By: Tatum Stafford
If you’re yearning to walk, cycle or horse-ride your way through pristine natural bushland, make sure Kalamunda is at the top of your WA bucket list.
Renowned for its brilliant natural attractions, this diverse town is a haven for nature-lovers, art-enthusiasts and foodies. Let’s take a trip to Kalamunda.
Top things to see and do
Go hiking in Kalamunda National Park
A good spot for beginners, the 5-kilometre Rocky Pool Walk circles the peaceful Rocky Pool and features an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers in springtime. Incorporating a section of the Bibbulmun Track, the walk is occasionally steep and challenging, but provides breathtaking valley and hill views as a reward. As it’s quite a short trail, this is a great option for first-time hikers – and in summer, it’s a great place to cool off amongst the luscious Kalamunda forest.
If you’d rather a trickier walk, attempt the picturesque 4-kilometre Schipp Road Walk loop. It also encompasses some sections of the Bibbulmun Track, and features several steep hill climbs and a few loose descents. Departing from the carpark on Schipp Road, the first section of the trail is wide and gentle with plenty of native flora and fauna on display. Once you reach the Bibbulmun Track section, the trail narrows and becomes quite uneven. The final section is the most challenging, and isn’t recommended for kids or inexperienced hikers.
Sample local produce at the Kalamunda Farmers Market
Operating every Sunday morning from the Kalamunda Performing Arts Centre carpark, the vibrant Kalamunda Farmers Market sees farmers, producers and artisan food makers come together to sell a massive array of gourmet local produce. Offering everything from organic bread and fresh goats cheese to Australian spice packs and fresh bouquets of flowers, the market should be your first stop if visiting on a Sunday – as often, the freshest goods are the first to go.
The operators of the farmers’ market also produce the fantastic Kalamunda Night Markets, which typically take place once a month. Check their Facebook page for future dates.
Meet the furry locals at Calamunnda Camel Farm
This family-friendly camel farm is one of the most unique outdoor experiences that Kalamunda has to offer. Set in tranquil bushland beside the Bibbulmun Track, the farm has three camel treks on offer; an introductory ride, half an hour ride and a full one-hour ride. If you opt for the longest ride, you may spot small groups of kangaroos, lizards, parrots and other native animals as you make your way deep into the serene Perth Hills. The farm is open from Thursday to Sunday from 9am until mid-afternoon.
Hit the pedals on the Kalamunda Mountain Bike Trails
The Kalamunda Trails are some of the most popular in WA. Situated amongst picturesque forest, there are a range of options ranked from easy to difficult covering a range of climbs, rocks, hairpin corners, drop-offs and more. If you’re a beginner, opt for the Black Stump Pump Track, a trail suitable for riders of all ages and abilities.
If you need to hire a mountain bike, head to Rock and Roll Mountain Biking, Munda Biddi Bike Hire or Kalamunda Cycles. Having the right equipment is paramount, so make sure you’re protected with a helmet, enclosed shoes, gloves, eye protection and plenty of water. Avoid attempting these trails in the height of summer due to extreme heat and loose dry soil.
View local art at the Zig Zag Gallery
This striking facility was built to showcase the craftsmanship of talented artists local to the Perth Hills area. Designed to encourage community participation in the creative arts, the Zig Zag Cultural Centre and Gallery is a hub for festivals, events and art exhibitions. Notable exhibitions include the annual Kalamunda Open Studios display, NAIDOC exhibitions and sessions displaying paintings, portraiture and prints from local artists. Check the exhibition schedule before your visit.
Bring your dog to the Jorgenson Park Walk Trail
The moderately easy, 2.7-kilometre loop Jorgenson Park Walk Trail provides lovely bushland views and follows many of the old Kalamunda Golf Course fairways. The dog-friendly trail passes balga trees, large granite outcrops and plenty of opportunities to view the sweeping Piesse Brook Valley. The track intertwines with some of the Bibbulmun Track at its northernmost point.
At a glance
|Distance from Perth||27 kilometres, just over half an hour's drive|
|Why go?||To explore thriving national parks that are a stone’s throw from the Perth CBD, experience incredible local artworks, discover serene secret swimming holes and be immersed in the community spirit at a famous weekly farmers’ market.|
|When to go||
Apr: The annual Kalamunda Open Studios event takes over the town; with up to 20 local artists, sculptors, photographers and more opening their workrooms to the public.
|How long to stay||You’ll be able to tick off most of the town’s attractions in two to three days. If you’re eager to see more of the region, pop over to the neighbouring suburb of Mundaring for a few extra days.|
|Need to know||There are a few shops in the town centre, but if you require a substantial amount of supplies it’s best to bring the essentials with you. If you need anything extra, outer suburbs of Perth are only a few minutes’ drive away. If you're planning a visit to the Kalamunda National Park, you’ll need a DPAW national park pass. When on hiking or mountain biking trails, make sure you adhere to all signage and avoid straying from marked paths so you don’t get lost. Pop into the Perth Hills Visitor Centre at the Zig Zag Cultural Centre for more advice, maps or trail information.|
|Fast facts||Town population: 6,970
Indigenous people: Noongar.
|Insider tip||If you’re travelling with inquisitive kids, pop into the Kalamunda Community Garden for a fun workshop about sustainability and plantlife. There are a range of interesting workshops, from edible garden design to pizza oven projects.|
As mentioned above, there are plenty of mountain bike hire shops if you’d like to explore the region on two wheels. Otherwise, you’ll likely need a car to travel around the township and surrounding national parks.
What to pack
Kalamunda experiences a typically mild climate, so dressing in lighter or warmer clothes according to season is advised. Pack or wear enclosed shoes, as the town is filled with natural attractions that you’ll need to be well-equipped to explore. And if you’re planning on walking or cycling through the national parks, bringing an insect repellent, sunscreen and a hat is a good idea, as portions of the parks can be exposed to harsh UV without much shade.
You’ll travel on sealed main roads and highways to reach Kalamunda, but there may be a few rocky, unsealed roads around the Kalamunda area, so take care and make sure you’re driving attentively. Read more long distance driving tips before setting off.
Inspired to head to the hills?
Don’t forget to fuel up. RAC members get 4 cents a litre off fuel at participating Puma Energy, Better Choice, Gull and Peak service stations.
Last updated September 2020