John Forrest National Park is one of Australia's oldest conservation areas and Western Australia's first national park proclaimed in November 1900. The visitor area contains barbecue and picnic facilities and cultivated gardens of native plants. The rest of the park is largely undeveloped and is home to a variety of plant communities and wildlife.
Nyoongar people are known to have lived in the Midland to Guildford area before European settlement. There is anecdotal evidence that the area was once used as a hunting place and Jane Brook Valley was an ancient travel route that Nyoongar people used to cross the Darling Scarp to the more open country in the east. Jane Brook is also of cultural significance, with a connection to the Dreamtime serpent, the Waugal. The rocks in and along the brook are said to be the droppings of this mythical creature.
The park is home to two waterfalls that flow in winter and spring – Hovea and National Park Falls. Hovea’s falls cascade down a large granite sheet while National Park Falls drops sharply over 20 metres of sheer rock face.
John Forrest National Park is set in jarrah forest still largely in its natural state. The uplands are dominated by jarrah and marri. The valley floor features flooded gum, swamp peppermint and paperbarks.
The park has 10 species of native mammal (one declared rare), and 91 species of bird (two considered to be in need of special protection), 23 species of reptile and 10 species of frog.
For those interested in wildflowers, a slow drive along the full length of Park Road will show you many of the 500 odd species of wildflowers recorded for this park.
There are a number of lovely walk trails to choose from ranging in length from 300m to 16km, depending on your level of fitness. You can find out more on Trails WA or in the John Forrest National Park Visitor Guide.
The park contains many waterfalls and risk areas. Extreme caution must be undertaken to avoid slippage and falling in such areas.
The Park is well equipped for people in wheelchairs. There are disabled parking bays as well as accessible toilet and picnic areas.
Pets in Parks
Pets are not permitted in the park as consideration for the rights of other park users, and to protect native animals. Please click here for further information.
John Forrest National Park is a 30 minute drive from Perth being only 24 km east of the city.
* There are three entrances to the park off Great Eastern Highway. The gate at the western end of Park Road scenic drive is locked at 4pm daily.