Edited November 2023
Interpretive signage marking the Alkimos Beach Interpretive Trail was revealed for Reconciliation Week so we downloaded the map and set off to explore this network of trails through the Alkimos Beach development.
Family Loop Trail
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 we 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 us a little while to find the interpretive sign but we enjoyed reading the information about the Noongar history, recent history and the sustainable practices used by the developers.
From Bristlebird Park we followed the trail a short distance to the Providence Park Lookout. The concrete pathways are wide enough for kids to ride bikes or scooters or for pushing prams and wheelchairs. Thankfully over time the greenery has grown around the concrete steps and paths and the lookout is a little less stark!
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). Take some time to explore 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. 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. We can attest to those steps being hard work to run up!
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.
After exploring Pectoral Park we crossed over Leatherback Boulevard skirting Alkimos Beach Primary School where we came upon the Leatherback Park child sized bike and scooter safety course. We 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 our visit but also provides fabulous pretend play opportunities for the kids. From here we investigated the very bright buildings of the Youth Precinct and discovered two of the buildings are public toilets.
We 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 we located the interpretive sign we 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 we 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 our walk. From Scrubwren Park we could see Bristlebird Park so headed back through Bristlebird Park and then backtracked to Bryde Park (no 1 on the trail) which is a cute little park with a pirate raft.
Beach Loop Trail
The Beach Loop Trail is 1.75km and includes a limestone track through the dunes, a section along the beach and then a short return along the road. We had walked the 2km (one way) Park to Ocean Trail to get to the Beach Loop but an easier option is to park at the car park at Collared Park where you can access the 600m 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 us before "leading" us 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. We walked along the beach probably another 800m before exiting at the Surf Shack. Concrete steps lead to the lookout where there are some relaxing chairs to sit on and take in the views.
The opening of Bathers Park on Marginella Boulevard in late 2023 has added a new dimension to this area with a surf lifesaving themed playground, picnic tables and barbecues, a small dirt pump track, two beach volleyball courts, an amphitheatre, fitness equipment, streetside parking and a toilet.
Park to Ocean Trail
The 2km (one way) Park to Ocean Trail initially follows the same route as the Family Loop Trail but then continues along Leatherback Boulevard towards the beach from Pectoral Park. Since walking this trail in 2019 this area has undergone further development so is not as barren as before and now has the lovely Bathers Park playgrounds as an end destination.
As we had to return to the car we backtracked along Leatherback Boulevard, turning off into the new development and found a cute little park at Humpback Drive before following Pangolin Grove to the Land Sales Office where we were tempted to rest in their oversized chairs.
Whilst the 2 km loop Family Trail passes lots of interesting little playgrounds and parks the Park to Ocean Trail left us a little disappointed. The Beach Loop Trail is quite lovely 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 just under 2 hours.
There are two extensions planned to link these walks 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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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.