We all love a good walk, but we bet you don't venture from your normal route that often. Well, it's time to shake things up and check out some of Perth's best locations on foot. So wack a hat on, slather on some sunscreen, tie up your laces and top up your water bottle, here are all of the best walks and hikes in and around Perth.
One of our favourite walks in Perth's inner burbs, don’t miss a step of the magnificent Law Walk by kicking off at the UWA Boat Shed. Walk towards the city before crossing Mounts Bay Road and heading up the steps where the Matilda Bay stretch of apartments end and Kings Park begins. Known to locals as “the rollercoaster” for its continuous ups and downs, the walk’s vistas of the Swan River and the CBD make the cardio blast worthwhile.
Matilda Bay Reserve
The UWA Boat Shed features again as a great start point to the Matilda Bay Reserve Walk, but this time, head in the opposite direction. Take in iconic spots like the Matilda Bay Tearooms, Jo Jo’s cafe perched on the Nedlands Bath Marina jetty and well-loved yacht clubs. Take a detour off the path to check out Pelican Point lookout and if it’s a warm day, pack your bathers and bombie off the end of a jetty.
Take in the city skyline and coastal aspects from the beautiful Zamia Trail in Bold Park, definitely one of Perth's best walks. Hike over 5km of undulating terrain, starting and finishing at the top of Reabold Hill, which is the highest natural point along the metropolitan coastline.
East Perth To Elizabeth Quay
Exercise with a side of gelato? We’re always down for that. To get the most out of your Elizabeth Quay walk we recommend parking in East Perth off Riverside Drive and walking west towards the city so you can take in the specky views (and have a scoop of gelato halfway through your walk). Once you get to Barrack Square (home of the Bell Tower) make a left turn towards the water, turn right at the jetties and traverse across The Island and then over the Elizabeth Quay suspension bridge. Turn right when you get to William Street and follow that until you hit Geoffrey Bolton Avenue, make a pit-stop at Gusto Gelato before walking back along Riverside Drive to your car. If you walk quickly the whole thing will take an hour.
Windan Bridge Loop
Another urban walk which makes the most of our glorious river, the Windan Bridge Loop is one to try when you have a little more time up your sleeve. 6.2km in length, we advise starting at Crown Perth and setting out along the Swan towards Maylands. Check out the beaut Perth Stadium before crossing Windan Bridge and looping around past Mardalup Park, Claisebrook Cove and the Victoria Gardens. Cross back over to the Burswood side of the river via Heirisson Island (spot some grey kangaroos on your way) before heading home.
Swanbourne To Cottesloe Beach
Don your best activewear and join the other activewear-clad people on one of Perth’s best walks which offers beach views and plenty of street cred. Kicking off at The Shorehouse in Swanbourne (because it’s easier to get parking there), set out southward towards Cottesloe Beach and take in the sparkling Indian Ocean views. The 1.7km walk will only take you around 20 minutes one way, though you can walk all the way to Leighton if you're looking to burn some extra energy. Dip your toes in the water at the end and grab a takeaway coffee at The Shorehouse.
If you’re an avid hiker, you can't go past the Bibbulmun Track. It spans 900km from Kalamunda to Albany, but try the close-to-home section from Mundaring Weir Hotel to the Golden View lookout (7.4km all up), it's one of Perth's best hikes. It captures beautiful outlooks to the Mundaring Weir and Lake CY O’Connor, which play majorly important parts in WA’s history. Do it on a Sunday and finish with a spit roast and Sunday sesh back at the Mundaring Weir Hotel.
Bells Rapid Walk Trail
Check out the most exciting point of the Avon Descent event on the Bells Rapid Walk Trail with boulders lined like spectators overlooking the bubbling rush of the river beneath them. Two options, the River Walk (2.5km) or Goat Walk (3km), are on offer and if you take Goat Walk, be sure to try and spot the ‘cheeky’ Buttock Boulder along the way.
Scarborough-Trigg Heritage Trail
Combine the surfer and fishermen-laden coastline of Scarborough and Trigg beaches with the serene bush trails of the Trigg Bushland Reserve and you’ve got one heck of a hike with huge thanks to Mama Nature. The Scarborough—Trigg Heritage Trail is sign-posted and made up of the three-loops totalling about 7.3km, making it one of Perth's best walks to tick off your list.
Herdsman Lake Loop
An 8km trail, Herdsman Lake Loop is the perfect choice if you’re looking to burn a couple more calories than your regular neighbourhood stroll. Plus, it offers plenty of bird-watching action if you’re that way inclined. Trails WA recommends kicking off from the Heron Place car park and walking in an anti-clockwise direction, but you do you. It’s definitely advisable to stop by the Olive Seymour Boardwalk during your travels for a walk among the paperbark trees. The whole thing will take you three hours to complete so bring plenty of water.
