We love to bang on about our beaches around Perth, but as the weather cools and rains come down, they’re not quite as appealing as during summer.
This time of year is one where many of us turn our attention inland, and Western Australia’s plethora of national parks – nature-filled playgrounds perfect for the adventurers and explorers out there.
What is it?
Serpentine Falls are the star attraction of the Serpentine National Park, nestled at the foot of the Darling Scarp. As the winter rains arrive water cascades down 15m granite outcrops into a rock-lined pool below, turning it into a popular swimming and picnicking spot.
Where is it?
A short-but-sweet 55km drive southeast of Perth, its proximity to the city makes it an easy and popular destination for folks from all over. Head south along the Kwinana Freeway, before jumping onto the South West Hwy via Mundijong Road, and finally Falls Road which takes you to the entrance of the park.
What to do:
Get there early – Serpentine Falls is a notoriously popular destination for the city folk, and with opening hours of 8.30am-5pm daily its important to arrive as early as you can (plan to get there before 10am before it reaches capacity).
After paying to get in ($15 for upkeep/maintenance), it’s a beautiful spot to spend the day picnicking, kangaroo watching and bushwalking, particularly in spring during wildflower season.
There are several trails of varying difficulty kicking off from the falls, including the Falls Walk Trail, Baldwin’s Bluff Nature Track and Kitty’s Gorge (head HERE to do some research, and come prepared with water, sunscreen etc.).
Swimming is okay, but please check with the Parks & Wildlife Service with regards to water quality, and do so safely.
Amenities wise, there are picnic tables, shaded areas, toilets and barbecues, with a food truck usually lurking on the weekends if you forget to pack your lunch!
What not to do:
Be reckless when it comes to swimming – after you’ve made sure the water quality is safe for swimming, don’t go jumping off high rocks as the dark, still waters can have plenty of hidden dangers just below the surface.
Feed the kangaroos – the Western Grey kangaroos of the area are pretty accustomed to humans nearby, but that doesn’t mean you should feed them.
Bring your pets – given the abundance of native wildlife in the area (echidna, mardo, quenda, brushtail possum, western brush-wallaby and more reside with the kangaroos), it’s not really a place for doggos to be running around.
While the falls have been attracting visitors for more than 100 years, the Noongar people were the original inhabitants of the land, camping and hunting all over the national parks of this area.
If the Falls have reached capacity before you get there, you can always head down the road to Serpentine Dam – much larger space with playgrounds and picnic areas.