Sunday, 18 December 2016

Adventure 20 - The one where I we explored The Interior

Where: Bold Park

When: December 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby, Velcro Dog and BOB (to be clear, BOB is not a person, he/it is a running pram)

“Are they following us?”

I was taking a little breather after I had turned off the main trail in Bold Park when the couple who I had just passed turned off as well. To be honest, I felt a little annoyed. As much as I like Bold Park, first thing on a Sunday morning it gets a little busy and I was hoping to get some trail time to myself today. Bold Park is only 10 minutes from our home so it is one of the more frequent places I visit for a bit of wilderness. I tend to follow the exterior loop, the Zamia Trail, and as a result I don’t really know any of the interior trails. Today I decided that it was about time I got to know them as well.

The Zamia Trail is packed lime stone, which is great for running and just about acceptable for a running with a stroller like BOB (both my boys seem to love a little bumpy ride sometimes). After my first turn on the main drag, the trail was also packed lime stone. However, after the next turn off the trail slowly turned to sand and then a hill appeared. I would have struggled running up that on my own but with a stroller there was no chance I was making it. So my run turned into a slow, sweaty slog. I got less distance done that I was aiming for but I’m pretty sure I worked just as hard as a regular run, if not harder, pushing The Giant Baby up all those hills today.         

Comments from Mini Monkey: ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya-ya (whilst bouncing up and down in BOB on the trail)

Opening Hours: Never closed

Cost: Free 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Adventure 19 - The one where only half the family went on a bike ride

Where: Around Town (Town, being Subiaco). 
When: December 2016
My Adventure Companions: Mini Monkey and Velcro Dog
"Can I go on the bike with Mummy?"
The idea of going on a bike ride as a family has been on the radar for a long time. However, until now, we’ve never had the equipment to do it. However, when the Giant Baby was due to start at a different day care center from Mini Monkey, I made the decision that I would cycle him to day care  and then on to work. This would save us messing around with buses and means I get some regular exercise forced into my day instead of trying (and likely failing miserably) to do exercise for the sake of exercise after the end of my day, which I don’t really enjoy. The Giant Baby loves his bike rides and gets very excited when he knows he’s going out.
As the forecast for the weekend was looking pretty toasty, I decided Giant Baby’s morning nap time would be a good time to take Mini Monkey out on a bike ride to explore the neighbourhood. I also needed to take Velcro Dog for an outing and because I am a multitasking queen I decided that this was a perfect opportunity to try to tire her out a little.
However, prior to this weekend, neither Mini Monkey nor Velcro Dog had ever been on a bike ride. To prepare Velcro Dog I taken her out on our own a couple of evenings with the bike the previous week. She’s pretty smart and used to running with a pram so it wasn’t a stretch for her to understand what was going on. For Mini Monkey, I rigged up my hydration pack to the back of the baby-seat, fitted the Giant Baby’s helmet to him and off we went. We did a lap around the block to make sure he was enjoying himself before picking up Velcro Dog and setting out on our ride proper.
The route I picked had everything a little boy could want to see: diggers, bull dozers, rollers, compactors, trains, boats, busses and more. One of the things I really enjoyed about the ride was being close enough to Mini Monkey to have a good chat. Giant Babay and I don’t normally chat (mostly because he’s only 12 months old and doesn’t actually talk yet) but we make silly noises at each other so I always wonder how much he can hear from me. Velcro Dog mostly behaved herself but as the sun started to climb became very aware of the heat on the section cycle path we were on so I turned us around earlier than I had anticipated to spend more time on the more shady section closer to home.
On returning home we discovered a few things:
  •  Mini monkey had drunk his body weight in water
  • That Velcro Dog needs more. Apparently, like me, hills are her nemesis so the nice flat route I had picked out hadn’t even dented her enthusiasm!
  • Mini Monkey loved the bike ride so much so that he has requested to go again multiple times
Opening Hours: Always open
Cost: Free

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Adventure 18 - The one with the strawberries

Where: Ti Strawberry Farm, Bullsbrook

When: November 2016

My Adventure Companions: Mr Map, Mini Monkey, The Giant Baby and another Hike it Baby family

