To get an appreciation of West Australia’s unique flora and fauna take a walk around the Western Australian Botanic Garden which has a display of over 3000 unique species of plants. Over half of these plants are not found anywhere else in the world. The garden beds represent each geographic region of West Australia, including the Pilbara, Southwest, Rottnest and the Kimberley.
One of the highlights is the 750 year old Boab Tree “Gija Jumulu’. The boab had to be removed from its original home in the Kimberleys to make room for roadworks and was gifted to all West Australians by the Gija People, the traditional landowners in the east Kimberleys.
The boab was transported 3200km to its new home in Kings Park in 2008, which involved a massive logistics operation. This included raising power lines, pruning trees and redirecting traffic to ensure that the massive boab could pass through Perth’s narrow streets.
Take a Walk, Ride a Bike or go for a Jog
The best way to enjoy Kings Park is to walk, jog or bike along the many paths and bushtracks that are located throughout the park. Maps and brochures can be collected from the Visitors Centre.
You can join a free-guided tour run by the lovely volunteers of Kings Park. Tours leave daily at 10am and 12pm with an additional tour at 2pm between July to October. The tours cover various aspects of the park such as the Botanic Garden, War memorial and Monuments and Wilderness and Wildflowers. The walks start at the opposite of Aspects Gallery Shop on Fraser Avenue.
If you prefer to go it alone, follow one of many self-guided walks which are on offer in Kings Park. The Bushland Nature Trail and the Law Walk can both be accessed near the War Memorial Precinct take in some of Perth’s best views and give valuable insight into Australia’s unique biodiversity. You’ll come across plenty of native birds and West Australia’s famed Tuart, Marri and Jarrah trees.
Get a Bird’s Eye View
One of the most popular attractions in Kings Park is the Lotterywest Federation Walk. The 620 metre long walkway includes an elevated bridge. You’ll get amazing views of West Australia’s native trees including the Jarrah, Tingle and Marri Trees as well as get panoramic views of the Swan and Canning Rivers. The walk gives insight of the significance of the site to the traditional Noongar people and evokes the journey of the dreamtime serpent, the Wagyl who is said to have emerged at the foot of Mt Eliza to create the beautiful Swan River.
Remember Australia’s Soldiers
One of the most distinct features of Kings Park are the many statues and memorials that are found throughout the park.
You’ll find memorials commemorating the two world wars, Vietnam War as well as individual battles such as Borneo and Malay. Most recently, a memorial was erected for the victims of the Bali bombings in 2002. Also keep an eye out for the statue of John Forest, West Australia’s first Premier and a statue of Queen Victoria.
The State War Memorial Precinct along Fraser Avenue, comprises the Cenotaph, Court of Contemplation, Flame of Remembrance and Pool of Reflection and is a moving tribute to Australia’s fallen soldiers. The Flame of Remembrance was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II on 1 April 2000 and burns continuously, symbolising the promise of all Western Australians: “We will remember them”.
The names of Australians fallen soldiers are inscribed on the walls inside the undercroft and on the bronze walls on the outside.
Don’t miss the Whispering Wall, located above the burning flame memorial. Kids love whispering into the wall, which is audible to another person sitting at the other end.
The trees lining the Honour Avenues throughout Kings Park serve as a dedication to individual Service personnel who gave their lives while serving their countries in time of war. At the base of each tree along these avenues, is a plaque inscribed with the name of the deceased, age, date and manner of death and who dedicated the plaque.
Discover Indigenous Culture
Kings Park is rich with Indigenous Culture and has been a place of worship to the local Widuk people for thousands of years. Rated one of the best experiences in Perth, the Indigenous Heritage Tour explores the Indigenous history of the area and the connection with native plants and the landscape. The tours are run by Aboriginal Guides and run Monday to Friday at 1.30 and 3.30pm.
You can also follow the Boodja Gnarning Walk which explains the connection between the Noongar people and Kings Park. The walk starts at the entry of the Botanic Garden. Also be sure to stop at the Aboriginal Art Gallery. This is located on Fraser Avenue underneath the Kaarta Garup Lookout.
Enjoy the best Playgrounds and Picnic Spots
Kings Park has some of the best Childrens’ play areas in Perth. One of the most popular is Synergy Parkland, which includes vast lawns, a pond, Zamia Cafe and an excellent playground. Here kids can climb a giant wooden crocodile, play on the island fort or get wet under the water-misting forest. You can take a 1.3km walk along the Broadwalk to the DNA Tower, which has excellent views of Perth stretching all the way to the Indian Ocean on a clear day.
The Lotterywest Family Area, located on near Kings Park Road, is one of the most popular spots with families. The area includes a playground suited to smaller children. You’ll also find the Stickybeak Café, a large oval and extensive picnic areas with gazebos.
Saw Avenue Picnic Area and Playground near Subiaco Road has recently undergone a fantastic upgrade and now includes a fort, climbing logs, tunnel as well as picnic and barbeque areas.
One of the best spots in Perth for kids is the Rio Tinto Naturescape. This area was designed to keep as much of the natural bush elements as possible and allow children to find their own fun by exploring, climbing rocks, crossing creeks, building cubby houses and getting grubby.
What’s your favourite thing about Kings Park?