Five Of The Best Trail And Tavern Combos In The Perth Hills

Best trail and tavern combos in the Perth Hills
Because there's nothing better than a good feed after a day of bushwalking.

Five Of The Best Trail And Tavern Combos In The Perth Hills

Because there's nothing better than a good feed after a day of bushwalking.
Best trail and tavern combos in the Perth Hills
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Cheese and crackers, pancakes and maple syrup, taverns and trails; they’re all winning combinations we fully endorse. If it’s the latter you’re looking for, stop your search at the Perth Hills region. Here, umpteen trails wind up near a local tavern, the perfect reward for getting your steps in for the day. 

Gidgegannup

Noble Falls Walk Trail in the Perth Hills.
Credit: Shutterstock

All good Perth Hills hikes start with a bakery run. 

Call into the Gidgegannup Bakery & Cafe to fuel up on buttery apple danishes and vanilla slices, before making your way to the Noble Falls picnic and parking area off Toodyay Road. It’s the starting point of the 3.5-kilometre looped Noble Falls Walk Trail

As the name suggests, the highlight of this short trek is the falls. In winter, they’re at their fullest, and the best part is that you don’t have to go far to see them. Visible from the car park, they’re among the first things you see when you arrive. Continue past the falls, following the trail along the babbling Wooroloo Brook to complete your hike.

When you’ve walked up an appetite, make a beeline for that car park again — conveniently, it’s right across the road from the Noble Falls Tavern. Sit on the large porch or around the corrugated iron-clad bar, and tuck into a hearty parmigiana, steak, or gravy-covered Sunday roast.

Mundaring

Hiking in the John Forrest National Park.
Credit: Tourism Western Australia

More than ten times the length of the Noble Falls Walk Trail, the 41km looped Railway Reserves Heritage Trail is, in its entirety, one for the serious hiker. But, broken into smaller sections, it can be tackled by anyone.

This walk has multiple entry points, the most popular being at Mundaring’s Sculpture Park. Plan your hike for the second Sunday of the month, and you’ll catch the morning Rotary Markets there, too. We can confirm that a few pieces of fresh local produce make the perfect mid-trail snack.

Once on the trail, set out for some of John Forrest National Park’s biggest drawcards. There’s the old railway tunnel and a few hidden waterfalls to name a couple. Along the way, stop to catch your breath and take a photo or two of the rolling hills and dense Australian scrub.

Before heading home, replenish with a homemade mulled wine and an early pub dinner (with live music if you’re there after 4:00 pm on a Sunday) at the Mundaring Hotel. The menu is full of hearty winter meals, the beef cheek pie and tender lamb shoulder are sure to fill the pit in your stomach post-hike. If the sun is shining, find yourself a spot under an umbrella on the deck, or sprawl out on the lawn. If not, the enclosed courtyard, with its raffia lampshades and cute cottage feel, is the perfect cosy space. 

Kalamunda

Hiking the Bibbulmun Track.
Credit: Helen McKerral

There are few trails in WA more famous than the mighty Bibbulmun Track. Last year, the track celebrated 25 years since the extension from Walpole to Albany and is recognised as one of the greatest in Australia. Originating in the hills of Kalamunda, the track weaves its way 1,000 kilometres south before terminating in Albany. It’s at the originating point you’ll find the aptly named Rocky Pool.

Flanked by limestone boulders and scrubby bushland, the natural watering hole is as picturesque as it gets. It’s only a five-kilometre round trip out to the pool, but some steep, loose descents can make the walk quite challenging. Once you make it out there, stop for a moment to take it all in and, if you dare, take a little winter dip. If you pop by the Kalamunda Farmer’s Market before setting out, you can even pack yourself a little picnic to enjoy.

Post-swim, warm yourself from the inside out with a hearty meal and glass of red at the heritage Kalamunda Hotel. There’s a fireplace to cosy up to inside, but the large beer garden is the pick of the spaces on a sunny winter’s day. Share a bowl of crumbed zucchini fries and some lemon pepper squid, or go for a pub favourite, fish and chips.

Armadale

Grab a pub feed at Last Drop Elizabethan.
Credit: Last Drop Elizabethan

Bring the whole family — two-legged or four — for fresh air and exercise on the Honeyeater Hike. The 7.7-kilometre looped trail meanders its way through Bungendore Park, an ‘A-class’ nature reserve with Wandoo woodlands, freshwater creeks, and glimpses of the Swan Coastal Plain from high sections of the trail. Find trailheads near the Dryandra Drive car park, just off Albany Highway, or the Admiral Road car park in Bedfordale. Find out more at Trails WA.

Once you and your dog are suitably exercised, head for the old English pub, Last Drop Elizabethan. Its Tudor facade is unmistakable, starkly contrasting with the natural Perth Hills bushland surrounding it. Furry friends aren’t allowed inside, so take a seat out on the lawn with your pup and, should they sit for a photo, they might make it to the famed ‘Dogs of Lizzie’ page. If you’re without dog, find a spot by the roaring fireplace inside to enjoy one of the on-site microbrewery’s concoctions. The beer is best enjoyed with one of the pub’s seven different types of burger or a good old English bangers and mash. 

Jarrahdale

King Road Brewing
Credit: King Road Brewing

Weekends are for indulging in the Perth Hills, and what better way to do so than to spend an afternoon at King Road Brewing in Oldbury? Kick back with a pint of their home-brewed cider or stout, let the kids run amok on the grass and watch as flames dance in the outdoor fire pit. If you’re feeling peckish, tuck into a selection of shared dishes like their octopus and chorizo, pretzels with pale ale onion dip, and jalapeno poppers. For a more traditional tavern experience, head to the Jarrahdale Tavern, where ‘parmi and pint’ specials and meat raffles are weekly occurrences.

If you’re the type who needs to earn your indulgence, make a beeline for the nearby Heritage Railway Trail. It’s a gentle, ten-kilometre return trail that follows the old timber tramway between Jarrahdale and Rockingham’s jetty. Both this trail and the shorter 4-kilometre loop are dog-friendly, so long as they remain on lead. Find out more about all of the walking trails in Jarrahdale by visiting Trails WA.

Featured image: Tourism Australia