About John Forrest National Park
Renowned for its scenic landscapes, John Forrest National Park is seated 24 kilometers east of Perth in Darling Scarp. Got recognized as a National Park in the year 1990, it is the first national park established in Western Australia. A great site for conservation and recreation of nature, the park is the perfect place to witness the Australian treasury of its flora and fauna and this is one of the best Perth sightseeing places.
Apart from housing a significant population of kangaroos, you expect possums, bandicoots, reptiles, frogs and over 90 species of birds flocking the beautiful gardens. Besides the exotic fauna, you can witness the tropical flora which includes several species like hakeas, grevilleas, dryandras, myrtles, sundews, trigger plants, acacias, and blue lechenaultia.
Waterfalls like the Hovea Falls and National Park falls makes the national park even more charming as it already is. Many nature walking trails like wildflower walk, John Forrest bridle trail, Glen Brooke walk, and others are some of the best to feel the true essence of nature. Some of these trails are looping in nature and vary in difficulty level as per the terrain level and length of each.
A picnic area nestled amidst the national park would be seen bustling with people interacting with friendly kangaroos. Still holding the magic of luring the heart of its overlookers, the national park is also a great place to plan a picnic where you could enjoy a meal and some drinks in the main picnic area.
How to Reach John Forrest National Park
The distance between the Perth airport and the John Forrest National Park varies through three routes that lead to this destination.
- The first route offers resides a distance of 19.5 kilometers and goes through the National Highway 94. It would take one around 22 minutes to reach the park via this route.
- The second route is via Helena Valley Rd and National Highway 94 that covers a distance of 20.9 kilometers. The time consumed via this route is around 26 minutes.
- The third route leading to the John Forrest National Park via Perth airport is through Roe Hwy/State Route 3 and offers a distance of 28.1 kilometers. It can take up to 26 minutes to reach the park via this route.
As for the modes of transportation, one can hire a taxi or a town car. It is the fastest mode to reach your destination but is a bit pricey. The cheapest option available is to self-drive to the national park. Through all modes, it would take up to 38 minutes for one to reach the John Forrest National Park from the Perth Airport.
Best Time to Visit John Forrest National Park
The best time to explore the John Forrest National Park is during the spring months of Perth i.e. September to November. Nestled in Perth, this place experiences aglow days and great weather to soak in the beauty of nature. Few showers of rainfall amid the sunny and warm days are a relieving factor here. The blooming wildflowers during this time are also a treat to the eyes in the forest.
Apart from this, the summer and spring months are also very welcoming at this nature’s den. Also visiting in the midst of December and February will offer a bad experience as one has to face scorching heat during this time. These months are the warmest among all in Western Australia. It is the summertime at Perth and the temperatures can reach high enough to not let you go out and enjoy your vacation.
What Not to Miss at John Forrest National Park
There are a number of places and activities one can indulge in during their trip to the John Forrest National Park for making out most from this outing.
1. Railway Reserve Heritage Trail: Extended up to a length of 41 kilometers, this loop trail traces the old eastern railway that was previously linked Fremantle to York in the late 1880s. This passage is an adventure sport for the cyclists and walkers. The trail is full of the remains of wooden trestle bridges, national park station and the iconic views of the Swan View Tunnel.
This location also offers great spots for capturing the perfect picture for your social media posts.
2. National Park Falls: From the top of this stunning 700-meter waterfall, one can capture great views of the Jane Brook and the vegetation spread all over. The waterfall nestles just a kilometer away from the main picnic area. One can listen to the gushing sound of water rustling over the large boulders in its path. It can be reached if one proceeds through the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail.
3. Swan View Tunnel: This tunnel was constructed by West Australia’s Engineer in chief named C.Y.O’ Connor. This 340-meter long tunnel is a major attraction at the John Forrest National Park. It opened in 1896. It was west Australia’s only true tunnel until the sinking of Perth’s railway in 2007.
It is a myth here that this tunnel is haunted by the men who lost their lives during its construction. It’s a lot darker inside so do carry torches or other lights so you could walk cautiously through it and avoid any puddles. From the main picnic area, this tunnel is at a distance of 5 kilometers. This tunnel is not a loop so once you reach the end of the tunnel, return to reach the picnic area.
4. Hovea Falls: On an easy walk of a distance of 2 kilometers, it is a seasonal fall. One can sight waters here from September to November. The temperature of the water is freezing but it’s an adventure in itself to take a dip in it.
Places to Visit near John Forrest National Park
The John Forrest National Park is abode to an abundant amount of places to explore. Check out the most visited places mentioned below for the utmost fun and adventure at this location.
1. Greenmount National Park: Spread across the green mount hills in Western Australia, the path in this national park is mostly shaded by the trees aligned along with it. It offers one an insight into Australia’s bushland and a perfect place for adventure lovers who hold the enthusiasm of hiking, biking, trekking, and others. The trails here are of the small walk and many vantage points overlook the residential areas located close by.
2. Darlington Estate Winery: Apart from being a most rustic wedding venue, the breathtaking views of this 40-acre vineyard is a beauty in itself. The scenic views of the winery lure the photographers to this place. One can host weddings, gatherings and other occasions here to celebrate amidst nature’s beauty.
3. The Perth Mint: This is a grand heritage built with sealed vaults that are located in Perth. Its golden past that includes legends of gold mining will leave you awestruck. There’s also a scale present inside this building that helps one know their value of weight in gold. The collection of gold coins some of which date back to 2000 years are worth sighting. It also resides in a shop that sells gold items. One can also buy souvenirs from here and dine at the café on its premises.
4. The Bell Tower: This place is one of the most unique things one can locate in Perth. Do visit this place to get an insight into the history of bells, the ancient art of bell ringing and the towers. There are almost 18 bells in this tower out of which 12 came as a Bicentenary gift to the people of Western Australia from London's St.Martin-in-the-Fields church in Trafalgar Square in 1988.
