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Wardun Beelier Bidi, Perth Western Suburbs

Bush Walk

(+2)
Urban Walk, Cycle
inPerth & Surrounds

  • Half day
  • 17.4 km

The 17.4km Wardun Beelier Bidi (Coast to River Trail) is a 17.4 kilometer loop trail starting at Grant Marine Park, Cotteloe,  It offers stunning views of Perth’s Swan River and the Indian Ocean.  The trail is good for all skill levels and is dog friendly.

Gazing over the Wardun (Indian Ocean) at sunset
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Trail Start

Get directions

Grant Marine Park, Cottesloe which is 12km (25 minutes) from Perth CBD

The trail begins at Grant Marine Park where unrestricted parking and abundant shaded areas for a picnic are available.

The Wardun Beelier Bidi starts where the Bush to Beach Trail ends. Grant Marine Park and its lookout is a great spot to take in the sweeping ocean views including Rottnest Island whose iconic views are often depicted in art and photography.

The park, once a sandy “wasteland” with roaming goats is now a habitat for birds, lizards and butterflies, with a great playground for the children.

Just offshore from Grant Marine Park is the northern extent of the Cottesloe reefs and a Fish Habitat Protection Area.

Listen to the story of the "land on the other side of the river" by scanning the QR code on the interpretive sign.

The green lawns and shady parks of the Cottesloe Civic Centre are a welcome respite from the summer heat. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean and Rottnest Island with historically significant buildings including the Memorial Town Hall. The building, originally the home of Mr Claude de Bernales (1911)a mining magnate, now houses the Cottesloe Council chambers and offices.

There are picnic areas, BBQs, a playground, toilet facilities, a gazebo and lots of quiet shady areas to sit and contemplate the surroundings.

A slightly elevated lookout over the Swan River, this quiet picnic area provides a lovely resting place to take in the wonderful views of the Swan River. Keep a look out for osprey, commonly found along the banks of the Swan and Canning River system. Nesting nearby, they are seen patrolling the river looking for fish or eating their freshly caught prey in trees or on rocks by the water. White-faced herons, frequently seen on the edges of the Swan and Canning rivers, dart their beaks into the water feeding on invertebrates, fish, tadpoles and frogs. Yorakal, meaning cave was a popular site for Noongar people. Formed over many years of erosion, a recess into the limestone (Djidong) cliff face was created. The cave in the Swan River foreshore overlooks the Swan River in Peppermint Grove under the shade of charming peppermint trees (Wannul). Due to instability, the cave was closed, with limestone boulders now concealing its entrance.

Noongar people had fish traps and hunted turtle, their staple protein being obtained principally from fish, aquatic reptiles and crustaceans found in the area.

North of the cave, the sheer rock face below Devil's Elbow was popular in times gone by for rock climbers, where it was cordoned off for these activities.

Public toilets are located a short distance after the cave.

Located on the Swan River in Peppermint Grove is the Keane's Point Reserve where peppermint trees line the banks of the Swan River. This is the location of the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club, with a park and shady picnic area down beside the river. A cafe, "Cappuccino by the River", facing out over the river offers a lovely spot to take a break, or stop for a meal. The area boasts foreshore and natural bushland to the north.

A grassed area including an accessible playground with a "tornado" swing provides lots of fun for the children!

Toilets are located near the cafe.

Comprising two areas Bay View Park is a 5 hectare narrow strip of native vegetation forming part of the Cottesloe Vegetation Complex. It provides excellent views of the Mosman Bay and Point Walter sand bar. The lower section is known to the Noongar people as Carungup, meaning the "Place of Anger." Look at the scarred tree and listen to the attached Noongar story about this significant site.

These cliffs around Mosman Bay are believed to be some of the earliest quarried in the Colony. The limestone was transported up river by barge using convict labour between 1850 and 1870 and used for the construction of significant landmarks including Government House, the Courthouse and St. Georges Terrace.

BBQ facilities are available in this section of the Park, with other amenities including parking areas, seating and rubbish bins. A toilet facility is situated adjacent to the parkland on Johnston Parade.

Bay View Park
A flat-to-gently sloping embankment where large mature Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) trees provide shade in passive recreational parkland forms the upper section of Bay View Park. The understory of wattles and melaleucas support a diversity of wildlife including tiny spotted pardalote birds that keep the tuart trees healthy by feasting on scale insects.

Look out for the Kings Skink, found only in coastal and near-coastal regions in the south-western corner of Western Australia. The largest member of the skink family, they grow up to 50cms in length. This omnivorous species feeds on soft vegetation, insects and ground-nesting birds eggs. Adults are feisty chasers of snakes to protect their young. A Memorial Wall located in this section of the Park is commonly referred to as the ‘Bay View lookout.’

