National Parks are a national treasure and a welcome escape from the city.
These areas of land have been given protected status because of their landscapes, ecosystems, native flora and fauna as well as their cultural significance. They’re also chock full of trails for walks and hikes with some leading to waterfalls or swimming holes. (Featured image: @harrycunnningham1)
Not sure which one to visit first? Check out our list of all national parks near Perth (ordered by rough driving distance from the city) and start crossing them off your list.
Be sure to check the Explore Parks WA website for local alerts before travelling as well as necessary visitor info such as parking fees and restrictions.
1. Lesmurdie Falls National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: It’s in the name, Lesmurdie Falls. This is also one of the most popular bushwalking areas due to its proximity and how easy navigation is. There’s also a number of trails ranging from 300m in length to 3km return trips starting at the picnic area, where dogs are permitted but must remain on a leash, as well as toilets. The national park also borders Mundy Regional Park with more trails, like the Lesmurdie Brook Loop, and spectacular views of Perth.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 27kms
2. John Forrest National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Chase (Hovea and National Park) waterfalls; walk the Wildflower Trail or if you prefer to keep to the car, drive the full length of Park Road; see how many native mammal species you can spot.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 28kms
3. Kalamunda National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Kalamunda is noted for it’s diversity of plants, and some that cannot be found anywhere else, so why not walk the 4km Schipp Road Walk loop following Piesse Brook to spot as many as you can. Or, begin the Bibbulmun Track, one of the longest hikes in the world. Also great for horse riding and mountain biking.
You can find Jorgensen Reserve on the southern border of the national park, where there are toilet and picnic facilities, including barbeques.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 30kms
4. Gooseberry Hill National Park
🚗 Distance from Perth: 31km
5. Midgegooroo National Park
🚗 Distance from Perth: 38kms
6. Neerabup National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: With no out and out recreation facilities, Neerabup National Park is one of the most perfect places to escape. The area protects an ancient Indigenous Australian migration route between Lake Joondalup (Yellagonga Regional Park) and Loch McNess (Yanchep National Park.) Go in the early morning or late afternoon and you’re sure to spot kangaroos and maybe even some emus too as well as a heap of other native animals.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 38kms
7. Walyunga National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Canoe or kayak at Walyunga Pool if gentle is what you’re after, or head to Syd’s Rapids if you’re more experienced. Marvel at the history of the area as one of the largest known Aboriginal campsites around Perth and used up until the last century. There are picnic facilities as well as the chance to do a spot of fishing.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 44kms
8. Beelu National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Home to the Perth Hills Discovery Centre, Beelu National Park offers a variety of tracks and trails, including the Bibbulmun Track and Munda Biddi Mountain Bike Trail. You can check out the phenomenal views from Golden View Lookout to name just one. Abseiling and bouldering are also on the cards here.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 45kms
🛏️ Yes, at the Perth Hills Discovery Centre campground.
9. Helena National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Head to Mount Dale, an old fire lookout tower as it gives 360-degree views of the park with picnic facilities in the lower recreation area. On the north side of Mount Dale, there is an animal viewing hide, which also gives spectacular gives of the Darkin River Valley.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 50kms
10. Yanchep National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Crystal Cave, Yonderup Cave, Adventure Caving, Cabaret Cave. Or, visit the koalas on the 240m koala boardwalk and check out the western grey kangaroos usually lounging in the shade during the day. You can play nine holes of golf too, if that’s your thing. Otherwise, climb the trees and go for a swing.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 52kms
🛏️ Yes, at Henry White Oval
11. Serpentine National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: If you plan to swim, best to arrive early, like before 10am as the Serpentine Falls area often fills to capacity and closed off to late arrivals. Great for picnics and barbiecues, as well as birdwatching (70 of the 100 bird species known to live on the Darling Scarp have been recorded in the park) and wildflower spotting, which is best in September.
🚗 Distance from Perth:65kms
12. Avon Valley National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: There is no river access through Avon Valley National Park during the winter months as the roads are difficult to navigate even for 4WD. However, that doesn’t stop the Avon Descent, a two-day time-trial pitting novices against pros in a race to Perth. And it won’t stop you either. Or, climb up for panoramic views of the Avon Valley and be struck by the surrounding wilderness.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 67kms
13. Wandoo National Park
🤷♀️ What to do: Get off the track and into the bush. For a real bush walk, try the Flynn Hills Walk (gps). 4WD are no strangers to Wandoo, either. Mt Observation makes for a delighful picnic stop too.
🚗 Distance from Perth: 75kms
🛏️ Yes, at the Wandoo Woodland Bush Camp