Carine Regional Open Space
As you head around the Lake Carine wetlands, you can’t help but hear Dorothy’s voice whisper in your ear “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Leave behind big city life as you wave at the horses hanging out at the Riding for Disabled and stride through the bushland trails.
Allen Park Bushland
This pocket of Allen Park bushland with a small network of trails is a sight for sore eyes. Puff your way to the crest of Melon Hill and be rewarded with ridiculous views of the Indian Ocean extending to Rottnest Island. Make sure you take note of the lovingly restored bushland and the decorative tiles on the entry statement (thanks to passionate locals), and the cutesy buildings that house the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA. Start and finish your walk from Swanbourne beach so you can wriggle your toes in powder-like sand when you finish.
Wireless Hill Park
This park first hosted Perth’s wireless communication between the east and west coasts of Australia, and between the mainland and ships in the Indian and Southern Oceans from 1912. Decommissioned in 1967, it’s now a magnificent parcel of urban bushland with the epic Wireless Hill Park walking trails. Capture stunning views of Perth City, the Swan River and even ocean glimpses although no need to strain the eyeballs for too long, as you can feast your gaze on the colours of native blooms within the park itself.
Port Beach To Rous Head
Once upon a time, this desolate wasteland was the turnaround point for our Cottesloe to Port Beach hikes. It was all a bit "nothing more to see here, folks." Now we kick off from the Port Beach car park and head south on the jazzed up footpaths. At the southern groyne at Port, slow your pace and check out the Fairy Tern nesting sanctuary (baby bird cuteness) before ploughing on admiring the more rugged coastline and avoiding the temptation to jump on board the next ferry to Rottnest.
Penguin Island Boardwalk Trail
Hey nature lovers, this is another one tailor-made for you. It takes a ferry to get over to the island, which you get from Mersey Place Reserve between 9am and 3pm. The boardwalk and trail loop is 1.5km and of course, the main attraction to keep your eyes peeled for is the colony of Fairy Penguins that live on the island. Schedule your walk in around the island’s Discovery Centre commentary and feeding at 10.30am, 12.30pm and 2.30pm. The island is also a bird sanctuary so borrow your dad’s binoculars (you gotta stick to the trail, man) and do your best David Attenborough impersonation.
Coogee Beach Trail
Who doesn’t love a good sunset in Perth, watching the golden globe sink into the ocean? Catch one from the 3.5km Coogee Beach Trail, starting from the Powell Road car park head south before the loop turnaround. Or get your Mick Fanning on and brave our shark-infested waters to try the recently opened Coogee Maritime Trail, with the Omeo shipwreck, underwater sculptures and maritime artefacts submerged to lure you into the deep blue. It’s only 25-metres offshore, so it’s unlikely big Bruce will meet you there.
Ghost House Trail Walk
This 12.4km trail is a pretty spectacular reference of Western Australian wildlife, with regular kangaroo and emu sightings beneath towering aged tuart trees around the Yanchep wetlands. The namesake ghost house isn’t terrifying anymore as it slowly crumbles (only the stone doorframe remains) and beautifully blends with the surrounding nature. Check out the nearby koala boardwalk while you’re there. National Park alert; have your $12 park entry fee ready.
Mosman Park Heritage Trail
The Mosman Park Heritage Trail takes in all the prettiest sights of this gorgeous little suburb tucked between river and ocean. Take your phone for plenty of good selfie spots including Chidley Point, various awe-inspiring mansion frontages and Buckland Hill with the glistening sea behind you. Kick off at Memorial Park and then allow the stainless steel triangles that are embedded along the path to guide you between Mosman Bay and Leighton Battery. For the rest of the route, check out the Mosman Park council website.
Remove yourself from the urban sprawl out in the Walyunga National Park. This 10km hike takes in a few steep climbs (you’ll be rewarded with some exceptional views of the Swan Valley once you reach the summit), up-close views of the Avon River and the odd kangaroo mob spotting. The National Park opens between 8am and 5pm, and be prepared to fork out $13 upon entry.
Kitty’s Gorge Walk Trail
So you may have only heard of Jarrahdale due to the exquisite Millbrook Winery, but slip on your hiking boots and discover a little more about this little timber town. The tail is 16.5km, which takes in the magnificent Serpentine Falls, some smaller waterfalls along the Serpentine Valley river, a few rocky stairs to test your fitness and a wicked picnic spot on the flat rocks overlooking the gorge to fuel up. If you need to escape the rat race, this is the hike to do it on.
Want more of the best Perth fitness activities? Here are some of the best bike trails in Perth.
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Image credit: Louise Coghill