The 20 Best Hikes And Walking Trails Near Perth

byMark Pybus
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With a combination of a great coastline, the Darling Scarp and some amazing national parks, Perth has some great hiking trails to explore. Below is the cream of the crop that will provide a good challenge along with some pretty locations to photograph.

Eagle View Walk Trail

Located on the edge of the Perth Hills with some amazing views of the Swan Coastal Plain, the 15km Eagle View Walk Trail is the crown jewel of John Forrest National Park. Enjoy a stroll along Jane Brook, discovering waterfalls and rapids as you head towards a big climb up towards the excellent views of the Perth CBD. From there you return via some lovely Jarrah and Wandoo forest that is filled with wildflowers from early winter through to late spring. Once you’ve finished, enjoy a meal and beverage at the tavern where you can hang with the local kangaroos that call this place home.

WhereJohn Forrest National Park
Length – 15km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Spring

Read our full guide to John Forrest National Park.

Wadjemup Bidi

The Wadjemup Bidi is the name of the trail network on Rottnest Island and is one of the best ways to explore the island. With five walking trails to enjoy, they cover all the best bits of the island and many places you can only reach by foot. All accessible along the bus stops around the island, you can pick and choose which ones you want to do without worrying about how to get back to the main settlement. Bring your flippers and snorkel to enjoy one of many fantastic snorkelling spots around the island or simply lay your towel down on a secluded beach and relax in the sun.

Where – Rottnest Island
Length – 6km to 9.5km (One Way)
Difficulty – Easy to Moderate
Best Time to Visit – All Year Round

Read our full guide to Wadjemup Bidi.

Kitty’s Gorge

Hidden away in the hills near Jarrahdale, the Kitty’s Gorge Walk Trail is a delight to hike when the waters of Gooralong Brook and the Serpentine River are flowing. Explore the lush forests and granite gorges that have been carved into the landscape over millions of years with a great variety of wildflowers lining the trail from winter into spring. The Pièce de résistance of the trail is the turnaround point at Serpentine Falls, a little slice of the Pilbara in our own backyard. A popular area during the warmer months for those looking for a natural swimming spot, enjoy the excellent BBQ facilities if you have a car parked at either end.

Where – Serpentine National Park
Length – 17.5km (Return)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Winter Through Spring

Read our full guide to Serpentine Falls. 

Mount Cooke – Bibbulmun Track

One of the best day hikes on the Bibbulmun Track, explore the highest point in the Darling Range that hasn’t been taken over by bauxite mining. Starting at Sullivan Rock just off Albany Highway, enjoy a flat section of walking through the soft grey Jarrah forest before reaching the Mt Cooke Campsite. Have a rest here and then it’s a long climb up to the ridge of Mount Cooke where you’ll discover large granite boulders, expansive views over the forests to the east and a bevy of wildflowers in every nook and cranny. There’s a not so secret cave to be found if you know where to look, make sure you sign the book if you see it. If you’re looking for a shorter loop that takes in the summit then park near the Cooke Plantation and find the trail next to the brook.

Where – Sullivan Rock off Albany Highway
Length – 20-22km (Return)
Difficulty – Moderate to Hard
Best Time to Visit – Autumn through Spring

Numbat Trail

Located on private land in the Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary, the Numbat Trail is the longest of the three trails on offer here and is the best day hike in Perth. You will need to organise payment beforehand to get the entry code for the gate but once you’re inside it’s a world of fantastic forests, plenty of hills, lots of streams and rapids to explore plus an amazing wildflower display from late winter through spring. A safe haven for wildlife, there is a good chance you’ll see a mob of kangaroos jumping around, an echidna fossicking in the late afternoon or one of many species of birds that call this place home. This is becoming a popular spot for hiking so make sure you book early and the walking season is only open from May to November each year.

Where – Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary, Gidgegannup
Length – 12.5km (Loop)
Difficulty – Hard
Best Time to Visit – Winter through Spring

Echidna Trail

Exploring the banks of the Avon River in the Swan River and taking you up into the hills above the valley, the 11km Echidna Trail is a great workout punctuated with some lovely views. Starting along the river, visit Syd’s Rapids and see the foamy water where the famous Avon Descent takes place before starting the physical part of the hike. Some decent sized hills take you up towards the high point of the park with views looking down to the river valley and across the Swan Coastal Plain. This area was devastated by the 2020 Wooroloo Fires but will hopefully recover over the coming years.

