Top Hiking and Walking Trails Around Perth Australia
...and all accessible via public tranport
When the words "Perth" and "Hiking" are uttered in the same sentence there are good odds the conversation is about the Perth Hills, where the flat Swan Coastal Plain ends and the Darling Scarp emerges. The bushland and undulating hills make for some great walks amongst wildflowers, birdlife, animal life, waterfalls and the odd abandoned quarry. But it's not all grasstrees, 28 Parrots, Spider Orchids, and Red-tailed Black Cockatoo flocks, don't forget Perth also has some great coastline walks along the Indian Ocean and the mighty Swan River. There are also plenty of lakes around Perth which make for great loop walks (just remember to visit them after rains or they could just be muddy puddles).
Don't have a car? Neither do I, so the walking and hiking trails listed below are all accessible by public transport (Ok, I might be pushing it sometimes, but all suggestions are within walking distance of public transport).
Kalamunda National Park, Beelu National Park and Gooseberry Hill
Walking 1000km along the Bibbulmun Track from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills to Albany is not everyone’s cup of tea. But with the Kalamunda Bus Port at the doorstep of the Bibbulmun Tracks Northern Terminus, almost anyone can experience at least a small section of this famous trail.
Apart from adding a feather to your hiking cap, there is also plenty to see, especially wildflowers, bushland panoramas and birdlife. A popular spot is the scenic Rocky Pools, which was a popular swimming hole pre-1930s. The Kalamunda local government provides several marked trails which traverse the area and are well worth exploring. The best time to visit is in the cooler months, especially after winter rains have filled the streams and in late winter and spring when the wildflowers are erupting.
Rocky Pool Walk Trail: Fancy experiencing a small section of the famous 1000km Bibbulmun Track followed by a dip in the scenic Rocky Pools? If so, then the Rocky Pool Walk is for you. Along the way, you can also experience bountiful wildflowers (at the right time of year of course), wildlife and valley views. But a word of warning, the Rocky Pool Walk is also rather rocky and steep in sections, but the effort is well worth it.
Helena Pipehead Walk: Follow my footsteps as I walk through the wildflowers of Kalamunda National Park, visit Rocky Pools and experience the Pipehead Dam on the Helena River.
A Bibbulmun Track Experience from Mundaring to Kalamunda: Following in my footsteps as I traverse 25km from Mundaring to Kalamunda.
Statham's Quarry Walk: Enjoying a hole in the ground and an abandoned railway line. A hike around Gooseberry Hill.
Mundy Regional Park and Lesmurdie Falls National Park
Located to the west of Kalamunda and Lesmurdie, Mundy Regional Park and Lesmurdie Falls National Park are accessible from all sides via public transport. There are numerous tracks throughout the area and the Kalamunda local government has provided some fantastic marked trails. My favourite would have to be the Whistlepipe Gully Walk, a 3km trail which loops around the banks of a winding creek with numerous small waterfalls. When the vegetation is lush from winter rains you could swear you are traipsing through a tropical jungle.
Whistlepipe Gully is a great one for the kids, but if you are looking for a hike a bit more strenuous try a couple of the longer walks which loop around the hillier sections of the park. The reward for your effort will be panoramic views across the Swan Coastal Plain and an abundance of wildflowers and birdlife.
The jewel in the crown, however, would have to be Lesmurdie Falls, probably the most spectacular waterfall in the Perth metropolitan area. For a close-up view, take the Foot of the Falls Trail along Lesmurdie Brook but be careful hopping along those slippery rocks. For a more panoramic view, take the high road along the southern shoulder of the valley and enjoy aerial views from the observation platforms.
Palm Terrace Walk and Lesmurdie Falls: A great springtime walk with a plethora of wildflowers and probably the best waterfall in the Perth metropolitan area. Great views as well.
Whistlepipe Gully and Lewis Road Walk: The Whistlepipe Gully walk is a great little walk with small waterfalls and plenty of greenery. If you are feeling more adventurous try the Lewis Road Walk for views and wildflowers.
