Walyunga National Park
Updated: Dec 30, 2022
This is one of my favourite places to walk . Normally we go in winter when the river is full and you can hear the water rushing along as you walk Syd's Rapid Trail. This time we went in Autumn and it was a different experience. The river is still very pretty even though the water was so much lower than previous visits. I did miss hearing the water rushing by and the path didn't quite feel like the river walk I am used to.
Walyunga is open between 8am and 5pm daily. Please note there is an entrance fee per car as this is a National Park and there is a pay station just inside the gates. If you regularly visit Perth national parks look into the annual park Pass. You can get a park pass which covers the whole state or a pass that will cover parks in and around Perth. These are available at a discount through the RAC if you are a member. No dogs are allowed in National Parks.
RIVER TRAIL: connects the lower Walyunga carpark with the Boongarup Pool carpark and is an easy 10-15 minutes walk each way with some wide stairs to negotiate along the way.
SYD'S RAPIDS TRAIL: This is a 3.5km trail (there and back the same way) which is along the river. It is a very pretty walk and is mostly flat however the track can be muddy and slippery after rain.
At the end of the Syd's Rapids Trail you turn left and start to climb uphill. This trail is a 5km loop which includes a one way section of the Syd's Rapids Trail. This trail can take between 1.5 and 3 hours depending on your pace and how often you stop. This track has some reasonably steep sections before gently winding back down to the river. This trail is suitable for families with smaller children if they are good walkers. Quite often you will hear the trains rumbling along on the other side of the valley and if you are lucky you might spot some kangaroos.
This 11km trail also takes in a one way section of the Syd's Rapid Trail but at the end you turn right and start climbing. And you keep climbing. The track is in excellent condition but be warned you will climb for a good 40% of this walk with little flat ground in between. The views are spectacular up and down the Avon Valley in the early part of the walk and then later once you finally start to descend you have sweeping views over the coastal plain including city views. The highest point of the walk is Woodsome HIll, 260m above sea level. It took us 1.5 hours of solid walking to get to this point and then another 1.5 hours to get back to Walyunga carpark. This is not a walk I would recommend for beginners but for seasoned walkers it is a challenge that is rewarded by some great views. This walk will take between 3 and 5 hours, depending on your pace. This track may get slippery after wet weather.
The Walyunga Heritage Trail (1.6km return) meanders along the river bank between Walyunga Pool and Boongarup Pool. This wider trail is well maintained and has interpretive signage along the way explaining Aboriginal myths and legends and the importance of plants and animals to the Nyoongar people, who traditionally camped in this area. This track is generally flat but has some small inclines and a few steps. Sections fall away quite steeply to the river so watch the kids. Along the way you will see the "gates" on the river which are part of the Avon River Descent.
All trails are very clearly marked. Please note the Echidna Trail does incorporate a section of The Pilgrim Trail so don't take a wrong turn here.
We have also walked the section of The Pilgrim Trail between Bells Rapids and Walyunga National Park which is a 13km return walk along the edge of the river.
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In the spirit of reconciliation Out and About- Family Nature Connection acknowledges the traditional owners of the Wadjak boodjar (Perth land) and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and emerging and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.
As always when hiking in the bush please help to reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback by sticking to the tracks and paths, staying out of quarantined areas and, if possible, clean your shoes before and after hiking. A spray of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water can be effective.