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A Guide To The Best Hikes, Trails And Places In Western Australia To Immerse In Nature

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Syahirah •  Oct 13, 2022

It’s no secret that Western Australia is home to beautiful coastal beaches, national parks and wildlife sanctuaries - it’s essentially an outdoor lover’s dream come true! ?If you’re visiting Perth and looking for alternatives to the typical metropolitan experience, why not explore the many hiking trails and routes in Western Australia? The weather is perfect for the outdoors anyway, so here are 8 of the best hiking trails in Western Australia (including Perth!) for leisure strolls and hiking enthusiasts!

#HHWT Tip: We’d recommend packing a lunch or a picnic spread to take with you on some of these trails as there may not be eateries available in certain areas.

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1. Cape to Cape track

Credit: @capenatlighthouse on Instagram

This trail was practically made for fans of the ocean! The coastline is your guide on the Cape to Cape track which runs along the Leeuwin-Naturaliste ridge. This iconic trail is popular among the locals for its breathtaking sea view and coastline. ? You can enjoy this wonderful heritage precinct while lounging on the landscaped lawns or playing on the nautical-themed playground. The starting point of this 137KM trail begins at Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, where visitors can climb up to the top of the lighthouse for a 360-degree panoramic view of the coast. It’s an easy 59-step climb up, so make sure you don’t pass up on this opportunity!

Credit: @capenatlighthouse on Instagram

It may take five to seven days to tackle the ENTIRE trail, which you can do solo or through a guided tour. This track takes you through breathtaking coastal and forest scenery and a peek at colourful wildflowers and native plants that change according to the season! ? In the months of September and December, the waters below offer plenty of whale watching opportunities. If you’re up for it, go for a refreshing swim in the Indian Ocean, discover towering Karri forests, and see ancient rock formations from clifftops to make your visit worthwhile!

Distance from Perth: The Cape to Cape track is in the Margaret River region and about a 3.5 hour drive from Perth

2. Swan River Loop

Credit: westernaustralia.com

If you like trekking between nature and the city, the Swan River Loop will take you on a route to sightsee skyscrapers and a whole lot of boardwalks for an urban escape! This 10-kilometre trek loop walk is easy because of the even grounds and open sea breeze. It begins at Elizabeth Quay, traces the edge of the placid Swan River, and then crosses the Causeway Bridge to reach the city's southern side. ? You can see a hoard of tame kangaroos roaming the western side of Heirisson Island, which is best seen before 10 AM or after 5 PM to avoid the crowds.

Credit: @jjbackpackers on Instagram

This path is kid-friendly too, with certain areas being stroller and wheelchair accessible! You can complete this trail on a bicycle while enjoying the fresh sea air and warm Perth sun. The winding paths are beautiful and are easy to cycle through with how smooth and wide they are!

Credit: Ellenbrook Kebabs & Turkish Bakery on FB

#HHWT Tip: Feeling peckish after your walk? Check out Ellenbrook Kebabs & Turkish Bakery for delicious halal Turkish meat boxes (as they call it!). Try their Lamb Meat Box with sweet chilli and barbeque sauce if you’re craving for something tender and juicy. ? The big portions are enough to satiate you enough to skip dinner!

Ellenbrook Kebabs & Turkish Bakery

Halal status: Halal-certified

Address: 5/11 Main Street Ellenbrook Perth, WA, Australia 6069

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3. Kings Park And Botanic Garden

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Kings Park and Botanic Garden in Perth boasts a phenomenal array of wildflowers. Known for its unique bushland, tranquil parkland, and botanic garden, the Park is one of Western Australia's most popular destinations. Located in the heart of the city, it is nearby iconic tourist hot spots like the Swan River and the Central Business District of Perth. ? But if there’s something that should draw you to this trail, it’s the fact that Kings Park offers an extensive view of the city and river views of the Darling Range. 

