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What do you do when you want an outdoor adventure but you’re not in the mood to tackle a lengthy hike?  You choose a short walk trail, of course!

A short walk gives you your nature fix without taking up the entire day, and if you choose the right one, you’ll be treated to the same quality scenery you’d get on a longer hike. Whether you’re up north, down south or close to the city, there are plenty of short walk trails for all ages and skill levels to enjoy. To get you inspired, here is our list of top short walks from across WA. If you have a favourite walk of your own, let us know!

 

1.  Law Walk, King’s Park

Distance: 3.7km loop
Difficulty: Grade 2
Time: 1 hour

Driving distance from Perth: 5 minutes


If you ever need a reminder why Perth is beautiful place to live, head straight to the Law Walk in Kings Park. This 3.7km trail takes you through the park’s botanical gardens to offer unbeatable views of the Swan River, all the way from Elizabeth Quay to Matilda Bay. The first half of this trail is paved and has a slight uphill to get the heart pumping, while the return walk is a sandy track through a dense parrot bush forest. To finish up, the Law Walk trail joins the elevated glass Lotterywest Federation Walkway, which means you can add some pretty treetops to the already blissful river views.

Start or finish the Law Walk on this spectacular walkway

Photo by Pelusey Photography

2. Whistlepipe Gully, Mundy NP

Distance: 3.5km loop
Difficulty: Grade 3
Time: 1 hour

Driving distance from Perth: 25kms (35 minutes) east.

Whistlepipe Gully Walk is a hidden gem in the Perth hills. The trail starts at the end of a residential street; however what follows is far from suburban. The 3.5km loop follows Whistlepipe Creek, taking you past granite outcrops and rock pools to reach an unexpected feature - a waterfall that cascades over the ruins of an old house. Designed by celebrated architect Wallace Greenham, this Japanese-style house was built in the 1960s, but today all that remains is the concrete foundations of what would have been a remarkable home. Our tip is to visit during winter and spring when the creek is flowing and the hillsides are covered in wildflowers.

The Whistlepipe Gully trail follows the creek and has plenty of picnic spots along the way

Photo by Bree Smolinski

3. Wetlands Walk Trail, Yanchep NP

Distance: 2km loop
Difficulty: Grade 1
Time: up to 1 hour

Driving distance from Perth: 55km (45 mins) north.


This beautiful and easy walk leads you around Loch McNess, a wetland lake in the heart of Yanchep National Park.  Flat and well sign posted, nature lovers of all skill levels will enjoy exploring this leafy trail that is home to an abundance of bird life. The Wetlands Walk will only take you an hour or so, but you could easily spend a whole day at the national park. Have a BBQ or picnic on the rolling green lawns, see kangaroos and koalas, enjoy a drink at the inn, or checkout the other short walks like the family friendly, Dwerta Mia Walk or the pretty Woodlands Walk Trail.

A great day out - Loch McNess is surrounded by parklands and trails for all ages

Photo by Ivan Herman , http://www.ivan-herman.net/Photos/PerthAndArea/target38.html

 

4. Loop Walk, Kalbarri NP

Distance: 8km loop
Difficulty: Grade 4
Time: Half a day

Driving distance from Perth:  590km (7.5 hours) north. (23km, 34 minutes,from Kalbarri)


At 8km long, the Loop Walk is the lengthiest of our ‘short walks’, but believe us, it’s well worth the few extra hours on foot. Following the edge of a cliff top, the Loop Walk shows off some of Kalbarri’s best natural scenery, including the iconic Nature’s Window, a rock formation that offers a beautiful ‘framed’ view of the Murchinson Valley. The trail leads down into the gorge to the riverbank where you’ll find river gums, sandy beaches and the possibility of a swim. The return climb to the top is challenging but the magnificent red and pink cliffs on the way up are sure to keep you pleasantly distracted.  For a shorter option try the 2.6km Z Bend River Trail.

The iconic Natures Window lookout is only 800 metres return to the car if you're not up to a longer walk!

Photo by Department of Parks and Wildlife


5. Gorge Rim Walk, Karijini NP

Distance: 2km return
Difficulty: Grade 3
Time: 1.5 hours

Driving distance from Perth: 1500km (16 hours) north. (105km from Tom Price)  


If there is a prize for having the most natural beauty in short space, the Gorge Rim Walk would be the winner. Following the rim of Dales Gorge, this 2km walk offers views of some of Karajini’s most spectacular scenery, including the sublime Circular Pool and Fortescue Falls. If you’re feeling adventurous you can climb down a steep trail into the gorge for a swim in the crystal blues waters of Circular Pool, or you can walk a little further to the tranquil Fern Pool, another beautiful waterhole. Other features of the Gorge Rim Walk trail include ochre grinding holes and plenty of wildlife, such as birds, fish, bats, kangaroos and dingoes.