“Can we do this again next year?”
My family used to go regularly to a local strawberry farm every summer to pick our own strawberries. It’s a fairly common thing in the Uk but not so much in Perth. I had been on the hunt for a fruit picking activity to do with our Hike it Baby branch for a while and discovered that the PYO season for strawberries coincided perfectly with Giant Baby’s birthday.
The review I read warned us that there was no shade and boy were they ever right. I’m really glad that we scheduled for as early as possible because the walk out of the strawberry fields was pretty toasty. Whilst  we were hanging around waiting for another Hike it Baby family to turn up we were given some insider info: the best strawberries are the furthest from the entry point. No big ddeal, we’re Hike it Baby and walking is what we do! We walked for probably about 1km to get into the strawberries fields and then a bit further to get to the ‘good bits’.
Mini Monkey proceeded to eat his body weight in strawberries fresh from the bushes before being convinced to put some in the box (occasionally half eaten) for his friend. The Giant Baby got a little hot in the Tula and was getting fed up with me bending down to pick strawberries so I let him loose. The soil there is sandy and black so everyone ended up completely filthy. It was hilarious fun and I would definitely do it again. We collected about 5kg of delicious strawberries. Even after serving them at Giant Baby’s first birthday party in the afternoon and giving a whole bunch away to our friends it still looks like we have half a tray left. Ah well, here’s to a week of delicious strawberries!

Opening Hours: 9am-5pm October/November to December. Exact dates depend ripeness of strawberries so keep an eye on their website or facebook page. 

Cost: $10 per 5kg tray (includes admittance for one person) plus $2 for additional people (including any kids who may walk/crawl and eat strawberries as they go). Max 5 people per group/tray. 

Adventure 17 - The one with the (almost) chin-up

Where: Air Yoga, West Leederville

When: November 2016

My Adventure Companions: Just me!

“Can you do a chin up?”
The instructor at the Aerial Supremacy class was being super polite. And I lied. Sort of. I can’t remember ever doing a chin up, but I never tried to when I was at my fittest and strongest doing triathlons, which means I may have been able to, if I had tried.
Aerial Supremacy is basically a strength training class using gymnastics rings. Now classes are not usually my thing but Mr MAP was away and baby sitter was already booked. I had been looking at the timetable for the Yoga studios to try their signature class, Air Yoga, but it was at the wrong time/wrong day so I settled for signing up for Aerial Supremacy.
I was not expecting to enjoy the class as much as I did. The instructor was lovely, the students welcoming and I was significantly stronger* than I had given myself credit for. If I were in a position where Mr MAP was away on a regular basis I would put this class on my list of things to do again. 
*I almost managed an unassisted chin up. Apparently lifting babies gives you a good foundation in strength training!

Class times: 6am - 9pm

Cost: $30 per class

Image credit: AirYoga Perth

Friday, 18 November 2016

Adventure 16 - The one with ghosts and ghouls

Where: Aysgarth Falls, Yorkshire Dales National Park (England)

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: Mr Map, Mini Monkey and The Giant Baby 

“Do people really live in National Parks here?”

We had just discovered another major difference between English and Australian National Parks. In Australia, National Parks are wilderness areas and people don’t live in them. In England people lived in the area long time before the National Parks system was established. We went to explore the trail next to Aysgarth Falls in the Yorkshire Dales National Park and found it had been ‘spookified’ for Halloween. I’m not sure who it was set up by but it was great fun. There were stuffed owls in the trees, fake tomb stones, ghostly spectres and giant spiders in enormous webs. Despite the lingering jetlag making him a general grumpy-pants, Mini Monkey was surprisingly enthusiastic for the duration of the whole walk.

We visited both the Lower and Middle falls. At the Lower Falls, we were able to get up close and personal to the water, exploring in the foots steps of Robin Hood. Ok, not ‘the’ Robin Hood because he lived in Sherwood Forest, many miles from Aysgarth, but this was where some of the iconic scenes from “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” were filmed. Being able to walk next to the Lower Falls felt, for want of a better phrase, closer to nature. Many of the falls we visit have viewing platforms and, whilst they provide great views, there’s nothing like being in amongst it to generate a little bit of awe.

Comments from Mini Monkey: Don’t touch the spiders (I’m glad that some of what we say sinks in!)

