Werrilyiup WalkTrail Whiteman Park
Updated: Feb 6, 2020
The 3km Werrilyiup bush trail loops around Horse Swamp, a natural wetland area that comes to life in the winter months, but is usually dry for the greater portion of the year. In the past when horses in the Swan Valley region went missing they were commonly found roaming in the lush pastures surrounding this wetland on the southern edge of what is now Whiteman Park. The area became known as Horse Swamp. During wet winters the Swamp waters overflow and fill the tributaries leading to Mussel Pool. During these months the area is alive with water birds, including a pair of black swans which annually visit the Park to raise their cygnets. Nests are constructed upon the man-made islands which provide much needed refuge from predators for the birds and their young.
Note the different spellings Werrilyiup and Werillyiup are both used by Whiteman Park.
The trail starts just past the eastern end of the fenced dog park in Mussel Pool East and is signposted. Parking is available at the dog park. As you pass through the gate the blue tipped trail markers are in sight. You can go straight ahead along the wide path for a clockwise loop or you can head along the dog park fence line to the right to do an anti-clockwise loop.
We chose to do the loop in a clockwise direction as this kept the sun behind us. We followed the sign to the bird hide 420 meters away. After a short distance you will turn right off the wider track to cross a meadow before passing through a gate.
This pathway is still flat and easy to negotiate. If you wish to see the bird hide detour at the sign. Continue past the benches and along the semi raised grass track until you come to the hide. The hide provides fabulous views right across Horse Swamp but when we there, around midday, the birds were busy elsewhere as we didn't see any.
We retraced our steps back to the main trail which followed the edge of the wetlands before coming to a raised lookout.
Still no birds in sight although we could hear a few bird calls and some frogs. From here the track was still flat and firm but grassy.
We did this walk mid winter and although it had been very wet ten days of sunshine had dried up most of the surface water so the track was relatively firm. After rain the track could be quite soggy and soft so take this into account if planning to do this walk. Of course the wetlands are at their best after good rainfall. We passed some wetter areas with fabulous paperbarks.
We passed some semi rural areas including the back of the Swan Valley Egg Farm before heading along a track back through grass trees and bush before passing through a gate and then following the dog park fence line back to where we started.
An exciting development about this part of Whiteman Park will be the opening in December 2019 of Pia's Place. This nature playground looks amazing as it starts to take shape. There is lots of parking around this area as well as toilets, bbqs, benches and gazebos (which can be hired). Dogs are permitted leash free within the dedicated 250 hectare Dog Park and are also permitted on lead within Whiteman Park.
Pia's Place playground taking shape.
We took about 45 minutes to complete this walk including a side trip to the bird hide at a good pace and with few stops. It was flat and easy to follow. There isn't much in the way of shade on this walk so it is better for cooler days. This walk is best in winter or spring before Horse Swamp dries up as the beauty comes from the water.