Lake Claremont is a beautiful wetland which is a nesting site for turtles, swans and other waterbirds. You can walk or cycle around the lake's 2.5 km flat dual use path. The path around the lake takes around 45 minutes to walk but with a bird hide, two playgrounds, a cafe and lots of wide open green spaces you could easily make a day of it!
We started our walk from the Claremont Golf Course car park on Lapsley Road. The Tee Box Cafe is located within the golf club and has views directly over the fairways to the lake in the distance. Public toilet facilities are available here.
The path from the golf course to the lake passes by the Lake Claremont Nature Playground, a small nature play area with a birds nest swing, cubby building, balancing logs, sand and water tables, climbing nets, a fort and trees to climb. Any dropped branches are made available for kids to build cubbys. There are picnic benches and barbecues available but most people seemed to be parking their bikes and scooters and stopping for a play on their way around the lake.
From the playground if you follow the path north you pass beautiful lawns ideal for picnics or ball games. As you round the top or north end of the lake there are a number of paths to choose from, paved or limestone, but most loop back around. We chose the dirt path right next to the lake and discovering a nesting box in a tree on the way. We spent a few moments watching the bird's antics.
As the paths meet up again at Cresswell Park the limestone path follows the edge of the lake on one side and the Scotch college playing fields on the other side until you arrive at the Bird Hide.
A coot was nesting, very publicly, right in front of the bird hide. A small nest high up in the centre of the bird hide gazebo revealed some tiny baby birds in residence. Large information signs about the birds you might see out on the lake had QR codes so you could use a QR reader to find out more information. If you are interested in Lake Claremont's birdlife refer to : https://friendsoflakeclaremont.org/?page_id=189
You could hear the birds chirping on both sides of the lake but the sweetest sounds of all were the baby ducks, moorhens and coots. You could see the babies out on the water learning how to duck dive and shake their feathers....very cute!
As you continue from the bird hide you come out to the Stirling Road car park (4 hour parking limit applies weekdays). At this southern end of the lake there is a lovely playground well shaded by magnificent Moreton Bay fig trees. There is a drink fountain and water refill station here next to signage detailing the history of Lake Claremont and the bird species can also be found here. Enjoy the lovely lake views while the kids are having a play on the playground but mind the crocodile!
Heading north east (anti clockwise) from the Stirling Road car park you follow the path past some exercise equipment opposite the most amazing paperbark and enormous Moreton Bay fig trees. The paved dual use path then runs alongside the golf course (fenced to prevent stray balls bumping you) with lovely views out over the lake.
The eastern edge of the lake is fenced to maintain nesting sites for black swans and long neck turtles and to protect them from domestic animals. The foreshore areas have been beautifully landscaped and maintained and there are several gated access points to sit spots overlooking the lake.
Claremont's newest addition to their public art trail, Together by Simon Youngleson, can be found at the Tocock lookout on the edge of the lake. ‘Together’ was conceived from conversations of wanting to express the idea of togetherness post the COVID-19 pandemic. It symbolises both vulnerability and frailty, yet it also explores wisdom, continuity, and the strength of a community when it pulls together.
This trail is flat and easy to navigate and suitable for prams and wheelchairs. It is popular with dogs both on and off lead. Although it is dual use the few bike riders we encountered were out for a leisurely ride and not racing by at a rate of knots! That may change depending on the time of day.
Lake Claremont is recognised as a site of significant Aboriginal heritage. Since European settlement it has been used for farming and stock grazing when it was known as Butler's Swamp. In 1850 military pensioners arriving from England were granted areas of land around Butler’s Swamp. Around the turn of the century, orchards and market gardens began to flourish then rising waters destroyed many of the market gardens and the paper bark trees died off. In the 1960’s the area was used as a rubbish tip. Subsequently the council constructed a golf course on the site but in 2009 the golf course was closed and the Town of Claremont adopted a management plan to return the area to a mix of native bush and recreational areas. A significant wetland restoration and native plant revegetation program is currently underway. (Source : Friends of Lake Claremont)
Two of the Whadjuk Trail Network trails incorporate Lake Claremont. The Yange Kep Bidi (Wetlands) trail follows the western side of the lake. The Bush to Beach Trail skirts the northern edge of Lake Claremont. You may come across the turtle and grass tree trail markers for these trails on your walk. Clink on link for Noongar Dreamtime stories reflecting these areas.
The Town of Claremont also incorporate Lake Claremont into their Claremont Meander Trails such as the Yargine Track.
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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.