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Wednesday, September 14, 2016

5 National Parks to Visit near Perth

Perth is a city growing in size and popularity and one that offers great access from airports across South and South East Asia. If you are visiting Perth in Western Australia and love nature and the outdoors, you will love the fact that it is surrounded by parks. There are 15 national parks, 8 regional parks, 3 marine parks, and 3 nature reserves. There is so much nature and wilderness to explore, even within the city limits. Plus, you are right near the coast of the Indian Ocean, so that leaves so much to see, do, and explore.

If you need to narrow down your choices and pick and choose which parks to visit while on holiday in Perth, here is a refined list for you. The five National Parks near Perth we recommend you to visit are Yanchep National Park, Serpentine National Park, Yalgorup National Park, Wandoo National Park, and Helena National Park. What’s the best way to get around to these various parks? Hire a car or a 4WD vehicle from Budget Australia. It’s an inexpensive way to have your own tour bus, stay on your own schedule and go where you want to go, when you want to go there. On top of that, you can get local travel information from their friendly agents, or read up all about Australian ideas from their travel tips blog. Here is a little bit about each park.

Yanchep National Park


Crystal cave in Yanchep National Park
Yanchep Sunset in Yanchep National ParkWestern Grey Kangaroos in Yanchep National Park

Photo Credits: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

In addition to the forests and coastline surrounding Perth, it is also home to a very large cave system. Yanchep National Park gives you the opportunity to explore some of the 400 plus different caves in this region. The Crystal Cave in Yanchep is one of the most popular caves to explore  and so is the Cabaret Cave which you can reserve for a special occasion. The Cabaret Cave even has catering available and a private room for up to 200 people. The caves are just one reason that Yanchep is one of the most popular National Parks in all of Western Australia with over 240,000 visitors a year. There is a long list of things to do within the park including:

  • Cave tours
  • Walking trails
  • Exploring the coastal wetlands
  • Haunted historic ruins to tour
  • Gorges and other fantastic scenery to take in
  • Walk the 240 metre koala boardwalk to see the marsupials in their natural habitat
  • Picnicking and barbecuing
  • Camping at the Henry While Oval Campgrounds
  • Book an educational Aboriginal history tour to learn about the rich culture and past of the local Nyoongar people

Serpentine National Park  
Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National Park
Hiking in Serpentine National ParkEnjoying Serpentine National Park

Photo Credits: ExperiencePerth.com and Park.dpaw.wa.gov.au

Serpentine Falls are the big draw to Serpentine National Park. The park covers 4,300 hectares of land about 55 km southeast of Perth. This is a great park for walking through the trails in search of native wildlife and bird watching. The walking trail is a 500 metre path that leads down to the falls and follows the river. Picnic, barbecue and toilet facilities are available. There is also a cafe and tearoom within the park. The wildlife that can sight during a trip to Serpentine National Park include:
  • Western grey kangaroos
  • Wallabies
  • Western brush-wallaby
  • Possums
  • Brushtail possum
  • Echidna
  • Mardo
  • Quenda
  • Quokkas
  • 70 species of birds

Yalgorup National Park

Misty Atmosphere at Yalgroup National Park

Photo Credits: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

Yalgorup National Park is a coastal park located on the western edge of the Swan Coastal Plain. It is located 117 km north of Perth. In addition to being on the Indian Ocean, there are 10 lakes within the 12,888 hectares of the park. In the Nyoongar Aboriginal people’s language, Yalgorup translates to place of many lakes. The national park is part of the Peel-Yalgorup Wetland system, which ensures that the parklands and wetlands are protected. The park sustains several threatened plant and animal species.

Skyscape drama at Yalgroup National Park

Photo Credits: Parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au

There are quite a few trails for bushwalking within Yalgorup National Park. While walking through the park, birdwatching is very popular since this is an internationally recognised important bird area for migratory birds such as black swans, kingfishers, grebes, coots, waterfowl, parrots, and dotterels. There is also plenty of wildlife in the park including western grey kangaroos, emus, brush wallabys, brush-tailed possums, echidnas, bandicoots, and foxes. Other things to do in the park include camping, picnicking, and fishing.

Wandoo National Park


Wandoo Eucalyptus

Photo Credit: Wikipedia Photo by Gnangarra

Powder bark in Wandoo National ParkWandoo National Park is about an hour drive west of Perth. The name comes from the Wandoo Eucalyptus trees that make up most of the forested land of this 44,000 hectare park. The other types of trees in this woodland are paperbark trees and there are also granite outcrops that make up the interesting landscape. Mount Observation is one of the most visited spots in the park. It is a recreation area with picnic facilities and the base for many of the walking trails in the park.

Photo Credit: (Wiki Commons) By John Tann from Sydney, Australia (Powderbark in Wandoo National Park)

Helena National Park


Mount Dale Walking Circuit - Helena National Park
View from the Mount Dale Summit in Helena National ParkMount Dale Campsite

Photo Credits (anti-clockwise): TrailsWA.com.au, Wikipedia By Zamphuor BibbulmunTrack.org.au

The main attraction in Helena National Park is Mount Dale, a recreation site for camping and base for the Mount Dale Walking Circuit. Mount Dale provides beautiful, panoramic views of the entire 8,000 hectares of the park plus the surrounding state forest land. The views you can see up there include the Darling Ranges and the Darkin River Valley. The Bibbulmun Track, one of the longest walking tracks in the world runs through this region and passes through Helena National Park where it meets up with the Mount Dale Walking Circuit so that the bushwalkers can experience the views from the highest point on the Darling Scarp. Camping and picnics are popular park activities.



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