West Terrace Walk: A loop walk around the northern end of Mundy Regional Park.
Korung National Park and Banyowla Regional Park
If wildflowers are on your agenda, then Korung National Park and Banyowla Regional Park are perfect. From Lions Lookout on Welshpool Road East, you can access several marked trails provided by the Kalamunda local government. Banyowla Regional Park, specifically Ellis Brook Valley, is a little harder to access via public transport, but the extra walk is worth it. Ellis Brook Valley is personally one of my favourites.
Ellis Brook Valley Reserve: Ellis Brook Valley Reserve is a Perth hiking gem. If you come at the right time of year you will be amazed by probably the best natural display of wildflowers in the Perth metropolitan area. Apart from wildflowers, Ellis Brook Valley Reserve is also well known for the dramatic cliffs and emerald green waters of Old Barrington Quarry. The panoramic views from the top of Sixty Foot Falls are also a highlight.
Victoria Reservoir Walk: The long way to Victoria Reservoir via Lions Lookout is full of history and natural beauty. Along the way, there are babbling brooks, the oldest surviving all-timber bridge in Australia, a gigantic Grasstree and a sad end to a young life.
Lions Lookout Walk: An easily accessible walk off Welshpool Road East with plenty of wildflowers and views over the Swan Coastal Plain.
Indian Ocean Coastal Walks
That's enough of the Perth Hills, time to give hikes along Perth's stunning coastline some credit. There are plenty of walks all the way from Burns Beach in the north to Mandurah in the south (one day I hope to walk the whole way). The walks along the coastline are great when the weather heats up and even more spectacular at sunset.
Rockingham Coastal Hike: A 24 km hike along the Rockingham coastline. Take in the stunning views of the Indian Ocean, Cockburn Sound and the Shoalwater Islands Marine Park. Other highlights include exploring the jagged limestone cliffs of Point Peron and hiking among the sand dunes of Warnbro Sound. Keep an eye out for dolphins feeding close to shore!
Burns Beach to Hillarys Boat Harbour: Stunning coastline scenery and all easily accessible by public transport.
Walking the Banks of the Swan River
I'm not sure the exact length of the Swan River's perimeter, but whatever it is it's huge. This means plenty of walking opportunities. But where to start?
Heirisson Island to The Narrows Loop Walk: An 11.2 km loop along the Swan River banks of Perth City, Heirisson Island, and South Perth. Cross the river at the Narrows Bridge and the Causeway and treat yourself to brilliant river and city views. Along the way make a stop at Heirisson Island and say hello to Perth's inner city kangaroo residents. Yep, that's right, roaming kangaroos all within minutes of downtown Perth.
Canning Bridge to Fremantle via the South Bank of the Swan River: At 21km this is rather a long walk, but there is plenty to see along the way including spectacular river views, Point Walter Spit (a sand bar that extends over 1km into the river at low tide), parklands, cafes to sample, black swans, and a glimpse into the lives of Perth's wealthy (including Australia's most expensive house at $57.9 million).
The Perth metropolitan area is dotted with many small to medium sized lakes which make ideal loop walks. If you enjoy wetlands and birdlife these are the areas you will want to try.
Lake Monger and Herdsman Lake: Perth's inner city lakes with plenty of natural beauty.
Lake Joondalup and Yellagonga Regional Park: Easily accessible from Joondalup Train Station and the biggest lake in the Perth metropolitan area. Despite being the biggest lake, close encounters with the water are few but there is plenty of bushland to enjoy.
North and Bibra Lakes of Beeliar Regional Park: Plenty of bird watching opportunities in this lake system nestled in Perth's southern suburbs.
The Spectacles: Located close to Kwinana Train Station, The Spectacles lake system is worth a look, especially when the wildflowers are in bloom.
Lake Cooloongup Flora and Fauna Reserve: A great walk between Rockingham and Warnbro Train Stations. Just watch out for unexploded ordnances.
Have you taken any of theses hikes? Any suggestions or errors? Please comment below.