Five amazing walking trails in and around Perth
With sunny clear skies a WA trademark, exploring Perth on foot is a natural fit. Especially when there’s native bushland, sandy beaches, rocky escarpments and serene waterfalls to discover.
Team your enthusiasm with drinking water, a hat, sunscreen and this top five list, and your Perth adventure will be as simple as putting one foot in front of the other.
Short and sharp: Kings Park
The 2.5km Law Walk loop may only take an hour, but it gets the heart pumping. Depart from the Swan Carpark (within Kings Park) and follow the rollercoaster-like bush trail up and down an escarpment overlooking the Swan River. Along the way, you can stop at the Dryandra Lookout, a sensational viewing platform, and the 620m-long Lotterywest Federation Walkway, which includes a tree canopy bridge with glass sides. Parts of this walk are wheelchair and pram accessible.
More info: www.bgpa.wa.gov.au
Easy and urban – with kangaroos: Swan River Loop
If you like to be within sight of city skyscrapers, this easy 10km loop walk is for you. Kicking off from Elizabeth Quay, it traces the edge of the placid Swan River, heading east then crossing to the city’s southern side using the Causeway Bridge. It cuts through Heirisson Island – jump off the trail to explore the island’s western side, where a handful of tame kangaroos roam (best seen before 10am or after 5pm). Return to the path and tour South Perth’s parklands, refueling at Mister Walker jetty cafe. If you’re tired, return to base on the commuter ferry, or plough on and cross back along the Narrows Bridge. This one’s also do-able on bike.
Natural beauty: Lesmurdie Falls
Pack a picnic and expect to get snap happy in the easy-access Perth Hills. Follow the trail downhill to the viewing deck over the top of the falls, where you’re rewarded with hazy views of the city. Then trek down a steeper gradient, weaving through native bush until you reach flat ground smattered with rocks and ferns. The trail curls around then gently rises towards the gushing falls. The return trip’s many steps will raise your pulse. It’s best to go in winter, when upstream flows are strongest, or spring, when cascades froth and wildflowers bloom. This hike is about 2km long.
Quokkas and beaches: Rottnest Island
Only 19km over water from Perth, the Wadjemup Bidi groups together a number of walks that link to create an entire circumnavigation of Rottnest Island. Take on the whole 45km journey, or choose your own adventure, with 5-10km sections revealing coves and beaches, salt lakes and boardwalks, quokka-populated bushland and steep hills. Wadjemup is the Aboriginal name for Rottnest Island, and bidi means trail in the language of the island’s traditional owners, the Whadjuk Noongar. Check the Island Explorer bus timetable for drop-off and pick-up points.
More info: www.rottnestisland.com/wadjemupbidi
Long and epic: Bibbulmun Track
This is the hike to end all hikes in WA: it measures 1000km end to end, and its starting point is in historic Kalamunda, a rural suburb in the Perth Hills. It serpentines all the way to coastal Albany, taking about eight weeks for experienced hikers to cover, and is dotted with basic shelters and signing-in honour rolls. An enjoyable section close to Perth kicks off near the historic Mundaring Weir Hotel; follow the track to the Golden View Lookout and South Ledge picnic area, which grants impressive views of their weir and Lake CY O’Connor.
More info: www.bibbulmuntrack.org.au