Location: Lewis Rd, Lesmurdie
Distance: 3.5km loop
Trail Marker: Pink square with gecko symbol
Duration: 1 - 2 hours
Toilet Facilities: No
Dog Friendly: Yes
Cost: $0, free entry
Date Hiked: 18th August 2018
Whistlepipe Gully is by far my favourite Perth trail, It's family friendly and dog friendly so it ticks many boxes. I do suggest walking it late Winter, early Spring so you get the best of the flowing gully cascading over the many granite rocks as well as witnessing the vibrant colours from the Wildflowers that bloom in the area. The walk can be started from two points, Orange Valley Rd or the Lewis Rd culdesac, which I prefer to do. There is very little but some parking at either end and the trail head is well marked with a big Mundy Regional Park sign. One of the things I love the most about this trail is that it follows closely along the gully, the sound of water offering soothing melodies as you walk by. In particularly I like the small section near Lewis Rd because it has quite a few small waterfalls hidden amongst the bush. There are a few trails leading down to some of these so make sure you use those and don't create new ones.
If your starting from the same end as I, you will come to the bottom of the actual loop trail, and once the loop has been done, continue back along the same track you came in on. It doesn't matter which way you go at this point. As I made my way up the single slightly eroded track the main waterfall come sin to view on my left with a small track leading to the remains of an old structural building. There is no signage that explains what it is but on further investigation I found out that its the remains of the Wallace Greenham House that was built in a Japanese style and had connecting walkways across the stream. WA Now and Then has the full write up here of the history behind these ruins.
From the house ruins I continued the short ascent up to the main lookout which provides view out to the Perth city overlooking the Swan Coastal Plain. The large granite outcrop has been a beautiful place for a meditation, picnic or moment of contemplation as it has been on many of our hiking experiences and when the water is in full flow it really does add to a peaceful experience. The trail hugs the side of the stream and there of lots of little deep waterholes. I found the signage to be pretty good on the trail, it is pretty straight forward to follow along side the gully and there are a few opportunities to shorten the walk by crossing one of the few bridges. The upper section of the walk (closest to Orange Valley Rd) is another favourite section of mine as it reminds me a bit like a rain forest with a deep gorge. A stand out feature of the trail I think is this beautiful scarred tree. Scarred trees are trees which have had bark removed by indigenous Australians for the creation of bark canoes, shelters, shields and containers, such as coolamons. They are among the easiest-to-find archaeological sites in Australia. Whilst I don't have actual evidence that it is one, the characteristics certainly lead me to think it is.
Rounding the top of the loop and making my way back along the trail to the start, I found this side of the trail the most lively with wildlife. Look out for Blue Wrens, Kingfishers and Turtle Doves. There are two slightly steep tricky descents if heading this same way, and in some parts the trail can be a little slippery from the rain so take it easy. Before long the trail opens up to the same city views and I found myself opposite the large granite outcrop with the main waterfall. Descend down another steep decline, this section can be slippery even when dry so be careful. Follow the track around, crossing over another bridge and listen out for the fast flowing water cascading over the granite below. This is a beautiful place to take some nice pics.