Autumn Hues @ Stirk Park, Kalamunda
We've driven past Stirk Park next to the Kalamunda Town Centre on a number of occasions without realising what a beautiful park it is. I think it is at it's best in autumn when many of it's magnificent trees show their true colours!
We set off to find a fairy on the Kalamunda Fairy Door Trail and as three of them are in Stirk Park this was our starting point. We looked around every tree and in every corner but we couldn't find a single fairy or it's house. Nevertheless we thoroughly enjoyed exploring Stirk Park.
This large park features a lovely little lake with it's complement of ducks. In the early morning light the reflection of the towering trees in the water is stunning. The lake is fed by a freshwater stream and you can follow this stream above and below the lake.
At the top of the lake a small bridge crosses the stream before the stream disappears under the walkway. If you follow the curved wooden walkway you will hear the rushing water of the stream running underneath it. Quite unique!
The playground is older with traditional equipment but nicely spread out and with nearby BBQ and picnic facilities. A public toilet facility is nearby. The stream runs alongside the playground until it disappears under Elizabeth Street. The stream is narrow enough for the kids to clamber over the rocks or use the stones to hop across (as one of the ducks did!) but do take care as some of the rocks were mossy and slippery!
The park is part of the Kalamunda Town Centre Heritage Walk Trail so has signage at the bottom and the top end detailing Kalamunda's history. The Stirk family originally cleared the bush and forest for farmland. As water was available from the soak and stream a market garden was later established before the land became a dairy farm. The Shire of Kalamunda purchased the property in 1962 for use as a public park.
The Sound Shell, with it's decorative edge and platform, was built in the 1980's and is used as an entertainment venue throughout the year with many events hosted in the park.
The park also houses historic Stirk Cottage, built in 1881. The Stirk family were the first settlers in Kalamunda townsite and built the cottage with materials collected from the land - tree saplings, mud and clay for the walls and roof tiles made from sheoak trees. By 1890 there were nine members of the family and a larger house was built nearby. The cottage has been restored and is now a local history museum.
The park has a memorial walk of deciduous trees honouring service personnel from World War 2. These trees are magnificent in autumn! A memorial wall sits at the southeastern entrance to the park with a rose garden in the streetscape beside it.
The magnificent Gumnut Fountain can be found opposite this entrance to the park at the intersection of Kalamunda Road and Canning Road.
Stirk Park has lots of grassy spaces to set down your picnic rug as well as benches. Parking is available off road street side on Elizabeth Street and Headingly Road or at the small paved parking area next to Stirk Cottage.
We thoroughly enjoyed wandering around discovering this park, pleased we had come when it was at it's most beautiful in autumn. Although disappointed not to have spotted any fairy doors in the park we found plenty wandering around the town site.