Lake Goollelal Bear Hunt
Updated: Apr 27, 2020
We set off to walk the 4.5km loop around Lake Goollelal and were pleasantly surprised to see that someone has been busy placing teddy bears and stuffed toys at regular intervals the whole way around the track so the kids can "go on a bear hunt" while under covid 19 restrictions.
Lake Goollelal is the southernmost of Yellagonga Regional Park's chain of wetland lakes and swamps. 'Goollelal' is a Noongar word which may mean 'swampy sheoak' or 'place for camp'. From the Lake Goollelal car park we walked clockwise with some limited lake views before passing the back of Waldecks Nursery in Kingsley.
From here you walk parallel to Hepburn Avenue for a short distance before turning onto the path leading up the western edge of the lake. There is a small playground here.
You can explore some of the dirt tracks through Bindaree Rotary Park on the western side.
There are a few side tracks further up on the western side which are well worth the detour. One leads to the Lake Goollelal Lookout which gives you a great view over the lake. Unfortunately the lookout is not signposted so is easy to miss. If you see the No Kissing sign on the path you have gone too far.
Another great location on the western side for a close up view of the lake is the little lake. The Friends of Yellagonga have planted floating islands here, made from specially constructed cages planted with local sedges. Bacteria attached to the plant roots breaks down nitrates and phosphates in the water. This is being trialled to control midges and mosquitoes.
This little side lake is obviously popular with local kids who were using it as a swimming hole even on a cool autumn day. If you look closely you will see the swing hanging from the tree. Great to see kids out and about in true nature making their own fun! This is also where we saw a Rakali (Native Water Rat)!
As you continue around the lake towards Hocking Road you might spot the giant screen which is the Kingsley Drive In. There are some lovely lake views through the paperbarks along this section
On the eastern side as you pass behind Luisini Winery you can take some dirt tracks through Reverend John Smithies Park, which is where the Wesleyan Mission Farm was located from 1844-1852. The paved path runs parallel to the dirt track so you can choose either path.
There is open access to the path almost all the way around as residential areas skirt most of the lake. Car parking is available at Lake Goollelal car park, located at the eastern end of Kingsway or off Lakeway Drive next to Luisini Winery. Off street verge parking is also available off Goollelal Drive on the western side of the lake or Hocking Road on the northern perimeter. There are no toilet facilities on the circuit. Waldecks Kingsley on Wanneroo Road have a cafe or you can head across to nearby Kingsway Shopping Centre.
The walk is supposedly 4.5km long although we logged just over 5km - perhaps that was our detours. It took just over an hour.