Do you Love walking but not really keen on camping, Sole to Soul Walks is excited to be working exclusively with “off the Beaten Track WA, Western Australia’s best ECO Tourism business, together we will deliver this custom designed Best of Perth walking experience, 5 days/6 nights all inclusive.
From old bridges crossing the Swan River, to grassy riverbanks, rapids and cascades with large granite boulders through delightful wandoo woodlands, the Camino Salvado – Bells Rapids to Syds Rapids is certainly a very special hiking experience, throughout the day we explore the best of Perth one step at a time then of a night we return to our hotel accommodation to enjoy all the spoils of Perth’s fine hospitality, with the luxury of hotel accommodation we wake rested and relaxed ready to discover the days walk.
This incredibly scenic hike retraces the steps of Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine monk who walked from Perth to establish New Norcia. The full Camino Salvado is a pilgrimage that links the city with the bush, and the past to the future. The full 180 km walking trail starts in Subiaco WA and takes you on a journey to the Benedictine Monastery town of New Norcia,
Guided by Off The Beaten Track WA’s experienced guides, hosted by Sole to Soul Walking Experiences.
Day 1 | John Forrest National Park 21kms
Eagle View Trail, Hovea Falls & Swan View Tunnel – Grade 4 (21kms)
Our first dive in to the Best of Perth hiking experiences is the impressive and historic Swan View Tunnel, the stunning scenic National Park Falls and Hovea Falls plus sensational views of the Swan Coastal Plain from the Eagle View Lookout.
The Swan View Tunnel is located in John Forrest National Park, which is one of Australia’s oldest conservation areas and Western Australia’s first national park proclaimed in November 1900. The ill-fated tunnel was built in 1895 and is the earliest in WA’s history. An incredible amount of rocks and rubble were moved to construct the embankments, along with intensive blasting, digging, dynamite and horsepower. The Eagle View trail takes us alongside Jane Brook, underneath the Railway and down to the National Park Falls via a wildflower lined trail which is truly superb. The National Park Falls are a treasure in themselves and a great spot to stop and take in the natural beauty of your surroundings. The John Forrest National Park is set in jarrah forest still largely in its natural state and the uplands are dominated by jarrah and marri. The valley floor features flooded gum, swamp peppermint and paperbarks and a huge variety of wildlife and native plants.
Day 2 | Serpentine National Park 22kms
Kitty’s Gorge (16kms return) & Baldwins Bluff
– Grade 4 (6kms)
Kitty’s Gorge is arguably one of Perth’s best day hikes! This spectacular 16km return hike in Serpentine National Park follows the very scenic Gooralong Brook from Jarrahdale to Serpentine Falls. We can expect to see cascading waters, beautiful granite outcrops, abandoned cottages, and an abundance of wildlife and wildflowers on this amazing experience in Jarrahdale so let your senses to come alive as we see, hear and smell nature at its best. Combined with a steep rocky ascent to get the blood pumping and impressive views of the Baldwins Bluff Nature Trail we are in for the Ultimate Serpentine National Park Hike!
Day 3 | Rottnest Island 19.7kms
Wadjemup or Rottnest Island is a sandy, low-lying island formed on a base of aeolianite limestone, and is an A-class reserve, the highest level of protection afforded to public land so you know we are spending the day somewhere very special. For locals it is a summer playground located 20km off the coast from Perth and has recently had a new network of walking trails added to it so the best way to see the island is definitely on foot. The island oozes history plus there is an inland lake system that is home to a vibrant assortment of birds and of course loads of incredible pristine beaches to relax on so let’s explore!
The Wadjemup Bidi is 45 kilometres of trails made up of 5 sections, each boasting culturally and environmentally significant landmarks to interpret and experience. “Bidi” in Noongar means “trail” or “track” and the Whadjuk Noongar are the Traditional Owners of Rottnest Island. The intricate network of trails aid to control and manage visitor impact, by connecting Rottnest Island’s beautiful natural features to its cultural history in an environmentally sustainable manner. Never was it more apt to take only photographs, keep only memories and leave only footprints.
