They call it the secret garden, but for the residents of Gwelup it is called Careniup Wetlands and, until recently, it was just a normal suburban park.
Having grown up nearby I spent a lot of time here and never really thought there was anything particularly amazing about it. It was a nice park with good space to kick a ball and a nice wetland in the middle.
Inside the secret garden in Careniup Wetlands, Gwelup
The surrounds are fairly inauspicious. There is plenty of green space to kick a footy or have a picnic, a few small playgrounds for the little ones, and a it is a nice spot to walk around with the thing slither of wetlands running down the middle.
If you are a little more adventurous however you will find what the online world raves about. Head into the wetland down the wider end of the park and there are a bunch of tunnels cut out of the thick tree growth.
These tunnels lead you to a beautiful world blanketed in green growth which wouldn't be out of place in an Alice in Wonderland script. There is a small creek running down the middle to cross and the thick canopy allows just enough light to creep through to bounce around off the undergrowth to spectacular effect.
For those like me who thought they knew the place, and for those who have never been and love a good adventure (or just want to get a good Instagram shot) this world hidden in plain sight is well worth a look. Let yourself get taken by the atmosphere of the place and you will discover yet another true gem of Perth suburbia.
As a local Cosplayer, I have always liked this place, as it is used quite a lot for photo shoots and we always had respect for this beautiful park, keeping it a close secret and always arriving in small groups and taking our rubbish away with us, but now the place is full of rubbish and people who in some cases do not respect the area and tramp through the plants and make a lot of noise to disturb the local wildlife, it's very sad to see it come to this! :(
re Careniup Wetlands...because they are no longer "secret" we the residents of the area have huge problems with cars parking on the once beautiful grass areas, on the street thus causing problems for the buses, and of course there is the rubbish problem. No bins provided by the City of Stirling (and they have been asked for!!!) so the visitors just leave all their rubbish behind! Please find another "secret Garden" away from ours.
I hate to be a wet blanket, but I can see at least two introduced plants (Virginia creeper and bamboo) that have gone wild and are rapidly choking any native vegetation that might be struggling to survive. It might look lovely, but its really an environmental disaster. I haven't been there, but that's what it looks like from the photos.
It was beautiful many years ago when the only people who knew about it were a group of 15 children and an elderly women who would walk her dog alongside the entrance every afternoon. So I now clarify and state that the original name is not The Secret Garden but is instead Greenland. If the public were more respectful to the land the locals may have introduced you to the other places that we discovered being Green Island, bushland, bamboo land and the back trails. But sorry that will remain with the minds of the original locals of Greenland.