Walking from Lake Joondalup to Lake Goollelal

Perth, Australia

The Map

The Facts

  • Start or End: I started at Joondalup Train Station (Google Map Directions) and finished at the bus stop near the corner of Wanneroo Road and Kingsway, Madeley (Google Map Directions).
  • Length: 13.1km (8.1mi) in about 3.5hr
  • Grade: Easy. Rather flat and paved a lot of the way, with a few sections in grass paddocks or sandy/gravel tracks.
  • Date Walked: 6th of October 2018

The Story

Taking a morning walk in the farmyard history of the Yellagonga Regional Park.

Despite the time wasting and procrastination that Instagram curses me with, it does often provide ideas for walking locations. So, today's walking goal, bought to you by me laying on the couch scrolling through Instagram, is a trip to the historic buildings at Perry's Paddock, Yellagonga Regional Park.

Located near the southern end of Lake Joondalup on Ocean Reef Road, the buildings are public transport accessible via bus stops located on Trappers Drive and Wanneroo Road, Woodvale. Despite public transports options, I decided to make the visit to Perry's Paddock part of a much longer walk starting from Joondalup Train Station, walking along the south-west section of Lake Joondalup, a detour to Perry's Paddock and then finishing off further south at Lake Goollelal.

After a short walk through the deserted streets of Joondalup (it is 6:30 am on a Saturday morning), I reach Neil Hawkins Park located on Lake Joondalup. I was surprised to greet a mob of kangaroos in the car park. Hard to believe that kangaroos live so close to a residential area, but there does appear to be plenty of feed for them after the winter and spring rains.

My first stop is the viewing platform located at the Lake Joondalup bank of Neil Hawkins Park.

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This is probably the best location to view Lake Joondalup as most paths around the lake are slightly inland and the banks of the river are heavily vegetated. There are plenty of bird watching opportunities here with seagulls, black swans and swamphens in good numbers. I even saw a few ducklings huddled together on the wooden deck.

Ok, that's enough lazing around watching water views, time to head along the south-west section of Lake Joondalup to Perry's Paddock. Most of the scenery along the way is like this ...

But there are sections where the water reaches the path (this wouldn't be the case in drier months) ...

At Picnic Cove Park, where the lawns reach the water's edge, there are unhindered views over Lake Joondalup.

After crossing Ocean Reef Road, I am at the southernmost section of the lake, where there is a good resting spot looking over the water.

After a short rest, I start heading in an easterly direction along a gravel path (up to this point, all of the paths have been asphalt or concrete) up to the historic ruins of Perry's Paddock.

Perry's Paddock is named after John Patrick Perry, who purchased the land in 1912. On the land, he operated a horse breaking and stock dealing business. The land was also used for horse race meets and foot races.

The two buildings that remain are the �Bunkhouse� which was reconstructed in the 1990's ...

and the Linhay Perry's Cottage and Stables ...

The stables themselves are in complete ruin, while the white cottage still stands strong (even without the roof). You can enter the cottage, but the Bunkhouse is closed off.

Perry's Cottage appears to be a popular place for amateur and professional photo shoots, especially wedding photography (just Google image search Perry's Paddock). I didn't bring my fancy DSLR today, so the phone and my Nikon Keymission 180 will need to do the job.

Ok, that's enough history for now. Time to head south again and check out Beenyup Swamp Boardwalk, only a short stroll away. Although only short, the boardwalk takes you right into the swampland.

Next on the agenda, Lake Coollelal. As the crow flies, Lake Coollelal is about 2km away. From Beenyup Swamp Boardwalk I was expecting that I would need to walk along Duffy Terrace as I couldn't see a clear path through the vacant land between Woodvale Drive and Whitfords Avenue (via Google Maps Satellite view). I wasn't even sure if this land was part of Yellagonga Regional Park or not.

As I walk along Duffy Terrace my suspicions are confirmed with several private property signs on the vacant land. Ok, this must not be part of the park, along the road it is. Then, suddenly ...

Hey, look, an inviting entrance. This is Yellagonga Regional Park. Great. No need to walk along the road anymore. But where do I go? There are no clear trails? Just grasslands. Guess I will venture out into the paddock and see what I find.

The are plenty of kangaroos ...

And what is that in the distance ... more historic buildings? I venture closer.

I didn't know these existed. There isn't any signage of the building's significance (unlike the buildings at Perry's Paddock) and the grounds are rather dilapidated. After a bit of snooping on the internet, I find that the main building is called Duffy House, and is the oldest surviving building in the City of Joondalup, built in 1911 (check out this communitynews.com.au for some detailed info on the history of the house). There seems to be a bit of a fight about the future of Duffy House. Should it be knocked down or placed on a heritage list and conserved? Nothing much seems to be happening at Duffy House except for some recreational drug use (there are a few bongs around) and supposedly satanic rituals (see this watoday.com.au article about the gruesome discovery by a grandmother and her grandson). I guess this sort of behaviour has resulted in the rather intense fortifications of the windows and doors.

I check out Google Maps Satellite view to locate a clear path. There does appear to be a track running through the area parallel to Duffy Terrace. I find it and take a walk all the way to Whitfords Avenue.

It is absolutely deserted around here. Don't think this section of Yellagonga Regional Park gets many visitors. I reach Whitfords Avenue, but first I must overcome an obstacle, a walker's nightmare, a fence with no obvious gate. Right next to the fence is a marker for Yellagonga Regional Park, but no way of mounting the fence. There are a few footprints leading east, so I follow them in the hope of finding an opening. Further along Whitfords Avenue, the fence comes to an end. I did need to do a bit a bashing through waist-high weeds to make it, but I am finally released from the confines of the fence.

I investigate the area via Google Maps and notice "Della's Dairy Farm Site" near the corner of Wanneroo Road and Lancaster Road. I'm in no rush to get to Lake Goollelal, so I make a diversion to check out probably more old farm buildings. This is what I find.

Not as photogenic as Perry's Paddock, but worth the diversion. Now to head back towards Lake Goollelal.

I decide to walk around the lake in a counter-clockwise direction. Much like Lake Joondalup, most of the path is slightly inland from the water's edge and thickly vegetated, so water views are not abundant. But there are glimpses.

The best water views are from the viewing platform about a third down the lakes western edge.

From the viewing platform, the path lies between bushland on one side and roads (Goollelal Drive, Bindaree Terrace and Hepburn Ave) on the other, with occasional incursions into bushland.

It isn't the most exciting walk around Lake Goollelal, but it is a nice relaxing stroll. As I reach Hepburn Avenue I consider my public transport options back home. Looks like a bus leaves from Wanneroo Road in about 20 minutes. Plenty of time to explore a small section of the eastern side of Lake Goollelal.

When I reach the Lake Goollelal carpark I call it a day and head towards the bus stop at the corner of Wanneroo Road and Kingsway. All and all a good walk. Plenty of bushland, history, and kangaroos along the way, with a little bit of adventure into some of the less explored regions of Yellagonga Regional Park.


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View Photographs



Hello, I'm Marc and welcome to metrotrekker.

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