The silver lining of closed borders is the reminder to travel where we are. If you’re a day tripper or a long distance rover, WA has a breathtaking walk for you. WA is home to many great walks & trails, from the urban-legendary Swan View Tunnel to the world renowned Bibbulmun Track. Here are some of the great tracks we’ve been trekking & checking out.
Short & Sweet: Swan View Tunnel & Falls loop – About an hour to walk, an hour outside of Perth.
The Swan View Tunnel is a must-visit, WA’s oldest railway tunnel, long disused but a popular place for a walk, take in the railway reserve heritage trail at sunset and get a good thrill. People say the tunnel is haunted, and in the evening you can go in there to experience pitch black darkness. It’s quite a comfortable walk, but take a flashlight if you’re afraid of the dark.
Short & Sweet: Perth Hills Discovery Centre to Mundaring Weir VIA the bibbulmun track – 45 minutes each way, starting about 40 minutes from Perth.
A relatively short hike in a beautiful spot. The Perth Hills Discovery Centre is planted with beautiful deciduous trees which are currently sporting some beautiful autumn foliage, and you can still access the track (despite the centre being currently closed for Covid). Following the Yellow Snake Bibbulmun markers southwest, this stretch will take you past an overlook of the weir, the historic Mundaring weir hotel (which is open for takeaways if you get peckish), and eventually to the Weir itself. Completed in 1903, the Weir was the start of the water pipeline that pumped water to the Kalgoorlie goldfields, some 700 kilometres away. At this time of year the Weir is a perfect spot to take in the chilly air and feel dwarfed by the scale of nature. The winding roads surrounding the weir are also a great place to just take a drive, if you want the fresh air without the workout.
Day Tripper: Yanchep Rose Trail Yanchep
5-6hrs including breaks, 45 mins north of perth.
Starting in Yanchep National Park, this 14km trail takes you through the beautiful coastal plain. Though it can make a good half day trip, the terrain is easy and could quite easily be finished in under three hours at a steady pace. You’ll want to linger though when you make wildlife sightings, come upon the track lookout and historic bunkers. It’s best walked in spring when the namesake native rose is in bloom, but this trail is a delight in the off season as well. Keep an eye out for reptiles baking on the sandy track, and slather on the sunscreen.
Day/Weekend Trip: Bluff Knoll: About 5 hours outside of Perth, the walk itself can take around 3-4 hours for a person of average fitness, it’s not a long trail, but it is high!
At the start of this year, the Stirling Ranges were devastated by a fire that took out 17,000 hectares of beautiful, biodiverse land. Bluff Knoll, the Stirling Range’s highest peak remained closed for restoration until May 22. The reopening of the spectacular trail is welcome, at its peak climbers are treated to beautiful 360 degree views of the park. One of the most diverse places in the country, It will be decades or centuries before the habitat loss on the ranges is restored, but the trail still affords hikers a chance to feel dwarfed and humbled by this country’s natural beauty & resilience.