#OurWAPark of the week: John Forrest National Park

Photo: Explore Parks

John Forrest National Park is one of Australia’s oldest conservation areas and Western Australia’s first national park.

Set among Jarrah and Marri Trees, most of John Forrest National Park remains in its natural state and is a top spot for walks and picnics. This park has long been favoured as a site for a day-trip from Perth, with its variety of plant communities, wildlife, picnic areas, historic tunnels and walk trails.

The John Forrest National Park was established as an A Class Reserve in 1900 and the park is home to two waterfalls that flow in winter and spring – Hovea and National Park Falls.

Several trails run through various parts of the park, including the Railway Heritage Trail, which follows the alignment of the old railway line to York. Visitors can walk through the only historical railway tunnel in WA – the Swan View Tunnel. The Eagle View Walk Trail is a 15km bushwalking circuit that leads to some of the park’s less explored areas.

There are outstanding views from the lookout point on the scenic drive and a wide variety of attractions and facilities that make it a popular venue for families and groups.

How to get there:

  • About 40 mins by car from Perth city centre on the Great Eastern Highway.

What you may not know about the park:

  • The park has 10 species of native mammal (one declared rare), and 91 species of bird, 23 species of reptiles and 10 species of frogs so there will be plenty of opportunities to spot Native animals in this habitat.
  • Home to over 500 different species of wildflowers. These can be seen in spring and include Banksias, Grevilleas, Blue Lechenaultia and Kangaroo Paws.
  • Named after WA’s inaugural premier and explorer Sir John Forrest.
  • Swan View Tunnel is the oldest railway tunnel in West Australian’s history
  • The 340-metre long Swan View Tunnel was built in 1893 by West Australia’s Engineer-in-Chief, C.Y O’Connor. Interestingly, until the sinking of the Perth’s railway in 2007, this was West Australia’s only ‘true’ railway tunnel.