John Forrest National Park
Declared in 1900, John Forrest is the oldest national park in Western Australia. Lying at the northern edge of the Hills Forest in the Darling Range Escarpment, the park is not far from Perth and has long been a favourite picnic spot for city dwellers. A drive through the park has vantage points with superb views across Perth and the coastal plain. The vegetation is dominated by jarrah forest, still largely in its natural state, interspersed by granite outcrops fringed by heaths. There is also marri and wandoo woodland, while paperbarks line many of the creeks. In late winter and spring brilliant displays of wildﬂowers include orchids, red and green kangaroo paws, blue leschenaultias, pink myrtles and hoveas. Birdlife is also abundant, with more than 100 species recorded, ranging from western ringnecks and red-capped parrots, to rufous and golden whistlers, western spinebills and New Holland honeyeaters. Mammals are numerous – watch for western grey kangaroos, wallabies, bandicoots and echidnas.
Near the tearooms, the Rocky Pool picnic area features rock gardens, steps, footpaths, swimming areas and quaint picnic huts, which were built by sustenance workers during the 1930s depression. Popular activities include mountain biking, horse riding and bushwalking – trails lead to features such as Hovea Falls and National Park Falls. The Heritage Trail passes waterfalls and leads through the historic Swan View Tunnel, the only railway tunnel ever constructed in Western Australia. The falls and creek usually ﬂow from the beginning of winter to around the end of October, depending on winter rains.
Bush camping only; contact ranger
Location and access
26 km east of Perth via three entrances off Great Eastern Hwy
- DEC Perth Hills (08) 9290 6100
- Park ranger (08) 9295 1955
Perth (08) 9483 1111