The stunning scenery in WA's north is a stark contrast to the south of the State

Photo by Pelusey Photography

6. Cathedral Gorge, Purnululu NP

Distance: 4km return
Difficulty: Grade 2
Time: 1.5 hours

Driving distance from Perth: 3200km (30 hours) north. (230km, 3 hours, south of Kununurra)

The Cathedral Gorge walk has two claims to fame: it’s one of our favourite short walks and it’s located within a UNESCO world heritage site – the Bungle Bungle Ranges. This 4km walk winds through these beehive-like rock formations to lead you to the spectacular natural amphitheatre of Cathedral Gorge. The acoustics inside are so incredible that the renowned indigenous musician Bart Willoughby has performed and recorded here! But it’s not just your ears that are in for a treat, the rich red rocks and the gorge’s beautiful natural pool provide a visual feast that will have you reaching for your camera.

Discover this natural ampitheatre in the spectacular Bungle Bungles

Photo by Graeme Churchard, https://www.flickr.com/photos/graeme/10673577505


7. Yardie Creek, Cape Range NP

Distance: 2km return
Difficulty: Grade 3
Time: 1 hour

Driving distance from Perth: 1300km (16.5 hours) north. (90km, 1 hour, from Exmouth)

Even though there are already several gorge walks on this list, the Yardie Creek Walk Trail is too beautiful to leave out. An hour’s drive from Exmouth, this 2km trail overlooks the ancient Yardie Creek Gorge. Along with amazing views of multi-coloured cliff faces and Ningaloo Reef, this trail gives you the opportunity to see a wonderful array of birds and wildlife, including the rare black-footed wallaby.  The trail starts at river level but increases in difficulty as you climb the range, but those spectacular views make it all worthwhile.

Walkers admire the views from the top whilst others enjoy the one-hour boat cruise

Photo by Tourism WA

 

8.  Beedelup Falls Loop, Beedelup NP

Distance: 4.5km loop
Difficulty: Grade 3
Time: up to 2 hours

Driving distance from Perth: 336km(4 hours) south. (25km, 30 minutes from Pemberton)

Close to Pemberton, the Beedelup Falls Loop is a chance to immerse yourself in the wonder of the Karri forest. This 4.5km trail leads you through the forest via Karri Valley Resort and the Walk-Through-Tree, crossing paths with the Bibbulmun Track along the way. If you want to head straight to the falls, you can follow the signs from the carpark or simply listen out for the gentle roar of the water. Once you find Beedelup Falls, you can enjoy great views from the timber boardwalks or the fantastic swinging suspension bridge. While on the trail, don’t forget to pause and listen to the forest – the mix of birds, frogs and flowing river truly is a magical sound. 

The cool, misty understorey of the towering karris houses an enchanting world of mosses and ferns complete with its own waterfall.  Photo by David Meehan, Department of Parks and Wildlife

9.  Mount Frankland Summit Trail, Walpole

Distance: 1.2km return
Difficulty: Grade 4
Time: 2 hours (to enjoy the views!)

Driving distance from Perth: . 400km (4 hours) south. (57km, 50 minutes, from Walpole)


The Summit Trail is a short and scenic climb to the domed top of Mount Frankland. While this trail is only 600m long, you’ll still need a reasonable level of fitness as it includes over 300 steep steps and a ladder climb. However, once you’ve reached the top, you’ll be treated to fantastic views of the karri forest, the Frankland River, and on a clear day, Mt Roe in the north, the Porongorup and Stirling Ranges in the east and the Southern Ocean to the south. If your legs aren’t too tired on the walk down, take the trail to Soho Lookout and continue on the Caldyanup Trail which will take you to one of the best granite and karri areas in the south west.

Choose a clear day and you'll enjoy expansive views to the Porongorup and Stirling Ranges.

Photo by Pelusey Photography.

10.  Woylie Walk, Dryandra

Distance: 5.5km loop
Difficulty: Grade 2
Time: 1.5 hours

Driving distance from Perth: 192km (2 hours) south-east


Named after the critically endangered small marsupial, the Woylie Walk is a chance to encounter some of WA’s most rare and endangered species. Located in the conservation area of Dryandra Woodland, this easy 5.5km loop meanders through beautiful jarrah, wandoo and sheoak woodlands. Along the way, you’re bound to spot the tell-tale diggings of woylies and echidnas, and you might even catch a glimpse of the elusive numbat.  The Woylie Walk is just one of the many walks in the biodiverse Dryandra woodlands – for a different experience, check out the culturally rich Ochre Trail or grab your torch and see if you can spot some nocturnal wildlife on the Wandoo Night Walk.   

 

Less than two hours from Perth, Dryandra Woodland is one of the prime places in WA for viewing native wildlife.

If you walk any of these trails please rate and review them on trailswa.com.au.  You can also download the App here.  iPhone only at the moment but Android version is in the pipeline.

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Share your experiences and inspire others to discover WA's great trails!

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