Any resident of Western Australia would surely be aware that John Forrest National Park is the oldest National Park in this part of the country. Named after the well-known explorer and the first Premier of Western Australia, Sir John Forrest, the National Park is considered one of the oldest conservation areas since 1898.
There are plenty of activities to indulge in with friends and families here at the John Forrest National Park. You will find the visitor area complete with barbecue facilities and a picnic area that would be loved by everyone.
If you love to look at nature and enjoy the company of wildlife, you would be thrilled to know that the rest of the park has a splendid collection of flora and fauna. Apart from that, John Forrest National Park visitors can go on Bushwalking Trails, Mountain bike riding, or watch western grey kangaroos at the picnic area.
All families love to spend their time in a fantastic outdoor activity, and the best way would be to spend the day going through the several walk trail options available at all parts of the John Forrest National Park.
The most exciting trail would be the Railway Reserve Heritage Trail that will follow along the old line to York. Many beautiful spots can be viewed from the Perth and Swan Coast Plain. Most importantly, the lovely lookout point on the park road scenic drive would offer visitors outstanding views of the National Park.
Essential Things to Note Before Visting John Forrest National Park
There is an entry fee.
No fires are allowed. Only Electric and Gas Barbeques are available.
You have an access to Restroom facilities.
Several parking bays are reserved for the disabled, and the park is disabled-friendly.
Autumn, Winter, and Spring are the seasons to visit John Forrest National Park.
Ways to Get to John Forrest National Park
It would take 30 minutes to get to John Forrest National Park from Perth. The easiest route would be to leave Perth through the Great Eastern Highway. John Forrest National Park is on the north of the highway. You will never miss it as it is sufficiently signposted.
There are three entrances to the National Park from the highway. It is important to remember that Scenic Drive Gates found on Park Road closes at 4 pm daily.
5 Incredible Things to do in John Forrest National Park
1. Have a Family Fun Outing at the John Forrest Picnic Area
While the entire John Forrest National Park is filled with beautiful plants and trees, the main picnic area is for those who want to enjoy a family get-together. Once you reach the John Forrest National Park, you must follow the signs leading to the picnic area. All families will be thrilled to see the abundance of lovely picnic spots with BBQs and tables.
If you are in for another adventure, you can walk down to Jane Brook Dam. Here, you can find a place at the water’s edge or take shelter in one of the rustic wooden huts.
So, if you ever feel apprehensive about heading out due to excessive heat or a little rain, you can remember the John Forrest National Park has access to these lovely huts to give you a safe atmosphere.
2. Visit the Breath-taking National Park Falls
There are many interesting things to do in Perth. It is known for its magnificent waterfalls, and every John Forrest National park visitor would love to view the stunning National Park Falls that drop sharply over 20m of a sheer rock face.
Please remember to head to the waterfalls in winter or spring as there will be more rainfall during this period. Usually, many use the old railway reserves heritage trail to reach the National park falls.
Since the old railway tunnel is dark and filled with stones, it is better to carry a flashlight. You will reach the National Park falls at the tunnel’s end through the small wooden bridge.
The bridge will take you over top rocks, and once you reach the bottom of the bridge, you will find a viewing platform. It will be filled with red rock and a smooth flowing stream. During peak seasons, the National Park Falls are a beautiful sight as the water cascades over the granite rock.
3. Take a Spine-Chilling Walk Inside the Swan View Tunnel
The Swan View Tunnel is a historic structure built in the year 1894. The designer and architect, CY O’Connor, needed over 300 workers to complete its construction. The operation took over a year and was extremely dangerous as the workers had only picks, shovels, and dynamite to finish the task.
There are over 330,000 bricks used to seal the roof of the tunnel. The Swan View Tunnel stretches around 340m long, a significant engineering marvel of its time. In 1945, a bypass was built and used till its closure in 1966. Many believe that this dark and long tunnel is supposedly haunted.