This reserve along the Swan River is a popular spot for fishing, canoeing and passive recreation. The bush forever site contains significant flora and vegetation communities that provide habitat for a wide range of native fauna. Jarrah (Eucalyptus marginata) and Tuart (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) are important trees in Chidley Reserve providing roosting resources and valuable habitat for a variety of birds and fauna including the endangered Carnaby’s black cockatoo (calyptorhynchus latirostris), often referred to as the white-tailed black cockatoo. During summer and autumn, the birds forage on the seeds of the prolific Parrot Bush (Banksia sessilis) in the Reserve, with black cockatoos returning to the same bush sites every year. The area is well known for the abundance of spider orchids, pink orchids and kangaroo paws.

During heightened World War II activities, the Army took control of the northern section of what is now the Mosman Park Golf Course, and E.G. Smith Field, using them as a fuel dump and a soldiers’ camp. In 1957 following the end of the War, the degraded site was developed by local residents into a nine-hole golf course. Uniting the community in weekend busy bees and free firewood campaigns, a newly-formed committee successfully cleared Chidley Point and seeded the area in 1960. Subsequently, local residents further developed the Golf Course, finally building a club house in 1968.

Across the Swan River is Blackwall Reach (Jennalup), a Noongar significant site specifically for women's business. The deepest part of the river, this was formed as Ttjunta, a female dreaming spirit took her last step. Aerial photos of the area portray her footprint.

Facilities consist of barbeques, sheltered picnic tables, ample shaded parking areas and a toilet facility.

Resting on the shores of the Swan River, Point Roe is located between two Bush Forever Sites; Chidley Point Reserve and Minim Cove Park. The Park is elevated on Tamala Limestone providing a diversity of riverine and bushland habitats where mature Tuarts (Eucalyptus gomphocephala) and WA Peppermint’s (Agonis flexuosa) dominate the overstorey. Look for the banded stork, a migratory bird that frequents the area. An extensive boardwalk facilitates recreational opportunities such as walking and cycling, with dogs in this area allowed off a leash.

This area is steeped in history with a ferry operating by 1833. One of only two possible routes between Fremantle and Perth, it would have brought people to the Mosman Park/Buckland Hill area in the very early days of the colony. An early map attached shows its location to be about halfway between Minim Cove and Point Roe – and below Stone Street. Look at the attached advertisement from the Perth Gazette showing the ferry charges!

In 1839, John Lewis purchased Swan Location 78, establishing one of the first farms in the state, later referred to as ‘Billy Goat Farm’. This large grazing lot included the area’s first cottage. The Mayor of Claremont, T.J. Briggs, purchased the Billy Goat Farm In 1904, and established a dairy. Acquisition of the land by the Colonial Sugar Refining Company in 1928 required demolition of the area’s original cottage. Despite this loss, the refinery was welcomed by locals due to the provision of much-needed jobs during the Depression. The facility officially began operations in May of 1930 and supplied all of Western Australia’s crystal and liquid sugar for the next six decades. The refinery’s red silhouette became a classic landmark for sailors and the Swan River, and with public access limited, biodiversity in the area was preserved.

The requirement of an extensive upgrade or replacement, and the changing value of residential land resulted in the Colonial Sugar Refining Company selling the plant to developers in 1995. Demolition was instant, transforming the land into the high-end real estate development that exists today.

In May 2010 the Town of Mosman Park and Mosman Park Primary School collaborated enabling students’ depiction of the history of the site. Enjoy the artwork set into the pathway illustrating various aspects of local history and drawn by students aged 4 to 12 years.

Minim Cove is recognised for its natural exposure of Tamala Limestone where fossil fauna in the rock is highly distinctive and well preserved.

The banks of the Swan River at Mosman Park are home to Rainbow bee-eaters which migrate annually from The Kimberly arriving early in October when spring flowering plants are in abundance. Moist river edges facilitate the growth of large trees and thick vegetation, the sand enabling these birds to tunnel a nest in the riverbank where they stay until their offspring are able to fly home. Look for them perching in dead trees where they search for bees to eat, or rest before flying down to their burrow. Reptiles have fared better than other fauna in Mosman Park bushland with Dugite Snakes, Kings Skink, bobtails and geckos the most common.

The area around Mosman Park is part of the 'Mooro country' where, at the time of European settlement the Aboriginal leader was Yellagonga. Together with his nephew Yagan from the Midgegooroo territory south of the Swan River, they were acknowledged leaders of the Noongar people during the early years of European settlement. The limestone cliffs and foreshore in the Mosman Park area are known as Garungup.

