At the beginning of spring, excited by the prospect of a bit of sunshine, we jumped in the car and headed to Lesmurdie Falls. It is part of Lesmurdie Falls National Park but is only a 30 minute drive from Perth’s CBD and right on the edge of residential Lesmurdie – there are houses immediately across the road from the car park.
The reasons to visit are basically bushwalking, wildflowers and picnicking. There are a number of different walking trails to explore, between 300m and 3 kilometres in length. The shortest one (the “Cascade Trail”) takes you along twisty bush paths to an open area where large, flat rocks meet the cascading water of Lesmurdie Brook. This would be a great place for a picnic.
Apparently the most popular walk is to the “Head of the Falls” – a gravel path of about 300m takes you to two viewing platforms from which there are good views of the start of the waterfall, and across the bush and suburbia to the city skyline.
Those keen for a workout can continue along the “Foot of the Falls” trail which goes down to the base of the waterfall. The track is quite steep in parts and is a mixture of wooden steps, gravel path and muddy bush track. We had our five and one year olds with us and didn’t get the whole way down, but the five year old had a blast clambering up and down the steps and dashing off the path into the bush to admire various flowers and birds. The one year old was a happy observer in the Ergo! We saw families with bigger toddlers/pre-schoolers who were managing the stairs quite well, although you do of course need to supervise kids closely on the steep parts of the trail and near the water. If you do go with toddlers or babies do not be tempted to take a pram as the tracks and stairs are quite unsuitable for wheels.
There was a fantastic display of wildflowers whilst we were there (at the end of August) and the brook and waterfall were flowing well, but obviously these things are season dependent. Within about two minutes of sitting down to eat our lunch we also saw a bandicoot – I’m not sure whether this was beginners luck or routine!
There are toilets and picnic tables near the carpark but no drinking water and nowhere to buy food or drink. We took sandwiches and fruit, and stopped in nearby Kalamunda on the way home for an ice cream and a play at Stirk Park.
We had a really fun day out, and were left feeling virtuous about the simple pleasures of trees, flowers, fresh air and exercise. It was a happy reminder of the lovely places that we can visit within our own city.
- Address: Falls Road, Lesmurdie. From the city, take Welshpool Road East, turn left onto Lesmurdie Road, then left onto Falls Road. Lesmurdie Falls National Park is within Mundy Regional Park. The Mundy Regional Park carpark is well marked from Falls Road. It is about a 30 minute drive from the CBD.
- Cost: Free! There is no entry fee into the Park.
- Facilities: Toilets (but no drinking water), picnic tables.
- Take: Walking shoes, drinking water, hats, suncream.
- More information: Department of Parks and Wildlife website.
Thank you Mandy from Suburban Sonnet for sharing such a special hidden place with us.
Mandy is a part-time lawyer who was quietly stoked, albeit a little surprised, to discover that a move to the suburbs and a life with children suited her. She blogs at Suburban Sonnet, recording and celebrating the big and little details of kids, gardening, books and recipes in suburban Perth.
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