Location: Perth Airport
Distance: 900m loop trail
Trail Marker: Unmarked trail, easy to follow
Cost: $0, free entry
Toilet Facilities: No
Dog Friendly: Yes
Date Hiked: 11th May 2020
The Kwenda Marlark Walk Trail is a 900 loop trail in an abandoned sand quarry at Perth Airport that has been transformed into a fully functioning wetland. This was one of those fantastic accidental finds that we found whilst waiting for some clients to arrive into the airport. The area was formerly an abandoned sand quarry that underwent a full transformation in 2004. Perth Airport initiated the project to transform the area into a fully functioning wetland contributing to local and regional biodiversity values.. whilst also serving hydrological and ecological functions for the area.
The transformation involved the removal and transplantation of existing vegetation, the relocation of topsoil and site preparation (weed control), the installation of fencing within the wetland to prevent unauthorised vehicle access, and the re vegetation with stock grown from locally-provenanced seed. Over 128 species of aquatic macroinvertrates have been recorded from wetlands on the airport estate. Rehabilitation of the wetland is helping to contribute to this high level of biodiversity.
When we walked this trail we actually parked a little further up from the main carpark and entered via the barrier gate there which took us straight to a seated shelter area, nice place to have lunch. The trail the begins by heading over the bridge and continuing along a wooden boardwalk. Despite recent rains it was fairly dry but I can imagine come Winter it will be the thriving wetland it was intended. Small interpretative signage provides insight into the wetland, and the construction as well as flora and fauna in the area. The trail then runs into an open limestone track which heads out to the main carpark via a narrow canopy of shrubs and trees.