Out in the depths of the Perth Hills is an aquatic playground that is steeped in history and a great place to explore all year round.
With walk trails, new mountain bike trails, camping, canoeing, swimming and some of the clearest night skies in Perth, Lake Leschenaultia is an adventure-lover’s delight.
What is it?
Lake Leschenaultia is a man-made lake that was used as the largest source of water for the Eastern Railway in the early 1900s. Since 1949 it has been used as a recreation spot and has expanded over the years as tastes have changed. With public swimming pools not existing in the area until the 1960s, many locals learned to swim here.
Where is it?
Located 45 minutes from the centre of Perth in Chidlow, head east on Great Eastern Highway past Mundaring and follow the signs from there. There is plenty of parking available near the main beach/picnic area and all of the main activities start from there.
If you’re looking to take in the new mountain bike trails then there is another car park to the west once you enter the main gates that will get you closer to the action.
What to do:
No matter what outdoor activity you enjoy, Lake Leschenaultia has something to offer. There is an old walking trail that loops around the lake and takes in some really great scenes. In 2019 a series of mountain bike trails were constructed, offering another place to ride through the forests of the Perth Hills.
If you’re a water baby then you can hire canoes or SUPs between 10am and 3pm on weekends and public holidays (season runs from late September through to late April) or bring your own any time of year. In the warmer months the lake is great for a refreshing swim and a floating pontoon just off the main beach provides a nice play area.
What not to do:
Unfortunately dogs are not allowed at Lake Leschenaultia so you’ll have to find a dog sitter if you’re planning an overnight visit. Some of the new mountain bike trails to the west of the lake are single trail so if you’re walking then try to stick to the wider paths and be aware of cyclists. The lake also has a no fishing policy so make sure to leave the fishing gear in the garage.
In spring the wildflowers explode, making for some great walking and a point of interest for those that love their photography. The lake was named after the blue flower of the Leschenaultia and that’s just one of many species you’ll find in the area.
Speaking of photography, during peak astrophotography season (mid-autumn to mid-spring), this is one of the best spots to watch the core of the Milky Way rise over the eastern horizon. Set yourself up on the western beach with your tripod and camera on a new moon and capture one of the most impressive sights in the night sky.
About the author:
Mark (The Life of Py) is a Perth based outdoor enthusiast that loves exploring the trails of Western Australia in his free time. When he isn’t out taking photos he is busy planning the next adventure. See more of his content here.