Opening Hours: Never closed (toilets and visitor centre open 10:30am-5pm)

Cost: Free (parking fees apply if you use the car park)

Bonus Adventures (all North Yorkshire)
A ramble around Byland Abbey

Threw sticks in the river and looked for squirrels in the trees on the Nidd Gorge Walk

Walked alongside Ribbleshead viaduct (the one from Harry Potter) and saw a real train on it

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Adventure 15 – The one where we searched for giant frogs

Where: Kew Gardens, London (England)

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: Mr Map, Mini Monkey, The Giant Baby and Mrs Proff

“Have you ever been to Kew?”

As we only staying in London for a few days I had to think strategically about adventures which would appeal to all the family. Top on the list were the London Zoo and the Natural History Museum (both visited and enjoyed) but sightseeing tours around historical monuments were out as I wasn’t keen on testing the patience of a jet-lagged toddler. My mother, Mrs Proff, is a keen gardener and may have mentioned one or two times (or more) that the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew are amazing. Me being me, had not really paid it much attention until now. When I planned to visit there with the MAP family, she jumped at the chance to show us around so we all bundled onto the tube and headed down to Kew.

It started to drizzle* just as we arrived so Mrs Proff suggested that we visit the glasshouses. The first one we arrived at was the Palm House. This iconic structure was built in 1840 and houses a staggering array of palm trees from all over the world. It even hosts the oldest recorded potted plant, which is known to be over 240 years old. The greenhouse was warm and humid and, whilst the grownups marvelled over the size of the plants and titbits of trivia, Mini Monkey explored the nooks and crannies of glasshouse.

Our second glasshouse was the much smaller Lily House. What the Lily House lacks in size it certainly makes up for in impact. I was blown away with the view of Giant Lily pads and the reflection of the iron structure of the glasshouse roof on the water. Mini Monkey and Mr MAP took a lap around the pond looking for fish and (presumably giant) frogs whilst Mrs Proff and I took a pause to soak in the view. 

The final glasshouse on our tour, The Princess of Wales Conservatory, is the newest at Kew. The ten different zones in the glasshouse ranged from a cool, dry Australian climate (oh the irony to travel half way around the world to see native plants) to hot and humid tropical. There were more giant lilies (still no giant frogs), fish, orchids, cacti, bryazoa and a host of plants I couldn’t even begin to identify. One of the small side rooms contains a fascinating display of carnivorous plants, including some which looked like mini versions of the one which appears in Mini Monkey’s favourite movie, ‘Ice Age 3: Age of the Dinosaurs’. I was slightly concerned that he was going to be terrified by the real-life version as the one in the movie eats a mammoth and a sabretooth tiger but he seemed fairly confident that they weren’t going to cause him any trouble. After a brief inquiry, he was also very accepting that there weren’t going to be any dinosaurs or any other ‘Ice Age’ characters wandering around, even though we had seen some dinosaurs earlier in the week at the Natural History Museum.

* drizzle = a very ‘English’ term for a light rain that is often very persistent and can go on all day.
Opening Hours: 10am – 5:30pm (4pm in winter)
Cost: Adult aprox $15, kids under 3 for free.               

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Adventure 14 - The one with a1000km trail

 Where: Bibbulum Track, North Terminus

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby

“What do you want to do for your last hike?”

My maternity leave is nearly finished but had one last morning to squeeze in a hike before I had to start packing for our trip to the UK. I have wanted to visit the 1000km long Bibbulmun Track for a while. Its northern end is very accessible as it starts in Kalamunda, a mere 40-minute drive from home. Unfortunately, my hiking buddy was unable to join us on the day so it was just me and the Giant Baby on our little exploration.

The track is well maintained by a small army of volunteers (read: lots of steps) and the iconic yellow trail markers were plentiful and easy to follow. The weather was a little marginal but it made for a nice temperature as I moseyed down the trail into the Kalamunda National Park. The Giant Baby got comfy and snuggled down in the Tula for a nap. I’m going to miss this.

As I reached the turn-around time I realised that what goes down, must go up again, so up the steps we went. On the return leg, we passed a couple of solo hikers looking like they were setting off for a long journey. Not long after we passed a runner who I recognised as the legendary Bernadette Benson. Among other ultra running accolades, She currently holds the Fastest Known Time for completing the Bibbulman Track (15 days and 9 hours, if you were interested). The Giant Baby is getting pretty hefty these days but all the walking seems to be paying off as the way back wasn’t nearly as bad as I had feared. Even the swooping magpies had gone elsewhere by time we returned to the Northern Terminus so we were left free to journey past their tree un-molested.

