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Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park
Photograph: Tourism Western Australia

The best day hikes near Perth

The best day hikes near Perth

Written by
Alexandra Casey
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Hiking is a great way to get some exercise while immersing yourself in the beauty of nature. With benefits such as enhanced mental wellbeing, lowered stress levels and improved mood, hiking assists in the release of endorphins, which make you feel happy.

Remember to wear a hat, sunscreen and appropriate footwear and bring lots of water and snacks to keep your body fuelled. And remember to leave no trace!

Here are a few of the best day hikes near Perth to get your heart pumping.

Grading Bush Walks

  • Grade 1: suitable for the disabled with assistance
  • Grade 2: suitable for families with young children
  • Grade 3: recommended for people with some bushwalking experience
  • Grade 4: recommended for experienced bushwalkers
  • Grade 5: recommended for very experienced bushwalkers
Kings Park Trails
Photograph: @bellesasapratiwi

Kings Park Trails

Kings Park is a walker’s paradise, comprising 400 hectares of grassed parkland, botanical gardens and natural and native bushland. There’s much to explore, with more than 3,000 species of flora unique to Western Australia and stunning Swan River skyline views.

The park has no shortage of walking trails to explore, with something to suit everyone’s wants and needs. 

Kokoda Track Memorial Walk

The Kokoda Track Memorial Walk pays tribute to the bravery of Australian troops who fought in the Papua New Guinea campaign of July 1942 to January 1943. 

The walk is a snappy 153 metres long and begins at Kennedy Fountain on Mounts Bay Road with a climb of 150 steep steps (a vertical rise of 62 metres). You can follow the plaques along the steps to the State War Memorial where the track ends, just north of the cenotaph. Note: there is no wheelchair or pram access.

Boodja Gnarning Walk

The Boodja Gnarning Walk takes you on a cultural journey through Kings Park. The trail explores the connection the native Aboriginal people of the southwest, the Nyoongar people, have with the land. 

The walk features interpretive signage panels with information and artwork from the Noongar people. Visitors can follow these while experiencing other Kings Park attractions, including the Gija Jumulu (giant boab tree), the Beedawong Meeting place and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander War Memorial.

The initial one-kilometre walk breaks into two paths known as the Maarm (male) Track and the Yorga (female) Track, although both are open to all genders.

The Maarm Track is 2.4 kilometres long and showcases the land and trees the Noongar people used for tools, shelter, hunting and spiritual purposes. The 90-minute walk features a medium incline and some soft ground.

The Yorga Track is 1.8 kilometres and highlights the traditional roles and responsibilities of Noongar women, such as the gathering of food and medicines. The low incline and hard pavement of the track is suitable for prams and wheelchairs.

Be sure to collect the Boodja Gnarning Walk brochure from the Visitor Information Centre on Fraser Avenue for the detailed map, snippets of Noongar language and additional information.

Drive time from CBD: 5 minutes
Length: 2.8-3.4km
Duration (return): 50-90 minutes
Trail Type: Paved path
Level of difficulty: Easy-Moderate

Bibbulmun Track, Camel Farm to Hewett’s Hill, Kalamunda
Photograph: Tourism Western Australia

Bibbulmun Track, Camel Farm to Hewett’s Hill, Kalamunda

The Bibbulmun Track spans more than 1,000 kilometres from Albany to the Perth Hills and attracts more than 80,000 hikers a year. Some hard-core bushwalkers choose to trek the entire six- to-eight-week journey, although most opt to cover a smaller distance.

But you don't have to go for a long time to have a good time, as there are a variety of short – in comparison, that is – day walks. A great place to start is the Camel Farm to Hewett’s Hill section in the Perth Hills. The track weaves through the tuart, jarrah, balga and zamia trees of the Beelu National Park. The trail is bursting with wildlife, with an opportunity for those with a taste for birdwatching.

The trail begins about 15 minutes from Kalamunda, at the Camel Farm car park on Paull’s Valley Road, Hackett’s Gully. At the end of the fence, take a left and follow the Bibbulmun Track signage and trail markers (yellow triangle with the stylised Waugal, Dreamtime serpent).

A beautiful time to visit is during the wildflower season from August to November. You can also download a trail map from the Shire of Kalamunda website.

It’s a great idea to purchase the official Bibbulmun Track map or guidebook from the online shop. From there, you can decide how far you’re willing to go, based on the ability of the weakest walker, legal access points and the weather. A watch is always a good option to ensure you don’t lose track of time.

