Last Updated on November 7, 2020 by Travels with Kids
Here is our round-up of the best waterfalls in Perth! Now, you wouldn’t immediately think of Perth Australia as being a waterfall destination, but there are actually quite a few different and beautiful Perth waterfalls.
All of the listed waterfalls are within an hour’s drive of the Perth CBD. Another added bonus is that many of these hikes are dog-friendly hikes so you can take your pooch along for some fresh air. On each of the waterfalls Perth descriptions we have noted whether dogs are permitted. We hope you enjoy this journey of the waterfalls of the Perth hills and are inspired to get out and explore!
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Guide To The Best Waterfalls Perth
Top of our list of waterfalls Perth is the Lesmurdie Falls. Not only are they the highest waterfalls in Perth, but they are also the most impressive with year-round flow.
The other thing that is great about these Perth waterfalls is that they are quite easy to visit. It’s a short 5-minute walk downhill from the Lesmurdie Falls carpark to the lookout at the top of the falls on a wide path. There are some steps, however, so this is not wheelchair accessible or pram friendly. The walk back up is a little bit steep but doable for most levels of fitness. If you are interested in doing a Lesmurdie Falls walk, there is a range of walks from the short 600m walk to the Valley Loop which is 3km.
There are also some lovely spacious picnic areas both near the carpark and along the creek that leads to the Lesmurdie Falls Perth.
The lookout platform over the falls provides a great view across the expanse of the Perth metropolitan area. It does not, however, provide much of a view of the Lesmurdie Falls themselves. To get that view you need to walk further down the hill or do the Foot Of The Falls trail which is 2km return.
Without a doubt, the Lesmurdie Falls are the biggest and most impressive of the waterfalls near Perth. In addition, the Lesmurdie Falls walk is amongst the easiest listed here making this a win-win National Park visit around Perth.
Distance: The shortest trail is less than 1km, the longest 3km.
Recommended For: Everyone – families with kids, older people, and Instagrammers!
Location: Mundy Regional Park, Forrestfield, approx. 30 mins drive from Perth CBD.
Time Needed: As little as 30 minutes, up to several hours.
Dog Friendly: You can take your dog on a leash to Lesmurdie Falls.
Entry Fee: Lesmurdie Falls are located in the Mundy Regional Park and entry fees are not required.
In comparison to the other waterfalls Perth listed here, the Serpentine Falls are a great place to swim in summer. In fact, they are the best of the waterfalls in Perth to swim. They are also one of the prettiest and have good water flow all year round, which is very attractive coming down off a 15-meter ledge.
A metal ladder and platform have been installed to make it easier to swim at the Serpentine Falls. There are also rock ledges where you can sit and enjoy the sunshine. The walk from the carpark to the falls is an easy 400 meters and there are great facilities including BBQs, picnic tables, and toilets.
In addition to having a swim at Serpentine Falls, you should also take a short walk to Baldwin’s Bluff for the most epic views of the falls and the valley surrounds.
Everyone in Perth loves to get down to Serpentine Falls on a weekend, as it definitely is a wonderful day trip from the city. The park is open from 8.30 am to 5 pm, but I’ve read that the rangers can close the gates once maximum capacity has been reached. Definitely arrive before 10.30 am in order to avoid disappointment.
Safety! Remember this is a natural waterhole and conditions under the surface can change. No cliff jumping or diving as people have died.
Recommended For: Swimming and a lovely day out.
Location: Jarrahdale, 1 hour from Perth’s CBD.
Time Needed: You could visit the Serpentine Falls in a short visit, but likely you will want to enjoy your time and stay longer.
Dog Friendly: Dogs are not allowed in National Parks.
Entry Fee: Yes, required to enter Serpentine National Park.
Sixty Foot Falls
The Sixty Foot Falls is the most remote and potentially stunning waterfall in the Perth area. Additionally, the hike includes a visit to the Old Barrington Quarry, which was our favorite part of the hike. The Quarry is also picturesque year-round, whereas the Sixty Foot Falls only flow in the middle of winter. In summer you can only see a pretty rock face.
Located in the Ellis Brook Valley Reserve, the Sixty Foot Falls is also one of the lesser-known waterfalls in Perth.