Where – Walyunga National Park
Length – 11km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Spring

Whistlepipe Gully

One of the more popular dog friendly hikes in Perth, Whistlepipe Gully has become a crowd favourite thanks to the flowing water, excellent wildflowers and easy access. Starting at the end of Lewis Road at the base of the Perth Hills, head up to start and marvel at the various rapids along the way, colourful displays of wildflowers from winter through to spring and the views of the Perth CBD as you get higher. The perfect way to exercise your four-legged friend, Whistlepipe Gully is a pretty idyllic place on a nice spring day.

Where – Mundy Regional Park
Length – 3.6km (Loop)
Difficulty – Easy
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Read our full guide to Whistlepipe Gully. 

Rocky Pool Walk Trail

Featuring one of the larger natural pools in the Perth Hills that used to serve as the local swimming pool until a more modern structure was built, the Rocky Pool Walk Trail is one of the more iconic trails in Perth. Exploring the Jarrah and Marri forests of Kalamunda National Park, there are some steep hills to negotiate on the 5km loop but the views are more than worth the effort. The big highlight of the trail is Rocky Pool that contains water from winter through to spring and has a small set of rapids that provide a nice photo feature. The rocks above the pool are a great place to have a picnic and enjoy the tranquillity of this lovely spot.

Where – Kalamunda National Park
Length – 5.1km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Read our full guide to Rocky Pool. 

Bells Rapids

Another popular recreation spot near Perth, Bells Rapids attracts the crowds thanks to the picturesque scenes along the Swan River and a nice 4.5km loop trail up in the hills. Being dog friendly helps and on the weekends you’ll see plenty of people out enjoying nature, having a picnic or going for a stroll. Unfortunately, this was another area hit by the 2020 bushfires but the famous bridge has survived and the area will regenerate over the coming years.

Where – Swan Valley
Length – 4.5km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Read our full guide to Bells Rapids.

Zamia Trail, Bold Park

Urban bushland sites like Bold Park are a great way to escape the hustle of city life without venturing too far from home. Located by the ocean in City Beach, Bold Park has a network of trails starting at Reabold Hill that provide plenty of options for when you want a slice of nature before or after work. With plenty of flora to see and some fantastic views overlooking the Indian Ocean and CBD, the Zamia Trail is the pick of the bunch with a decent length taking you around the perimeter of the park.

Where – City Beach
Length – 5.4km (Loop)
Difficulty – Easy
Best Time to Visit – All Year Round

Read our full guide to Bold Park. 

Lesmurdie Falls

One of the best places to view the sunset in the Perth Hills, Lesmurdie Falls is also one of the biggest waterfalls you’ll find in the Darling Scarp. With plenty of access points, you can start at the bottom or top of the falls and make your way along the loop trail that is the best way to appreciate this special place. Photographers will love the base of the falls and spending time capturing the silky-smooth long exposure shots but there is something here for everyone.

Where – Mundy Regional Park
Length – 2.4km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – All Year Round

Read our full guide to Lesmurdie Falls. 

Ellis Brook Reserve

At the base of the Perth Hills near Gosnells is a valley hidden away containing some lovely walking and if we’ve had a lot of rain, a stunning waterfall. Ellis Brook Reserve has several trails to choose from but combining them into one big out and back loop is a great way to see the area. Most people will recognise the scenes from Old Barrington Quarry as this former mining site has been abandoned back to nature, forming a small lake (no swimming) and bare rock faces. The real fun is walking through the forests and along the Blue Wren Trail to Sixty Foot Falls where you will get some nice views and a healthy dose of nature. It’s also dog friendly so bring your best mate along for the walk.

Where – Gosnells
Length – 5.8km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Read our full guide to Ellis Brook Reserve. 

Ghost House Walk Trail

The premier trail of Yanchep National Park and located an hour north of the city, the Ghost House Walk Trail showcases a good variety of scenery. Starting out by Loch McNess (watch out for monsters lurking around), you skirt the edge of the lake and then head into the lovely coastal woodlands that provide good shade and an abundance of wildflowers in spring. Pass the titular Ghost House, old ruins that have been left to be reclaimed by nature before heading past Shapcott’s Campsite and on towards the limestone cave system. There is plenty to see along this walk and the area is home to some unique flora and fauna.

