A Day of Outdoor Play at John Forrest National Park

A Day of Outdoor Play at John Forrest National Park

On a beautiful Djilba day in September, the team from Nature Play WA hosted an Every Kid in a Park event for families, exploring the beautiful bushland of John Forrest National Park. 

The John Forrest Picnic Area provided the perfect base for a day of fun activities and crafts, cultural learning, and exploring the bush.

Surrounded by majestic jarrah, marri, flooded gums, swamp peppermint and paperbark trees, families enjoyed the peaceful sounds of local birdlife and the rushing river, and were delighted by visits from local western grey kangaroos! 

Read on and check out our photo galleries to see the magic and wonder inspired by these exciting events.

a group of people standing in a stream

The event started with a Welcome to Country from Joe Collard, a Biboolmirn Nyoongar man, who welcomed us to this beautiful part of the world, which has a lot of cultural significance for Nyoongar people.

Joe provided us with some stories, singing and a smoking ceremony to officially welcome us to the park. We thank Joe for his time and involvement in welcoming us onto Nyoongar land.  

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Families were able to enjoy activities in a self-guided format allowing for a relaxing experience with plenty of things to see and do.

The majority of families joining us had never visited John Forrest, so we were excited to be there for their introduction to Western Australia’s first national park!

Both children and adults enjoyed exploring the walk trails, playing by the river, learning about local wildflowers with the Friends of John Forrest, and creating craft with the Eco Faeries. Cultural experiences organisation Djoona provided an opportunity for us to try our hand at creating traditional paint and glue with Joe’s guidance, knowledge and humour.  

Families also tried their hand at archaeological excavation with an anthropologist and archaeologist from cultural heritage consultancy JCHMC. We were excited to learn that a few kids had attempted this type of activity before, and John from JCHMC enjoyed watching future archeologists in action.

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A guided walk with the Hike Collective provided a special opportunity to explore the park even further, which is beautiful this time of year, with an abundance of wildflowers in bloom.

We asked families what their favourite thing about the event was, and their answers all revolved around their experiences in the incredible natural environment. Families loved seeing baby ducklings, the sparkling river, lizards, kangaroos and lots of colourful wildflowers.

We would like to thank our friends at Djoona, the Friends of John Forrest groupJCHMC, the Eco Faeries and the Hike Collective for spending the day outdoors with us!  

Want to explore John Forrest National Park yourself?  Find out more and plan your visit here - https://www.natureplaywa.org.au/john-forrest-national-park/ 

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Event Photographer: Matt Biocich

Nature Play WA would like to thank the wonderful staff and volunteers at John Forrest National Park. These events were delivered thanks to the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions through the Every Kid in a Park project.