Alkimos Beach Interpretive Trail
Updated: Feb 10, 2020
The interpretive signage marking the Alkimos Beach Interpretive Trail was revealed for Reconciliation Week so I downloaded the map and set off to explore. Turn onto Graceful Boulevard off Marmion Avenue until you get to Bristlebird Circuit. The map has the trail starting at number 1, Bryde Park, but as there was no street parking I headed a hundred metres down the road and found street parking at number 2, Bristlebird Park. This is a lovely park with several linked but separate play areas, picnic tables, drink fountains and barbecues.
It took me a little while to find the interpretive sign but I enjoyed reading the information about the Noongar history, recent history and the sustainable practices used by the developers.
From Bristlebird Park I followed the trail a short distance to the Lookout. The concrete pathways are wide enough for kids to ride bikes or scooters or for pushing prams and wheelchairs but I did feel there was a lot of concrete going on! Particularly all the concrete stairs within the parks and up to the lookout. However on reading the sustainability information I realised this may be because the lighter colour of concrete reflects light and reduces temperatures. Nevertheless it isn't very attractive despite all the greenery around it.
From the Lookout follow the trail along Leatherback Boulevard until you get to Pectoral Boulevard which is where you will turn right if you are taking the Family Trail (red). If you wish to combine trails (like me) or take the Park to Ocean trail cross the road and explore the Fitness Park at Pectoral Park. If you are game you can run or walk up the steps with all their motivating messages. There are a couple of stop offs on the way up with other equipment to exercise on if you so desire. From the high point at the top of the steps you continue down a winding pathway either back to the playground on Leatherback Boulevard or round to the other side. At the base of the steps you will find colour coded arrows with distances so you can do several "courses" depending on the distance you wish to cover. I can attest to those steps being hard work to run up!
From Pectoral Park the Park to Ocean Trail continues past Alkimos Beach Primary School and down hill towards the beach. At one point I did stop as I could see it was still quite a distance but decided to continue on as I had come out for a walk! I had read that the walk was 2 km - not realising this was only one of the trails! Although I hadn't expected such a long walk I worked out that combining the three trails was still only about 7 km in total. This part of the walk is past undeveloped land and is quite boring so my preferred option would be to do an extended Family Trail by turning right at Painted Parkway and then wandering back along Fairy Parade at the back of the school. The map doesn't have many street names so have a Google map handy as this area is still under development with new roads opening up.
Once I got to the end of Leatherback Boulevard I continued left and then straight down Marginella Boulevard to the temporary carpark at Collared Park. Here I found the access way for the 600 m compacted limestone trail to the beach. This trail winds through the dunes and has a few inclines. Halfway along a splendid fairy wren settled on a gate post in front of me before "leading" me along the path by hopping ahead every second post until the top of the hill. Cute!
You can hear the waves before you crest the dunes to see the beautiful Indian Ocean with all her gorgeous colours on display. I walked along the beach probably another 800m before exiting at the Surf Shack. More concrete steps up to the lookout where there are some relaxing chairs to sit on and take in the views.
Returning past the Surf Life Saving Club at the second car park I really wished I had driven down and just walked the loop. I had no choice but to return up the hill to reach Leatherback Boulevard. They say the Park to Ocean Trail is 2km but I'm pretty sure this is one way!
After climbing the hill on Leatherback I turned off into the latest development and found a cute little park at Humpback Drive before following Pangolin Grove to the Land Sales Office where I was tempted to rest in their oversized chairs.
This turned out to be an unnecessary detour as there were no parks hidden down these streets so back I went along Painted Parkway and onto Fairy Parade behind the school where I came upon the child sized bike and scooter safety course. I stopped to watch some little ones having fun going over the speed humps, stopping at the stop sign or traffic lights and giving way at the roundabouts. There is also a handy bicycle repair station with tools which was being used by an adult at the time of my visit but also provides fabulous pretend play opportunities for the kids.
From here I investigated the very bright buildings of the Youth Precinct and discovered two of the buildings are public toilets.
Back on the red Family Trail I headed down Billed Road and then Crowned Way to Graceful Park (still called Crowned Way Park on Google Maps). There is some toddler play equipment here and a small grassed area with a picnic shelter but most of the park is bush with a couple of intersecting paths. When I located the interpretive sign I discovered an interactive story telling post as well. Kids can select the story and then wind the crank to hear one of eight audio recordings featuring Welcome to Country and Noongar stories as well as stories about recent local history and local birdlife. Very clever!
From here I diverted from the Family Trail to follow Scrubwren Circuit as this is number 4 on the map but is not part of any of the trails. It was a small bushy park with a seat so wasn't really worth the detour but it did shorten my walk.
From Scrubwren I could see Bristlebird Park so I headed back through Bristlebird Park and backtracked to Bryde Park which was a cute little park with a pirate raft.
Whilst the 2 km loop Family Trail passes through lots of interesting little playgrounds and parkland the other two trails left me a little disappointed. The Beach Loop Trail was a lovely beach walk and had some interesting spots but I probably wouldn't do the Park to Ocean walk again. The combination of all three walks was about 7-8 km in length and took me just under 2 hours.
Download your map at Alkimos Beach Interpretive Trail
There are two other walks planned as the area develops and these should
add a bit more interest once they are finished but I feel this will be some time away.
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