Local Hidden Gems: Joondalup
Joondalup has a green belt running through the centre of the suburb which allows for a short but pretty walk. As the parks are local there are no parking bays but we managed to park on the kerb in Aswan View at the Water Tower Park. You could also park at nearby Candlewood shops.
Water Tower Park has a small playground and a viewing platform (which looks as though it is an evening gathering place for teens so just give it a quick once over if the kids are playing here).
As you walk down the hill you can appreciate that the viewing platform makes for a great fort base for the kids to play on, defending against the marauding hordes coming up the hill! At this high point you also have views across to the ocean.
It is only a ten minute stroll along the footpath which winds down the hill to Blue Lake Park. Whilst wildflower season had passed there were still some pretty flowers even though the bush is drying out - enough to reward a good spotter's eye!
As you approach Blue Lake Park you come to a living stream area. Kids have built a little dirt bike track here. The stream is covered in massive reeds and surrounded by large blocks at different levels - an invitation to step and climb.
The stream leads down into Blue Lake Park which is home to some families of ducks. The fountain is the centrepiece and you can cross the bridge over the stream and stroll around the perimeter of the lake (although the reeds are encroaching the footpath!) As you walk around there are some beautiful trees with multi coloured trunks and peeling bark. Paths fan out from the lake in all directions making this a popular park for locals to walk their dogs. There is another platform on one side which again the kids could defend as a fort or a castle. There are no barbecue facilities but there are several picnic benches scattered around the lake.
Once we were almost all the way around we diverted to check out the lovely Hayley Welsh mural "Friendship" on the wall at the basketball court in Nanika Park.
Along our travels we saw some honeyeaters, startled two parrots feeding on a balga flower, dodged willy wagtails and were alerted to the presence of Carnaby's cockatoos by a screech as we approached.
This is a short walk which rises gently from Blue Lake to the Water Tower so if the kids are on bikes or scooters they will have to work on the way up but oh what fun they will have weaving back down the windy path to the lake. I hope they know how to use those brakes!