Travel & Touring | WA Things To Do

Whether you'd prefer to hike through pristine forests, go fruit picking in vibrant orchards or take a nighttime tour of the oldest observatory in the State, there’s something for everyone in the vast Perth Hills region.

Located less than an hour’s drive from the Perth CBD, the Hills are a must-visit for those chasing a dose of nature just a cooee from the city. If you’re gearing up for a trip to the Hills, here are 11 of our favourite things to do and see.

1. Go fruit picking

Many orchards around the Perth Hills open their doors for visitors to pick their own fruit. There’s a great variety on offer at various orchards and farms, including apples, mangoes, citrus fruit, cherries, pears and pomegranates, with something in season all year round.

Popular spots include Walliston’s S&R Orchard (famous for its September Blossom Festival), the Fruit Corner in Pickering Brook and the vibrant Carmel Cherry Farm.

It’s a great family activity, and a ‘pick your own’ experience will usually only set you back a few dollars.

RELATED: 9 fruit picking spots in and around Perth »

2. Stroll through the Araluen Botanic Park

The beautiful Araluen Botanic Park is located on 59 hectares of native bushland in Roleystone and features thousands of exotic plants, including more than 100,000 tulips that bloom each spring and put on a spectacular show of colour.

The Park was originally a youth holiday camp established in 1929 and still contains many of the log cabins from this time. Today, a stroll through the Park will reveal a collection of banksias, Marri trees and plenty of shaded canopy areas that are perfect for a picnic.

RELATED: 10 of Perth's most vibrant wildflower hotspots »

3. Visit the Mundaring Weir

Located in Mundaring, this iconic Weir is the start of WA’s historic Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail – a remarkable infrastructure project still considered one of Australia’s greatest engineering feats. Visit the Number 1 Pump Station Museum at the base of the Weir to find out more about the pipeline.

The south side of the Weir has a shaded grassed picnic area with barbeques, and there are several bushwalking trails that travel around the structure and into surrounding bushland. On the trails, you’re likely to spot kangaroos, birds and unique native plants.

4. Tour the Perth Observatory

Operating for more than 120 years, the Perth Observatory in Bickley is the oldest observatory in WA. Take a guided tour to learn more about the important research the Observatory has been involved in during its long history, including the discovery of 29 minor planets and its previous partnership with NASA.

There are evening tours where you can explore the night sky through powerful telescopes and guided day tours. With help from the observatory volunteers and tour guides, you’ll be able to spot star clusters, nebulas, dying stars and a few planets within the Southern Hemisphere.

RELATED: 8 of the best stargazing spots within three hours of Perth »

5. Walk a section of the Bibbulmun Track

WA’s world-renowned long-distance walking trail, the Bibbulmun Track, begins in the Perth Hills at Kalamunda. It’s a great place to start a walk through the Darling Range, going through Kalamunda National Park, the outskirts of Helena Valley and crossing Mundaring Weir.

There are some excellent views over the hills from some sections of this northern end of the Bibbulmun Track, including Mundaring’s Golden View Lookout, Mount Dale in Helena National Park, and Mount Cooke near Jarrahdale. The Hewett’s Hill campsite, the first campsite heading south from Kalamunda, is a popular picnic spot for day walkers.

RELATED: 12 epic long-distance hikes in WA »

6. Visit local art galleries

The Perth Hills are dotted with galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. The Zig Zag Gallery at the Zig Zag Cultural Centre in Kalamunda holds exhibitions throughout the year featuring painting, photography, textiles and sculpture, in a modern gallery space.

A short drive away, the Mundaring Arts Centre hosts bi-monthly exhibitions, workshops and art events. The centre’s gift shop is also a great place to stock up on artworks by local Hills artists.

7. Explore wildflower walk trails

There are plenty of great locations to view wildflowers in springtime in the Perth Hills. Take one of the short walks through Lesmurdie Falls National Park – each trail winds around the falls to showcase native sticky starflowers, morning irises, couch honeypots and other beautiful wildflower species.

At Whistlepipe Gully it’s an easy walk through Mundy Regional Park to view wildflowers (where dogs are also permitted on lead), or follow a walk trail at Ellis Brook Valley Reserve to spot some of the more than 550 varieties of wildflowers on show there.

RELATED: 10 of Perth's best dog-friendly walk trails »

8. Stock up at weekend markets

With an abundance of orchards, the Perth Hills also has a vibrant market scene, where you can pick up everything from local fresh produce to artisan wares.

Try the Kalamunda Farmers Markets on a Sunday morning (or the Kalamunda Night Markets, which typically take place once a month), the quarterly Roleystone Markets, or the Perth Hills Artisan Markets in Mundaring.

RELATED: 11 of Perth's best farmers' markets »

9. Ride mountain bike trails

Mountain bikers are spoiled for choice in the Perth Hills, with a vast network of tracks covering all experience levels, set against a spectacular backdrop. Trails wind their way through both state and national forest right across this area.

The Kalamunda Mountain Bike Park offers a range of trail options, ranked from easy to difficult, set amongst picturesque forest. If you’re a beginner, the Black Stump Pump Track in the Park is suitable for riders of all ages and abilities.

If you're up for more of a challenge, the 1000-kilometre Munda Biddi Trail, also begins in the Perth Hills at Mundaring. The trail traverses a network of firebreaks, old railway formations and bush tracks to create one of WA’s best long distance, off-road cycling experiences.

RELATED: 10 of the best mountain bike trails within two hours of Perth »

10. Visit scenic waterfalls

The Hills have a number of easily accessible waterfalls, including the spectacular Lesmurdie Falls, Hovea and National Park Falls in John Forrest National Park, and Serpentine Falls in Serpentine National Park - where you’ll also find other smaller falls along the Park’s walk trails.

If you have the time, the Baldwin’s Bluff Nature Track in the Serpentine National Park provides incredible views of Serpentine Falls. The 6-kilometre trail involves a steep climb up gravel tracks, so previous bushwalking experience is recommended.

RELATED: Spectacular waterfalls within an hour's drive of Perth »

11. Follow a food and wine trail

Taste your way through the Perth Hills with lunch or dinner at a great range of cafes, award-winning wineries and cideries. Many cafes and restaurants feature fresh produce from the region, and you get to enjoy it all while overlooking hills and valleys lined with trees, orchards and vineyards.

If you’re wine tasting, remember to stay safe and have a designated driver, or book a wine tour.



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Last updated: December 2020