Herdsman Lake Regional Park is part of a chain of wetlands that once extended from north of Joondalup to south of Cockburn. Herdsman Lake is one of the few remaining water bodies in the system, most having been drained and filled to make way for development. The lake is now a popular spot for locals to exercise and recreate in, as well as an important breeding ground for waterbirds.
The first people to use this site were the local Noongar people, the Yellagonga, who call the area ‘Ngurgenboro’ and used it as a food resource.Since colonial settlement Herdsman Lake has been used for market gardens, mining diatomaceous earth, waste disposal, soldier resettlement and at one time was earmarked for a second airport.
The Park contains a diversity of landscapes ranging from expansive views over open waters, to dense wetland rushes, fragments of remnant of paperbark and Flooded Gum woodlands and well maintained open grass parklands. Herdsman Lake contains an inner seasonally dry wetland dominated by Bulrush (Typha orientalis) and a moat consisting of four deep permanent water bodies that have been formed by dredging operations; Industrial Lake, Floreat Lakes, Floreat Waters and Powis Lake. Glendalough Open Space contains several smaller artificially created water bodies. Scenic views over the central water body and out towards the city can be enjoyed from most sections of the Lake’s edge.
Herdsman Lake is a 15 minute drive from the Perth CBD. Alternatively, Glendalough train station is a short 15 minute walk away.
An enjoyable way to get up close to the water and experience the activity which takes place on the lake is to walk the perimeter. You will find yourself sharing the path with many locals who regularly exercise in the park. Simply walk the perimeter, or take some time to explore the Olive Seymour Boardwalk which will take you out over the water on the south side of the lake. The walk is universally accessible, but sections are also used by cyclists, so take care. Distance:7.7km. Time: Allow 2 hours. Class: Easy
One of the best ways to explore Herdsman Lake is by bike. The circuit which travels the entire perimeter of the lake is relatively flat making it an easy ride for novices and children. Though some of the paths are paved you'll spend most of your ride on compact dirt paths. You’ll cover about 7km on the circuit. The path is dual use so please beware of pedestrians.
The WA Gould League Manages the Herdsman Lake Wildlife Centre, located on the edge of Herdsman Lake. The Wildlife Centre provides an opportunity for the community to interact with the research being conducted at the site. Activities run by the centre include bird walks, information nights, night stalks and wildlife excursions.
The Herdsman Lake Settlers Cottage is of significant heritage value, providing an example of a typical early settler’s cottage in the area. It was acquired and relocated under the direction of the National Trust of WA when Pearson St was widened.
Herdsman Lake and its surrounds are important bird breeding habitats and provide a summer refuge supporting high numbers of waterfowl. Over 100 species of birds have been recorded at the Lake, some of which have come from the other side of the world. Such richness of birdlife in an urban setting is uncommon, so Herdsman Lake should be considered a very special area.