Location: Foot of the Falls Trail, Lesmurdie Falls
Distance: 2km return
Trail Marker: Green triangle with footprint
Duration: 45 minutes - 1 hour
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 12th March 2018
Kml Trail File: Please click here.
Lesmurdie Falls is by far one of my most favourite places in Perth for many reasons. As a little girl my parents would bring me here to cool off in the heat of summer as it is 'almost' always flowing. Even in the hottest months there will still be a trickle at the foot of the falls even if only enough to splash your face. I feel incredibly lucky to have one of the best waterfalls on the Darling Range escarpment literally at my doorstep, only 15mins from where I live and love that I am able to incorporate a cherished childhood favourite into my business as Lesmurdie Falls is included in our Perth Waterfall 1 Day Experience and our Perth Hills 1 Day Experience.
It's definitely one of the most visited waterfalls in Perth and what makes it so popular is the fact that it's only 400m to the base of the falls from the Palm Terrace carpark, it's kid and dog friendly and has a network of trails throughout the National Park offering varied terrains, views and degrees of difficulty. The views from the top of the falls are second to none and if your lucky enough to get a perfect Perth day you can see the flat land of the swan coastal plain sweeping out over Perth city to Rottnest Island on the western horizon.
Entry to the foot of the falls carpark is off Lewis Rd in Lesmurdie which runs off Welshpool Rd at the bottom of Perth Hills. Turn right into Palm Terrace and head to the end carpark. The carpark as a few picnic tables on the edge of Lesmurdie Brook but no other facilities are available down this end, toilets can be found at the Head of the Falls carpark on Falls Rd. Make sure you don't leave any valuables in your car. I have never had any issues there but there is often signs of break-ins with glass damage visible in areas. The start of the walk begins and finishes at two locations. You can do the short walk to/from the foot of the falls or you can go all the way up to the top. The kml file has the entire map so you can choose. For todays purpose I am starting at the Palm Terrace carpark at the orange sign but you can check out the Walking at Lesmurdie Falls sign which shows you just a few of the trails available. There are more so be sure to head to the City of Kalamunda website for more, Palm Terrace Walk is a favourite of mine too.
The Foot of the Falls Trail follows the babbling Lesmurdie Brook all the way up to Lesmurdie Falls. Off season you can literally walk right along side the brook but when the falls are at their best you would need to stick to the main trail. I have been fortunate enough on many occasions to have this place to myself, especially early mornings when the wildlife is just coming out to start their day. Quendas, often mistaken for rats, inhabit this area in large numbers but are rarely seen by the general public as they are quite timid creatures. If you are fortunate enough to have the place to yourself be sure to take some time out, sit on the banks of the brook in silence and see just how much activity is around you. You might be pleasantly surprised just how much wildlife is around.
As mentioned earlier there are quite a few trails within the area as seen also on the Orange signs above. The Valley loop crosses the brook to the left and goes right up the left hand side of the range, a hard slog as the trail is not in great condition but as always the views are simply beautiful up there. For this trail though continue on till you get to the bottom of the waterfall.
As mentioned already, Lesmurdie Falls is the largest and definitely one of the most impressive cascading waterfalls in Perth Hills. As it is not in full flow currently I have added a few older pictures so you can see just how magical it is. The falls cascades over the scarp in two sections, from the Upper section of Lesmurdie Falls thundering down to the brook below.
I would like to point out that there have been many near death accidents at these falls in the last few years and I have witnessed many other close calls from visitors who think it's ok to climb up and down this waterfall. One of these incidence had to be airlifted out by helicopter, the other guy miraculously survived. For your own safety please avoid climbing up or down and stay behind the railing when viewing from the top. These rocks get very very slippery and often are misjudged so please take care during your visit.
From here, you have the option of returning back along side the brook on the same trail you came in on or if you are like me and don't like backtracking on the same track you can head back to the first orange sign you see that points up to Lions Lookout and head up via the trail to the the top. The trail is quite steep in places and uneven so take care especially in wet conditions.
The views from the top are some of the best in Perth. From here to have the option of turning left and continuing on to the Head of the Falls Trail or right to head into a loop back down to the carpark. I will be doing the Valley Loop sometime in the near future so will include the Head of the Falls Trail in that one. I turned right and continued to walk along the ridge of the scarp. This section reminds me of the Cape to Cape, only that you are overlooking the Swan Coastal Plain instead of the ocean, maybe not as pretty but there is something pretty special about it. Really makes all your worries insignificant as you look at the bigger picture. Perth truly is a beautiful place.
It can get a little tricky making your way down to the bottom on the right trail but don't worry too much as most of them heading down end up back down there anyway, some are just badly overgrown. As you come off the main ridge watch out for the arrow pointing left which directs you to another sign pointing right to head down, look for the pink gecko symbol and take the track downhill. Someone has actually put a white arrow on the ground to help too.
The rest of the trail is pretty straight forward from here, with switchbacks taking you down to meet up with the bottom trail you initially walked in on, turn left and then back out to the carpark.
Overall I enjoyed this trail, nothing too strenuous, just an easy going short hike, great for families and beginners. The ideal time to visit would be in late winter, early spring when the brook and waterfall is flowing and wildflowers are out in abundance but honestly I feel that it has so much to offer that anytime of year would be just as beautiful.
Hopefully this post inspires you to visit and if so, we would love to hear your thoughts on the trail. Please feel free to tag us in your adventures.
We acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we walk, the traditional lands of the Whadjuk people & wish to acknowledge them as traditional owners paying respects to their Elders, past & present, and Elders from other communities who may be here today.