A hike in the Perth Hills can lead you to amazing places where delicate wildflowers, biodiverse Jarrah forests, captivating waterfalls and abundant wildlife are all right there for you to experience. And the best part?  The hills are so close to the Perth CBD that you can be out and back before lunch!

Serpentine Dam
Serpentine Dam

Where are the Perth Hills?

The Darling Scarp, also known as the Darling Range or by the indigenous name, Katta Morda, embraces the hinterland to the east and stretches from Gidgegannup to Serpentine. Katta Morda holds cultural significance to the Whadjuk Noongar people and encompasses National Parks, State Forests and rural farms.

Perth locals commonly refer to this region as ‘Perth Hills’, and where better to head than the hills to escape into nature for a morning or afternoon hike? We recommend setting out in the morning during the warmer months to beat the heat. So, lace your hiking shoes, fill your water bottle, grab a hat and join us as we take you on ten of our favourite Perth Hills trails. 

1.     Rocky Pool (5 km Loop – 120 minutes)

The Rocky Pool Trail is one of the prettiest hikes in the region. This moderate Grade 5 hike meanders through Kalamunda National Park, starting at the end of Spring Road in Kalamunda –30 minutes from Perth CBD. There is usually ample parking on the roadside.

Expect some steep inclines and loose gravel underfoot as you follow the trickling Piesse Brook before arriving at the crystal-clear granite rock pools—an ideal spot to sit and contemplate life or dip your toes.

Rocky Pool | Image Credit: Experience Perth Hills
Rocky Pool | Image Credit: Experience Perth Hills

2.     Helena Valley & Pipehead Trail (9 km Loop – 2.5 hours)

Earn your lunch by taking on the Helena Valley and Pipehead Trail, popular with trail runners and hikers. To avoid parking fines, park at Mt Helena Primary School and walk 2 km to the beginning of the trail, as parking is limited. The walk into the trailhead leads you past softly grazing cows and farmhouses nestled into the countryside and surrounding forest.

A Grade 5 trail, the path is steep at times, but the sweeping views of Helena Valley Reservoir make every step worth it!

3.     John Forrest National Park - Wildflower Walk Trail (4.5 km – 90 minutes)

The only problem with John Forrest National Park is choosing just one hike to take! The good news is that you can choose more than one and still be done in a few hours.

We recommend the Wildflower Walk Trail between August and November. The walk is a Grade 3 trail with some short, steep sections and slippery surfaces. Be sure to pack your camera and snap yourself a bunch of wildflower shots while enjoying colourful displays only the West can deliver.  John Forrest National Park can be very busy on weekends, but parking is plentiful.

4.     Carmel Walk, Pickering Brook (5.1 km Loop – 90 minutes)

Enjoy a change of scenery on the Carmel Walk, a Grade 3 hike situated in the stunning Korung National Park in Pickering Brook, one hour from Perth. The trail starts from the corner of Anembo and Morton Road in Pickering Brook and meanders through native bushland, flourishing farms, and fruit orchards. The ever-changing scenery will keep you on your toes!

Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus
Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus

5.     Bibbulmun Track Camel Farm and Return (6.5 km out & back – 120 minutes)

Got the hump? Take on the Bibbulmun Track Camel Farm hike, an easy Grade 2 trail that starts on Paull’s Valley Road, Hackett’s Gully - 40 minutes from Perth CBD. Park at the old camel farm and follow the Bibbulmun Track, where you will be treated to views of the gorgeous Helena Valley. 

6.     Bickley Reservoir Trail (3.2 km out & back - 60 minutes)

Are you an early bird? Bickley Reservoir Trail is a Grade 4 hike that commences at Hardinge Rd carpark, Wattle Grove, 25 minutes east of Perth. The trail features some steep climbs and descents, but it’s well worth the effort. Views of the city and the Bickley Reservoir are the reward for your hard work. Bird watchers will love this trail.

Bickley Reservoir Trail
Bickley Reservoir Trail

7.     Old Barrington Quarry & Sixty Foot Falls (3.1 km out & back – 60 minutes)

Reach for the sky and visit Sixty Foot Falls in Ellis Brook Valley Reserve in Banyowla Regional Park, at the end of Rushton Road, Martin - 1 hour from Perth. This short but rewarding hike is a Grade 4 trail with steep inclines and descents. Once you reach the top, the views are astounding. The waterfall may be flowing in wetter months. On your way out, drop in to wonder at the depths of the water-filled but disused Barrington Quarry. This area is popular with rock climbers.

8.     Perth Hills Discovery Centre to Golden View Lookout (12.4 km out & back – 4 hours)

Burn off some energy and head to Perth Hills Discovery Centre in Beelu National Park. The Discovery Centre is the site of many school camps. Entry to the Beelu National Park is free. The walk is a Grade 2 hike following the Bibbulmun Track to Golden View Lookout, where you can see the wide expanse of Mundaring Weir before returning. A perfect family hike!

Golden View Lookout
Golden View Lookout

9.     Lesmurdie Falls Walk (2km out & back – 60 minutes)

Feel like chasing waterfalls? Lesmurdie Falls is situated in the Mundy Regional Park and is one of many beautiful waterfalls you can chase on the Darling Scarp. The hike starts in the Lesmurdie Falls carpark, 30 minutes from Perth CBD. It is a Grade 3 hike with sweeping views of the city. Take your camera!

10.   Roley Pools Heritage Walk Trails, Roleystone (2 km out & back – 60 minutes)

Fancy an educational wander? Roley Pools Heritage Walk Trails on Soldiers Road in Roleystone follow the Canning River for about 2 kilometres, 45 minutes from Perth CBD. There are four trails to choose from - scan the QR codes to learn about the Noongar culture and land care.

Time for lunch

Did somebody say lunch? Once you have finished your hike (or hikes), head to one of the many cafés or restaurants in the area to grab a coffee or a bite. Or treat yourself to something more substantial, such as a wine and cider tour.  In fact, there is so much to do in the Perth Hills - you may not want to leave!

Parkerville Tavern
Parkerville Tavern

Hiking Hints:

  • Always carry water – while the crystal brooks and waterfalls may look delicious, we don’t recommend drinking from them.
  • Wear appropriate clothing – strong shoes and SunSmart clothing.
  • Tell someone where you are going and download maps
  • Carry basic first aid
  • If you see a snake, stop and give it space to move away
  • Never leave valuables in your car
  • Dispose of rubbish appropriately and take only photos of native plants and flowers.