Looking for an inner city bush walk with beautiful views, but without the congestion of Kings Park? Bold Park is one of the most underrated bushland reserves in the Perth urban area, and makes for a great trip out whether you are playing host to interstate/international visitors, or just looking for a new weekend walking trail.
Bold Park is accessible from Oceanic Drive in City Beach, just past Perry Lakes Reserve as you drive towards the coast. You can't miss the signage or the steep hill that will take you up to the Reabold Hill Lookout carpark. At the moment the car park operational hours are 7.00 am to 6.00 pm, with these being extended to 6.00 am to 8.00 pm on November 1 for the summer period. The Park is, however, always accessible by bike or foot.
Once you are parked, follow the signs to the Reabold Hill Summit Lookout. The Botanic Gardens and Parks Authority, the body which manages Bold Park, prides itself on prioritising the conservation of the Park's native wildlife, and the 150m raised boardwalk which winds through the bush and up to the lookout definitely showcases the abundance of native plants that can be found in the Parks boundaries. At this time of year, the beautiful yellow banksias are amongst my favourites.
Reabold Hill is 85 m above sea level and is the highest natural point in the Perth metropolitan area. Accordingly, the views from the lookout are breathtaking and (depending on your eye sight) you really can see everything from the Perth CBD, Subiaco Oval and the Swan River on the easterly side of the lookout, to Rottnest Island, Fremantle and Hillary's Boat Harbour on the west.
After you have taken in the view from the Reabold Hill Lookout, make your way back down to the car park and head towards the limestone track located on the opposite side of the car park to the boardwalk. Bold Park has many walking trails, one of the most popular being the 5.1 km "Zamia Trail" loop. The trails are quiet and you are likely to only pass the odd jogger or dog-walker, which makes this the perfect spot to relax and unwind after a busy week.
Be warned that the Bold Park trails are particularly hilly, and the hills feel like mountains in summer when the bush provides little shade from the heat. If you are heading out on a hot day, remember to take plenty of water with you as there are no water fountains in the Park.
If you don't feel like going for a long walk, simply wander a few hundred metres down the Zamia Trail until you see the sign to the Ocean Views Lookout. Head up the steep (but short) hill and you will find a spectacular, uninterrupted 180 degree view of the Indian Ocean. There are also benches up here so that you can sit, relax and really take in the view.
Bold Park also offers seasonal free guided walks which are led by volunteers who are local experts on the Park's flora, fauna, geology and conservation projects. At the moment the tours are running approximately every week, and go for 90 minutes, starting at 9.00 am.
Having visited Bold Park and Reabold Hill, it is no surprise that the Park is listed as an A-Class Reserve. It truly is amazing that such unique bushland can exist in such an urban area. Another bonus is that after working up a sweat on the trail, you are a mere 2 minute drive from the beach to cool off.