Place Category: Walks and Picnic Spots
John Forrest National Park is the most amazing spot for a family picnic! Located just 30 minutes from Perth City on the Great Eastern Highway, John Forrest National Park is one of Australia’s oldest conservation areas and WA’s first national park. Entry to the park is $12 per car or you may wish to purchase an annual all parks pass for $88 which will also give you entry to Yanchep National Park amongst other parks in WA.
The visitor area of John Forrest National Park contains barbecue and picnic facilities and cultivated gardens of native plants. It is also home to a tavern. The rest of the park is largely undeveloped.
Surrounding the centrally located ranger’s office and main car park are rock gardens that lead down to Jane Brook. The area around the brook provides a beautiful area for a picnic with tables surrounding the Rock Pool and barbecue facilities close by.
The kids enjoyed paddling around and collecting sticks.
A little further down the brook has been dammed to create a pool area but unfortunately swimming is not recommended as the water is untreated and there lies a risk of harmful bacteria being present.
Dotted around the brook are the most adorable picnic shelters that are fashioned as little houses. The kids adored them and they were great for imaginative play.
We enjoyed a short walk along Jane Brook though the forest, stopping every now and then to listen to the sound of the wildlife and bubbling water of the brook.
Several trails run through various parks of the park, including the Railway Heritage Trails, which follows the alignment of the old railway line to York.
Swan View Tunnel Walk
We took the kids on the 5km return walk to the Swan View Tunnel. The walk takes you past Hovea Falls so there’s plenty to occupy the kids on the walk out to the tunnel. The park is home to two waterfalls, Hovea and National Park Falls, that flow in winter and spring. Hovea’s falls cascade down a large granite sheet while National Park Fall drops sharply over 20 metres of sheer rock face.
We took a stroller and baby carrier and kids aged from 6 months to 6 years old. The walk follows an easy to navigate path suitable for strollers and bikes.
The kids roared with excitement when they saw the entrance to the tunnel. We wished we’d have taken torches for the kids to play around with whilst inside the tunnel, it was a little darker and longer than we expected and also quite wet inside.
From the entrance you can see the end of the tunnel which doesn’t look that far to begin with until you get into the tunnel and realise it’s quite a distance.
Towards the end of the tunnel it was quite wet on the ground so we had to negotiate some fairly big puddles.
When we got to the end of the tunnel, the kids turned right around and wanted to head straight back through it again. They loved making echo noises and spooky screams.
You can also take a drive along the scenic drive and you will be greeted with spectacular views of Perth and the Swan Coastal Plain from the look out point.
Throughout the year the Department of Environment and Conservation’s Nearer to Nature programme provide fun, hands-on activities within the park, especially during school holidays. Click here for more information.
John Forrest National Park is located at Park Road, Hovea.