Serpentine, found at the southern end of the pristine Perth Hills, is an easy escape from the hustle and bustle of Perth. Just 45-kilometres from the city, the small agricultural town has all those country feels right on the fringes of suburbia Head there for a day immersed in nature. Bushwalk amongst the Darling Scarp’s lush woodlands, wandering by waterfalls and enjoying delicious, locally grown food and hand-crafted drinks.
Make your first stop the Serpentine Jarrahdale Community Resource Centre, where friendly local staff will arm you with all you’ll need to know about Serpentine and its surrounds. Saturday mornings are the best time to visit Mundijong if you love a stroll around a market. Bring an esky to fill with fresh local produce from the Serpentine Jarrahdale Farmers Market, where farmers, growers, and artisan makers sell their wares from all around the area.
While the stall line-up changes regularly, you can expect to find fourth generation greengrocer Nat McKeig. Here, the micro-farmer from Serpentine’s ‘Kookaburra Nook’ property sells her freshly picked produce. The Natural Circle stall offers up spray-free seasonal fruit and veggies from the family-run regenerative farm in Jarrahdale, plus there’s coffee, crafts and more.
You can easily spend a day discovering Serpentine National Park. Home to the cascading Serpentine Falls, this idyllic spot has long been a popular day trip from Perth. Crowds of early European settlers would travel to the falls to picnic, swim and enjoy the beauty of the bushland. Today, the people of Perth are still flocking to the falls.
With a grassy picnic area, shaded tables and free gas barbeques, Serpentine National Park makes a lovely spot to sizzle sausages and throw down a picnic rug. During the late afternoon, Western Grey Kangaroos can be spotted, as they drop by to graze on the lawns.
Love a bushwalk? The Serpentine Falls Walk trail is perfect for beginners. At just 1km in length, this short walk to the falls viewing platform is perfect for young and old. The winter rains bring a spectacular show of the Serpentine River’s waters, cascading down smooth granite rocks, falling into the natural pool below.
Want to challenge yourself? Baldwins Bluff Nature Track (6km return), and Kitty’s Gorge Walk Track (14km return) both begin at the national park’s carpark. These moderately difficult tracks have steep inclines, but you’ll be rewarded with amazing views as you wander through the marri, jarrah and wandoo forest – especially when the early spring wildflowers are blooming. You may even spot a rare Darling Range Ghost Gum tree towering above.
Wildlife photographers and Twitchers, aka birdwatchers, will be excited to hear as many as 70 different species of birds call Serpentine National Park home. Red-capped parrots, red-tailed and white-tailed black-cockatoos and yellow robins have been spotted here.
The Hugh Manning Tractor and Machinery Museum is home to an impressive Agricultural Tractors and Machinery collection that served the West Australian farming community from the early 1900s onwards. Both young and old farmer wannabes will be delighted to see over 100 lovingly restored vintage tractors and farm machines (including ploughs, saws and more).
Want to linger a little longer? Stay at Tasman Holiday Parks – Serpentine Falls. The holiday park’s proximity to Serpentine National Park offers a perfect reason for taking that longer hike and exploring the area in more depth or simply relaxing around a pool. There are accommodation options for all, from comfortable caravan sites to well-appointed one and two-bedroom chalets.
Bistro by The Dam is an exciting new opening for 2022. Found in the former Café on the Dam space at Serpentine National Park, the bistro takes in views of the dam and forest. The beautifully renovated spot has a rich, warm interior of timber and teal. In winter, sit in a cosy booth by the log fire, and look over the menu of hearty dishes from buttermilk chicken burgers, a “Damn” steak sandwich, pasta dishes and more – all made with locally sourced produce. Bistro by the Dam is open for breakfast, snacks, lunch and Devonshire teas. We hear that their freshly baked scones are a must be try!
As you head away from the Perth Hills, King Road Brewery in Oldbury is a great pitstop on the way home. It’s easy to spend hours relaxing in the huge beer garden while the kids roam and explore the adventure playground. The brewery is the perfect spot for a lazy late lunch after a day exploring Serpentine. On KRB’s seasonal menu is a taste bud tempting selection of classic pub dishes, best washed down with their craft cider (including a popular “ginger cider”) or house-brewed beers.
There is so much natural beauty in Serpentine and its rural surrounds, giving you a glimpse into what the rest of the Perth Hills offers – without having to travel too far from the city. Be sure to explore all of the sights of Serpentine soon.