I recently returned from living in London so I am re-discovering Perth and its hidden nooks and crannies.
Published January 27th 2015
Natural and Social History in the ‘burbs
If you want to get back to nature and live in the northern suburbs you really don't need to go far.
Yellagonga Regional Park stretches from Lake Goollelal to Lake Joondalup and contains Beenyup Swamp and Walluburnup Swamp.
My Dad and I decided to walk around a section of the park which covered the end of Lake Joondalup, Beenyup Swamp and Perry's Paddock.
Parking the car in Woodvale we followed the path around until we came to Beenyup Swamp where a boardwalk had been installed that cuts through the swamp. Looking into the tangle of trees, murky water and dragonflies you would not know you were near a busy road in suburbia.
Continuing across the park we came across Perry's Cottage and across from it the Bunkhouse built in 1850 for horse breeder Jack Perry. The bunkhouse has been restored and the cottage will be restored in the locally adapted English style of the time. It's a great example of local heritage preserved for all to see.
There is also an information board acknowledging the Mooro people who used the area for food gathering, hunting and corroborees. Yellagonga is in fact the name of the leader of the Mooro people. As European settlement encroached on their land they moved further north but a street off Whitfords Avenue bears the Mooro name.
We crossed Ocean Reef Road and continued to James Spiers Drive to Studmaster Park on the edge of Lake Joondalup. Here you can climb the lookout and get a good view across the lake to Edgewater and further up towards Joondalup.
We walked about 2 hours and the area is vast and spreads across several suburbs so it's best to break up your suburban hikes to a section at a time. Each area has its own discoveries to be had, ranging from heritage buildings to natural ecology (you will always hear cicadas).
So if you are after a natural and social history fix, research on Google map for a park, lake or natural area in your vicinity and plan a walk. Remember slip, slop, slap and take water, snacks and comfortable shoes.