Don’t be fooled, even though the Sixty Foot Falls loop walk is only 2.1km, it’s very hard! The climb to the falls lookout is steep and continues to climb upward before descending to the Quarry. You can do the Sixty Foot Falls hike in either direction. When we were coming down we saw people looking pretty hot coming up. In short, it’s a quite tough walk whichever way you do it.
The Sixty Foot Falls Loop walk is an excellent place to spot an incredible array of wildflowers during the Perth Wildflower season, and the land is in good condition. In some of the other places/National Parks on this list, the landscape has weeds and is a bit degraded. If you have a passion for wildflowers, read our post Where To Find The Best Wildflowers In Western Australia.
Important: As we left the carpark we noticed lots of signs regarding theft from cars. This is not a particularly well-frequented area, and there were not a lot of people around. We took all our valuables with us, but on our return, the car NEXT to us had its window smashed (and we suppose things were stolen).
Recommended For: People who like to get away from the crowds and enjoy a little bit of a challenge.
Location: Martin, 30 minutes’ drive from Perth’s CBD.
Time Needed: As little as 30 minutes, up to several hours.
Dog Friendly: Yes, this is a dog-friendly walk (on leash only).
Entry Fee: Not required at Ellis Brook Valley Reserve.
National Park Falls
The National Park Falls are located in John Forest National Park and quite easy to visit for people of all abilities. The reason it is so easy is that the falls are located along the Railway Reserves Heritage Trail meaning there is a very wide flat path all the way to the falls. The falls themselves are not particularly high, but they cascade down a series of pretty granite rocks. The last time we visited the National Park Falls the viewing platform at the bottom (which is the best place for a picture) was closed.
Another fun thing to do when visiting one of Perth’s most loved National Parks is to either continue on along the Railway Heritage Trail to the Swan View Tunnel. It is approximately another 1 km from the falls. All up the walk to the tunnel, including a visit to National Park Falls, is 5 km.
Alternatively, if you are only interested in Perth waterfalls, head back to the carpark. However, make sure you don’t miss the John Forrest Tavern with kangaroos in the beer garden. It has a typical Aussie pub feeling.
The Hovea Falls are also located in John Forrest National Park. Similar to the National Park Falls, they are an easy 2km return walk from the main carpark/tavern area. They are a less dramatic set of falls than the National Park Falls, but still picturesque with plenty of rushing water in winter.
National Park Falls – Easy 2 km return walk or cycle along the flat and wide Railway Heritage Trail. Swan View Tunnel is an easy 5km return walk or cycle, with a nice stop at National Park Falls along the way.
Hovea Falls – Easy 2 km return walk in the opposite direction from the National Park Falls.
Recommended For: Everyone – you could also take your bike or kids could take their scooters.
Location: Mundaring, 30 minutes’ drive from Perth’s CBD.
Time Needed: As little as 45 minutes, up to several hours.
Dog Friendly: Dogs are not allowed in National Parks
Entry Fee: Yes required. There is an entry station where you can pay before entering John Forrest National park.
Noble Falls Waterfall
Another of the prettier waterfalls near Perth is the Noble Falls Waterfall, just outside Gidgegannup township. The trail is 3.5 km and classed at Class 2, which means wide and easy. The walk starts at the Noble Falls car park, which is conveniently located opposite the Noble Falls Tavern, the perfect place for refreshment after doing the walk.
The Noble Falls are more like a series of low, wide cascades, and are best in winter when the waterfall is at full flower. There are also plenty of wildflowers in springtime along the Wooroloo Brook and birdwatching opportunities.
There are picnic tables at the carpark and this is a wonderful place during a Swan Valley day out, or as the destination in itself.
Distance: 3.5k m walk
Recommended For: People looking for an easy, but pretty walk outside Perth.
Location: Gidgegannup, 50 minutes from Perth’s CBD.
Time Needed: Approx. 1 hour.
Dog Friendly: Yes.
Entry Fee: Not required.
Bell Rapids Falls
Not a traditional waterfall, the Bells Rapids Falls are nonetheless one of the more attractive waterfalls in Perth. Also, the hike is considered one of Perth’s best dog-friendly walks. In addition to being a great Perth waterfall, the Bells Rapid Bridge is considered one of the best viewing spots for the famous Avon Descent.
