Bibra Lake Loop
Bibra Lake is one of many lakes that form the internationally significant Beeliar Wetlands which are incorporated into Beeliar Regional Park. The wetlands are culturally significant to the Whadjuk Nyungar people with North Lake and Bibra Lake holding particular cultural significance. The wetlands were part of a major trade route containing camping sites, ceremonial areas and providing a food source.
The loop walk around Bibra Lake is 6.2km and follows a shared use concrete path which is wheelchair accessible. There are also several fully paved side paths which allow you to walk or cycle closer to the lake's edge.
We commenced our walk from the Bibra Lake Regional Playground which has two carparks, picnic facilities and toilets. There are several other access points around the lake.
We decided to head south first passing the second toilet block with it's cheerful mural and Azulejo Assembled Memories tiled concrete chair hidden in a strip of bush. There is a second smaller fenced playground here as well.
A small park across the road caught our eye so we crossed over for a closer look at Mary Ann Tapper Park. Mary Ann purchased this land in the late 1890's and the family owned it until 1965. Eventually a homestead was built and Mary Ann's descendants worked the land, ran the dairy and also operated a postal and telegraph service which became the centre of the local community. The park boasts three magnificent Moreton Bay fig trees and a white picket fence but has been almost swallowed by the overflow parking for Adventure World which surrounds it.
We wandered past the Bibra Lake Golf Park where you can practise your chipping and putting skills and then Cockburn Ice Arena where the path begins to loop around the southern section of the lake. Here you can take an offshoot path closer to the shore or the main concrete path. There are magnificent mature trees all along the trail providing lovely shaded sections.
As the paths meet up there are two yarning circles off to the side. Even though we walked mid morning there was a continuous chorus of birdsong, accompanied by insect murmur near the lake and the distant calls of waterbirds. The birds flitted merrily around us and were easy to spot as were dragonflies and butterflies. At one point we were nearly knocked out by a low flying pink cockatoo!
Rounding the bottom of the lake you come to Walliabup Skate Park which also has a lovely nature playground, a pump track, picnic table and barbecue, toilets and parking. We nearly stepped on a quenda nibbling food off the ground around picnic table!
The trail then passes through an open section alongside houses before cutting back to the lake. There were a few grass tracks diverting off towards the lake and we followed one which eventually met up with the main path. On the grass track we noticed more prolific birdlife and even saw a rabbit!
Back on the main trail we soon came to a sign for the old boardwalk and bird hide. The bird hide has shuttered openings which you can open to view the lake. There are also numerous bird silhouette signs naming the waterbirds which you might see out on the lake. I liked that the signs also gave the Nyungar names for the birds.
A side trip further along takes you to the Narma Kullarck Boardwalk which loops around with another birdhide in the centre. Unfortunately at the time of our walk the boardwalk was under repair and there was a large gap between the boardwalk and the birdhide.
There was another yarning circle as we passed behind the Wetlands Centre. Soon after this the path runs alongside Hope Road for a section but the road isn't too busy and there are some lovely views of the lake along this northern section. You might hear the light aircraft or helicopters heading in to land at nearby Jandakot Airport.
Coming back around the top of the lake the path heads south passing the Noongar and Pioneer Memorials.
We closed the loop arriving back at the Bibra Lake Regional Playground. This is an amazing fully fenced all abilities playground which is definitely worth a visit. See separate blog for a full description.
This is a very pretty walk especially with the early morning sunshine reflecting off the very still waters of the lake. The bird hides and boardwalk provide added interest and although very few flowers were out at the time we walked this trail the many birds and fabulous mature trees made it interesting.
The path is flat and easily accessible by foot, with a pram or on wheels. Dogs are permitted but must be on lead (and they all were!) Although this is a shared use path there were not many cyclists and they were all going at a leisurely pace so it felt safe walking. It took us 90 minutes to walk all the way around. You could extend and loop around North Lake, which is just across Hope Road, for a longer walk/cycle.
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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.