though) and large aquariums. I went there when I was about 5, and I remember a few years later begging mum to take me back there and she promised we would soon.

Then it closed down. Apparently the money ran out or something. The dolphins were released back into the wild, but kept following boats back into the marina. Eventually AQWA (Aquarium of Western Australia - then known as Underwater World) took them in a specially built enclosure where they performed simple tricks if they were in the mood. In late 1999 one of the dolphins died mysteriously (most popular theory is poisoning), then the others died quickly afterwards (from poison? heartbreak? who knows?)

The site of Atlantis Marine Park has not been redeveloped to this day and the remains are surrounded by a fence full of holes and torn down barbed wire. Now families stroll through the site by day and teenagers have drunken parties there at night.

Even the carpark is run down and overgrown. Two Rocks is a pretty, but very quiet town these days, really only of interest to boaters and fishermen.

Matt walks towards the "entrance" (a hole in the fence). Atlantis's most memorable feature is the huge statue of King Neptune presiding over it all. The statue is one of the first things you see upon driving into the town. I remember being TERRIFIED by this damn statue when I was about 5 years old.

He doesn't scare me nowdays. Last time I visited here his eyes had been graffitied to look bloodshot.

Looks like some raver types have been at him recently and given him a flourescent colour scheme. There is a door on the side of the statue (which has now been removed) and inside and out are popular places for teenage parties. (There is even graffiti near the door opening telling you so).

Atlantis has many limestone statues littered around the place (as does the whole centre of the town actually). Including this odd Manatee holding... something.

A Narwhal missing its horn.

An odd statue of a body without a head seen from a distance.

Beside Neptune is the remains of one of the large pools. You can see the concrete rim through the overgrowth (a few natives, mostly weeds).

Water from the large pool would have tumbled down an old waterfall here into another almost as big pool.

Beside this lower pool is an old, rotting wooden deck. I'm guessing this was where the trainers stood and where dolphins and seals would skid up for a fishy treat after performing their tricks.

Abandoned palm and pine trees planted around the park are still thriving on the empty lot.

Going down...

Going up! (I wanted to go up here, but alas, I am no longer limber enough to duck under that fallen tree).

Looking out over the old park grounds to the ocean.

Run down bitumen tracks still snake through the area.

This was the lower pool once upon a time.

The dolphins which were the logo of Atlantis still remain on a large white tank on the site.

King Neptune will continue to preside over his old domain, having become a minor tourist attraction himself.

Google Maps image of the site (Neptune can be seen just left of the centre).

ETA: - for those who have a Facebook account - there are some great photos of the park when it was in operation here - http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=10063566570#/photo.php?pid=30621662&o=all&op=1&view=all&subj=10063566570&aid=-1&id=1321737638&oid=10063566570
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