Start - Cnr Montreal & Stevens Street
Length - 1.6km (Loop)
Rating - Green
Terrain - Pavement, Grass
Vertical Climb - Flat
Time - 30 Mins
Signed - No
Date Walked - 21st December 2015
Best Time - All Year Round
Traditional Custodians - Wajuk People
Directions - From the centre of Fremantle, take High St east until you reach the right turn onto Montreal St (start of the golf course). Follow this down to the roundabout where you will find ample parking.
The Walk - Booyeembara Park is one of those locations that I knew existed but wasn't really sure what was there. Having lived just down the road and driven past numerous times, I hadn't made the time to visit. Even driving past the area you wouldn't guess what was past the trees and down the hill so I am thankful that I made the effort to come here. Located south of Fremantle Public Golf Course on Montreal St, there is plenty of parking available for visitors. Entry is via one of several paths down to the paved circuit that forms the basis of the park. Right next to Montreal St is a small skate park for the kids and immediately available is access to a grassed area and BBQ facilities.
For my visit today I brought along Sadie and we decided to first complete a lap of the park to see what was what before mapping the circuit via Runkeeper. Walking in an anti-clockwise direction I was delighted to peer round a corner and see a path leading to a jetty sitting on a decent sized lake (for summer at least). I knew there were wetlands in the area but didn't expect the water to be still at the level it was. The lower lake was postcard perfect in the morning sun and the full extent of the landscaped grounds was in view. I certainly didn't expect the park to be this nice and was looking forward to exploring the rest of the area. Moving on I soon came across a tiny bridge over a flowing stream, another rarity I wasn't expecting in the Perth summer. I tried to take a few pictures and soon discovered that the lower lake is monitored and if levels are running low then it is topped up using underground reserves. This initiative by Murdoch University and the Fremantle Council is great to see and the project is all detailed in information boards around the park. Several species of frog, bird and fish are located in the wetlands and I love that this pocket of Fremantle that is so close to a major traffic route is being protected.
The upper lake isn't very far away from the bridge and hidden behind a thicket of bushes. You can hear the water flowing from rocks and it doesn't take much to find the source of the commotion. A small group of rocks forms a small rapids and that is what feeds the lower lake via the stream I passed earlier. The trail loops around the upper lake and then makes its way back down to the lower lake. At the north eastern edge of the lake there is an open expanse of grass with a solitary tree in the middle. It's a bit of an odd placement given the area is meant to be wetlands and I would hope there are plans to plant plenty of native trees in this area. I wandered out to the edge of the grass and below the small hill to get some shots looking back at the lake before finishing the last little section. A decent sized playground is found on the northern edge of the lake that is partially shaded by Morton Bay Figs (I could be wrong about this). A little further up is an installation of exercise equipment for the adults before joining back up with the skate park and the end of the circuit.
Final Thoughts – Booyeembara Park has a lot more to offer than I thought it would, despite only being just under a kilometre in length. Any fitness fanatic would love the circuit and with the exercise equipment on the western edge, you could string together a few laps of the place with strength exercises in between to get in a suitable workout. There is also the option of dirt paths that extend past the upper lake for those that want to add some extra length to their workout.
For those that are after a relaxing time then the idyllic setting of the lake is a very relaxing place to be. There are a few quiet spots around the lake to sit down and take it all in or just spend an hour or two in the shade reading a book. I will most definitely be visiting Booyeembara on a regular basis and recommend that you too pay it a visit if you are in the area.
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