Pssst ... I know a secret. I know the location of the best natural display of wildflowers in the Perth Metropolitan area. And guess what? I'm not going to tell you ... It's Ellis Brook Valley Reserve. Sorry, I had to spill the beans (I'm also sorry for insulting your intelligence. What is the title of this blog post after all?). How could I write about one of my best walking adventures around Perth and not tell you the location. That would just be mean.
In all truth, the wildflower display at Ellis Brook Valley Reserve isn't that much of a secret. I learnt it from the modern day grapevine of Twitter and Instagram. But it isn't just the wildflowers that Ellis Brook is famous for, there is also the Sixty Foot Falls and the Old Barrington Quarry.
So how do I get to Ellis Brook Valley Reserve? Think I will use Google Map directions with the public transport option (I don't own a car after all) to work it out. Oh no! According to Google Maps there is no way to access Ellis Brook Valley Reserve without a car. I challenge you Google Map directions! To me it looks like I can walk from Gosnells Train Station via Station Road and take a short cut to Ellis Brook Valley Reserve by walking across the Tonkin Highway. Google directions doesn't allow such a highway crossing, but from a bit of research using Google Street View it appears such a crossing is possible. Sorted … I hope.
I wake up early and leave Perth City by train heading to Gosnells station. From the station I walk to the other side of the Albany Highway and north-east along Station Street until I hit the Tonkin Highway. Thank God, I can cross. I only have to jump a few small fences to make it to the other side. I was so worried I would find a dead end and then have to backtrack and take the long convoluted route that Google Maps suggested. From the Tonkin Highway it is a simple walk south-east along Quarry Road and then north-east along Rushton Road to my final destination. In total the walk from Gosnells train station is 3km and nothing too strenuous (you do get barked at by a number of large dogs behind fences though).
As soon as I step foot into the reserve I see wildflowers. But first things first. I need to go to the toilet. From the Ellis Brook Valley Reserve Map it appears that the only toilet is at the entrance, so I better go now before I venture too deep into my walk. I generally don't detail my urinary adventures but to not write about the quality of the drop toilet provided would be a crime. A drop toilet is basically as the name suggests, your waste drops to the bottom of a large pit. There is no flush of water. Whenever I see a drop toilet I generally cringe as I have experienced some absolutely foul smelling long drops. But the drop toilet at Ellis Brook Valley Reserve was great, it didn't smell at all. I am impressed already.
Anyway, back to the walk. I start my walking adventure at the Blue Wren Ramble Trail, which is located right next to the drop toilet. The trail is flat most of the way and runs mostly along Ellis Brook. Even though the Blue Wren Ramble Trail is only 2 kilometres long it took me ages to complete due to the plentiful photographic opportunities.