I'm a freelance writer living in Perth. Having 2 young kids with endless energy, we are always on the lookout for new outdoor activities.
Published August 19th 2011
Any parents with young kids would appreciate the need to inventorize every single public park that is even remotely possible to entertain the small ones. Lake Monger Reserve is definitely a park that is worth putting in any parent's list.
Lake Monger Reserve
Located just 3.6km north-west of CBD of Perth's CBD in the suburb of Wembley, Lake Monger Reserve is a conservation wetland ringed by a shared path for cycling and walking and jogging. There are four carparks along the way, and where you park depends on what facilities are nearby.
The western-most carpark off Lake Monger Drive is the most popular as it is closest to the biggest playground in the Reserve. On weekends, an ice-cream truck can be seen serving soft-serve portions to queueing customers. As a warning, there have been multiple cases of car break ins at this carpark, so take precautions and leave your belongings where they are not visible from outside.
The playground itself is more suitable for younger children. It is covered with shades and has a large sandbox, so feel free to bring your beach bucket and spades.
Not incidentally, the lakeside adjacent to this carpark is where the water-birds are most easily seen. Past habits of feeding the ducks and swans have caused them to congregate here and expect food whenever they see humans. It is of course not advisable to feed them as human food pollutes the water and might make them sick. If you must, feed them with pieces of lettuce.
Congregating ducks and swans
Another feature near this carpark is the open parkland area which can be utilised for ball games or any general rough-housing that would be furniture-unfriendly at home.
Go for the second or middle carpark off Lake Monger Drive if you're in a hurry to find a public toilet. This is also a good parking spot if the first is full, because it is still fairly close to the playground.
The third or eastern-most carpark off Lake Monger Drive would allow you to easily reach another playground, as well as a basketball hoop. It is also closest to the nature trail along the eastern side of the lake.
The fourth carpark is located off Dodd St next to the Lake Monger Primary School. Adjacent to this carpark you'd find public toilets, barbecues, and a smaller playground. You would also have a bonus of city view beyond the lake. This is a large carpark, so you're almost always guaranteed a park. It is a great place to start if you plan on walking around the whole lake.
City view and elegant swans on Lake Monger
Walking around the whole perimeter of the lake would take approximately 30 minutes. Lake Monger is a good place to bring your young ones cycling, as the distance is not too great. Going in a loop means you'd end up back where you start, so you skip the dreaded "I'm too tired to ride back" episode.
Bicycle path around the lake
There is a fifth carpark off Gregory St but it is not officially a public carpark for the Lake Monger Reserve. However if you're after a cup of coffee it's attached to the Lake Monger Bowling and Recreation Club, and there is a cafe that caters to the public.