Drive time from CBD: 35 minutes
Length: 5km
Duration (return): 1-3 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate/Grade 3

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Bells Rapids River Walk Trail, Swan Valley
Photograph: @jadencontarino

Bells Rapids River Walk Trail, Swan Valley

You have probably heard of Bells Rapids before, as it’s one of the best spots to watch the Avon Descent. This 2.75-kilometre loop is a combination of the easy Bells Rapids River Walk and the more difficult Goat Walk. The trail traces the river and then climbs the hill with some steeper, rocky sections. And keep an eye out for the Buttocks Boulder!

Options, options… you can cross the bridge and head left for the easy 2.5-kilometre return Bells Rapids River Walk or you could turn right and follow the Goat Walk over the hill until it meets the River Walk and returns to the bridge and picnic area.

There’s a picnic area, public toilet, and it is dog friendly. The best time to visit is July to November to catch the best water flow and beautiful wildflowers. Pack your picnic basket and bring the family along for a taste of nature. You might even spy a kangaroo.

Drive time from CBD: 45 minutes
Length: 2.75km (loop)
Duration (return): Less than 1 hour
Experience: Family friendly
Level of difficulty: Moderate/Grade 3

Noble Falls Walk Trail, Gidgegannup
Photograph: @tracykillen_photography.

Noble Falls Walk Trail, Gidgegannup

Lace up your walking shoes and prepare to be amazed. 

The picturesque walk along the Wooroloo Brook is stunning all year round, with sprinkled wildflowers in spring and a bubbling waterfall in the Winter months. 

The trail is family-friendly for those with little or no bushwalking experience. The track is a hardened surface, with a handful of gentle hills and steps. You can also bring along your furry friend, and dogs are allowed off the lead as long as they don’t go too rogue.

The bush track begins at the Noble Falls picnic and parking area, off Toodyay Road. Cross the footbridge and turn left to follow the Woorloloo Brook and head past Noble Falls. 

Drive time from CBD: 50 minutes
Length: 3.6km (loop)
Duration (return): 1 hour
Level of difficulty: Easy/Grade 2

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Bold Park Zamia Trail, City Beach
Photograph: @thenaturalanika

Bold Park Zamia Trail, City Beach

If you’re looking for something a bit closer to home, the Bold Park Zamia Trail is a great option. The trail is a very achievable 5.1-kilometre loop with varying gradient and is home to an array of native flora and fauna.  

Bring your furry friend but make sure you pick up their poo and keep them on their leash and enjoy the lovely contrast of both city and ocean views. The Zamia Trail is sprinkled with park benches, perfect to perch and enjoy morning tea or lunch.

Bold Park is home to more than 300 species of plants and an abundance of wildlife, including birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates, so keep your eyes peeled.

The trail is located at Perry Lakes Drive, City Beach and has easy access from the car park.

Drive time from CBD: 14 minutes
Length: 5.1km (loop)
Duration (return): 1 hour, 35 minutes
Level of difficulty: Easy/Grade 2

Wadjemup Walk Trail, Rottnest Island
Photograph: Tourism Western Australia

Wadjemup Walk Trail, Rottnest Island

The Noongar name for Rottnest Island is Wadjemup, which means “place across the water where the spirits are”. The island is home to endless natural beauty with its sparkllng sapphire bays, inland lakes and the perfect hilly landscape.

Jump on the ferry to make your merry way across 18km of ocean and find yourself in a walker’s paradise. The Wadjemup Walk Trail offers visitors a new way to experience the magic of Rottnest Island.

You have two official walking trail options:

Bickley Bay Trail (Ngank Yira Bidi)

This section navigates the southeast corner of the island, from Thomson Bay to Oliver Hill. You’ll leave the hustle and bustle of the settlement behind and make your way along the beach towards Kingstown Precinct. You’ll explore the remnants of the World War II Bickley Battery, enjoy spectacular 360-degree views from the Jubilee Observation Post, and discover the Henrietta Rocks and Oliver Hill Battery tunnel structures. 

Travel time from CBD: Rottnest ferries take approximately 25 minutes from Fremantle, 45 minutes from Hillary’s Boat Harbour or 90 minutes from Perth’s Barrack Street Jetty.
Length: 9.4km one way or 18.8km return
Duration (return): 2-4 hours
Level of difficulty: Grade 4

The Lakes Trail (Gabbi Karniny Bidi)

This trail explores Rottnest Island’s salt lake ecosystem. You’ll see an abundance of birdlife and the most popular island resident, the quokka. You’ll begin your journey at Vlamingh Lookout with some of the best views of the island, then wander along the edge of Herschel Lakes and Lake Baghdad to Thomsons Farm. Stop for a dip in the tranquil waters of Little Parakeet Bay and head towards Geordie Bay, where you can catch the free shuttle back to town, if you prefer a short walk, or backtrack to Vlamingh Lookout to complete the 8km return trip. 

