Dalkeith Turtle Adventure
Updated: Feb 17, 2020
Luckily it was an unseasonably cool summer's day as this walk was a bit more ambitious than originally thought but the kids (10 and 7) managed it without complaint. I think the drawcard of seeing turtles helped and fortunately the turtle pond did not disappoint.
We set off after discovering the Jo Wheatley All Abilities Play Space on the Esplanade at Dalkeith. We walked towards Matilda Bay thinking this would take about 30 minutes but it actually took about an hour. It was an enjoyable walk along the river and we discovered some interesting things along the way. This walk takes in part of the Karda Bidi (Monitor Lizard Walk) along the river foreshores and part of the Whadjuk Trails Network.
We walked along the Esplanade around the Perth Flying Squadron Yacht Club before heading to the river's edge at Paul Hasluck Reserve. At the end of the reserve we spotted Gallop House perched above the Esplanade with an enticing stone staircase leading up to the heritage house. Originally established as Dalkeith Farm in the 1830's growing fruit and vegetables for the new colony the current homestead was built in the 1870's and is the oldest residence in the City of Nedlands.
Walking riverside of Nedlands Yacht Club and Skate Park we continued through the green spaces of Charles Court Reserve and into J.H Abrahams Reserve. Along the way we passed lots of quaint little sculptures, amazing trees and the Qantas Catalina Memorial commemorating the Qantas Catalina flying boats which departed from here on the long flight to London. This route was called the Double Sunrise Flight as it was so long you experienced two sunrises en route. There are a couple of small playgrounds along the way and there are toilets in J.H Abrahams Reserve.
We then continued on to Matilda Bay Reserve. You could have a coffee or lunch stop at Bayside Kitchen or a splash around in the river before returning along the riverfront to Jo Wheatley. Alternatively you could return along The Avenue and Birdwood Parade and check out the riverfront real estate.
As we wanted to see the turtles we backtracked past the UWA buildings to Princess Road which we followed until we hit Bruce Street where we turned left. Right at Melvista Avenue taking us past Melvista Park and the Nedlands Golf Club. For a shorter walk from Jo Wheatley we could have used the paths between The Esplanade and Birdwood Parade just past Gallop House and above the Yacht Club and Skate Park. Birdwood Parade becomes Bruce Street so this would have brought us alongside Melvista Park with its nature playground and public toilets.
Once past the Nedlands Golf Club it is only a few more blocks along the leafy green streets until you come to Mason Gardens. As you enter the park you immediately see odd sculptures and you can follow this sculpture trail around to the turtle pond. The turtle pond is only small and quite tucked away making it feel extra special. We spent around 30 minutes watching the turtles bobbing around and swimming towards us before retreating once they realised we didn't have any food for them. You are able to buy special turtle food for them from the CIty of Nedlands but of course they are not open on the weekend. Please do not feed the turtles any other food. There is also a small playground here but no toilets or cafes. There is a small parking area off Hackett Road.
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From Mason Gardens we walked back to Jo Wheatley - see separate blog Birdwood Nature Playground and Sunset. As the streets are built on a basic grid system there are many routes you could take back down to the river. You could head back via Point Resolution or if you have come from Matilda Bay you could return via Bruce Street, Birdwood Parade and The Esplanade as detailed above. It all depends on the time you have and the walking stamina of the kids.
If you want to explore more of this urban area check out the City of Nedlands Walk Guide for ideas. Or consider the Karda Bidi or Karak Bidi (Black Cockatoo Trail) trails, part of the Whadjuk Trail Network.