Updated: Mar 30, 2020
Think Joondalup and Neil Hawkins Park and Yellagonga Regional Park probably come to mind but walking in and around the city center is full of surprises.
Staring from Lakeside (free 4 hours parking as opposed to metered street parking!) cross at the lights at the intersection of Grand Boulevard and Collier Pass and head straight down the path into Central Park. This is a lovely serene and mostly underused park with boardwalks around the lake, windy paths through the bush and best of all a lovely stream which babbles over some well placed rocks and under bridges. See if you can spy the giant bug (there used to be quite a few statues but sadly most have disappeared). Let the kids gather some twigs and race their 'boats' down the stream. If it is warm enough they could have a paddle but the rocks look a little slippery so take care. At the top of the park they can step up and down the turreted wall.
Make sure you cross the lawn to see the Aleppo Pine and the War Memorial with it's lovely bronze statue of a boy holding a poppy.
Head back into the bush area and follow the path until you come out at the lake outside the TAFE buildings. Wander through the TAFE looking for the mural and the statue.
Cross Kendrew Crescent and enter the ECU grounds. There is some amazing architecture within these grounds so make sure you look up and around. Follow University Drive and take the path down to the ECU lake. Head clockwise around the lake to look at the Peter Cowan Writers Centre building located in Edith Cowan House, the weatherboard cottage, originally located at 71 Malcolm Street West Perth, that was once the home of Australia’s first female parliamentarian.
Continue further up to see the seed pod grove,artworks and other statues.
From the statue garden head north along the park and then turn right. You will know when you find the Science, Medical and Nursing building as it has some very distinctive clues on it! Walk around the buildings towards the roundabout at Chancellor Pass.
Head east down Chancellor Pass and then turn left onto Lakeside Drive as you walk behind the ECU Student Accommodation and the Police Academy. Detour to visit the statue of the police officer guarding the entrance to the Police Academy. From here cross into the residential area and walk parallel to Lakeside Drive until you arrive at Lakeside Park. Here you can wander down one of the paths leading you into Neil Hawkins Park where you can walk out on the jetty to look at all the waterbirds. There are toilets and a playground here.
From Neil Hawkins hike up the hill along Boas Avenue. At the Lakeside Drive roundabout you will see a beautiful flame tree and a statement artwork. Cross over to the Library and wander along it's promenade looking at the detail in the bronze works on the pillars. Don't forget to head inside the Library lobby for some more artworks.
From the Library follow Boas Avenue and turn right at Central Walk. At the Art Gallery turn left and head down the laneway to see the giant mural. Return back to Central Walk and follow it across Reid Promenade to Shenton Avenue. Turn left, cross Grand Boulevard at the lights walking past the Court House, back across Reid Promenade and wander down the laneway next to Varsity to spot the Jeremy Lane mural.
Don't forget along the way to keep an eye out for all the children's artwork embedded into the pavements.
When you return to the car make sure you take some time to check out the public art and the large mural at Joondalup Train Station (facing the car park).
On our walk we skipped Neil Hawkins as we have been there before and instead extended across Shenton Avenue through the hospital grounds but there wasn't much to see this side of Shenton Ave. We walked 7km taking just over 2 hours. If you don't want to walk this far split the walk into exploring ECU, combining Central Park with TAFE and exploring the Library and Neil Hawkins together.
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