According to Noongar dreaming beliefs, the Waugal, a creative being in the form of a snake-like creature is held responsible for the formation of most of the water features around Perth, including the Swan River (Derbal Yarigan).

An additional unmarked walk along the river (not part of the Whadjuk Trails) south towards Fremantle can be enjoyed to visit the Waugal's cave. Refer to http://www.swanrivertrust.wa.gov.au/enjoy-the-riverpark/where-can-i-go for details on how to reach the uneven and narrow path that leads down the limestone cliff towards the river. It is here that the Noongar people believe the Waugal crawled into the limestone cave to sleep after causing a great flood that submerged the land between Rottnest Island (Wadjimup) and Fremantle (Walyalup).

The Swan River dominates Perth, entwined into the stories of the Waugal or Rainbow Serpent. It is clear the impact that colonial settlement has had when walking through the area. Archaeological evidence recognises the rich traditional heritage which suggests that the Noongar people have lived in the area for 45000 years.

It was from Garungup Park that Yellagonga first saw the arrival of the colonists, as they sailed up the river in 1829. He is said to have greeted the newcomers hospitably, believing them to be the returning spirits of ancestors. This misinterpretation stems from a combination of the white skin, resembling the deathly paleness; bad odour, from poor dental care and washing habits; and importantly that the white strangers came from the west where the departed were believed to go.

Buckland Hill is home to the only remaining limestone dune of the ‘Seven Sisters’ dune system that once characterised Mosman Park’s undulating landscape. Originally known as Dwerda Weeardinup, place of the Dingo Spirit, it is located approximately 5km northeast of Fremantle.

A 10 hectare remnant bushland remnant, this reserve acts as an important ecological corridor for flora and fauna connecting the ocean to the river.

As rapid European settlement and industry were introduced to the district in the latter half the 19th century, the other “sisters” and part of Buckland Hill were quarried away to fill the demand for limestone in the construction of local housing. Buckland Hill has played a significant role in the settlement history of Mosman Park. Its height and geographic location between the Swan River and the Indian Ocean made it a natural observation point for Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh when his expedition landed near Cottesloe Beach in 1696. Early settlers also used the Hill as a surveying point, erecting a trigonometric station in 1880. This limestone obelisk still stands today and is the reason many local residents refer to Buckland Hill as “Monument Hill” or “the Monnie.”

The physical characteristics of Buckland Hill also made it a key strategic position in wartime periods where in World War II, the Australian Army established a gun emplacement and a tunnel system as part of a larger mainland coastal defence system. This tunnel complex, known as Leighton Battery was over 300 metres long and was constructed to accommodate ammunition and personnel. The Battery was periodically upgraded during the War and remained the only operational coastal artillery battery in Western Australia until 1963.

Within the Reserve is a military museum run by the Royal Australian Artillery Historical Society of WA. Enjoy a guided tour of the unearthed World War II tunnel system, run on Sundays between 10.00am and 3.00pm. For more information, please visit: http://www.artillerywa.org.au/RAAHS/Leighton.htm

In 1696, Willem de Vlamingh commanded the rescue mission to Australia's west coast in an attempt to locate survivors of the Ridderschap van Holland that had been missing for two years. The mission was unsuccessful, but resulted in improved navigation on the Indian Ocean route from the African Cape of Good Hope to the Dutch East Indies.
The three ships under his command were: the frigate De Geelvink, captained by de Vlamingh himself; the De Nijptang, under Captain Gerrit Collaert; and the galiot Weseltje, under Captain Joshua de Vlamingh, the son of Willem de Vlamingh.
On 29 December 1696, Vlamingh landed on Rottnest Island where he saw numerous quokkas (a native marsupial) there. Initially thinking they were large rats he named the island "rats' nest" (Rattennest in Dutch). His journal pronounces: "I had great pleasure in admiring this island, which is very attractive, and where it seems to me that nature has denied nothing to make it pleasurable beyond all islands I have ever seen.”
Vlamingh landed on the mainland where we stand on 5th January 1697.

Mudurup meaning “place of the yellow-finned whiting” reflects the vast array of fish species in the near shore reefs. It holds special significance to the local Noongar people, where there are some fascinating stories that Aboriginal people tell about our coast and its formation. Approximately 20,000 years ago during the most recent ice age, the sea level was 120m below the present level, meaning the coastline of WA was beyond Rottnest Island. As recently as 7,000 years ago it was still possible to walk to Rottnest from the WA coast.

Mudurup surrounds the sundial on the southern side of the rocks and has wonderful views across the Cove and south to Fremantle. This sundial was designed as an appropriate monument to commemorate the Australian Bicentenary, and was built over a seven year period.

