Perth is the capital of Western Australia and it is one of Australia’s fastest growing cities. However the city’s surrounds is filled with 15 national parks, 7 regional parks, 3 marine parks, and 3 nature reserves; plus an interesting mix of forest land, caves, and coastline. Today, we will be taking a closer look at five of the national parks near Perth including Avon Valley National Park, John Forrest National Park, Serpentine National Park, Yanchep National Park, and Beelu National Park. Come with us as we explore the Perth Hills, caves, forests, and walking trails in Perth’s surrounds.

Avon Valley National Park

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Avon Valley National Park Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Photographs by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org, CC BY 2.5 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26026177

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Avon Valley National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

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Avon Valley National Park Photo Credit: WesternAustralia.com

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Avon Valley National Park Photo Credit: WesternAustralia.com

Avon Valley National Park is located 80 km north east of Perth. The wilderness here in the park is made up of the jarrah forest, marri forest, powderbark forest, and wandoo woodlands. The park encompasses 4,800 hectares. Activities in the park include white water rapids, swimming, hiking, bushwalking, camping, and picnicking. There are limited facilities in the park, but it is mostly geared towards visitors looking for a more wilderness experience. You can visit any time of the year but expect very different weather and conditions. The best times are during autumn, winter, or spring. During summer, the conditions are very hot and dry, but the rapids which are raging during the winter time are calm tranquil pools in summer. If you do go during the winter and plan on white water rafting, be sure to check for advisories. One of the signature highlights of Avon Valley National Park is taking a magnificent hot air balloon ride from the nearby town of Northam. This gives you a unique opportunity to see the panoramic sights from above including the forest, the Avon River running through the park, and the lush valley below.

John Forrest National Park

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John Forrest National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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John Forrest National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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John Forrest National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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John Forrest National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

John Forrest National Park is located in the Darling Ranges just about a 30 minute drive east of Perth. Take the Great Eastern Highway to get here and you can continue a scenic drive through the park and region. John Forrest National Park covers over 1,500 hectares. It’s been a protected reserve since 1898 when the colonial pioneers of Western Australia first recognised the beauty and environmental significance of this land. The park is great for bush walking, mountain biking, swimming in the rock pools, and exploring the picturesque wilderness. You can plan a picnic here. One of the popular spots is the Rocky Pool picnic area where you can watch the Jane Brook fill the pool after a winter rain. There are also some camping facilities and an extensive set of walking trails. During the spring, enjoy one of the most colourful wildflower displays in Australia with more than 500 species of wildflowers. All year you can observe the wildlife here including plenty of birds for bird watching, possums and bandicoots. There are 10 native mammal species here (one of which is declared rare), a total of 91 bird species (two are considered to be in need of special protection), 23 reptile species, and 10 species of frogs. If you take an Aboriginal tour from one of the Nyoongar people, you can learn about the fascinating dreamtime story they tell and the cultural significance of the Jane Brook.

Serpentine National Park

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Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National Park Photo Credit: ExperiencePerth.com

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Serpentine National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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Serpentine National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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Serpentine National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Serpentine National park is located about 55 km southeast of Perth on the Darling Scarp and it takes just about an hour to drive there. The park spans over 4,300 hectares of land. Serpentine National Park is known for its most popular attraction, Serpentine Falls. The falls cascade over sheer granite rock face.There is a 500 metre walking trail that follows the river and leads down to the falls where you will find barbecues, picnic areas, and public toilets available. The Serpentine River Valley is home to a wide variety of animals including 70 species of birds, western grey  kangaroos, wallabies, possums, echidna, mardo, quenda, brushtail possum, western brush-wallaby, the friendly quokkas and more. You can also check out the cafe and the tearoom for refreshments and relaxation. While at this park, and just about any national park in Australia, take the time to seek out Aboriginal tour options. You can learn about the culture and history of the Nyoongar Aborigines and see how they have been living in this region long before European colonials settled it.

