Kings Park Walk, Perth, Australia
2nd of November 2013
The ultimate metrotrek in Perth: Brilliant views; Nature; Sweat inducing staircases; and a Glass Bridge.
- Location: Kings Park, Perth, Australia
- Start or End: Loop Walk. I started and finished at Elizabeth Quay Train Station.
- Length: 14.6km (9.1mi)
- Grade: Easy to Medium. Paved much of the way with a couple of dirt/sandy tracks within Kings Park. Flat much of the way, with some hills in Kings Park and the sweat inducing stairs of Jacobs Ladder.
Kings Park, located to the west of the Perth CBD, is the largest inner-city park in the world. How could have I lived in Perth for nearly a year and not yet given it a good walk? Well today is the day, going to finally metrotrek around Kings Park.
My walk starts at the Esplanade train station which is a short walk away from Kings Park. There are a number of entries to Kings Park but I have heard much about the Jacob's Ladder entrance which climbs Mount Eliza. Let's just say, the Jacob's Ladder is not the easiest way to enter the park. As the name suggests it is less of a path and more like a ladder... well one big stair case.. well one big steep stair case with 242 stairs. Words can hardly do Jacob's Ladder justice, so a photograph I took at the top will describe it much better.
After that climb I needed a few moments to catch my breath. Unfortunately, there wasn't much air at the top, not because the air thins due to the altitude, but because there are about 50 other people in their workout gear sucking in deep breaths too. Jacobs Ladder is a very popular workout spot. While recovering I took in the views, both of the city and of women in Spandex.
From Jacob's Ladder I walk along Bellevue Terrace into Kings Park and follow the cliff path in the Fraser Avenue Precinct, which is on the eastern perimeter of the Park. The views of the Perth CBD and the Swan River are the best you can get. There are many walkers and joggers taking in the scenery along with tourists and photographers. The best vantage points are from the lookouts just off the path.
From the State War Memorial I continue along the cliff walk, which now heads in a south west direction. After a rest in one of the rotundas at the end of the cliff walk I move onto the Lotterywest Federation Walkway, which includes an elevated section. It's a lot of fun walking on the elevated walkway amongst the trees. But then the path comes to the Glass Bridge and my fear of heights sets in. Luckily for me the bridge is only glass on the sides and the base of the path is opaque steel. I walked across the Glass Bridge quicker than my usual pace and got a quick glimpse of the spectacular views over the Old Swan Brewery and the Swan River.
After the heart fluttering of the Glass Bridge I needed a more leisurely path, so I randomly walked around the botanic gardens taking in the flora of the gardens. Walking amongst the native vegetation of Western Australia was the relaxing walk I desired. I then moved on from the designed and often artistic landscaping of the botanic gardens and into the natural bushland within the heart of the park. I am spoilt for path choice within the bushlands. There are so many paths, but the highlight for me was the Bushland Nature Trail, which includes a slightly raised metal path right in the depths of the bushland.
After an extensive meander within the natural bushland I head back to the botanic garden and the Law Walk loop, which starts at the end of Cliff Walk. I take the southerly section of the Law Walk loop, which passes under the Glass Bridge of the Lotterywest Federation Walkway. I feel much more confident walking under the Glass Bridge than on it. The Law Walk is a bushland walk on the limestone cliffs on the southern perimeter of the park. The path is relatively steep in sections and with the sun beating down I develop a bit of a sweat.
Think it might be time to call it a day and head back home. After about 1km of walking on the Law Path I head towards the Crawley Steps, the southernmost entrance to Kings Park. From the Crawley steps I walk along the path between Mounts Bay Road and the Swan River, passing by the old Swan Brewery and taking in some great views of the river. Soon enough I am back at the Esplanade train station with a full sweat. Hopefully my fellow train riders don't mind.
Today I walked 16.6km. Nevertheless, I only made it through a small proportion of the paths available in Kings Park. Dare say I am going to visit here much more often.
Click thumbnail to enlarge.
Have you taken this walk? Any suggestions or errors? Please comment below.