There’s no better way to take in a city and its surrounds than by walking.
Perth and its surrounds have no shortage of walking trails, tracks, and paths. Whether you want to saunter around the river, take a stroll by the beach, or lose yourself amongst the bush without even having to leave the city, Perth has got it all. Then, once you’re bored of the city streets, there’s all of WA to explore.
What’s best of all is that we’ve got thousands of wildflowers that colour our parks and gardens this time of year, which makes going out for a wander a truly breathtaking experience. There are everlastings and buttercups to myrtles and orchids and hundreds of other species that pop up and are blooming beautiful.
These walks below are some of our favourites because they form part of our regular commute, are our escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, or consist of the perfect blend of scenery. No matter what, we just keep on coming back to them.
1. Wildflower Walk, Wireless Hill Reserve
Western Australia is home to something like 12,000 different species of wildflowers making it the largest collection in one place anywhere in the world. So, when there’s a walk near the city called the Wildflower Walk you best bet that it’s got an abundance of wildflowers. And in spring, well, it’s the perfect time to go.
The walk itself is quite short at just over 1km but if you take your time and look at the flowers and look for all the reptiles and birds, time will fly by and what was supposed to be a 15-minute stroll has turned into a two-hour wander.
However, if you’re still keen on walking some more, then you should definitely add on the Yagans Genunny trail which begins at the same place as the Wildflower Walk. Along the Yagans Genunny trail, you will find a number of information stations detailing the history of the area and its importance to the Nyoongar people.
2. Wildflower Walk, John Forrest National Park
Head out of the city to John Forrest National Park (or any National Park for that matter) for a breather and you’ve got walks aplenty to choose from. And these walks will not only take you past hundreds, thousands of wildflowers (there are 500 species recorded in this park alone), but will also lead you onto waterfalls and maybe past native mammals and flocks of birds.
Although there are some short steep sections, the Wildflower Walk is a relatively easy 4.5km loop that can be completed in three hours. Watch out for the slippery surfaces as well, especially when it rains. If you’ve got more time on your hands and are looking to spend the day out there, take a gander at the Christmas Tree Creek Walk (10km loop) or the Eagle View Walk (15km loop).
3. Law Walk Loop, Kings Park
It doesn’t matter how many times we visit Kings Park, or walk all of or parts of Law Walk Loop, we always find ourselves returning and walking it once again. It might be we have friends or family visiting, so Kings Park is an obvious choice as one of Perth’s premier tourist destinations, or it’s just a beautiful spring weekend worthy of spending all day outside that the blooming flowers call your name. Regardless of what it is, the Law Walk Loop is our go-to walk.
It’s quite easy at only 3km in length, it ends where it begins, and has some spectacular views of the Swan River as well as the Mt Eliza escarpment. Walkers can expect to spot plenty of birds, maybe a dolphin or two in the distance, and so many wildflowers in spring. It’s a popular walk, but you’re likely to find a number of quieter stretches.
If you’re keen on making the walk a little more challenging, throw in the Kokoda Track Memorial Walk and/or Jacob’s Ladder to climb hundreds of steps and feel the burn.
4. Herdsman Loop and Olive Seymour Boardwalk, Herdsman
Loops are the way to go and the Herdsman Loop around Herdsman Lake is a surefire winner no matter who you are. And if you’re keen on birds, this is top of your list.
Herdsman Lake is not only a wonderful parkland for humans to visit, and super close to the city too, but it is also home to over 100 species of birds, some of which are not native to Australia. The parklands are made up of a number of varying landscapes including woodlands, wetlands, and grassy spaces as well.
But the walk! At 8kms in length, the loop is pretty flat making it quite an easy stroll for most people. Take the Olive Seymour Boardwalk at the south end of the loop for a walk among the Paperbark trees and a visit to the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre. Keep an eye out for their Night Stalk activities. They’re well worth the adventure.
5. Kitty’s Gorge, Jarrahdale
Kitty’s Gorge follows the Serpentine River and Gooralong Brook for a lovely hike that takes you through forests, past granite outcrops and many waterfalls where you can take a break and enjoy the sound of the water flowing and cascading into the pools below.
The trail is roughly 7km, so you’ll need to walk it twice to get back to where you started. There are also picnic tables, barbecues and public toilets at the Serpentine end. Make sure you’re back by 5pm because that’s when the park closes its gates.
6. Zamia Trail, Bold Park
The Zamia Trail in Bold Park is actually just a suggestion because, if we’re honest, we don’t think we have actually ever completed it in its entirety with the full knowledge that we were walking it. Why? Well, it’s because Bold Park is 437 hectares and has more than one trail to walk so we end up walking bits and pieces of different trails. There are trail markers so if you do want to follow and complete the trail, it is entirely possible. Also, it’s an easy 5km walk with paved footpaths.
While you’re in Bold Park, visit the Reabold Hill Summit Boardwalk and walk to the highest point on the Swan Coastal Plain at 85m above sea level.
7. Lesmurdie Falls, Perth Hills
Don’t go chasing waterfalls is bad advice. And don’t go to Lesmurdie Falls is terrible advice. Good advice would be to go to Lesmurdie Falls but also walk the 2.4 kilometre loop so that your appreciation of Perth’s most epic waterfall increases with every step.
Views from the bottom of the falls are as impressive as the views from the top of the waterfall, but at sunset, you can guess where you would rather be.
Overall, the walk is quite accessible for most people. However, the trail isn’t the best-marked trail in the world and it can be challenging in parts crossing brooks and going up/going down some rocky inclines. Those unable to do the walk can still reach the falls since the Lower Lesmurdie Falls Carpark is at the end of Palm Terrace.