John Forrest National Park

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This photograph was taken in John Forrest National Park and shows the National Park Falls. Water cascades down a bed of brown rocks. Rocks are surrounded by native plants and trees that are various shades of green. 
photo credit: Bronwyn Wells

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Cultural Recognition

This is Whadjuk Nyoongar Country.

John Forrest National Park is on Whadjuk Nyoongar country.   

Whadjuk people are the traditional owners of John Forrest National Park.  

Nyoongar people lived here before European settlement, with evidence that the area was once used as a hunting place. Jane Brook Valley was an ancient travel route crossing the Darling Scarp.  

Jane Brook is connected to the Dreamtime serpent, the Waugal. The rocks in and along the brook are said to be the droppings of this mythical creature.

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Overview of John Forrest National Park

Welcome to John Forrest National Park, Perth’s first and oldest national park. 

Located in the Darling Ranges on Whadjuk country, about 30 minutes east of Perth city, John Forrest is rich with both Indigenous and European history. It’s also full of natural wonder, just waiting to be discovered!  

There is a great selection of short and long trails available here, which will lead you through some of the Perth Hills’ most spectacular sights.  

A profusion of wildflowers bloom here in the winter and spring months, and the park’s two waterfalls, Hovea Falls and National Park Falls, begin to flow (rainfall dependent). There are sections of the park that remain largely undeveloped, giving visitors a real taste of native Australian woodland and wildlife. 

The Swan View Tunnel is a 340m structure in John Forrest National Park, originally built for trains to pass through. Now, visitors can walk through the tunnel and marvel at its size, and the fact that it was built using nothing but picks, shovels and dynamite! 

While there are many natural spots to lay a picnic blanket around the park, the established Picnic Area is a great place to relax and refuel. There are barbecues (including a universal barbecue), picnic tables and a nature playground, making it a popular spot for families.  

You can bring your bicycle, a picnic or just your backpack to enjoy a day at John Forrest National Park. Pets must be left at home.  

Please beware of snakes during warmer summer months and ensure children are supervised around the falls and other bodies of water. See our Safety section for more information. 

Opening Times

John Forrest National Park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for 365 days a year.   

Cost of Entry  

Private vehicle with up to 12 occupants 

  • $15 per vehicle 
  • $8 per vehicle concession 

Private vehicle with more than 12 occupants 

  • $7 per occupant 6 years or older 
  • $2.50 per occupant concession 

Motorcycle 

  • $8 per motorbike 
  • No concession

Select the Park Passes tile on the home page of the Every Kid in a Park app to purchase a discounted Park Pass. 

All revenue collected from park entry fees and Parks and Wildlife managed businesses is invested in biodiversity conservation, maintenance and improvement of John Forrest National Park facilities and services, and the protection of park values. 

Download the free Every Kid in a Park app for a digital tour of
Amenities & Points of Interest

 

Points of Interest

Key amenities and points of interest include:

  • John Forrest Picnic Area
  • National Park Falls 
  • Swan View Tunnel 
  • Hovea Falls 
  • Walk Trails (Christmas Tree Creek, Glen Brook, Eagle View and Wildflower Walk Trails)

Download the Every Kid in a Park app to use the interpretive map featuring photographs of each point and additional information.  

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Interpretive Trail

Explore the park with the John Forrest National Park Interpretive Trail. The Interpretive Trail follows the Jane Brook walk trail, an accessible walk around the weir which is family friendly and suitable for wheelchair users and prams.  

This is one of the shortest walks at John Forrest and offers a great introduction to nature for young kids and is full of historical information on how the picnic area was constructed. 

 The Interpretive Trail along the Jane Brook consists of six (6) stops and can be accessed on the Every Kid in a Park app.

Resources

Nature Play WA is currently creating fun and interactive resources for John Forrest National Park. Throughout September we will be releasing these resources to assist families in planning their visit to the park.  

Accessible Nature Guide for John Forrest National Park

Our Accessible Nature document features all you need to know about recreational activities available in the park, the number and location of key amenities, a map, communication board and more. It’s available to download here. Download your copy

Social Story for John Forrest National Park

This Social Story™ aims to help people of all abilities to plan and prepare for their visit to John Forrest National Park by explaining what they can expect on the day of their visit. It’s available to download here. Download your copy

Five Things to Do at John Forrest National Park

This resource is all about our five favourite things to do at John Forrest National Park. It’s available to download here, to help you plan your visit. Download your copy  

From childhood visitor to Senior Ranger: Paul Udinga

A photograph of Paul Udinga. He is standing in the nature playground at John Forrest National Park, next to a wooden sculpture of a lizard. He is smiling at the camera and is wearing his navy blue ranger uniform. The ground is covered in brown dirt and woodchips, and the background features bush and trees, small limestone walls and a rust-red steel bridge.

