We came to explore the Davilak Trail in Manning Park and to look at the Azelia Ley Homestead and Davilak Ruins but decided to do a loop around Manning Lake and I am so glad we did as it is absolutely STUNNING! Perhaps we got lucky with high water levels and early morning winter sunshine streaming through the paperbarks but it was a truly memorable walk.
Having just completed the Davilak Heritage Trail and wandered around Azelia Ley Homestead we found ourselves at the large playground so started our walk around the lake from here. This traditional playground includes an all abilities swing and a toilet block.
Walking clockwise the paved path follows the contour of the lake providing clear views to the water through the paperbarks. You pass another smaller traditional playground as you wander around.
On the eastern side you pass a third playground as the paved path moves a little further from the water's edge and trees screen the lake views but a little further along there is a grassy access way bringing you to the lake's edge.
On the southern edge there is a grassy hill perfect for the kids to roll down. There is a second grassy access way to the lake's edge here and there were hundreds of corellas squawking in the trees and getting cosy with each other!
We could still hear the corellas as we continued around the western edge where you will find three frog statues large enough for the kids to climb on for some fun.
There is a very large tree here with orienteering markings - one of several that we saw on our walk. There are 4 standard line courses and a scatter course at Manning Park. If you are interested in trying orienteering head to Anytime Orienteering at: https://wa.orienteering.asn.au/anytime-orienteering for guidance. If you are experienced you can download the Manning Park Orienteering Map by clicking on this link. Across the park you can also see the Alan Thomas Music Shell.
The path around the lake is flat and dogs are allowed on lead making this a great family walk with kids able to ride bikes or scooters. It took us about 30 minutes to walk all the way around the lake, a distance of less than 2km. There are large grassy areas on both sides of the lake, shaded by mature trees, ideal for picnics. Manning Park has toilets, barbecues and picnic tables and lots of parking and is open between 7am and 7pm every day.
After walking around the lake we walked the short distance to look at the Davilak Ruins. The ruins are the remains of a large homestead which had 11 rooms with a detached kitchen and associated farm buildings including stables, a coach house and housing for farm workers. The original homestead was built by the Manning family and the farm was one of the first in the colony. The wood in the remaining structures was destroyed when a bushfire swept through in 1960 leaving only the limestone ruins.
You could also climb the 193 steps of the Manning Stairs for excellent views across the lake of walk the Davilak Heritage Trail and visit Azelia Ley Homestead: https://www.outandaboutfnc.com/post/davilak-heritage-trail-manning-park-with-azelia-ley-homestead.
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 extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.