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 September 11th 2011
Spring is in the air and it means the wildflower season is back. Due to favourable conditions including higher than usual rainfall, some years like 2009 and 2011 enjoy better than average wildflower seasons with more blooms visible. Wildflower hot spots like Kalbarri and Lesueur National Parks have been featured in both the printed and television news with images of fields of wildflowers as far as the eyes could see. When I saw them, how I wished I could roll around or lay down on the carpets of flowers. Unfortunately in reality, not many of us could take time off our daily routines to actually visit those national parks hundreds of kms away.
The question is now: Where can we go to have the best wildflower experience without having to go out of town? There must be somewhere within 1 hour drive from the CBD that would allow us to wallow in the blooms of wildflowers. They may not be as prolific as their far-flung cousins, but these spots should be able to serve as consolation prizes for us who long to view the famed spectacle with our own eyes but have not the time nor means to go further afields. If you have found a place like this in Perth, please let us know about it.
For starters, the following wildflower walk trails are all within 50km from the CBD (listed in ascending order according to distance). Most of them have the usual facilities you'd expect like barbecues and public toilets, and most importantly, some sort of flowering native plants. If you have any other spots in mind, we'd love to hear about them.
1. Kings Park
What more do I need to say? Kings Park and Botanic Garden has indeed said it all. Its annual wildflower display in spring is really a show case of all that is best of WA's plants and wildflowers. My only complaint is that they're all presented so well that we don't really feel like they're "wild" flowers. For wildflowers in more natural surroundings, you could walk the Bushland Nature Trail.
Located in the suburb of Ardross (12 km south of Perth), Wireless Hill Park is one of the bigger suburban parks within Greater Perth. It has a unique feature that is rarely found in other suburban parks, namely the protected bushland that is actively being revegetated and rehabilitated. This in turn provides us city-dwellers with a place to loose ourselves among the native flora of WA.
3. Whiteman Park Whiteman Park (20km north east of Perth) has a few bushwalks which vary from 2.5 to 4.3km in length. They are sign-posted and you could also print the maps from the above link or pick up the relevant brochures from their Visitor Centre. Whiteman Park celebrates its 25th Anniversary in 2011 and you might be able to fill your day with bushwalking experiences as well as other events devoted to the anniversary celebration.
Wandoo Heights (33km north east of Perth) is a relatively small bushland reserve managed by the City of Swan. Its undulating terrain provides moderate grade walks with panoramic views of Perth and the surrounding coastal plain. To access it, you need to borrow the gate key from the City of Swan. They'd provide it free of charge, and it comes with access to the cottage within the reserve which has barbecue and toilet facilities. The walk trail brochure has a map and short history of the area.
The Bells Rapid area along the Swan River (35km north east of Perth) is noted for being one of the best locations to view the famous Avon Descent, which is held annually in the end of winter. But come warm weather in spring, it is also alive with families frolicking in the shallow water and walkers with or without their dogs. To view the beautiful patches of wildflower covering the forest floors, choose the longer walk from the two options given in the brochure. You'd also be able to enjoy the view of the valley from the top of the trail.
6. FR Berry Walk Trail
This and the next item (Noble Falls) are located in the same general aea of Gidgegannup off Toodyay Road (45-50km north east of Perth). FR Berry Reserve has some woodlands and granite outcrops which you could view from the walk trail. This printer friendly webpage provides the map and detail description of the walk. If you have the time, I do recommend stopping by the Walyunga Lookout marked in the area map on that webpage, as it has a beautiful panoramic view of the Avon Valley. Oh, and in case you're wondering, FR Berry is the name of a manager of Mount Lawley Pty Ltd who donated the land for this reserve.
7. Noble Falls Walk Trail
Noble Falls is a relatively small body of water falling over the Wooroloo Brook. The 3.5km loop trail begins from the Noble Falls picnic area off Toodyay Road and meanders along the brook. A printer friendly webpage is provided by the Gidgegannup Community website with a map and detail description of this walk.
By Hawk - reader Tuesday, 13th of September @ 12:23 pm
Don't forget heading up to the hills in Kalamunda. Glorious wildflowers to be found just on the verge and in the many parks. Take the kids on a nature walk and then stop off for an ice cream in the main street.
By zubek - reader Monday, 30th of July @ 11:39 pm
By mcnee - reader Tuesday, 31st of July @ 12:02 am
Bungedore Park and Settlers Common in Armadale
By knjho - reader Monday, 17th of October @ 12:12 am