Paul Udinga’s family loved exploring the outdoors when he was a kid and were frequent visitors to John Forrest National Park. Little did he know he’d eventually become a custodian of the park, in the form of a ranger!   Paul has been the Senior Ranger at John Forrest National Park for almost 10 years and […]

Every Kid in a Park Resources

Discover fun activities to do at any park!

Activity Sheet: Invent a Scent

Become a master of scents by searching for and combining the best smells of nature. Can you create the perfect perfume? This document is available to download here. Download Your Copy

Activity Sheet: Seeing Sound

Sounds are only for our ears……. or are they? Find a quiet spot to sit and listen. What can you hear? Use this activity sheet to record and describe the sounds. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Texture Tag

Use this activity sheet to go on an adventure and explore textures around the park! Touch leaves, bark and even the ground, and describe the features. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: The Bravery Award

With the help of this activity sheet, you’re going to attempt to overcome a fear. That means it’s time to put on a brave face! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Barefoot Bootcamp

Explore the world through your feet with the help of this activity sheet. On your next outdoor adventure, take off your shoes and play barefoot for a new sensory experience! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: A Place of Your Own

For some people, finding a special quiet place helps them connect to nature. Use this activity sheet to find a place in nature of your own. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Plant Pose

Plants grow in all shapes and sizes; just like people! Use this activity sheet to explore the natural environment, or have someone describe it to you. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Stories in the Sky

Find a good place to sit or lay down and watch the clouds in the sky. Take notice of their colours, textures and shapes, or have someone describe these to you. Use this activity sheet to create a story in the sky! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: The Awareness Game

Being aware of your surroundings is a wonderful skill. In this activity, you will be using your senses to test your awareness of the natural environment! This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Activity Sheet: Colour Wonderful

There are so many colours in the natural world. In this activity, you’ll head outdoors with a trusted person as you explore the rainbow of colours and count the shades of nature together. This document is available to download here. Download your copy

Biodiversity

Being WA’s oldest national park, John Forrest is home to an abundance of wildlife. 

There are over 500 different species of wildflower that grow here, making for a wonderful display of colour in the late winter and early spring months. Keep an eye out for banksias, grevilleas, acacias, blue leschenaultia and kangaroo paws – just to name a few! 

Upon the walk trails, you’ll be surrounded by large native trees including jarrah, marri, flooded gums and paperbark trees. Smaller trees include bull banksia, sheoak and snottygobble. 

Living up in the trees are 91 species of bird, including galahs, red wattlebirds, honeyeaters, blue fairy wrens and black cockatoos!  

While many of the mammals here are nocturnal, you’re likely to see the western grey kangaroo hanging around the picnic area, or lounging in other areas of the park. In lower-traffic areas, you might be lucky enough to spot an echidna or quenda. 

Thick-tailed geckos, southern blind snakes and western brown snakes are among the 23 species of reptiles that live here. And, if you’re close to the water, keep an ear out for one of the 10 species of frogs who might be hopping around! 

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Safety

We suggest taking time before your visit to read through the safety information. We recommend visiting the Explore Parks WA website to plan when to visit John Forrest National Park.  

John Forrest National Park is a great place for bushwalking. Before you head out in nature, visit the Explore Parks WA website for tips on bushwalking safety.  

The park has many waterfalls and risk areas. Extreme caution must be undertaken to avoid slippage and falling in such areas. 

In spring and summer, many reptiles emerge to bask in the sun. During this time you should take precautions to minimise the chance of encountering snakes. 

a snake on the ground
Toogitj snake
Photo credit: John Sullivan (iNaturaliste)

Precautions

  • Take care in bushland and grassy areas. 
  • Walk and/or cycle in cleared areas only, where you can see the ground, and keep to established tracks. 
  • When bushwalking, wear long trousers and boots or other enclosed footwear that preferably cover the ankles. 
  • Keep a watchful eye on the ground about a metre ahead of where you are walking, and avoid entering areas of long grass, rushes and undergrowth

Visit Explore Parks WA website for more information about John Forrest National Park.

Acknowledgements

Nature Play WA would like to thank the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions for providing valuable information about Mundy Regional Park.