Whistlepipe Gully, Kalamunda
Updated: Jul 25
After an early start to enjoy a delicious breakfast at Mason and Bird Cafe in Kalamunda our group set off to explore Whistlepipe Gully in Mundy Regional Park. We parked at the end of Orange Valley Road which is a residential cul de sac so parking is limited. An alternative start point is the car park at the bottom of the gully on Lewis Road. Get your preferred version of a trail map at https://kalamunda.wa.gov.au/recreation-tourism/outdoors/walk-trails/walk-trail-details/whilstlepipe-gully-walk
This trail is a 3.5km loop. We started by following the trail to the right hand side of the creek. This trail is uneven and rocky in places so requires a bit of balance and agility. It is also quite narrow so it is a single file walk with stops at slightly wider areas to allow walkers coming in the opposite direction a chance to get past. This is always a great way to interact with other walkers. Many walkers had dogs with them both on and off leash. The dogs did enjoy a swim in the creek so were wet and muddy but oh so happy!
The walk took us just over an hour and includes a steady downhill followed by a steady uphill climb on the return. At one point you pass the foundations of the Wallace Greenham House that spanned the creek in the 1960's. This would have been an amazing place to live with the creek rushing by! We passed a young girl looking for tadpoles.
There are sweeping views of Perth along the way and of course being September we enjoyed walking amongst a myriad of wildflowers. Some flowers were so delicate and hard to spot while others were everywhere filling your senses.
After our recent wet winter and a rainy week there was a bit of mud about and some of the path was wet and slippery so care needed to be taken. The upside of this was that the creek was flowing fully and the sound of the water rushing by next to you was very soothing. In many places the path is very close to the edge of the gully so you need to be cautious with younger children racing ahead to ensure their safety as the edges of the gully were not always secure.
You need to be aware that the Whistlepipe Gully walk is centred in the middle of the Lewis Road loop so at either end of the walk there are tracks for Lewis Road. Lewis Road is a difficult walk with steep sections and although we did consider returning on Lewis Road after walking down the gully we changed our minds and chose the easier route returning up the left side of the creek. At the top of the gully we did momentarily take a wrong turn to the left past some fragrant freesias and a couple of big fat turkeys behind a residential fence, before realising we didn't recognise any of this and turning back. If we had kept going I fear we would have been on the Lewis Road Track.
If you want to make a day of your trip out to Kalamunda you can go into town and explore the Kalamunda History Village Museum (fees apply), walk the Kalamunda Town Heritage Trail exploring historic sites within the town or follow the Fairy door trail around the central Kalamunda township. If you want to enjoy a picnic head to beautiful Stirk Park. Information for all of these can be found at the Perth Hills Visitor Centre at the Zig Zag Cultural Centre, 50 Railway Road in central Kalamunda. There are also a number of other walking trails to explore in Kalamunda and surrounds. Kalamunda also hosts regular Farmers Markets and Artisan Markets on the weekend.
On the return drive home you can also venture along Williams Road which turns into the Zig Zag Scenic Drive winding it's way down the escarpment and providing stunning views across the Perth Coastal Plain. This is a one way road so you can only travel down hill on it. Once you have travelled on it you will understand why it is one way! There are plenty of bays for a quick photo stop on the way.
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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 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.