Opening Hours: never closed

Cost: Free           

Monday, 17 October 2016

Adventure 13 – The one where Mini Monkey got his mojo back

Where: Nobel Falls

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: The whole MAP family

“Do you remember how small she was?”

Nobel Falls was one of the first hikes we ever took Velcro Dog on. We keep revisiting this spot because it is such a lovely place (and allows dogs). Re-visiting is fun because it changes throughout the year: wildflowers and fast flowing water in the wetter months; shallow pools for paddling and crossing points in the dry. I think the only person to be disappointed about the venue was Mini Monkey, because he thought we were going to ‘the big, loud water falls’ (Lesmurdie Falls) and so he wouldn’t get to see the dinosaurs. It totally amazes me every time that he remembers things like the dinosaur statues on the drive into Lesmurdie Falls.

Mini Monkey seems to be getting over whatever was bothering him earlier this month and going from strength to strength. With very little persuasion, he walked the whole way, threw sticks in the water for Velcro Dog, paddled in the shallows and still had energy to play in the playground at the end. Suffice to say, he didn’t last the journey home before those little lids became too heavy for him to keep open. It was such a blissfully quiet drive home.

Velcro Dog had the most amazing time. Whilst she can normally be described as ‘energetic’, today she buzzed around with a joy I have not seen in her for a while. She bounced backwards and forwards, up and down the trail, in and out of the water, fetching sticks and gum nuts for us to throw for her. I love to see her so happy.

Comments from the Giant Baby: I got to go in the big carrier today! It’s such fun to see so much over Mum’s shoulder but the bushes are scratchy on my feet.

Walk Trail:

Opening Hours: never closed

Cost: Free         

Velcro Dog on her first trip to Nobel Falls in 2013

Bonus Adventure

“Do you think anyone will come?”

This was the third time the Bear Hunt in Kings Park had been scheduled. It was getting to the point where I just wanted to get it over and done with. The forecast was a bit iffy and it pelted with rain an hour before the meet time but as I said we’d go, go we did. As it turned out, one more family decided to roll the dice and we were all rewarded with the clouds clearing into a lovely sunny morning. 

Whilst I read the story to the three littles, Mr MAP went and laid the bears. Ok, so I may have taken some liberties with the ‘bears’ as one of our contributions was a koala, another a gold elephant and another a dog/rabbit (we were a little undecided on that one). The littles had great fun finding the ‘bears’ and a nice wander down to see the ducks at the Synergy Parkland.  

Sunday, 9 October 2016

Adventure 12 - The one with sixty feet of steps (plus a few more for good measure)

Where: Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, Martin

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: The Giant Baby

“Can I really put off the shopping to go hiking?”

This is now a legitimate question in my life. Recently I have a routine where I go grocery shopping first thing on a Monday morning. However, spring is quickly slipping by and the end of my maternity leave is looming. After a poop-tastic weekend solo-parenting, I felt like it I needed a little fresh air and some space. It was a great opportunity to revisit Ellis Brook Valley Reserve and explore the trail around the waterfall I stumbled on back in Adventure 1.

The aptly named Sixty Foot Falls Trail has a lot of steps. A lot. They were quite an effort with The Giant Baby on my back but the weather was cool and he slept soundly. I enjoyed knowing that, aside from an elderly gentleman and his dog, we had the entire reserve all to ourselves. It was nice to be able to go at my own pace, see Perth city from a distance and stop to take photos (mostly of steps) when I wanted. The Giant Baby woke just in time to stop me going around for a second time and demanded he be fed. Re-fuelling completed, we headed back to reality to complete the weekly grocery shopping.

Walk Trails Brochure: here

Opening Hours: 8am-5pm

Cost: Free          

Bonus Adventure
*The 'Cozy Cave', much loved by Velcro Dog

Where: Galaxy Drive-In Theater

My Adventure Companion: Mr MAP

“Who says no to free babysitting?”