There are two circuit walk trails in the Bell’s Rapids area which take you along the Avon River amongst the wandoo, flooded gums, and Swamp Paperbark. In springtime, the fuchsia grevillea is particularly good around the Bells Rapids. As you walk through the beautiful natural area, there are great views of the granite formations around the Avon River, a small waterfall, and lots of fresh air.
As this is not as popular as many of the other Perth waterfalls listed, the path is not as clear, and there a few signs. The path can also be wet and muddy in winter. There are some rockier sections and there is a steep ascent away from the river. ‘
Safety! This is a wild river. Take care near the water as especially in the winter there can be very powerful under-tows. Obviously, swimming is not recommended at any time of the year. Facilities are limited to one toilet block, and there aren’t BBQs or picnic tables. There is no camping permitted.
Distance: There are different circuit walks between 2 and 5 km.
Recommended For: Those looking for a mildly adventurous walk accompanied by their dog!
Location: Brigadoon, 40 minutes from Perth’s CBD.
Dog Friendly: Yes, dogs are allowed on a leash.
Entry Fee: Not required.
Kalamunda Falls & Kalamunda Zig Zag
So, my feeling is that the Kalamunda Falls don’t exist as one individual waterfall. However, Kalamunda is located next to Lesmurdie (and Gooseberry Hill) and I think that when people refer to the ‘Kalamunda Falls’ they are referring to Lesmurdie Falls.
Alternatively, they might be referring to the Whistlepipe Gully walk. This is a relatively easy 3.5 km return walk in the Mundy Regional Park which follows Whistlepipe Gully in the Perth Hills. The trail follows the narrow river as it courses over cascades and small waterfalls and offers views over the coastal plain to Perth.
Or, perhaps they are referring to the Rocky Pool Walk which a 5 km loop in the Kalamunda National Park visiting the picturesque Rocky Pool. It offers beautiful seasonal wildflowers and abundant wildlife. Fun fact: My grandfather went swimming in the Rocky Pool in winter and got pneumonia (the stuff of family legends).
So, I hope I haven’t confused things more by suggesting these options for Kalamunda Falls. I would love it if a reader knows of actual Kalamunda Falls and could drop the directions in the comments.
Kalamunda Zig Zag
The Zig Zag Scenic Drive is a one-way driving road down the western side of the Darling Ranges in Gooseberry Hill and part of the Beelu National Park. It is accessed via Lascelles Parade, Gooseberry Hill. It’s a steep drive of several kilometers that winds down a very narrow road with many hairpin turns and great views the whole way.
The Zig Zag was originally a section of the railway for the communities in Kalamunda and beyond. These days it offers amazing views for tourists and locals alike.
Note: In 2020 the Kalamunda Zig Zag has been closed due to antisocial behavior.
What Is The Best Time Of Year To Visit Waterfalls Perth
Winter is the best time of year to visit Perth waterfalls. Winter … and early Spring.
With all of the waterfalls described here the flow of water is seasonal and depends on rainfall. In dry years you might not have much flow by the time spring comes around. However, if it has been a wet year then the water may fall later.
Early spring is also a great time to visit because not only are the waterfalls still flowing, but the wildflowers in the Perth Hills are amazing.
Summer is the hottest season in Perth with temperatures often in the mid-’30s and reaching 40 degrees plus. If you are going to do any of these hikes to Perth waterfalls, it should be done in the early hours of the morning or in the evening. While the water might not be flowing strongly, and the wildflowers long are gone, these walks are very pretty and a great way to see the Australian bush near Perth.
Looking For Waterfalls WA
We will soon be working on a guide to the best waterfalls in Western Australia. To be a spoiler, it is going to include … Fernhook Falls in Walpole, Quinninup Falls Yallingup, and Beedelup Falls in Pemberton… as well as some of the falls on this list. So there you have it, some of the best Waterfalls WA are here on this list!
The Verdict – Waterfalls Perth
It’s true the waterfalls in Perth are not the highest, nor do they have the biggest falls. In fact, many of the Perth waterfalls are dry during summer and autumn. However, all of the waterfalls in Perth are located within 30 minutes to one hour’s drive of the Perth CBD. In addition, the bulk of the Perth waterfalls provide dog-friendly hikes and are wonderful places to see wildflowers in spring and get out and experience some fresh air.
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