The Cottesloe reef, a designated Fish Habitat Protection Area, was created in 2001 after a significant local community campaign. It preserves the importance of the reef ecosystem and its vulnerability to human impacts. Of particular significance is the weedy sea dragon which was declared a protected species in 2011, thanks to the campaigning of Cottesloe Coastcare – and some help from Sir David Attenborough. The weedy sea dragon is endemic to the temperate waters of southern Australia. Prior to being protected, it was under threat from habitat destruction, marine pollution and the aquarium trade.

Seawards from the Indiana Teahouse is the well know pylon with its, often re-painted, surf club colours! Two pylons were built in 1935 as anchor points for a shark net but one was destroyed by severe storms in 1936. Interestingly, large sharks caught by fishermen around this time were kept in a tent near the clubhouse and the public charged a fee of 3 pence/adult and a penny/child to see them!

The present Indiana Teahouse (1996) was built over the top of a curved concrete surf club building from the 1980’s. The original timber Indiana opened in 1913 and was the place to go for fashionable ‘tea dances’. Afterwards couples could stroll down the long timber jetty. The jetty (1908) had a rotunda for Sunday band concerts and passengers on the ferry steamer Zephyr stopped off on their day trips to Rottnest. Around this time the contentious issue of mixed bathing was much discussed and the council recommended ‘modesty aprons’ for male bathers! The Ocean Beach Hotel and Hotel Cottesloe were both built in that same decade.

The 1930’s saw big changes to the beachfront – all the old wooden buildings were demolished and the new Centenary Bathing Pavilion stood proud on the beachfront. Topped by the Palais de Danse it began a new era of dancing and dining and romantic walks along the jetty. Eddie Hall’s White Spot café served some of Perth’s first hamburgers. Further along the beach at Peter’s Pool scoota cars, a slippery dip and a side show alley were all part of Bowlers’ Fun Fair. By this time finding a car park during summer holidays was already a problem!
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The Wardun Beelier Bidi (Coast to River Trail) connects the Indian Ocean with the Swan River, forming the southernmost section of the Whadjuk Network of trails. 

Named in 1797 by Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh, the "Swan River" begins in the foothills of the Darling Ranges, and empties into the Indian Ocean in Fremantle Harbour. The rivers of Perth are woven into the Dreaming stories of the local Aboriginal people, the Noongar. In their language the Indian Ocean is known as "Wardun". The Swan River is known as Derbal Yarigan, understood to refer to fresh or brackish water and turtle Dreaming along the river. The literal translation for Derbal Yarigan is Narlak (Swan) Beelier (River).

This trail connects through the Shire of Peppermint Grove, named after the trademark peppermint trees, the Town of Mosman Park including the historic Buckland Hill and the beautiful Town of Cottesloe. The walk encapsulates iconic trails on route including; Mosman Park's "Around-the-River Heritage Trail", the Swan Canning Riverpark, Mudurup Noongar Coastal Trail and the Minim Cove Interpretive Trail.

 

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Be trail ready for Wardun Beelier Bidi, Perth Western Suburbs

Here is everything you need to know before visiting this trail.

Time / Duration

Up to 6 hours if you walk the entire route

Length

Up to 17.4km. You can walk short sections

What To Pack

Group A (Urban trails or short trails near facilities) required.

Trail Start

Grant Marine Park, Cottesloe which is 12km (25 minutes) from Perth CBD

Get directions

Trail End

Facilities

As the weather in Perth can be very hot, wear sunscreen and a hat and bring plenty of drinking water. Some water fountains are interspersed; with cafes and barbeque facilities at irregular intervals. This is a dog and cycle friendly path, with bus and train services allowing sections to be walked individually if preferred. Wheelchair accessibility is good along the majority of the route. Please read specifics on the dedicated trip page detailing areas where cycle, pram and wheelchair access is limited or inadequate. Mobile phone coverage is good, enabling download of maps while walking with the free app. With the professional version of the app, maps are available as an offline option. If including the additional Waugal Cave walk, be aware that though a short section, the terrain is uneven and steep.
  • Access without assistance for the Disabled
  • BBQ Facilities
  • Cafe
  • Car Park
  • Child Activities
  • Dog Friendly
  • Guide
  • Lookouts
  • Parking for Disabled
  • Picnic Area
  • Public Telephone
  • Public Toilet
  • Shaded Area
  • Sheltered Area
  • Shop
  • Water Access Points

Best time of year

Wildflowers are best during the months between July and November

Fees

Trail Access

Road 2WD, train, bus, bike

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