John Oldham Park – Perth’s Secret Oasis
How amazing it is, that you have driven past this park, maybe jogged past it or stop to photograph a beautiful black swan – not even realising what was lurking on the other side of the pond. I, totally unaware of the world on the other side, have stopped here, more times than I can count, to photograph swans with their little ones and to feed crows and ducks.
John Oldham Park runs parallel to Mounts Bay Road and is opposite the Mount Hospital. That is the side I’m sure you have all seen and are now thinking ‘Yes, I see it all the time, what is so secret about it?’.
The park was developed in 1959 and is named after John Oldham (1907-1999), a Western Australian Landscape Architect.
There is a path – at the far end of the park towards the freeway south on-ramp – which leads into a surprisingly peaceful space that is captivating. Despite being between two busy roads, it’s considerably quiet.
This leads you down a path surrounded by fallen leaves, as different types of birds, with a special unspoken kinship, search for food on the ground. Cross over a bridge, where the water underneath bears ripples of treading native birds, and end up at the first playground.
Ducks sleep with their little heads tucked into their body under palms that have outstretched their long limbs into the water. A climbing cone and very long slide are surrounded by families of pinecones – that is when you first hear it! The sound of water!
The waterfall is enchanting and surprisingly tucked away, but the most magical thing to watch is the birds playing together in the falling water. There is so much more of the park to discover then shown in this article.