The narrow 12km long park was part of an ancient Aboriginal migration route between Lake Joondalup (currently in Yellagonga Regional Park) and Loch McNess (currently in Yanchep National Park) and an old stock route.
The route forms the basis for the challenging 28km Yaberoo Budjara Walk Trail, which is suitable for experienced walkers only. (More information is included in the 'Wild about walking, Yanchep National Park and beyond' brochure).
The walk trail is the only visitor facility in the park. There is no vehicle access.
Plants and Animals
The limestone caprock that is prevalent throughout the park supports varied vegetation, ranging from jarrah and tuart woodlands through to open banksia woodlands and hakea and dryandra heathlands.
There are a few patches of jarrah and one of tuart, and a diverse understorey of hakea, kangaroo paws, scrub sheoak, one-sided bottlebrush, native buttercups, native wisteria, dodder, old man's beard and prickly moses.
Most of the heath is on an extensive area of limestone hills lying west of Wanneroo Road, and comprises mainly wattle, cockie's tongues and balgas (grasstrees). A wildfire that swept through part of this northern section in early 1994 produced a beautiful display of wildflowers the following spring.
South of Quinns Road, the vegetation in the park is mainly woodland of jarrah, associated with sheoak, candle banksia and firewood banksia. There is also some open tuart woodland and a few pricklybark and marri trees. The narrow-leaved red mallee (Eucalyptus foecunda), listed as a priority species and restricted to the coast between Lancelin and Mandurah, is found along the western boundary of the park.
Take a walk through the park in early morning or late afternoon and you will almost certainly see western grey kangaroos and possibly emus. Endangered Carnaby's black-cockatoos are frequently seen, and the park is also home to other native animals such as echidnas, brushtail possums and brush wallabies.
Urban development close to areas of bushland almost always heralds the flight of native animals; not so much because of the increased numbers of people, but because of loss of habitat and predation by introduced species such as cats. This has been happening all along the northern corridor as housing developments have spread northwards from Perth. Unfortunately, feral cats, rabbits and foxes are present in large numbers at Neerabup, making life difficult and hazardous for native animals, particularly small mammals such as the quenda (southern brown bandicoot), ash-grey mouse (noodji) and honey possum.
Neerabup National Park provides a narrow corridor to allow movement of animals along the coastal plain and associated wetlands. By preserving the habitat values of these areas and, with the assistance of some forward-thinking developers who retain smaller arterial strips to and from the coast, a network of adjoining corridors can be maintained and animals can move freely without the risk of being 'cut off'.
The name Neerabup is thought to be derived from neerimba, an Aboriginal word for the Australian pelican.