If you haven’t visited the Perth Hills before, start at the delightful, historic towns of Mundaring and Kalamunda.
This is where you can begin to explore the rich heritage of the region, and discover the varied Perth Hills attractions and activities so that you can make the most of your day trip to the hills.
Mundaring is the site of picturesque Mundaring Weir and No 1 Pump Station, a Perth Hills scenic lookout where you can discover the amazing story of one of the world’s longest freshwater pipelines. Keen explorers can follow the Golden Pipeline Heritage Trail or walk the Kep Track from Mundaring.
Drop into Mundaring Visitor Centre for maps and information on attractions and places of interest in the Perth Hills.
Kalamunda is another great place to start your exploration of the Perth Hills, or to stop for lunch and a stroll around the heritage streets and art galleries. Kalamunda also marks the start of the famous 1000km Bibbulmun Track.
To help you design the perfect day in the ranges, here are some of the key Perth Hills attractions that bring visitors back time and time again.
Arts, Crafts & Produce
Tap into the creative community and food producers of the Perth Hills by meandering through arts centres and markets to browse uniquely West Australian gifts and produce.
Mundaring Arts Centre is a showcase for local and statewide artists and craftspeople, where visitors are invited to wander through the gallery and browse the gift shop. From here, head to Mundaring Weir Gallery for more, locally produced arts, crafts and specialist foods, including woodwork, hand-dyed silk, handmade candles, honey, ceramics and toys.
The streets of Kalamunda house a cluster of galleries and interesting sights, including Australia’s largest community-built stained glass window in the town library, as well as some of the best Perth Hills markets for arts, crafts and local produce.
Plan your visit for the first Saturday in the month to catch Kalamunda Markets, where you’ll find an array of jewellery, ceramics, pottery, paintings and handicrafts, along with locally produced fruit and preserves. The Kalamunda Farmers Market, running every Sunday morning, is a great outlet for local farmers, growers and producers to sell their wares.
Read on for more information: Perth Hills markets.
Within the Kalamunda Cultural Precinct is the Zig Zag Cultural Centre and Kalamunda History Village. Drop into the Zig Zag Gallery to explore its ever-changing and diverse exhibitions showcasing the work of both established and emerging artists. You’ll also find the Perth Hills Visitor Centre here - an excellent place to discover more about the region’s history, culture and places of interest in the Perth Hills.
Walks & Views
Locals will tell you that one of the best things to do in the Perth Hills is simply walk! Kalamunda marks the start of the Bibbulmun Track, one of the world’s longest walk trails, meandering almost 1000km to Albany on the south coast. But you can walk just a few kilometres to get a taste of the countryside that characterises the first leg of the trail. To find out more about this and other trails through stunning national parks, visit this link: Perth Hills Walking Trails
To access some of the most spectacular Perth Hills scenic lookouts by car, follow the Zig Zag Drive through Gooseberry Hill National Park. The road takes you through the prettiest countryside and rewards you with views sweeping right across the rolling hills to the Indian Ocean in the distance.
In a valley at the southern end of the Perth Hills region is Araluen Botanic Park - an absolute must for anyone who loves being immersed in bushland and gardens. Indulge in a vast variety of native and exotic plants, water features and trees, beautifully landscaped with large grassy areas for picnicking. In winter, you can warm yourself by open log fires at the log cabin tea rooms. For information on other Perth Hills attractions near to Araluen, visit the Perth Hills Armadale Visitor Centre.
For animal lovers, two of the best things to do in the Perth Hills are within a short drive of Araluen. Cohunu Koala Park is a 14 hectare park where animals roam free, a great opportunity to see Australian animals in a natural environment. Stroll around the tracks, spot the emus, hand feed the kangaroos and wallabies, cuddle a koala, and meet the talking parrots. The Armadale Reptile & Wildlife Centre is a fascinating collection of native reptiles and other wild animals. Children are sure to love the snakes, lizards, turtles, frogs, bats and parrots.
Back in Kalamunda and nearby Lesmurdie are more animal experiences the whole family will enjoy. At Calamunnda Camel Farm, you can explore the bush on the back of a camel, meeting native and farm animals along the way. At Lesmurdie, Kanyana Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre offers daytime and nocturnal tours where you can see native animals and learn about the Centre’s work in rescuing orphaned creatures.
On the road to Northam is another rescue centre, Karakamia Sanctuary at Chidlow. Book ahead to join a two-hour guided walk at dusk and spot nocturnal native animals. The Sanctuary works to save threatened species and has even reintroduced some rare mammals.
Wine & Cider
Finish off your perfect day by sampling the region’s wines or ciders. The boutique vineyards with welcoming cellar doors, and apple orchards offering a range of tasty ciders, are among the most charming Perth Hills attractions.
Trails around the hills include the Bickley and Carmel Valley Wine Trail, Bickley Valley Wine and Cider Trail and the Chittering Valley Wine Trail. Many have excellent restaurants and delightful cafes in rural settings that are guaranteed to relax even the most restless of souls.
One such is Fairbrossen Estaste in the Bickley Valley, which combines fresh home-made food with handcrafted wines and vineyard views.
Millbrook Winery in Jarrahdale is a must, situated in a stunning setting within Chestnut Farm, surrounded by jarrah forest perched on the banks of the Serpentine River. Enjoy a glass of wine and snack on the deck or visit their fine dining restaurant. In spring and summer you can purchase a gourmet picnic to savour in the grounds.
If cider is more to your taste, head to CORE Cider House, where you’ll find a whole array of delicious flavours and hearty food to devour while gazing over the orchards. The family will love their Apple Orchard Tours on the Apple Express tractor! This fun educational experience gives an insight into fruit growing and cider making, with a peek into the cidery and a guided tasting - cider for the grownups and fresh apple juice for the kids.