There’s so much to see and do all over our city, it’s easy to forget about the shires on our doorstep – but with everything Mundaring has to offer, it’s always at the top of our list of day trip destinations.
With school holidays coming up we bet there’s plenty of you out there looking for fun things to do, and we reckon a short drive up to Perth Hills Mundaring might just be the ticket – here’s why:
These Boots Are Made For Walking, And That’s Just What They’ll Do
With trails that range from quick, kid-friendly strolls to full-day hikes and trail exploring, the perfect way to see our local landscape at its best is on foot. The Railway Reserves Heritage Trail is the big boy to tackle, journeying through 41 kilometres of forest, historical towns and a spooky disused railway tunnel. If you’re not quite up for the full 41, the trail is broken up into smaller sections, so you can easily explore bit-by-bit.
The Railway Reserves Heritage Trail passes through John Forrest National Park and the park is itself a must-visit destination. The first national park designated in Western Australia (and the second in the whole country), the 2700 hectares is an important area of bushland in an ever developing city. At 15 kilometres long, Eagle View Walk Trail is another great half-day adventure. With lovely views of the Swan Coastal Plain, waterfalls to explore and some excellent Wandoo forest, this is often rated as one of the best in Perth.
Eagle View Walk Trail by Life Of Py
The Wildflowers Are Next-Level
Pass us the antihistamines; we’re ready to get amongst the wildflowers. During the season, which peaks in September, the area is host to countless species of stunning native wildflowers. One of the best places to get up close and personal with them is on the John Forrest National Park Wildflower Walk Trail, where you’ll be able to see over 500 species in bloom – including Blue Leschenaultia, Kangaroo Paws and Grevillea.
Did We Mention The Waterfalls?
As if the picturesque heritage trails and wildflowers weren’t enough, nature really puts on a show for us with some pretty speccy waterfalls in the area. National Park Falls and Hovea Falls are both within John Forrest National Park, and during the winter months turn into some impressive cascades. Check out both on the Eagle View Walk Trail – with Hovea Falls less than two kilometres away from National Park Falls, you can easily knock them both out during an afternoon stroll.
Come On In, The Water’s Fine
Further east, you’ll find Lake Leschenaultia – one of our favourite swimming holes. A man-made lake that was used as the largest source of water for the Eastern Railway in the early 1900s, it has been used as a recreation spot since 1949. With public swimming pools not existing in the area until the 1960s, many locals learned to swim here. The lake has a three kilometre walking loop which makes for a perfect pre-swim stroll, plus a series of newly-established mountain bike trails if that’s more your speed.
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.
Budding photographers can also take note – the area 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.
Image by Life Of Py
Eat, Drink and Be Merry
Alongside the Darlington point of the Railway Heritage Trail, The Little Nook is the perfect spot to fuel up before your day of hiking, with a verandah that’s perfect for soaking up the winter sunshine, and an all day menu runs the gamut from guilt-free muesli bowls, classic big breakfasts, and decadent pancakes.
Cafe Mojo has all the quirky charm you hope to stumble upon on your next day trip. Eclectic furniture and artwork fill the homey space, plus there’s a charming garden to enjoy and you can even bring your dog! The menu has plenty of gluten and dairy free options as well, so you can rest assured there’ll be suitable snacks for everyone.
Image via Cafe Mojo
Occupying a historic building that was formerly a general store and post office, The Hive Darlington (formerly Perella’s) is more than just a cafe – it’s a hub for the Darlington community. It’s recently changed hands to the Bell Family (locals for the past 10 years), who are keeping the community vibes strong with nutritious, home cooked meals that recognise the importance of connecting with folks in the neighbourhood over a great meal or cuppa.
Need something a little stronger? Luckily the John Forrest Tavern is more than happy to quench your thirst or provide a warm meal for those cold winter days. Famous for more than being just a place to grab some food and drinks, the tavern has been home to several locals of the kangaroo variety. In 2019 rules were introduced making it a $2000 fine to feed any animals within the park so next time a big kangaroo asks for a chip, just say “sorry mate”.
Plus, you can’t forget the historic Mundaring Weir Hotel. Established in 1898, the hotel is at the centre of plenty of surrounding trails and hikes – but if you’re more food-motivated, the Sunday traditional lamb spit roast and live music will have you racing there in no time.
Image via Mundaring Weir Hotel
Indulge In Some Retail Therapy
The great outdoors are, of course, great – but sometimes you need a bit of retail therapy. The Hills are jam packed with artisans of every sort, and you can check out many of their wares at the Mundaring Arts Centre Shop. We’re obsessed with their range of ceramics by local makers, as well as their selection of hand crafted jewellery; plus, they hold plenty of workshops if you’d like to get in on the creative action yourself.
Coming up on Sunday 11 July, the Perth Hills Artisan Markets is a bi-monthly event held indoors at the Mundaring Arena. The market hosts one of the largest selections of local WA makers, with everything from woodworkers, to ceramicists, jewellers, painters, fashion and toys – not to mention all of the gourmet goodies on offer.
To start planning your Perth Hills Mundaring day trip head to the Perth Hills Mundaring WEBSITE.
Header image by Misha KN via Shutterstock