Sitting on the Darling Scarp, surrounded by forest, Jarrahdale was Western Australia’s very first timber town. Today, its scenic woodlands, parks, rivers, orchards and vineyards offer a tranquil escape from modern city life, while its National Trust listed heritage gives you glimpses of a bygone country life.
This very different world lies less than an hour’s drive south east of Perth city, along the South Western Highway. You can also enter its forested hinterland, the Darling Ranges, along the Bibbulmun Track – one of the world’s best long distance walking trails winding over 1000 kilometres through a vast corridor of green from Kalamunda in Perth, to Albany on the south west coast.
Within a day, touring the region’s many attractions, you can indulge your passion for nature, history, art, fine food and local wines. Or you can take it at a slower pace and just enjoy a traditional Australian family barbecue and bushwalk in one of many parks and dam reserves.
One of Perth’s biggest dams, the Serpentine, is a great picnic spot with a playground, toilets and even a casual dining café. Or head into Serpentine National Park to picnic and stroll among the pine trees at Gooralong Park.
Nearby, the Pipehead Dam is equally picturesque, and Langford Park takes your outdoor adventure up a pace with mountain bike trails for beginners and advanced riders alike.
Exploring Jarrahdale’s scenic forests and fertile coastal plains, you’ll retrace the steps of one of the oldest surviving cultures on Earth. The local Noongar people lived a nomadic lifestyle in these landscapes for many thousands of years before being discovered by early European pioneers and settlers.
Many restored timber cottages in the town reflect its early life as an agricultural community of the 1830s and thriving timber town of the 1870s. Some house intriguing museum collections, such as the Old Post Office. Others invite you into charming tea gardens, artist studios, antique stores and bed and breakfast accommodation.
For something a little out of the ordinary, stay in a restored railway carriage, or go budget-wise with a family-friendly chalet.