I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published November 21st 2012
There’s So Much To See And Do In The Beautiful Perth Hills
There's nothing like gathering together with family and friends to share a special meal in the great outdoors. Due to the great weather which we enjoy here in Perth, picnics are very much a part of our lifestyle and we're fortunate to have some beautiful places where we can engage in this enjoyable pursuit, either in the city itself, local parklands, near our spectacular beaches or up in the Perth Hills, to the east of the city.
One of the many beautiful picnic spots which can be found at John Forrest National Park.
The Perth Hills are an especially popular picnic destination, due to the beautiful scenery which can be enjoyed there, the abundant wildlife, and wide variety of walking trails. Since the Hills span a vast area, in this article I'm only focusing on the Mundaring area, where some of Perth's most attractive picnic spots are located.
One of the many beautiful picnic spots overlooking the Mundaring Weir.
Mundaring is a picturesque small town, an easy forty minute drive from the Perth city centre on the Great Eastern Highway. Characterised by rugged, rocky valleys and just minutes away from a couple of national parks, it's also the home of many artists, a fact which is reflected in the numerous galleries and studios which can be found around town.
The following paragraphs are a guide to some of my favourite picnic areas within the Mundaring Shire. I hope that you also enjoy them.
Western Australia's oldest national park, the John Forrest National Park, has a very impressive picnic area, with numerous picnic tables, gas barbeques and other facilities. These are spread over quite a wide expanse and if you get in early, you can choose from idyllic spots near the river, tables shaded by quaint rustic wooden shelters, and lovely spots under the tall gumtrees which are growing everywhere.
The riverside picnic spots are especially popular at the John Forrest National Park.
Due the many tables which are scattered around, I assume that it must get very busy at certain times of the year. However, it's truly beautiful here and it's not difficult to see why it would be so popular. In addition to the picnic facilities, there are also public toilets, a ranger's office and several walking trails, both short and long. A couple of picturesque seasonal waterfalls are just a short walk away and are particularly popular with nature-lovers and photographers. In the spring the bushland comes alive with a myriad of beautiful wildflowers, making it a wonderful time to visit.
Another picturesque spot at John Forrest National Park.
During the day many native birds frequent the area, while in the late afternoons large kangaroos and wallabies are a common sight. Overseas guests will be especially thrilled to see these large marsupials, some with their young joeys in their pouches.
Picnic enthusiasts are spoilt for choice at the John Forrest National Park.
M.J. Morgan Reserve, Glen Forrest Situated in the pretty hamlet of Glen Forrest, the M.J. Morgan Reserve is one of several in the Perth Hills which is located along the historic railway tracks that used to pass through the area. Surrounded by bushland, it's a pleasant spot to have a picnic lunch after a day of sightseeing or hiking. As it's smaller than some of the other picnic areas, it's much less crowded on popular weekends. However, all the needs of visitors are catered for and the site includes sheltered picnic benches, public toilets and a playground.
Mundaring Sculpture Park Located just a few streets from the shopping centre, the Mundaring Community Sculpture Park is a large park filled with quirky outdoor sculptures which the kids will love. For very active children, there's also a playground.
One of the quirky sculptures at the Mundaring Community Sculpture Park.
It's a great spot for a picnic after visiting the local markets. A couple of rustic-looking hand crafted picnic tables, quite probably also created by local artisans, are available here for picnickers, or there's plenty of space to throw down a picnic rug.
A gorgeously rustic picnic bench at the Mundaring Community Sculpture Park.
Perth Hills Centre
Situated in the Beelu National Park, the Perth Hills Centre is the headquarters of the Nearer to Nature program, an incentive of the Department of Environment and Conservation, which provides wonderful nature-based activities for the whole family. They're based in a picturesque group of heritage cottages situated around attractive native gardens. On the weekends, a small kiosk sells refreshments, books, maps and souvenirs.
The Perth Hills Centre is a beaut spot to enjoy a picnic lunch.
Many bushwalks either begin or pass through the Perth Hills Centre so this is a great spot to head to for a big family day out. For those without a picnic rug, there are a couple of tables on the lawn in front of the heritage cottages.
Also in the Beelu National Park, the extensive gardens near Lake C.Y. O'Connor are another favourite location for veteran picnic-lovers. Surrounded by forest and with spectacular views over the dam, this spot is truly special. Overseas visitors will be charmed by the native bird-life, as well as the kangaroos and wallabies which frequent the area in the early mornings and late afternoon. In addition, garden-lovers will be impressed by the beautifully landscaped gardens, and the exquisite rose garden.
Many picnic areas near Mundaring Weir enjoy beautiful views.
Many picnic tables are scattered throughout the gardens, some which have shelters over them, and public toilets are located close by. For the energetic, there are some great walks around the dam, there is a museum for history buffs, and art-lovers shouldn't miss the Mundaring Weir Gallery.
Last but not least, beautiful Lake Leschenaultia in Chidlow provides numerous picturesque spots to relax and enjoy a picnic. Many recreational activities can be enjoyed here, including bushwalking, canoeing, swimming, photography and observing the native wildlife.