Travel

Urban getaways

Unless you’re an avid urban explorer, you may find it hard to truly appreciate Perth’s natural landscape.

Western Australia’s only metropolis offers hidden natural gems such as the five places featured below.

And the fact not everybody knows about these places makes them extra special.

LESMURDIE NATIONAL PARK

For lovely views and to feel content after a bit of hiking, check out the waterfall at Lesmurdie National Park

Only 30 minutes drive southeast of the Perth CBD the waterfall flows down is a nice spot to have a picnic with family and friends.

The open lookout boasts views across the Perth Hills, and barely reveals any of the suburban sprawl on the plain below.

Mary-Anne Alister, a Perth Hills local, occasionally hikes to the falls and has noticed it is not that popular.

“It’s sort of a hidden gem, and since it often lacks people it’s lovely to get away to such a peaceful spot and relax,” Ms Alister says.

Lesmurdie Falls is best visited during the wetter seasons, especially after it’s been raining.

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BLACKWALL REACH

If you’re interested in a bit of thrill-seeking, Blackwall Reach on the Swan River may be the spot for you.

Located in Bicton, 25 minutes drives southwest of the CBD, Balckwall Reach has long been a favourite cliff-jumping spot.

Aiden Umbrello of Bayswater says he had a friend who wanted to try to find something to do in Perth.

“He found out through another friend that there was this cool cliff jumping place,” Mr Umbrello said.

“And so, we came out here”.

People who jump from the cliff do so at their own risk, with a young man having died earlier this year after leaping from the cliff in January.

It is for this reason that Western Independent in no way endorses jumping from the cliff. We merely note it has been a popular past-time for Bicton teenagers for generations.

Just a short walk from Point Walter, the area also has various caves, and people rock-climb the limestone cliff face.

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SECRET GARDEN

If cliff jumping and hiking is not your thing, perhaps a secret garden is.

The Secret Garden of Lake Gwelup is not as well known as Araluen Botanic Park in the Perth Hills, or Kings Park which overlooks the Perth CBD,

But it’s located only 15 minutes North of the CBD and with its jungle feel has plenty of hidden spots.

Jen Nguyen of Mandurah recommends getting off the garden’s beaten track.

“If you can’t find one, make one; you may uncover something that most didn’t know about,” Mr Nguyen says.

But make sure you bring gumboots and an old set of clothes, as the wetlands can become very muddy in winter when it’s at its most verdant.

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LIFE’S A BEACH

If you’ve got some fuel left in the tank and wish to cool off after a summer walk around one of the spots featured above, one of Perth’s lesser known swimming spots is at Burns Beach 30 minutes north of the CBD.

As Joel Willis of Kinross says, the spot requires a little exploration to find.

“I swam a little more left than I normally would, because I try to avoid shallow reef,” Mr Willis said.

“But then I found this place”

The pictured section of Burns Beach is great for snorkelling.

If you’re more interested in climbing, traversing the rocks may be just as rewarding.

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ELLIS BROOK VALLEY RESERVE

Located 30 minutes drive southeast of the CBD, Ellis Brook Valley Reserve possesses various hiking trails including one to a 60-foot-high waterfall near which views back to the CBD can be taken in.

Darryn Addams of Currambine says that hiking up to the falls is well worth the climb.

“I love travelling to this waterfall, and each weather type shows different views,” Mr Addams says.

Warm weather allows hikers to see across the Perth Hills, while wetter weather shows the falls in all their glory.

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