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The Best Walks in and around Perth's Kalamunda National Park

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by Barry J (subscribe)
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Published April 27th 2017
Walk This Way
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Laugh it off in Kalamunda (by Shire of Kalamunda)


Kalamunda, east of Perth in the Darling Scarp, is Indigenous for "a home in the forest". Explore this natural home to long-billed black cockatoos, red-winged fairywrens and rufous treecreepers, fluttering between the many varieties eucalypt trees, from jarrah to red and white gum. Spanning almost 4sq/km of woodland, wildflowers of every colour appear in spring as locals hike along the well worn trails.

Kalamunda is lined with trails dotted with historic and natural wonders, leading to picnic areas, lookouts and secluded bushland. As some of these walks explore the city centre, you're never far from refreshment with cool drinks, sweet coffee and local delicacies to keep you going. If you're excited to show the best side of Kalamunda to a first-time visitor, start with one of these top 5 hikes.

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Crisp mornings as the sun rises over Jorgensen Park (by Shire of Kalamunda)


Whichever walk you choose, take your time to savor the forest's beauty, particularly the birdlife, enchanting vistas and blossoming native wildflowers, but stay safe.

Prepare to enjoy yourself as you stock up with water, snacks, appropriate attire (hat, long-sleeve shirt, pullover, rainjacket, sunnies, firm, comfortable walking shoes with good tread, heel and arch support, smartphone with camera and a backpack. While you're unlikely to become lost or abandoned on these popular walks in the town centre, watch for signposts and warning signs.

Each of these walks offers unique highlights, worthy of regular return trips as the seasons change.

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Delightful autumn colours (by Shire of Kalamunda)


Rocky Pool Walk - 5km circuit.
Descend into the heart of the park, with a swim in the enchanting Rocky Pool as your reward. Begin at the northern tip of Spring Rd, walking 80 metres before turning left to begin the counter-clockwise loop.
As you wind north, you'll cross two thin streams, then reach Schipp Rd after 1.5km heading north-west. Take the sharp right turn to walk east, passing tall red gum trees with power lines weaving through the branches.
After a short walk south, you'll reach Rocky Pool, with giant boulders of granite rising from the water. After lunch and a swim, head south for 1km, trailing the creek and passing over it twice more before returning to your starting point.
Visit Shire of Kalamunda for more info.

Kalamunda Railway Heritage Trail - 12km return.
In the late 19th century, the Upper Darling Railway Range, over 30 kilometres of railway, was built, with steam trains carrying timber and fruit into Perth and returning with tourists holidaying during summer. After a coal strike in the 1940s, the trains fell silent, steadily replaced by cars and trucks using newly laid roads and highways. Since the steel lines were removed 60 years ago, the trail has been a popular recreation spot.
Begin your walk through its history at Quenda Creek Reserve, heading south into Gooseberry Hill, with the train platform and shelter shed from 1905 still shimmering bright red. After 2kms, you'll enter Kalamunda, the town centre dotted with historic landmarks, from the dormant railway station with its village display, to the hotel, church and library. You can pause here for lunch, return home or continue out of town over Mead St to the tram station beside the cavernous water reservoir.
After 2.5km, you'll see the original timber home of the Wallis family on your left as you arrive at the highest point on the line, Walliston Station. Relax on the benches beside the produce shed before tackling the return trip north along the same route.
Visit Shire of Kalamunda for more info.

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The Railway Heritage Trail (by Perth Tourism)


Kalamunda Town Heritage Trail - 2km circuit.
Circle the town at the centre of life in the Kalamunda on a 20-minute tour of its attractions. Allow for much more time to examine the highlights along the way, beginning with the Zig Zag Cultural Centre at the corner of Haynes St and Railway Rd, featuring artwork blending the rich reds of jarrah timber and granite with polished glass.
Walk east toward Mead St to see a wagon used on an ambulance train during World War II, a spectacular stained glass window in the library and the former Methodist Church, built at the end of World War I from laterite and jarrah before peering through the display windows in Curry's Cash Store, serving locals with everything from saddles to high tea since opening in 1909.
Head south, cutting through the park on the Central Mall for the farmers' markets held each Sunday before circling back along Canning Rd Haynes St to see the former bakery, drapery and pharmacist.
Visit Shire of Kalamunda for more info.

Jorgensen Park Walk - 2.8km circuit.
Complete an hour loop of this former golf course, powering through fairways now returned to the forest with no fear of golf ball strikes.
Begin at the end of Crescent Rd, just off Mundaring Weir Rd. Continue east along the former fairway, now returning to bushland until you reach the group of grass gum-trees. The trail then winds north, transforming from forest into woodland, then heath with herbs and lichens.
Relax at this half-way point to admire the view of the Helena Valley before returning south along another fairway and creek, arriving back at the starting point where a large picnic area awaits.
Visit Shire of Kalamunda for more info.

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Striking wildflowers (by Shire of Kalamunda)


Whistlepipe Gully Walk - 3.5km circuit.
Take an easy stroll through Forrestfield on this dog-friendly track. Begin at the western end of Orange Valley Rd, walking west, keeping the creek on your left shoulder. Continue for just over a kilometre until you cross over the creek via the wooden bridge after passing the remains of a country cottage from the 1960s.
Step carefully as the trail descends over rocky steps, with wildflowers blossoming as winter's chill subsides. After 500 metres, you'll hit Lewis Rd, the half-way point. Follow the trail back, again keeping the creek on your left shoulder to walk the other side before finally crossing back to the start point.
Visit Shire of Kalamunda for more info.

After you've left only footprints, which of these tracks in Kalamunda is your favourite?

We'd love to hear your comments.

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Why? Experience some of Perth's best hikes
When: Anytime!
Phone: (08) 9257 9999
Where: Kalamunda
Cost: Free!
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