Grandma pretty much shooed us out of the door on Friday night as we set of for Perth’s only drive-in movie theatre. We took a picnic and cushions and when we arrived, parked backwards so we could sit in the boot. Even though we were one of the last cars to arrive and had to park at the back of a full lot, it was still a good view. I enjoyed the cozy-cave* feeling, sitting in the back of the car. Even with all the kids running around during the screening it still felt pretty private. The film showing was ‘The secret life of pets’. It was light-hearted fun and just what we needed for a fun evening out.

A note for next time: as audio is provided on a radio channel we will need to bring an auxiliary radio as our ‘clever’ car kept turning the radio off every five seconds to conserve battery.

Cost: $10 per adult

Screening Times: 7pm Tuesday -Sundays

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Adventure 11 - The one where the Mini Adventure Gods had other plans

Where: Kings Park

When: October 2016

My Adventure Companions: Mini Monkey, The Giant Baby and another Hike it Baby Mum and toddler

“Have you seen the forecast?”

I had planned a Bear Hunt to celebrate the first anniversary of Hike it Baby Perth and the weather was not cooperating. I don’t just mean a light, British-style drizzle putting a damper on things, I mean a full on West Australian weather warning with gale force winds and sideways rain. I was gutted to have to cancel it, but no one likes a soggy teddy bear.

For a Bear Hunt, everyone brings a teddy bear and, whilst one of the adults reads ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’ by Micheal Rosen to The Littles, another will be hiding the bears along the trail for The Littles to find when the story is finished. Even I was willing to concede  that we would be better off to down grade to a regular hike and conduct the Bear Hunt on another weekend. As Mr MAP said to me, maybe this was the Mini-Adventure Gods’ way of telling us that it would be more fun to do next weekend when both Mr MAP and Grandma would be there.

Out of the twelve or so families who were going to come bear hunting with us, only one turned up for the hike. The weather was blustery, the skies grey and the toddlers a little wild. We scoped out the path for the postponed bear hunt and had snacks on the Green Mile during a brief sunny period whilst the two older boys chased the magpies away as they came to steal our crumbs. As we headed towards home, the skies ripened ominously. We thought we were going to make it before the clouds burst, but no. I felt like a drowned rat by the time I had managed to get the boys and stroller back into the car. Thankfully Mini Monkey and his friend thought running through the rain was absolutely hilarious.  


Opening Hours: Never closed

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Adventure 10 - The one with a cold exit

Where: HBF Stadium, Mount Claremont

When: September 2016

My Adventure Companions: Mrs Jack

“How about a swim?”

Mrs Jack was injured so our planned run wasn’t going to happen. With two babies a piece, getting to spend time with friends sans babies is a multitasking masterpiece (or nightmare?) and when one piece of the puzzle doesn’t work you have to think of something else. So here we were, about to get into an outdoor pool at the beginning of spring. I’m such a chicken about getting into the water. I hate the feeling of the cold on my tummy. As it turned out, it wasn’t so bad this time.

I used to swim a lot, both when I was training for the Ironman and after, when I lived in Dubai. Not Olympic ‘a lot’ but just normal person ‘a lot’. However, I hadn’t really got back into the groove after a shoulder injury acquired when I first moved to Perth. It felt good to be back into the water. We swam a length, chatted a bit, swam another and so on. We managed a grand total of 600m; a far cry from either of our expectations but it was a start and it was fun. Then came time to get out. I formally reverse my opinion that getting into the pool is the worst part of a swim. Getting out is definitely worse. On top of the cold, it was really windy. Brr.  

I'm not sure where this swimming will take me, if anywhere other than just the pool on a week night. However, I’m going to take the opportunity here to put this out there: whilst I am enjoying my running and swimming at the moment, I have no intention of returning to any kind of triathlon, long or short distance [I can hear Mr MAP breathing a sigh of relief].  

Opening Hours: 5:30am-8pm weekdays (varies on weekends)

Cost: $5.50  

Bonus Adventure

Where: Whistlepipe Gully, Kalamunda

It was another great spring week with lots of hiking. My mid week adventure was exploring Whistlepipe Gully with my hiking buddy and her bubba. We spent a very pleasant couple of hours exploring the trails around The Gully and admiring the spectacular views from the top. This was a great little walk and it was much appreciated by Velcro Dog, who was allowed to join us today. 

