The surrounds of Perth are unique because there is so much protected land around this growing city and greater metropolitan area. Perth is the capital of Western Australia and it is one of Australia’s fastest growing cities. Surrounding the growing metropolis are 15 national parks, 7 regional parks, 3 marine parks, and 3 nature reserves; plus an interesting mix of forest land, caves, and coastline. In our last blog post, we visited Avon Valley National Park, John Forrest National Park, Serpentine National Park, Yanchep National Park, and Beelu National Park. Today, we will be taking a closer look at five of the national parks near Perth including Walyunga National Park, Yalgorup National Park, Wandoo National Park, Kalamunda National Park, and Greenmount National Park. Come with us again as we explore the Perth Hills, caves, forests, and walking trails in Perth’s surrounds.

Walyunga National Park

walyunga-np

Whitewater Rafting on the Swan River in Walyunga National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

walyunga-np2

Whitewater Rafting on the Swan River in Walyunga National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

walyunga-np3

Whitewater Rafting on the Swan River in Walyunga National Park Photo Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

walyunga-np-map

Walyunga National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Walyunga National Park is located 35 km to the northeast of Perth. It is less than an hour drive to reach the park, which spans over 1,800 hectares of land on the Darling Range, over the valley and behind the Darling Scarp. The Avon River and Brockman River form the Swan River that winds through the valley lined with trees. Some portions of the Swan River are rapids at some times during the year. Whitewater rafting is popular in the park, so is picnicking. The trees and plants here include flooded gum, jarrah, powderbark, wandoo woodlands, marri, petrophile and hakea. During the spring, the wildflowers bloom into a host of different colours and make for a very beautiful scene if you can witness it during this time of the year. Lookout for the wildlife that call Walyunga National Park home including grey kangaroo, galah, goanna, magpie, gecko and more. As with most protected lands in Australia, Walyunga has a deep rooted Aboriginal history. It has been a meeting place for the Nyoongar people for more than 6,000 years. Walyunga roughly translated means ‘happy place’. Take some time to learn about the history, culture, and dreamtime stories of the people and the land.

Yalgorup National Park

yalgorup-np

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

yalgorup-np2

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

yalgorup-np-map

Yalgorup National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Yalgorup National Park Is located 117 km north of Perth and 25 km south of Mandurah. It takes a little over an hour to drive up the coast from Perth to reach this coastal national park situated on the western edge of the Swan Coastal Plain. Yalgorup National Park covers 12,888 hectares of land, which includes 10 beautiful lakes.  In the Nyoongar Aboriginal people’s language Yalgor means lake and up means place of, so loosely translated, the park name means ‘places of many lakes’. The National Park is part of the Peel-Yalgorup Wetland system, a protected region of wetlands because of the economic, cultural, scientific, and recreational value here. This nomature ensures conservation and sustainable use of the wetlands. It is also one of the few places in the state where living thrombolites survive; these are special rock-like formations. The national park isn’t all wetlands, there are woodlands too where you can participate in one of many nature walks available for most ages and varying fitness levels. When it comes to bushwalking or taking nature walks in Australia (even in national parks), it is so important to be well prepared and do your research about the requirements and details of the walk you choose. No matter the length of your walk, be sure to plan ahead, understand the fitness level requirements, have the right shoes and attire, bring plenty of drinking water, have emergency supplies with you, and make sure that someone not travelling with you knows when you are expected back. When you take all these necessary safety precautions, it ensures that you will have the most enjoyable bushwalking holiday. It is also important to always remember that you are a guest in nature. Bring a bag with you to take your own rubbish away. Leave nothing but footprints and take nothing but pictures. In Yalgorup National Park, you can find nature walks at Lake Preston, Lake Clifton, Heathlands, Martins Tank Campground, and Lake Pollard. In addition to bushwalking, you can picnic and camp in the park; fishing is also allowed. Birdwatching is very popular here since the park is an internationally recognised important bird area for migratory waterbirds. The national park supports several threatened plant and animal species. While in the park, look for black swans, kingfishers, grebes, coots, waterfowl, parrots, dotterels, western grey kangaroos, emus, brush wallabys, brush-tailed possums, echidnas, bandicoots, and foxes.

Wandoo National Park

wandoo-eucalyptus

Wandoo Eucalyptus Photo Credit: (Wikipedia) By Photographs by Gnangarra…commons.wikimedia.org, CC BY 3.0 au, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=4843059

wandoo-national-park-powderbark

Powderbark in Wandoo National Park Photo Credit: (Wiki Commons) By John Tann from Sydney, Australia (Powderbark in Wandoo National Park) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Wandoo - National park - Mt Observation

Mt Observation in Wandoo National Park Photo Credit: WalkingGPS.com

wandoo-np-map

Wandoo National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Wandoo National Park is located about 80 km west of Perth. It takes a little over an hour to drive to this huge, forested 44,000 hectare national park. It is located off the Great Southern Highway via The Lakes. The main feature of the park is its namesake Wandoo Eucalyptus Trees. The landscape is also filled with paperbark trees and granite outcrops. One of the big draws for Wandoo National Park is the Mount Observation recreation site which is great as a base for the walks and also is an excellent picnic spot.

Kalamunda National Park

kalamunda-np

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

Kalamunda-np-2

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

kalamunda-np3

Kalamunda National Park Photo Credit: WesternAustralia.com

Kalamunda National Park is not as frequented as some of the other parks near Perth despite being one of the closest to Perth’s CBD. Therefore, it makes for a peaceful and quiet getaway in the Darling Range. It’s just about 30 km west of Perth and takes about 30 minutes to get to this haven for plant diversity. The Piesse Brook trickles right through the park where trees like jarrah, marri, wandoo, and butter gum make up the woodland. Kalamunda National Park is the starting point for the world famous Bibbulmun Track begins the journey south through the Perth Hills to the city of Albany. It is a 1,000 km trail that is one of the best long walking trails in Australia and even the world. Kalamunda National Park borders the Jorgensen Reserve and Beelu National Park, which we told you about in part one of this series on National Parks near Perth. There are other, shorter walking trails within the national park where you can enjoy the wildflowers, native plants, and wildlife like birds, kangaroo, and bandicoot to name a few.

Greenmount National Park

Greenmount-NP

Greenmount National Park hoto Credit: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

greenmount-np-jarrah

Jarrah Tree in Greenmount 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=9726811

greenmount-np-map

Greenmount National Park Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Greenmount National Park is a small national park located in the Darling Range Regional Park area on the Darling Scarp. The national park is located 22 km east of Perth, so it is less than a 30 minute drive to reach it from Perth’s CBD. The park is just 56 hectares of land but with some of the grandest views on the Darling Scarp. The Greenmount Lookout gives you a bird’s eye view over the marri, jarrah, and wandoo forest, the Swan Coastal Plain, and all the way to the city of Perth.  Highlights in the park include the Goat Farm Mountain Bike Park and Mountain Quarry, one of a few different blue stone quarries that attract rock climbers and bushwalkers. Greenmount National Park is an important place in Aboriginal folklore and is also mentioned in the diaries of the early European settlers.

Hiring a Car in Perth

perth-car-rental-map

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: Korung National Park, Midgegooroo National Park, Gooseberry Hill National Park, Helena National Park, and Neerabup National Park.