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  • Writer's pictureOut and About

Karak Bidi - a Whadjuk Trail

Karak (Black Cockatoo) Bidi (Trail) starts from Rosalie Park in Shenton Park and winds for 11.3 km through Claremont and then to the Derbal Yarigan (Swan River) at Paul Hasluck Reserve. It links parks and bushland areas with local iconic and heritage trails. Being an open ended trail it is not for the faint hearted and will take a good 2 - 3 hours to complete with further time required to walk the 5.3km back to the starting point (another 60 - 90 minutes). You can also research public transport to return closer to your start point.

The trail can be walked in sections or you can break it up with a stop at the cafe strip in Claremont. The trail can also be linked to other Whadjuk Network Trails such as the Karda Bidi which closes the loop. The trail map shows the trail starting from Rosalie Park and ending at Paul Hasluck Reserve on the Swan River foreshore. Rosalie Park has playing fields so can be very busy during weekend sports. Parking on the street is free but limited to 2 hours or you can pay to park in the car park. Alternately park for free at Jo Wheatley Playground on The Esplanade and walk the short distance to Paul Hasluck Reserve following the trail in reverse.

We parked at Jo Wheatley Playground at Beaton Park (allowing for a play, picnic and toilet stop) and then walked the trail in reverse so this blog is as we walked the trail.

From Jo Wheatley Playground you can access Birdwood Parade by taking the walkway opposite the carpark up the hill and coming out at Birdwood Nature Playground (part of the Sunset Heritage Precinct).

After passing Gallop House (Nanulgarup) and entering Birdwood Park be sure to explore the lovely landscaped walkways with stunning city and river views before looking at the Gunners Memorial. You might even spot some of the limestone outcrops which can still be seen on these steep slopes.

Follow Gallop Road west passing the Nedlands Golf Club (there are toilets and a nature playground but on the northern side on Melvista Avenue) and turn right at Adelma Road. You can't miss the lovely Carmelite Convent as you walk along this beautiful shaded street. We were lucky enough to hear and see several beautiful but noisy Forest Red Tailed Black Cockatoos feeding in a street tree and making a terrible mess! It is unusual to see them in an urban environment.

There is lots to explore at Mason Gardens - wander around the park looking for all the quirky sculptures referencing tools of trade and be sure to explore the wonderful enclosed turtle pond in the middle of the park. Western Long-Neck Turtles also known as Oblong Turtles live in the pond amongst the native sedges. The turtle population is in decline due to raven and dog attacks and also declining rainfall. These carnivorous creatures play an important role in controlling mosquito infestations as their hatchlings love eating the little wrigglers.

There is a playground here and picnic tables.

Continue west along Melvista Avenue to College Park which is shaded by magnificent mature trees. You will find The Odd Couple on the southern perimeter but venture further and explore the western perimeter to find Group of Little People.

At Agett Park divert through the UWA campus to get a close up look at the old Perth Teachers College and adjacent buildings before walking north along Goldsworthy Rd.

Turn left at Thomson Road which will take you into Claremont Park, passing the fabulous new playground. Cut across Claremont Park and wander around the back of the Council Buildings to see the Faces of Claremont and other artwork before passing the front of the Art Deco Council Chambers and the War Memorial.

Cross over Stirling Highway and wander along Bayview Terrace making sure you check out the laneway art and other public artworks.

Climb the stairs to cross the tracks at the heritage listed Claremont Railway Station and Signal Cabin as there are more murals to see from the other side looking back toward Claremont Quarter. Toilets are available inside Claremont Quarter or in Claremont Park off Stirling Terrace. Claremont marks an approximate half way mark for the trail.

Take a detour from the cockatoo sculpture in Mary Street Reserve to see the new mural on the side of Empire Homewares in Walt Drabble Lane near Bunnings.

Continue along Gugeri Street then turn right at Melville Street passing St Thomas the Apostle Church then left at Loch Street which will bring you to the entrance to Karrakatta Cemetery on Government Road. The trail winds through the cemetery which has been operating since 1899. The cemetery is quite beautiful, especially when autumn turns on it's colours. If you prefer not to walk through the cemetery, which has unpaved limestone paths, you can follow Government Road and turn left at Dalkeith Road. If you enjoy the Cemetery why not explore one of the Karrakatta Heritage Trails another time.

Originally a dairy farm, Hollywood Reserve was once planted with various foreign grasses. Large trees from World War II were felled by soldiers from the nearby hospital as part of their therapy and rehabilitation. The trail passes through a short section of the Reserve or you may wish to divert along Karella Street to view the Perth War Cemetery on Smyth Road.

Either way once on Smyth Road turn right onto Verdun Street and enjoy this leafy green street keeping an eye out for interesting statues (Snapshots from Lupin Hill).

Turn left at Gairdner Drive, behind Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, and continue on to discover Kilgour Park. This is a lovely peaceful park which once operated as a dairy farm so you will come across some friendly cows.

From Kilgour Park cross Aberdare Road and follow the trail as it passes the magnificent Moreton Bay figs lining Derby Road, alongside the Rosalie Park playing fields. As I write this a new playground development is under construction at Rosalie Park featuring, as I understand it, a nature playground and pump track.

You can cut across Rosalie Park or you may choose to continue along Derby Road passing Rosalie Primary School which has a fabulous new Melski mural. Turn right at Onslow Road opposite St Matthews Anglican Church, keeping an eye out for more murals inside Rosalie Primary School. Venture in to have a look at the lovely Community Garden just before the Rosalie Park car park where the trail ends.

From Rosalie Park we walked over to Perth Children's Hospital and walked across the Koolangka (Children's) Bridge to Kings Park where we picked up the Karda Bidi Trail to walk back to Jo Wheatley Playground.

You could also park at the May Drive Parkland Dinosaur Playground/Zamia Cafe area and access the Koolingka Bridge via the Kings Park Trail Network.

For the most part the walk is flat and on paved paths and the leafy green trees along the way provide shade. The trail is marked (infrequently) with triangular black cockatoo trail markers embedded into the paths. I would still recommend accessing a map (see map options below) to guide you and to provide background information on points of interest. If you are walking the trail in reverse as we have done then the trail markers will be pointing behind you.

The section through Claremont is common to some of the Claremont Meander Trails so if you have already explored Claremont you could bypass this section by detouring between College Park and Karrakatta along Bay Road and Loch Street.

Map Options

• A free APP is available for download for iPhone or Android providing a clearly-mapped off-line route.

• Great audio guides are available with QR codes on your smart phone.

• A Google map option is available for a large variety of phones, or can be printed from the webpage.

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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.


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