Credit: @kingsparkandbotanicgarden on Instagram

Kings Park and Botanic Gardens are popular spots for picnics and BBQs. It’s a very family-friendly environment with several playgrounds for your kids to explore within the park! ? You can also take the 2.5-kilometre walk (complete it in an hour!) from Swan Carpark to admire the scenery almost completely covered in natural bushland, which houses 319 species of native plants. Be sure to keep an eye out for the many colourful bird species around the park too! 

Credit: @a_paradise_on_perth on Instagram

If you’re someone who loves a bit of fun on these lazy walks, you can’t miss the opportunity to visit Fraser Avenue nearby for their unique showcase of Australia’s finest arts and crafts pieces which you can bring home as a souvenir! ? If you happen to visit Kings Park in September, you’ll be met with a spectacular display of blooming wildflowers in the Botanic Garden. Not to mention the Annual Kings Park Festival, where the park buzzes with even more liveliness. 

#HHWT Tip: While there isn’t a designated prayer spot in the park, you can visit the Perth Mosque, which happens to be one of the oldest and most prominent mosques in Perth for your prayer obligations. Alternatively, you could also visit Perth City Musalla (which is only 2.5-kilometres from the park)!

4. John Forrest National Park

Credit: westernaustralia.com

Fun fact: John Forrest National Park is one of Australia's oldest conservation areas and Western Australia's first national park. ? The park is in the Darling Ranges, about a 30 minutes drive from Perth. There are great bushwalking and cycling trails along the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail, which offer a peaceful and tranquil trek. You can walk along trails through rugged wilderness or take a disused railway line to the historical Swan View rail tunnel, where you can see spectacular waterfalls in winter! 

There are also breathtaking views of the city and surrounding area from the top of the mountain and plenty of wildlife to observe, including Australia’s famed Kangaroos (or ‘Roos’ as locals call it!). ? In spring, you’ll see wildflowers covering the landscape, making it the perfect place for picnics and long leisurely walks!

Credit: westernaustralia.com

But if you think John Forrest National Park is ONLY about nature, then you’ve yet to see the rest of what it offers! There are cottages and farm stays nearby for you to experience the true Australian outback. And a little further away in Herne Hill, you’ll find Swan Settler’s Market, located in the heart of Swan Valley, where you can buy fresh produce and handmade crafts!

#HHWT Tip: Swan Valley has lots of halal dining options available for the hungry traveller! Check out The CharGrill Masters for their super popular Lamb Ribs, Macaroni Salad and Fried Chicken. ? The smoke house prides themselves on their reasonable prices, generous portions and family-friendly atmosphere.

Halal status: Halal-certified

Address: 12 Commercial Road, Ellenbrook, WA, Australia, Western Australia

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Distance from Perth: John Forrest National Park is a 40-minute drive from Perth

5. Darling Range

Credit: westernaustralia.com

If you’ve seen the word ‘Darling Range’ appear a few times in this guide, it’s because the Darling Range is home to multiple national parks in Western Australia. On its own, Darling Range is HUGE! ? Given its size and history, it's no surprise that Darling Range has the oldest rocks on earth! The granite, gneisses and quartzites here are more than 2,500 million years old.

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The best trail in Darling Range is the Mt Cooke Loop. The 4.8-kilometre hike is an exciting experience for those who love the outdoors. It's a very rewarding walk with a great variety of scenery to enjoy on the way up. ? You’ll even come across other hikers on this path because of how popular it is! While the Mt Cooke Loop is a relatively easy trail, the tip here is to download the trail map so you won’t get lost!

Distance from Perth:Darling Range is about a 1-hour drive from Perth

6. Rottnest Island Trail

Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Have you ever heard of quokkas? They’re super adorable animals native to Australia and are known for their goofy and smiley expressions. ? If you’d like to be surrounded by cute quokkas and a relaxing beach vibe, the Rottnest Island Trail is where you’ll want to be. Lace up to tackle the entire 45-kilometre trail or choose your own adventure. The trail comprises 5 to 10-kilometre sections that feature coves, beaches, salt lakes, boardwalks, bushland populated by quokkas (one of the best sections! ?), and steep hills. 

Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

Depending on the experience you’re looking for, you’ll be able to hike in the bushland, swim in one of the 63 beaches on the trail, book segway tours and much more! If you’re interested in the history of the island, you can also learn about the Aboriginal heritage of Wadjemup, which is the name for Rottnest Island in the Noongar language and means ‘place across the water where the spirits are’. 

Fun fact: Rottnest Island Trail is a car-free zone, which makes it the perfect idyllic island escape away from the hustle and bustle of the city!

#HHWT Tip: For halal food nearby, visit Ali Baba & 40 Kebabs in Fremantle! Located near the ferry terminal, you can enjoy Middle Eastern cuisine and dishes like Rice with Doner Chicken, BBQ Chicken with RIce and even crispy Fish & Chips!

Ali Baba & 40 Kebabs

Halal status: Halal-certified

Address: 5a 36 South Terrace Fremantle, Perth, WA, Australia, Western Australia

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Distance from Perth: To get to Rottnest Island Trail you’ll need to take a ferry which is 25-minutes from Fremantle Jetty, 45-minutes from Hillarys Boat Harbour, or 90-minutes from Perth's Barrack Street Jetty.

7. Lesmurdie Falls

Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

If you’re looking for a short and leisurely walk, located in Mundy Regional Park, Lesmurdie Falls offers a 2-kilometre trail that’s easy and relaxing to follow. There’s a viewing deck overlooking the falls, which offers hazy views of the city as you follow the trail downhill. ? As you descend the steep gradient, you'll see rocks and ferns strewn throughout the native bush. Even though this trail is short, the path back is a little steep and is guaranteed to raise your heart rate so be prepared for a bit of sweating!

Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

It’s recommended to visit during winter and spring because the scenery changes dramatically. A winter visit gives you a glimpse of the strongest upstream currents of the year, while spring brings with it a whole display of wildflowers that’ll leave you speechless! Additionally, there are multiple routes you can take depending on how much of a challenge you’re looking for. From the 45-minute Falls Trail (640-metres) to the gruelling 3-hour Valley Loop Trail (3-kilometres) and more. ?

Distance from Perth:Lesmurdie Falls is a 30-minute drive from Perth

8. Bibbulmun Track

Credit: Courtesy of Tourism Western Australia

This hiking trail is 1000-kilometre long from one end to the other. ? Known as the Bibbulmun Track, this impressive hiking trail starts in Kalamunda, a historic rural suburb in the Perth Hills. The trail stretches all the way to coastal Albany, taking experienced hikers about eight weeks to cover. But not to fear, similarly to the other hiking trails on this list, you can plan how far you want to venture and what sights you want to see though one thing is certain - this trail was made for lovers of flora and fauna!

Walking along the Bibbulmun Track takes you past jarrah forests, cliff-tops above the Southern Ocean, and many other areas of natural beauty. ? Plant lovers can enjoy a journey through a vast natural garden as the terrain continuously changes with every new area you come across! Even with its green reputation, the track is not only special because of its flowers and trees. There are various mammals, reptiles, and birds that live in the forest floors, low-lying shrub heathlands, lakes, rivers, and treetops which you’re bound to run into during your trek!

#HHWT Tip: Trekking on the Bibbulmun Track means you’ll be in complete nature. Check out their official website for a guide on the types of food and snacks items you should prepare! It’s a good read to help you pack the essentials needed before embarking on this exciting adventure.

Distance from Perth: Bibbulmun Track is a 30-minute drive from Perth

A visit to Perth, Western Australia isn’t complete without visiting at least one of their many nature reserves and coasts to enjoy a walk through the natural wonders it offers. ? Whether you’re looking for an intense hike or a leisurely stroll route, you’ll be sure to find something suited for the experience you’re looking for! So, will you be visiting any of these trails on your next trip to Western Australia?

P.S. Looking for someone to guide you through your hikes and walks? Check out these tour operators that offer various experiences, from hiking and market tours to customisable tours and more!

This article was brought to you by Tourism Western Australia.