With wildflower season fast approaching we decided to hike the 4.6 km Wildflower Walk Trail in John Forrest National Park. John Forrest National Park is always popular with it's wide variety of trails to explore ranging from the 300m Jane Brook Promenade to the 16 km Eagle View Walk Trail. We discovered that park management have been busy realigning some of the trails to conserve the bush and for added interest.
Starting at the main picnic area alongside Jane Brook we stopped to examine the new trail map detailing the brand new Little Eagle Trail and showing the updated route of trails that have been realigned which includes the Wildflower Walk Trail.
We decided to walk along the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail to National Park Falls to see how they were flowing after winter rain. It is about a 15minute, 1km walk along the Heritage Trail to the falls. At the bridge either walk down to the water's edge or cross the bridge and head to the large granite outcrop to the west for the best views of these gentle falls. Comparing photos of the falls with high and low water levels I decided I prefer them with less water as the red rock shines through.
We then joined the National Park Falls Walk Trail heading east through beautifully scented flowering bush with Jane Brook babbling away on our right. About 10 minutes along we came to the intersection for the Wildflower Walk Trail. If you follow the Wildflower Walk Trail under the railway bridge from the picnic area you will arrive at this same point where the Wildflower Walk Trail leaves the brook.
The Wildflower Walk follows a fire trail which is nice and wide and well groomed but it does climb quite steadily. We could already see lots of stunning wildflowers which all deserve a close up look but please keep your feet on the trail so you don't trample any emerging leaves and flowers. We were lucky to pass a wildflower photographer who pointed us in the direction of a bird orchid. Not the best photo as it was blowing in the wind but grateful to have seen this delicate plant which is very well camouflaged! This stretch was a wildflower wonderland!
After about 20 minutes along fire trails the walk diverts to one of the realignments and continues along a narrower trail which winds through the forest showcasing a different variety of wildflowers...
and with a fleeting distant view of the city skyline between the trees at the highest point.
Soon the trail starts to head downhill, as gently as it did uphill. After another twenty minutes we re-joined a wider trail - a section I recognised from hiking the now closed Christmas Tree Creek Trail.
Not for long though as we came to another realigned section where the trail narrows and descends through the bush in a series of zig zag curves which are fun for the kids as they "disappear" around the bend but can still be seen through the bush. This section isn't long and you soon emerge from the forest into more open spaces leading up to a large granite outcrop from which you can look down onto Hovea Falls.
It's another 20 minutes from this point back to the main picnic area where you can choose from a number of trail diversions leading back to Jane Brook Promenade, the car park and picnic area.
Don't forget to enjoy the heritage huts and the winding paths along the babbling brook.
There are toilets here and lots of picnic spots, picnic tables and barbecues. The kids can play on the small nature playground, home to some very tame parrots, or rock hop along the brook depending on water levels. Unfortunately the iconic pub has been demolished and is being loped. Entry to John Forrest National Park is currently $15 per car or you can buy a multi park pass through DPAW. Check for discounted passes with your health fund or the RAC.
This trail took us just under 2 hours to complete including the extra walk to look at National Park Falls and lots of stops to take photos and to examine the gorgeous wildflowers along the way.
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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.
As always when hiking in the bush please help to reduce the spread of Phytophthora Dieback by sticking to the tracks and paths, staying out of quarantined areas and, if possible, clean your shoes before and after hiking. A spray of 70% methylated spirit and 30% water can be effective.