Hill Street Walk
Kalamunda National Park
Directions - Located on the edge of Kalamunda National Park in Gooseberry Hill, from Roe Highway, take the Kalamunda Road exit heading east. Take the left turn onto Gooseberry Hill Road and follow that all the way up the hill to the end at Williams Street. Turn right onto Williams Street, left onto Ledger Road, left onto Waljerin Road and then right onto Hill Street. Park on the edge of the road at the end of Hill Street and walk through the white gates to start the walk.
The Hike - The June Long Weekend has typically involved a big adventure in the past with weeklong sections of the Bibbulmun Track hiked to take advantage of the public holiday. With my sectional Bibbulmun E2E completed, the last few years have mainly involved day hikes that I didn't mind doing early on in the hiking season. 2022 was no different and with a greatly reduced list of new trails to experience around the Perth area, my options were fairly limited.
My original plans involved doing another WalkGPS route but after receiving a call from my sister on the Friday before the long weekend, we would end up having her and my oldest niece stay with us for Saturday night as my niece had been invited to play in the state wide netball tournament being held in Jolimont. Deciding to be a good uncle, I made plans to go watch her compete on the Sunday morning and I would add on a hike after that. I just needed a trail to do, preferably a new one so I could add some #content to the website. Enter the Hill Street Walk, one of the last Shire of Kalamunda trails I had not yet done and with lovely weather forecast, it seemed like a good idea. Add in that I could stop in at Zanthorrea Nursery on my way there to pick up more plants for my expanded native garden and it was a lock. On paper this doesn't look like a very interesting walk with a short loop on the edge of the suburbs but going in with low expectations turned meant I wouldn't be disappointed if it wasn't that great. After picking up some more natives to plug in gaps in my garden, I arrived at the end of Hill Street to find a couple of cars already there. Having already downloaded the PDF map from the Shire of Kalamunda website, I should have known that the trail skirted the boundary of the national park to start with.
Confirming this was a SoK sign and arrow pointing me to the right but silly me followed the trail that went straight ahead as it seemed like the nicer path. That turned out to be the case but after walking a short distance, I finally checked the map and realised I was wrong. Walking back to the start, I headed south along the boundary where it's a not terribly pleasant beginning as you have the private properties to your right and there weren't any wildflowers along this stretch. I reached the first turn at the bottom of a small hill and wasn't impressed when I saw that it looked like you just followed a dull fire break as it continued along the fence. Spotting a few deliberately boulders to my left and another path, I was relieved to see the trail headed into the bush, even if it was only a slight distance away from the fire break. The effect of this was a greatly improved trail experience as you were not surrounded on both sides by vegetation, including Grass Trees, Parrot Bush and a few wildflowers. After a brief section of loveliness, you reach an open expanse that I assume was once a little gravel pit. On the fringes were some cool wildflower finds including a couple of varieties of Wattle, some Silky-leaved Blood Flower, Sundews and Holly-leaved Hovea.