Law Walk | Kings Park
Start - Karri Pavilion, Kings Park
Length - 3km (Loop)
Grade - Green
Dog Friendly - Yes, On Lead Only
Terrain - Single Path, Boardwalk
Vertical Climb - 67m
Time - 1 Hour
Signed - Yes, Follow the Law Walk Signs
Date Hiked - 8th September 2019
Best Time - Spring
Traditional Custodians - Wajuk People
Directions - The start of the trail is located at the Karri Pavilion in Kings Park. From the Wadjuk Car Park behind Frasers Restaurant head south past the Giant Boab and follow the signs for the Law Walk. The information board is right next to the Karri Pavilion overlooking the river.
The Hike - Kings Park is an icon of Perth and a popular tourist destination so I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to visit given it's a short distance from home and there are a number of walk trails to experience. That all changed when Caris mentioned she wanted to see the everlastings that had recently come into bloom and I thought it would be a fun weekend activity to take the family there for a relaxing walk. With the month long Kings Park Festival running for all of September and the wildflowers in full bloom we packed up the doggos and headed there on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately half of Perth also had the same idea so after finding a park way down on Lovekin Drive, we headed to the main garden area of Kings Park to check out the everlasting display. The masses of pink, white and yellow did not disappoint (even if Sadie thought it was a bit boring) and there was a cool patchwork of knitted flowers hanging around that reminded me of the random fence line walking between Dwellingup and Swamp Oak.
There are a number of walking options within Kings Park but I'd decided that we would check out the Law Walk as it was a fairly easy option and both of us were recovering from winter illness. Making our way past the Giant Boab (Gija Jumulu) and the Mount Eliza Lookout, we reached the bright orange Karri Pavilion that is home to the start of the Law Walk. Dogs are allowed on this walk but if you plan on taking in the Lotterywest Federation Walkway as part of the return journey then they will unfortunately have to miss out. With Sadie and Kit raring to go we headed down the paved path that runs along the edge of the limestone escarpment. One thing you notice straight up is the vast array of wildflowers ranging from Kangaroo Paws (abundant in Kings Park), Yellow Flag, Banksias to an assortment of WA natives. We headed in a clockwise direction to start and that meant walking under the Federation Walkway. This popular section was well visited and we could see a lot of people from below enjoying the elevated walkway. I was falling behind a lot as the number of different wildflowers along the path meant I was stopping to take photos every few steps.
While Kings Park does have a Botanical Garden that includes native WA wildflowers, it was nice to see them in a semi natural setting here. You can tell a lot of work has gone into Kings Park over the decades and it's an asset that Perth is lucky to have. As we moved along it was fun to spot wildflowers and be reminded of where I'd seen them on other walks in the Perth Hills or in the South West. As the Federation Walkway ended we continued along the path and things became a lot quieter. Instead of feeling like being in a crowd, we only saw someone every few minutes as we headed south along the escarpment. What didn't change was me stopping every now and then as there were yet more wildflowers and orchids I had to photograph. Seeing the lovely Fairy Orchid and Cowslip Orchid immediately took me back to walking between Collie and Balingup in 2018 and it was a nice feeling to be reminded of those memories. The undulating nature of the path meant that sometimes you were buried in the undergrowth, which contained a lot of Parrot Bush, and sometimes a little higher up where you could enjoy the views over the Swan River.
When things were quiet and no one was around you could almost imagine being on an isolated coastal trail but then you'd look back from where you had come from and see the skyscrapers poking out from the bush. That's not such a bad thing as it means you get some nice walking trails close to the centre of a major city and can still find nature spaces that feel like they are a world away. It wasn't long before we reached the turnaround point of the walk where the trail meets the Dryandra Lookout. This is another access point for the walk with the Swan Car Park being right here and at the time of our visit there were three elderly ladies setup under the cover of the lookout just enjoying the views and a cup of tea. At this point you can choose to go back the way you came or do the loop version of the trail that takes you on a sandy single track (not wheelchair accessible) back to near the Federation Walkway. We chose the sandy track and with the doggos raring to go, started the journey back. The path takes you into more enclosed bush than the relatively open paved path but this just makes it feel a little wilder. The assortment of wildflowers did not stop here so I was having fun photographing what was on offer. We even spotted a Zamia Palm with a few bulbous seed cones, a favourite plant of Caris' and one that is very common all along the Darling Scarp and into the South West.
Having to move over to the side of the trail occasionally to let people past (Sadie doesn't get the concept of moving over for people), we reached an open space near the Balga Car Park that was home to a collection of smooth barked eucalypts. From here onward you could see South Perth, the Swan River and Perth City so it wouldn't be long before we reached the Federation Walkway once again. As we re-joined the paved path, the sign for the Law Walk Return Loop via the Federation Walkway appeared. I knew the dogs weren't allowed but wanted to get some photos from the walkway so convinced Caris to take the doggos back via the lower path while I ventured up onto the raised section. They didn't like that one bit but once I was out of sight they moved on and I walked up the hill to the start of the walkway, spotting some Leschenaultias and Flame Peas along the way. As expected the walkway was packed with people so getting a clear shot was out of the question. I tried my best as I continued on, enjoying the views over the Swan River, Old Swan Brewery and back towards the city. I like that they've spend a bit of money (thanks to Lotterywest) to provide a little feature to an area of the park that might not get as much traffic without it. With the walkway section over I had arrived back at the Karri Pavilion to waiting doggos and Caris and that was the end of the walk. We had packed a small picnic to enjoy after the walk so headed up past the Giant Boab and found a quiet piece of grass overlooking the river to enjoy some hummus and a sandwich. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon indeed.
Final Thoughts – Kings Park is one of those places that I'd always put off visiting for some reason. I'm not sure why as it has a lot going for it including being dog friendly (on-leash only), having great gardens (which I love) and being a relatively close distance to home.
While the crowds can get a little crazy during the peak times in spring, once you're there it isn't hard to find a quiet spot away from the masses. The Law Walk provides the best of both worlds with the draw-card of the Federation Walkway and quieter stretches as you venture south towards the Dryandra Lookout.
The trail itself might not be super thrilling but at this time of year the wildflowers more than make up for it. If you love seeing wildflowers, love seeing views of the Swan River and have a doggo that enjoys being walked then this is the trail for you.
Get out there and experience it!
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