Yanchep National Park

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Crystal Cave in Yanchep National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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Yanchep Sunset in Yanchep National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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Western Grey Kangaroos in Yanchep National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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Yanchep National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Yanchep National Park is situated just off the coast 42 km north of Perth. Cave tours are a big highlight for visitors in Yanchep National Park. There have been over 400 different caves discovered to date. It is one of the most popular national parks in Western Australia attracting more than 240,000 visitors each year. You can book a tour in Crystal Cave, a collapsed cave system with different walking trail options to see the coastal wetlands, gorges, or haunted historic ruins. There is also the Cabaret Cave, it is available for hire for any special occasion with catering and room for up to 200 people. Picnicking and wildlife viewing are other popular activities in Yanchep National Park. You are almost sure to see koalas and western grey kangaroos in the park, plus there is plenty to keep birdwatchers busy and happy. There is a 240 metre koala boardwalk that you can walk along and get the chance to see the koalas in their natural habitat. Camping is available too at the Henry White Oval campgrounds within the park. The campgrounds are equipped with barbecue and picnic facilities. Aboriginal history is very important in this region so you should see about booking an educational tour to learn more about the rich culture and history of the Nyoongar people.

Beelu National Park

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Beelu National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

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Beelu National Park Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Photographs by JarrahTree…commons.wikimedia.org, CC BY 2.5 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4842289

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Beelu National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Beelu National Park is closest to Perth with just a 45 minute drive to the east. Take Mundaring Weir Road from Perth. The park is known for the many walking trails throughout the park. Many of the trails originate in the Perth Hills and at the Perth Hills Discovery Centre, which is also located within the park. There are also mountain biking trails and the famous Bibbulmun Track. The Bibbulmun Track is one of the world’s longest distance walking trails. It is also one of the best walking trails. It takes you from Kalamunda in the Perth Hills to Albany, Western Australia on the south coast. The trail is made up of 9 sections that wind through the picturesque scenery of South West Western Australia. One of the highlights of Beelu National Park is Fred Jacoby Park within the park. It is home to one of the largest living English oak trees in all of Western Australia. Views in the park include the South Ledge panorama from Golden View Lookout, North Ledge, Farrell Grove, The Dell, Pimelia Mycumbene and Grevillea Mycumbene. If you are travelling with your family dog, they are allowed in the dog exercise area in Fred Jacoby Park; but this is the only area in either park where dogs are allowed. If you like camping in the outdoors, you are in for a treat here because the Perth Hills Discovery Centre campground features luxury camping options complete with kitchen, refrigerator, electric barbecues, power, sink, hot showers, toilets, and a fire ring. It’s still tented camping, but with all of these amenities, it makes it more than a basic bush camp.

Hiring a Car in Perth

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Perth Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

There are plenty of car rental locations in Perth where you can hire a car so you will find a Budget car hire location that is convenient for wherever your travels are taking you. When you hire a car, you can find the best places to visit and the best deals for your holiday. If you are in Perth City, then you can hire a car  there. Other Perth car hire locations include the Perth Airport car rental or the Perth South car hire location near Fremantle  or in Burswood. When you are hiring a car, be sure to share your travel plans with the car rental agent so that they can give you the guidelines, roadmaps, safety restrictions, and holiday travel tips. This will ensure your best car rental experience in Western Australia. Click on any of the links to get a great rate quote for hiring a car or 4WD vehicle that will be the best one for getting around Western Australia’s rugged terrain. While exploring this region, check out some of our previous blog posts for ideas on what to do here:

Wine, Waves, and Caves of the Margaret River Region

Make it an Amazing Holiday in Awesome Albany, Western Australia

Esperance and the Southern Coast of Western Australia

The Pinnacles and Nambung National Park

Perth Road Trips: Rottnest Island and Lancelin

Visiting Perth on Holiday

Free Things to do on Holiday in Perth

Holiday Getaways near Perth and Surrounds

Korung National Park in the Perth Hills

Your Taste Buds will Enjoy the Margaret River Gourmet Escape

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the rest of the national parks, regional parks, marine parks, and nature reserves located near Perth. Our next blog post will feature five more National Parks near Perth including: Walyunga National Park, Yalgorup National Park, Wandoo National Park, and Greenmount National Park.