Other Essential Information About John Forrest National Park
Location: Input the address Park Rd, Hovea WA 6056, Australia into your search bar and you are good to reach the John Forrest National Park Perth.
Timings: The John Forrest National Park Perth is open 24 hours.
Entry fee: The entry fee varies for distinct vehicles. For a private vehicle, the entry fee is $13. For a motorcycle, the entry ticket costs $7. If traveling with a driver having a valid concession card, then the entry fee is $7. These tickets can be purchased online and at the spot too and are valid for a single day.
Distance from Perth Airport: The distance of John Forrest National Park is 20 kilometers. The distance may vary depending on distinct routes.
History of John Forrest National Park
The John Forrest National Park was built on the eastern railway in the 1890s. This commute was active until the year 1966 and got closed after that. The reason behind shutting down this railway line was the opening of the Avon Valley route.
The alignment through the park and swan view tunnel was renowned as the national park railway line. During the times of great depression that occurred in the year 1930s, some features were built as a part of relief employment near the main park buildings.
This railway excursion was very popular when the railway line was actively working in the 1890s to the 1960s. As this railway line became inactive in the John Forrest National Park, the trails and formation were removed from here. Afterward, it got titled as the railway reserves heritage trail. It is seated in the Mundaring Shire Council.
John Forrest National Park Walks and Bike Trails
The walking trails here are the best to test adventure in a person. Check out the best bike and walking trails present in the John Forrest National Park mentioned below.
1. The Glen Brook Trail: A beautiful walk of 2.2 kilometers that starts and finishes at the picnic area inside the John Forrest National Park. One can sight the stone bridge below which the Brooke fills with water during the rain. The narrow paths of this trail are aligned with lush greenery on both sides. This trail is perfect for a walk before you leave the forest and consumes less than an hour of your exploration.
2. The John Forrest National Park Heritage Trail: For a perfect weekend escape, head on this trail to get an insight about the rich history of railway line traced here. It is a part of the railway reserve heritage trail. You can also cover the trail with cycles and bikes. The breathtaking views sighted here are worth capturing in the lens.
3. The Eagle View Walk Trail: A loop trail of 15 kilometers, Eagle View Walk tests one’s fitness and adventure levels in its exploration. The trail is mostly clear and well maintained so one can also proceed for adventure on this trail with their bikes and cycles. One can keep caution of the damaged path near Jane Brook. Follow the signs designated to on this trail to reach back safely to the picnic area as you complete the exploration of this trail. It would take up to 4 to 5 hours for one to cover the eagle view trail. This trail offers the most exquisite aura and views in mid-winter and early spring months of Perth.
4. The Glen Brook Dam Walk Trail: This trail offers a distance of 2.4 kilometers that is of moderate difficulty levels. This trail traces its path through the forest around the dam. Carry your hat and sunscreen and stretch your legs on this waterside trail. The whole trail is marked with signs in blue and would take less than an hour to reach back to the main picnic area.
John Forrest National Park Tunnel
The John Forrest National Park Tunnel was previously an active railway tunnel. It nestles on the southern part of the Jane Brooke valley on the edge of the darling scarp. Presently it has been opened to visitors as a part of the John Forrest heritage trail. The tunnel is 262 meters in length. Its construction began in the year 1894 and was opened on 22 February 1896.
Many incidents took place here due to the dimensions in which this tunnel was constructed. The tunnel has a small diameter and steep gradient that often caused smoke accumulation inside the tunnel. Throughout the tunnel’s active life, cases of near asphyxiation of train crews were recorded. But the worst of all took on 5 November 1942.
Both the firemen and driver were asphyxiated by carbon monoxide. The driver died on the train while the train was still moving through the tunnel. Apart from this many serious accidents took place on this trail.
It is a myth about the tunnel that the people who lost their lives in this tunnel during its construction haunt it. This railway trail got inactive a few decades and has been reopened now as a walking trail in the John Forrest National Park.
Things to Know Before You Go John Forrest National Park
Get acquainted with the necessary information about the John Forrest National Park to have fun on your trip as planned. These things will surely help you prepare for this outing in the woods.
- Check out the alerts and warnings mentioned on the alerts menu of the official website of the park to be prepared in advance.
- If any urgent emergency assistance is required, one can call on Australia’s primary emergency services number triple zero (000).
- You can also carry a satellite phone or a personal locator beacon (PLB) for the exploration of this park more cautiously.
- Stay on the existing tracks to prevent yourself from being lost inside the park.
- Most water resources in the natural park are not treated. Do not consume any from those as you may fall ill.
- Mobile phones can’t be relied on for safety or in an emergency condition. Know from the authorities in brief on how you can contact them in case of any mishappening.
- No camping is permitted on the premises of the John Forrest National Park.
- The only dining option available at this park is the tavern. It serves all kinds of drinks like tea, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Reasonable options for lunch and dinner are also available here.
Tips before Visiting John Forrest National Park
Follow the below-mentioned tips before visiting the John Forrest National Park. These would help you prepare for any situation you might face at the park with full preparation.
- Get your equipment checked and carry essential supplies like first aid, extra fuel, matches, food, water and anything else you feel necessary as per your requirement.
- In case your vehicle gets stuck or broke in between the park, don’t get out of your car. Stay inside the car and contact the national park emergency number.
- Plan your activities and be prepared for any kind of unexpected changes in weather like wild wet winters, scorching summer days and freezing spring nights.
- Don’t proceed on an isolated track that has not been designated by the national park authorities. It can be dangerous for you.
- Carry your drinking water with an approximate of 3 to 4 liters of water for a person per day.