Length: 4km one way or 8km return
Duration (return): 2-4 hours
Level of difficulty: Grade 4

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Lesmurdie Falls Trails, Mundy Regional Park
Photograph: @chantellelasplace

Lesmurdie Falls Trails, Mundy Regional Park

Located in the Mundy Regional Park are the Lesmurdie Falls Trails. The best time to visit is in winter and spring, when the rain fills Lesmurdie Brook and tumbles over the Darling Range Escarpment.

There are several walking trails to choose from, with varying levels of difficulty, from the 640-metre return (grade 2) Falls Trail to the 1.5-kilometre (grade 2) Lesmurdie Brooke Loop or 3-kilometre Valley Loop Trail (grade 3). The trails are suitable for most ages and fitness levels, and you can bring your dog on leash.

The Lesmurdie Falls Track follows the brook until it reaches a bridge at the top of the falls. Take in the stunning scenery from the lookout. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Perth city skyline and Rottnest Island. 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can follow the trail down to the picnic area at the base of the hills, and another short trail leads to the base of the falls. The waterfall takes a magical, almost New Zealand-like appearance with the lush vegetation that grows from where the brook hits the base. 

The climb back to the car park is short but steep, so treat yourself with a picnic when you arrive back at the car, or enjoy a treat in the Kalamunda Village.

Drive time from CBD: 30 minutes
Length: 2km
Duration (return): 1-3 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate/Grade 3

Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park
Photograph: Tourism Western Australia

Bluff Knoll, Stirling Range National Park

Bluff Knoll is located in the southwest region and is the most popular trail in the Stirling Range National Park. The trail is well signed and takes you 1,098 meters above sea level to simply spectacular views at the top of Bluff Knoll.

You’ll start from the southern end of the Bluff Knoll car park, where the trail drops down to a creek before venturing across a mountain offering amazing views over the ridge to the south coast. The trail turns left to follow the ridge to the summit, and you’ll be rewarded for your efforts with the 360-degree countryside views.

The lower slopes are covered with eucalypt, banksia and grass trees, and more than 1,000 species of flowering plants, including mountain bells and the Queen of Sheba Orchid.

Be prepared for the weather and conditions – they can change abruptly. It’s much cooler and windier at the summit, so bring a warm jacket and beanie. Don’t forget to wear appropriate footwear, and bring lots of food and water, as well as a first aid kit.

The Nyoongar people of the area refer to the mountain as Bular Mial, meaning “many eyes” or Bala Mial, meaning “his eyes” as they believed the rocks on the bluff took the shape of an ancestral master spirit.

There is a $15 entry fee to enter the Stirling Range National Park. You’ll spot the pay station as you turn onto Bluff Knoll Road.  

Drive time from CBD: 4.5 hours
Length: 6.8km
Duration (return): 3-4 hours
Level of difficulty: Grade 4

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Kitty’s Gorge, Serpentine National Park, Jarrahdale
Photograph: Tourism Western Australia

Kitty’s Gorge, Serpentine National Park, Jarrahdale

Kitty’s Gorge Trail traces the Serpentine River and Gooralong Brook, with remarkable granite outcrops and waterfall views.

The trail has loose sections, short steep hills, uneven ground, and steps lots of them, so it does require a degree of fitness. Some bushwalking experience is recommended.

There are two access points: one is from the carpark opposite the cemetery in Jarrahdale, and the other is from the Serpentine National Park Falls carpark. 

Be sure to bring along at least two litres of water per person, appropriate bushwalking footwear, a hat, sunglasses and insect repellent. And don’t forget to pack snacks and lunch to enjoy along the way. And it’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit, just in case.

The Serpentine Falls gates are open between 8.30am and 5.00pm, so be sure to allow enough time to get back to your car before they close.

Drive time from CBD: 1 hour
Length: 14km
Duration (return): 1-3 hours
Level of difficulty: Moderate/Grade 3

King Jarrah Walk Trail, Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup
Photograph: @abmaltly

King Jarrah Walk Trail, Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup

Wander through the forests around Dwellingup to see some of the best Jarrah and Marri trees. Spot the 400-year-old Jarrah tree – from which the trail got its name.

The King Jarrah Walk Trail begins at the edge of the forest near Nanga Mill Campsite. The track will take you up through the hills and incredible jarrah forests, before descending to trace the banks of the Murray River. Expect some steep sections on the western side of the trail.

Keep your eyes peeled for the old reference trees, which were numbered to help foresters locate their position in the bush. You’ll also come across the old logging railway formation with cuttings and old bridge sites.

The best time to visit is autumn through to late spring, as the summer months will prove too hot for the vigorous walk. Don’t forget to slip, slop, slap and bring more food and water than you think you’ll need.

Drive time from CBD: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Length: 17.8km
Duration (return): 5 hours
Level of difficulty: Hard/Grade 4

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