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 May 16th 2013
A Beautiful Tranquil Place In The Heart Of The Perth Hills
Located in the heart of lovely leafy Kalamunda, Stirk Park is one of the most picturesque public spaces in the Perth metro area. Large and slightly undulating, with plenty of big shady trees, it's a tranquil place despite being situated quite close to the bustling Kalamunda shopping area.
Not only is Stirk Park geographically situated in Kalamunda's town centre, but it also serves as a social hub for many public events throughout the year such as Jazz in the Park, the Kalamunda Carols by Candlelight and the annual Zig Zag Festival. However, it's also a lovely spot for a solitary wander, or to enjoy an intimate family picnic. Friends have mentioned that it's a popular wedding venue as well, which doesn't surprise me at all since there's some really gorgeous photo opportunities there. In a nutshell, it's the type of place that can be all things to all people, and after a couple of leisurely hours relaxing there, it's easy to understand its popularity, both with locals and visitors from further afield.
On my recent visit to Stirk Park, one of my strongest impressions was how the deciduous trees growing there, with their yellow, orange and red leaves gently dropping to the ground, embodied the stereotyped image that many of us have of autumn. Despite having lived in Australia all my life where our native trees remain green throughout the year, like many of us I'm still strongly influenced by images of a Northern Hemisphere autumn from children's story books, and Stirk Park definitely lived up to such an image on the cool, windy day in May that I wandered through.
Bright autumn leaves at Stirk Park, Kalamunda.
Stirk Park, however, is the kind of place which is beautiful at any time of the year. During Spring, the area comes alive with a myriad of wildflowers, while lazing near the large pond would be very refreshing on a hot summer day. During the cooler winter weather, the park's wide open spaces would be a great place for active kids to play.
The pond at Stirk Park.
For those wanting to enjoy a big day outdoors with the family, Stirk Park has plenty of picnic tables and barbecues. Other facilities for visitors include public toilets and a terrific children's playground. Kids will especially enjoy the area near the pond, as there are lots of ducks waddling around, as well as other bird-life.
One of several nice picnic spots in Stirk Park
Part of the playground at Stirk Park.
Another view of the playground.
If you're visiting on a Sunday, be sure to check out historic Stirk Cottage on Kalamunda Road, which is situated adjacent to the park, right next to the Kalamunda Club. Built in 1881 by early settlers Frederick and Elizabeth Stirk, it was the first cottage constructed in the Kalamunda town site. These days, Stirk Cottage is a pioneer museum and visitors can marvel at the bush skills which went into its construction and admire the rustic, home-made furniture which adorn it, giving us a glimpse into early colonial life. Stirk Cottage is open most Sundays, from 2 - 4pm, although during December and January it's closed.
With its central location, Stirk Park is a fabulous spot to spend some quiet time alone, connecting with nature, or relaxing with family and loved ones. So why not pop in when you're next in the area? Every Sunday in Kalamunda's Central Mall there's a beaut farmer's market, while some of the best bushwalking in the Perth area is right on the town's doorstep. A leisurely stroll through Stirk Park is a great way to finish up a big day in the Perth Hills, and rejuvenate you for a busy week ahead.