Today we will explore the Northern Beaches & West End – 19.4kms approx. 5hrs – Grade 3
Karlinyah Bidi – 5.9km/ one way approx. 2 hrs: Beautiful long sandy beaches and calm swimming lagoons within the reef; there will be a favourite spot for everyone. Enjoy the excitement of rugged sections of trail, while being mindful of seasonal access in high seas. The Karlinyah Bidi was proudly supported by the Rottnest Foundation working in partnership with BHP Billiton.
Ngank Wen Bidi – 7.6km/ loop approx. 3 hrs: The western end of the Island is marine wildlife heaven! Keep an eye out for New Zealand fur seals from the viewing platform at Cathedral Rocks while the West End boardwalk is a great place to spot dolphins and the seasonal migration of majestic humpback whales! The loop track encompasses the entire West End, taking us along some of the most remote spots on the Island. The expansive views from the south coast span back to the mainland and all the way to Garden Island.
Ferry Times: Depart Perth @8:30am, arrive Rottnest @ 10:15am
Depart Rottnest @ 4pm arrive Perth @ 5:45pm
Day 4 | Bibbulmun Beauty 23kms
Kalamunda – Perth Hills Discovery Centre 23kms – Grade 4
The Kalamunda to Mundaring trail is a section of the famous Bibbulmun Track and features steep rocky terrain, flowing waters, granite boulders, stunning valley views and picturesque views over the Mundaring Weir and Lake CY O’Connor.
Kicking off at the Bibbulmun Track Northern Terminus (Kalamunda), we will travel through the former golf course that is now known as Jorgensen Park and into Kalamunda National Park. Following the creek line of Piesse Brook downwards take time out to admire spectacular valley views before we start heading up hill past granite outcrops and boulders and followed by lush mixed Jarrah forest. This is the time to listen out for the whistling of the beautiful birdlife in the forest and keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of our gorgeous native animals, all the while breathing in the stillness of nature.
After passing the Calamunnda Camel Farm the track levels out and stays relatively flat as we pass numerous gorgeous granite outcrops which make excellent vantage points to stop and take in the inspiring views of Paulls Valley! We will take a break at the Golden View lookout to admire the views of the Mundaring Weir before hiking through Beelu National Park to reach the awe inspiring Weir and Lake CY O’Connor. Having marvelled at its beauty and reading the interpretive signage, we will have a better appreciation of the work that went into building this impressive structure regarded as one of the world’s great engineering projects. After crossing the weir, we will pass some large granite boulders before reaching the Mundaring Weir Hotel for a cool drink and no doubt animated discussion about our trek today!
Day 5 | Bells Rapids & Walyunga Nation Park 21kms
Bells Rapids to Syds Rapids (loop) 17km + Bells Rapids loop 4kms (optional) – Grade 3
Today we will relish the stunning scenery of the Pilgrim’s Trail Experience as we enjoy a tranquil hike along the riverbanks of the Swan River from Bells Rapids, through Walyunga National Park, blessed with rich Indigenous mythology, tree-filled valleys and cooling waters to Syd’s Rapids.
From old bridges crossing the Swan River, to grassy riverbanks, rapids and cascades with large granite boulders through delightful wandoo woodlands, the Camino Salvado – Bells Rapids to Syds Rapids is certainly a very special hiking experience. The Swan River runs through the centre of the park, forming a string of placid pools along the valley floor in summer but in winter, where the Avon and Swan rivers, meet this turns in to a raging torrent of water with a long series of rapids that make Syds Rapids the home of one of Australia’s best white water canoeing courses and is part of the annual Avon Descent race each August.
This incredibly scenic trial is a small part of the full Camino Salvado pilgrimage that retraces the steps of Dom Rosendo Salvado, a Spanish Benedictine monk who walked from Perth to establish New Norcia – a town and Monastery founded in 1847. The town has had many purposes; a mission, a monastery, a provider of education and now as a place of spiritual retreat. The full Camino Salvado, a 180km walk, is a pilgrimage that links the city with the bush, and the past to the future.
Although our walk today was not as long as the original pilgrims we hope your soul has been inspired by another day outdoors in nature, the conversations and the silences, and that you take the time to reflect on the journey that is walking…. and life. As always just one step at a time.