Although a stunning and eerie place surrounded by history, the Swan View Tunnel is an adventurous hiking destination. The views around the tunnel are magnificent, and hikers would love to be a part of the beauty of nature.
4. Experience the Stunning Hovea Falls
Hovea Falls is found right after National Park Falls and is just along the limestone gravel track. There are several ways to reach Hovea Falls. One is not to use the Swan View Tunnel but to continue on Victoria Road. This road is called a no-through road, and you need to park on the side of the road.
You can then take the path reaching Hovea Falls, about 500 meters. Visitors generally use the bridge viewing platform to get a good view of the waterfalls. Hovea Falls is dry in the months of summer. However, during October, waterfalls are not overflowing; visitors use the rocks as stepping stones to explore the area.
5. Challenge Yourself at the John Forrest National Park Trails
The best hiking trails in Perth hills can be found at John Forrest National Park. Most hiking trails are excellent, and your family would love the adventure.
Every John Forrest National Park Trail has 24 hiking, biking, and running trails. Many Instagrammers and nature lovers enjoy and post most of their reviews and photos of the tracks on social media.
(a) Railway Heritage Trail
The Railway Heritage Trail is a long hiking trail that stretches for 41 km. This extensive trail follows the old Eastern Railway route.
The Trail passes through Darlington, Parkerville, and Mundaring. The scenic views of the quaint hills and many significant points of railway history are some of the reasons for you to go on this Trail.
It is a challenging route and takes nearly eight hours and 59 minutes. So many take up backpacking, camping, and hiking on the Railway Heritage Trail.
(b) John Forrest Bridle Trail
The John Forrest Bridle Trail is moderately challenging. This 20.8 km long loop trail takes about 4 hours and 58 minutes and is one of the top-rated hiking trails in Western Australia.
Many love this Trail for horseback riding, mountain biking, or simply sitting around and enjoying the solitude.
(c) Eagle View Walk Trail
The Eagle View Trail is a 15.0 km loop trail. It is very close to Western Australia’s Hovea. The difficulty level of Eagle view Trail is moderate and generally takes about 4 hours and 5 minutes. It is one of John Forrest National Park’s most popular walking trails.
Many visitors love to visit when it is quiet to enjoy the solitude and to breathe in the beauty of the National Park that is open all year round. However, you must note that dogs are not allowed on Eagle View Walk Trail.
(d) Christmas Tree Creek Walk Trail
Although not as difficult as the Eagle View Trail, the Christmas Tree Creek Walk Trail is not short of views or challenging climbs. It is a shorter version, no doubt, but to complete a 10.5 km walk surrounded by creeks, wildflowers, and kangaroos is nothing but an adventure of the highest level.
It is extremely crucial to remember to expect steep inclines during the hike. Sometimes the surface can be loose or slippery. One is expected to be fit, carry plenty of water, and wear good walking shoes.
(e) Wildflower Walk Trail
As the name suggests, the Wildflower Walk Trail is a walking trail lined with wildflowers. It can be found both on the incline to the car park and the gradual decline as well.
The Trail is nearly 4.5 km and is usually enjoyed during the wildflower blooming season. Most hikers take extra time to enjoy the wildflowers on the way. You would be thrilled to know that Hovea Falls can be seen at the Trail’s end.
A Final Note
John Forrest National Park remains the favourite of those who thoroughly appreciate being part of nature and enjoying its beauty and magnificence. Due to its convenient location near the Darling Scarp of Western Australia, many believe it is easily accessible.
One must remember that the traditional land owners are the Nyoongar people, and several used the Darling Scarp to cross into the open country. The colonial pioneers of Australia knew that John Forrest National Park was of environmental value. Therefore, it was recognized as a reserve in 1898.
Since then, John Forrest National Park has flourished, and many come here for bushwalking, cycling, and having a picnic with the family. So when you need to spend quality time with yourself or your family amidst nature or wildlife, please remember John Forrest National Park is the right place to be delighted.