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Adventure 9 - The one where Mini Monkey wasn't in the mood

Where: Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary, Gidgegannup

When: September 2016

My Adventure Companions: The whole MAP family (minus Velcro Dog) plus a few Hike it Baby Familes

“Where are we going this weekend?”

Hiking on the weekends seems to have become the norm for us at the moment. To be fair, it’s spring and a great time to be out and about. The weather is good, the sun shines most of the time and the landscape is a stunning array of colours. We get delicious breakfast takeout from a little shop down the road and trundle off to our meet location. I get pretty excited when other people turn up to hike with us and love meeting other families who are as enthusiastic as I am about getting outside.  

This weekend we were back at Paruna Wildlife Sanctuary. We had five other Hike it Baby families giving us a total eight adults and eight children aged between 9 months (our Giant Baby) and ten years old. It was going to be a very different experience from my first time there!

After the last family finally arrived, we did some introductions and then trundled off to explore the little Possum Trail. We saw all manner of toddler and child approved things on the trail from ducks and bees to different flowers and gum nuts. I was impressed at how well everyone stuck together, considering the differing levels of walking abilities and the rocky terrain. Mini Monkey clearly had not recovered from his bout of tummy upset on Thursday night and had an inconsolable meltdown. Mr MAP finally decided that it would be better to take him back to the car to calm him down so packed him in the carrier and turned around. The Giant Baby and I carried on with the rest of the group but soon decided to turn around as we had reached our half way point in time. After misjudging toddler tolerance at our walk in John Forest National Park the other weekend, I wasn’t about to make the same mistake again.

On our return, we found a mostly recovered Mini Monkey and Mr MAP starting the picnic lunch. A couple of the families were able to stay so we had a lovely picnic in the sunshine and then the kiddos threw rocks in the stream until nap time called.

Comments Mini Monkey: WAHHHHHHHHHH *sniffle sniffle* WAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

Opening Hours: gate open 24hrs per day (May to November)

Cost: $5 per person.

Bonus Adventure:

Where: Freemantle Fishing Boat Harbour

After the drama of yesterday, we decided that we needed to do something a little low key the next day. We had a nice little walk around Freo, looking at all the boats and seagulls. Boats, fish and birds are all pretty interesting to Mini Monkey at the moment so he was satisfied. The icing on the cake for him were the massive fish tanks which line the restaurant area at Cicerello’s. There are lots of different types of fish to see from star-fish to little sharks and is a great way to keep little (and big) people entertained whilst waiting.

Comments from The Giant Baby: Tula rides are still awesome but mum forgot my socks today. My feet are cold. [sorry bub]

Opening Hours: Fishing boat harbour open all hours. Cicerello’s open 9am-8.30pm daily.

Cost: access to the fishing boat harbour is free. 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Adventure 8 - The one with a few extra kilometers

Where: John Forest National Park

When: September 2016

My Adventure Companions: None (yes, you read that right. None).

“Uh oh, which way now?”

On our first hike ever together, my hiking buddy had pointed out another nice walking trail in John Forest National Park. I have been meaning to check it out for a while and, as my brain wasn’t feeling very inventive this week, I decided to visit John Forest for a second weekend in a row. I knew where the start of the tail loop was and how long it was but was relying heavily on the signage to get me around. When the signage disappeared I had a momentary panic and then remembered that this is why I had bothered to bring a hydration pack with me (mainly to carry my massive phone around with me). My GPS track showed that I had, much to my surprise, nearly completed the loop and all I had to do was turn right and trot a few hundred meters back to the car park.

The Wildflower Trail is a five-kilometre loop, which peels off near the start of the Eagle View Trail. It is wide and smooth enough to take an all-terrain stroller and looks like a good location for a future Hike it Baby hike. True to its name, there are lots of wild flowers in an array of bright colours; sprays of purples and blues and yellows and whites. Whilst the car parks were full to busting, I was delighted to find this section of the trails largely deserted.   

Even though I’ve not done much running recently, I must be doing something right as I felt pretty happy about adding a further two (very flat) kilometres to my run to go and see the National Park Falls again. It must be all that toting around of The Giant Baby as he’s getting rather heavy now. This was a nice little test to see how my legs are faring up in preparation for the Perth Trail Series this summer and they seem to be doing well.

Opening Hours: main gate open 24hrs per day

Cost: $12 per car.