John Forrest National Park
The first national park in Western Australia and the second in Australia after Royal National Park, this park has been a favourite destination for Perth families since its establishment in 1900. In the early days, visitors arrived by train on the Eastern Railway line which dissected the park. The original station was at Hovea Falls; a second station was added in 1936 near the main park buildings. The last train steamed through the park on 13 February 1966. The path of the railway forms the John Forrest Heritage Trail. There are also the Glen Brook Walk Trail and the Eage View Walk Trail within the park. These lead to the National Park Falls, Hovea Falls and the disused Swan View railway tunnel.
Access to the Tavern and the park’s facilities alongside Glen Brook requires payment, whereas the scenic drive through the park remains free.
Walyunga Wildlife Park
An attractive bushland reserve renowned for its vistas over the Swan River coastal plain. A 1,790 hectare tract of bushland in the Darling Scarp on Perth’s north-eastern perimeter, the park is particularly popular among bushwalkers; the River, Kangaroo, Echidna, Kingfisher and Aboriginal Heritage Trails are of varying lengths and degrees of difficulty.
Swimming is permitted at Walyunga pool though the water quality is often questionable. White water canoeing on the Avon River is popular after rain, when the Park’s string of placid pools turn into a raging torrent. It then becomes one of Australia’s best white water canoeing courses and is part of the annual Avon Descent race each August. Wildlife seen in the park can include Kangaroos, Emus, Echidna, Black Duck and Teal.
Location: 37 kilometres north east of Perth. How to get there: by car, via Great Northern Hwy; follow signs to park. Transperth buses run to the highway turn off only some 2 km from the park entrance.ne, then bus No.423 to Hillarys Boat Harbour (weekdays) or train to Greenwood on the Joondalup line, then bus No.456 to Hillarys Boat Harbour.
Avon Valley National Park
One of the smaller National Parks in the hills beyond Perth, Avon Valley National Park is also a lesser known Park, because of its isolation, limited accessability and lack of facilities. Anyone who has travelled on the Indian Pacific train from Perth to the Eastern States will be familar it, as that train passes up this picturesque valley and through the park on its way to Northam.
The Park covers approximately 4,800 hectares of bush reserve and lies on the transition between the jarrah forest of the south, and the drier northern country. The Avon River, which runs through the centre of the park, is named Golguler by the Nyoongar people of the Darling Range. The river is fringed with flooded gum and becomes a turbulent flood in during the winter months, rushing down to join the Swan River in Walyunga National Park.