To me all this fuss about wide, straight & clear roads is boring. Going in search of roads that give you that exhilarating driving experience is a favourite past time and here are my picks for the top five in Perth. By modern standards they may be considered "dangerous" but that is part of what makes them great!
Note: Click the images for larger maps.
Zig Zag Scenic Drive
Well this one really is a no brainer. Boasting one of the best views in WA, Zig Zag Scenic drive attracts amateur and professional photographers from far and wide.
The road is a lot of fun too. After meandering through Gooseberry Hill on Lascelles Parade the road cuts right down the Darling Escarpment. Featuring narrow, winding tracks and four tight switch backs the one way road is a driving enthusiasts dream.
On one side you have beaches as far as the eye can see. Pristine blue waters and white sandy beaches open out beyond the bush covered dunes.
To the other side is an ever increasing amount of McMansions. In the constant struggle to impress, the wealthy are always pushing to make their mansion stand out more than the last, making for some very impressive architecture.
The Esplanade/Johnson Parade
When you put rich people next to rivers the results tend to be very photogenic. The foreshore is expertly manicured, the bay is full of boats and the road side features an expanse of exorbitant mansions.
This drive along the Mosman Park foreshore features all of the above. A steep descent down The esplanade opens out into a slow drive just metres from the peaceful bay. Various boats are dotted amongst the moorings and the old Mosman Restaurant sits out on the end of the jetty.
The size and architecture of the buildings shows just why Mossy Park is so exclusive and the well manicured parks leave you dreaming of what that one Powerball could do for you.
The hills feature many impressive roads worthy of driving enthusiasts. One such example is Canning Road. The long and winding road links Roe Highway up to Brookton Highway.
After passing through Kalamunda, the road pushes on into the forest. Tall timbers line the sides of the road as far as the eye can see and creeks are dotted along the thoroughfare. The long stretch of tarmac passes through the Korung National Park, within which is the Victoria Reservoir and Araluen botanic gardens.
Loton Road/Padbury Avenue
Well I couldn't go through a top five roads list without including an unsealed road right!? This mix of sealed and gravel road is 2wd accessible but as always is much more fun with a 4wd.
A short tarmac stretch on Padbury avenue meanders through the pastoral land of the Swan Valley before the black top disappears into the Darling Ranges. The backtrack is covered in native trees and low lying scrub.
At the tip of the off road section you even get to cross an almost always dry creek bed, then follow it back down stream, where you rejoin the sealed surface on Loton Road.
Also Park rd; Head up Gt. Eastern Hgy by the new bridge on Roe Hgy.Take the 3rd entry (left) into the John Forrest NP by Hardy Rd.Head into the park, when you come back out you can meander up via Oxley Rd to the Railway Bridle path on Victoria rd.Walk along the path from the small bays where a car or 2 can park.First road left (ie;stay on Victoria)as you come back out takes you to the Parkerville Pub.On towards Seabourne St,right then left onto Riley Rd & take the back road to Stoneville Rd & head right around the roundabout to Mundaring.(left at roundabout will take you out to Toodyay Rd) Head across Gt Eastern Hgy to the Mundaring Weir Rd. Great parks,views & of course the famous Mundaring Weir Pub. Nip around the dam & on through the forest & back up to Kalamunda & back down Canning Hgy or Kalamunda rd to the Roe Hgy. Andy.
Don't forget the circuit which includes the Zig Zag. Follow the backroads through Boya, Darlinton, Glen Forrest, Mahogany Creek, stop for coffee at Mundaring then follow Mundaring Weir Road until you get to Kalamunda. Great by car, motorbike or bicycle!