Urban parklands are a vital part of the ecosystem for a modern city with green spaces shown to improve the mental health of anyone who visits them so it’s great that Perth has a few to choose from.
What Is It?
Wireless Hill is one of those urban parks with a fascinating indigenous and colonial history, adding to the lovely nature space. Before its current incarnation, the area was home to the Beeliar people with the hill called Yagan Mia after a well-known leader called Yagan (Mia meaning camp). In the early 1900s the hill became an important site for telecommunications in Western Australia with a wireless station constructed in 1911. During WWI and WWII, it was taken over by the military but was mainly part of the civilian telecommunications service up until 1968 when it was closed thanks to a new site being found elsewhere. Since then, it has been converted to a park and the various buildings are used as part of the telecommunications museum.
Where Is It?
Located right next to Garden City in the suburb of Ardross, from Canning Highway take Riseley Street south until you reach the lights at Almoundbury Road. Take a right turn here and follow this all the way into the park where you’ll find plenty of parking. The interpretive walk trails are located on the southern side of the main car park with large information boards to catch your attention.
What to Do?
Despite the extensive clearing that went on during construction of the wireless station in the early 1900s, it’s fantastic that the bushland you see today has recovered from existing seeds in the soil. This tiny slice of remnant bushland is a look back at what the Perth Coastal Plain would have looked like before colonial influence impacted severely on the landscape. Often talked about as one of the best places for orchid hunters in Perth, Wireless Hill is home to an array of the more exotic orchids along with plenty of different types of wildflowers. To experience them without disturbing the sensitive ground, the main parts of the two walk trails are paved and the edges roped off to discourage people wandering into the bush and stepping on the delicate orchids.
Combining the two walk trails into a twin loop provides a 1.8km experience with plenty to see during spring when the wildflowers are at their best. Add in the interpretive signage telling you about the previously mentioned indigenous history, culture and sites and this is a fun way to spend an afternoon. Spend some time in nature and if you’re a keen wildlife photographer then you’ll love trying to spot the different orchids or watching the bird life flitter about.
What Not to Do:
As always, be a good human and adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles, taking all rubbish with you and not picking the wildflowers. This area is also susceptible to the fungal disease Dieback so be sure to stick to the marked trail and do not pick any of the wildflowers.
The Wireless Hill Museum was given a refresh in 2015 and if you’re interested in the telecommunications history of the area then be sure to check it out when it reopens on May 2 after some recent site works. Surrounding the museum is a lovely grassed area complete with lookout tower and playground so if you’re after a nice spot for a picnic then this is the perfect spot.
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.