Where – Yanchep National Park
Length – 14km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Read our full guide to the Ghost House Walk Trail. 

King Jarrah Walk Trail

The forests around Dwellingup are some of the best examples of Jarrah and Marri in the Perth Hills and a large section around the Murray River is named after a man that fought to protect them. The King Jarrah Walk Trail is one of the best ways to experience these forests with a 17.8km loop taking you up into the hills before dropping down and following the edge of the Murray River. A real highlight of this trail apart from the soft greys of the Jarrah forest is the King Jarrah, a 400-year-old tree that predates colonial times.

Where – Lane Poole Reserve, Dwellingup
Length – 17.8km (Loop)
Difficulty – Hard
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Lake Clifton Walk Trail

Home to the famous and fascinating Thrombolites, a micro-organism that is closely related to life that formed 570 million years ago, the Lake Clifton Walk Trail is a great way to see these wonderful clusters up close. The Thrombolites are right at the start of the trail with a short side trip out onto the jetty and it’s truly a stunning spot looking out over the lake. The walk trail takes you on a loop along the edge of the lake and then back through the endangered Tuart forest that has some massive examples still standing.

Where – Yalgorup National Park, Mandurah
Length – 5.8km (Loop)
Difficulty – Easy
Best Time to Visit – All Year Round

Read our full guide to Lake Clifton.

Pengiun Island Walk Trail

Home to the famous Fairy Penguins that call this island home, the aptly named Penguin Island is also home to a nice 2.1km loop that lets you explore various parts of the island. Switching between boardwalk and beaches, this walk trail is a great way to get around the island and to some of the more sheltered snorkelling spots. Finish your walk with a tour of the Discovery Centre and see one of the live penguin feeding displays. Access to the island is by ferry or a short paddle over if you have your own kayak.

Where – Shoalwater Islands Marine Park, Rockingham
Length – 2.1km (Loop)
Difficulty – Easy
Best Time to Visit – All Year Round

Read our full guide to Penguin Island.

Dell to South Ledge

Exploring one of the nicest parts of the Perth Hills, the forests of Beelu National Park provide a tranquil setting for a weekend hike. While you start in the heart of mountain bike territory at The Dell, it isn’t long before you head off on different tracks and towards the link up with the Bibbulmun Track. When you reach the Bibbulmun Track section it’s a pleasant walk along the edge of the Helena River Valley and on to the Golden Lookout that provides some stunning views of Mundaring Weir.

Where – Beelu National Park
Length – 9km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Victoria Reservoir Trail

The location of the first catchment dam built in Perth, the Victoria Reservoir area is also home to an enjoyable walking trail. The 7.3km loop takes you down towards the new Victoria Dam where you’ll get to look out over the artificial lake and surrounding forest before heading down towards the remnants of the old Victoria Dam. Parts of the wall are still standing and a nice picnic area has been built next to the overflow stream of Munday Brook. Head along the brook towards another historic structure with the Mason Bird Bridge being the oldest surviving timber bridge in Australia. Finish the walk with a long climb up the vehicle track to the start point, marvelling at the surrounding forest and granite outcrops.

Where – Korung National Park
Length – 7.3km (Loop)
Difficulty – Moderate
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

Marrinup Falls

Located on the way into Dwellingup, Marrinup Falls is a seasonal set of rapids that during spring is a delight to visit. Explore the forest lining Marrinup Brook as you make your way past several small rapids and down to the main part of the falls. Watch out for wildflowers and orchids along the edge of the trail and if you get the timing right, the Hotham Valley tourist train. A great addition to any trip to the Dwellingup area, this one is worth saving for the peak period at spring time.

Where – Dwellingup
Length – 2.6km (Loop)
Difficulty – Easy
Best Time to Visit – Mid Winter Through Late Spring/Early Summer

Kattamordo Heritage Trail

This once forgotten 1988 Heritage Trail has recently been given a thorough makeover by a local volunteer group and is now a fantastic way to spend a whole day in the forests of the Perth Hills. Follow the newly installed Potoroo trail markers from Bickley Reservoir all the way to Mundaring, winding up and down hills, including the high point of Mount Gunjin. This one is an epic day out as you go up and over the Darling Scarp and will require a car shuffle but the reward for effort is worth it.

Where – Bickley to Mundaring
Length – 34km (One Way)
Difficulty – Hard
Best Time to Visit – Autumn Through Late Spring

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.