Length: 4.3 kilometres (yellow) or 2.1 kilometres (orange) plus optional extension
Estimated Time: <2 hours
Route Type: Loop walk
Free-range: No – Whiteman Park has lots of native creatures that need to be protected
Cardio rating: Negligible – no hill but the sand is a bit unfriendly in parts
Quality of Path: Wide and well-maintained
Navigation: Very straightforward
Starting Point: Whiteman Park – in front of the Village Junction Station, car park 1.
Whiteman Park is one of those places that I avoided for the first five years that we lived in Perth. In my mind, I thought that it was largely the Wildlife Park with a few picnic tables around the outside. Our first encounter with the park was to visit the small dog park. While excited that more places are starting to cater for small dogs, we found that the big dogs ended up with all of the cool agility equipment. It wasn’t until we visited the Visitor Centre that we got a full appreciation for all of the great things going on. Kudos for conversation activities happening in such close proximity to Perth. I was sold when they mentioned that there are over 400 plant species identified within the Park, including declared rare flora. They have a great guide to flora in the park that I encourage you popping into the Visitor Centre to pick up.
For me, the highlight of Whiteman Park so far is the Wunanga Bush Trail. We recently did this walk with the Young Perth Hikers and had a great turn-out of puppers ready for adventure. ‘Wunanga’ means “quiet” or “peaceful” in the local Aboriginal language. This trail takes you through the beautiful landscapes of banksia woodland and ephemeral wetlands which are home to over 600 species of flora and fauna. It doesn’t seem possible that such an oasis would exist but once you pass the train station the trail opens out onto a dam frequented by an interesting array of water birds. The usual suspects, including black cockatoos, are also common on the trail. The trail itself is impossible to miss as you are following the letters of the alphabet, highlighting points of interest marked in the track notes. The track had lots of interesting smells to keep the dogs interested. Zena particularly enjoyed the fallen logs that she could clamber over.
We added an additional loop to the end of the walk to make it to longer – approx 2-3kms. We took a detour to the cafe in Whiteman Village for some much needed coffee before following following the road running alongside the children’s forest to Mussell Pool before looping back on the walking path back to Village Junction Station. Mussell Pool is a stone’s throw from the dog park so you could easily stop in for a few laps of either the small dog or big dog agility courses if you dog needs more exercise to tire them out! The Park map outlines a number of different options that you could explore, particularly on the Caversham Wildlife Park side. This side of the park is more heavily wooded and it follows a dirt path rather than paved.