Russell Brown Adventure Playground with Minim Cove Park
Put this one on your list for the school holidays! This is our second visit to this amazing nature play park set amongst the trees right on the Swan River.
Last time we visited it was the end point of our walk along parts of the Mosman Park Heritage Trail from Freshwater Bay. This was a long walk....too long for the kids but a good hike for adults.
You can park at the playground (in the Mosman Park Tennis Club car park) but I always find it more interesting to walk in and explore the surrounds. We parked in the small car park on Pethybridge Heights west of Mt Lyell Park and filled in one of the gaps in our river exploration by walking from Mt Lyell to Russell Brown Adventure Park - a much more manageable walk.
Mt Lyell has featured in two of my previous blogs : Buckland Hill WW2 Tunnels and the Rocky Bay Walk. It is a lovely universal access park with the highlight being the gazebo with 360 degree views across the Swan River and Fremantle. There are some artworks and sculptures to explore in the My Lyell Park and just across Hutchinson Avenue is the Spider Sculpture Park - well worth exploring!
From My Lyell Park you can choose two different routes. My recommendation if you park on Pethybridge Heights is to explore Mt Lyell Park and then the Spider Sculpture Park before walking down Hutchinson Avenue and through the Minim Cove access way. Turn left on the top path walkway and enjoy all the mansions with their stunning river views.
You will emerge into a dry park (Minim Cove Park) which has a car park area located at the end of Hutchinson Avenue (east) and long trails, perfect for bike riders, down to the cliff edge where there is a bench and a viewing area. A word of warning if you have kids is that this area has steep limestone cliffs falling away into the river so be aware and keep the kids close. There is also a hidden dragon!!
As you follow the trail closest to the river you will pass a picnic bench with barbecue. Continue down the hill and as you emerge on the flats explore the pathway to the left which features collaborative artwork by school kids illustrating various aspects of local history including the fossils, indigenous past, native animals and plants, industry, early settlement, farming, sport and war.
Continue through the park staying near the water and all of a sudden you emerge at Russell Brown Adventure Park which was built by the local Rotary Club and named after Rotarian Russell Brown who played here at "Mossies" as a youngster. There are toilets here including a shower. You can picnic on the grass by the water feature. No dogs are allowed in the nature play area.
RUSSELL BROWN ADVENTURE PARK
There is a tiny, well hidden beach off Minim Cove Park perfect for a quick paddle in the clear water and the views across the river to East Fremantle are stunning!
After exploring the nature and water play at the park head back along the path closest to the river. As you get back to the gazebo at the top of the hill take the path next to the Minim Cove interpretive sign. This path is part or the Wardun Beelier Bidi Trail and you will see the triangular seahorse marker in the path. It also forms part of the Mosman Bay Heritage Trail and has interpretive signage along the way describing the heritage of the area. Follow the path down around the large power pylon and you will come across a rough staircase leading to a small jetty.
Back on the path be aware that this path hugs the edge of the river which has steep cliffs so keep a close eye on the kids. This path will lead you back along Minim Cove but at a lower level to the path below the houses. You have magnificent views down the Swan River to Rocky Bay and the Old Soap Factory as you follow this landscaped path. Bypass the park where you started the walk and continue on to Garungup Park with it's decorative panels.
Take the lower path down to the gazebo and explore the stairs down to tiny Milo Beach. Head up the stairs from the gazebo to explore the landscaped gardens for a little bit before heading back to Garungup Park. Rest on the sun lounges or head back through the park to the car park at Pethybridge Heights.
The walk is about 1.5km each way, depending on the path you take and will take about 20 minutes in each direction. The path is paved and universally accessible.