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Star Swamp Reserve

Star Swamp Reserve

North Beach

Directions - Star Swamp Bushland Reserve is located in the northern suburbs of Perth, a 20 minute drive from the Perth CBD. Make your way onto Mitchell Freeway and take the Reid Highway exit, turning left to head towards the coast. Take a right turn at Groat Street and the car park i located in front of the North Beach Primary School Oval. Walk towards the Henderson Environmental Centre to reach the trail head. 

The Hike - With wildflower season upon Western Australia, I was looking forward to getting out and exploring a few new places this year. Keen to join for a few small hikes now their son was at the right age, Tomas and Mal had purchased a child bearing backpack in anticipation of a few more squad hikes. Having spent the previous day exploring the botanically rich Yonga Trail in Lesueur National Park, a shorter trail closer to home was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon. 

With a test hike at Whistlepipe Gully proving a success (apart from the torrential rain to finish), for my next squad hike (minus Jen and Aron), I selected a place that I had been meaning to visit for a couple of years. Seeing the Star Swamp Reserve name pop up in the Wildflower Society of WA FaceSpace group, I added it to the eventual to-hike list and just needed the time and impetus to schedule in a visit. As you can guess with how this is going, the 27th of August 2023 was the time organised, and with one of those perfect Makuru days we get in Perth, we drove north of the river to see what was what. Having only seen the wildflowers, I had no idea what to expect from the rest of the scenery but would find out soon. Being doggo friendly, my two muppet faces were with me, along with their mother. Deciding to start from the Henderson Environmental Centre because it was the southerly most access point of the reserve, Tomas and Mal soon arrived with their good boi, Gustav.

 

Entering the reserve, I studied the maps at the trail head and confirmed my pre-planned route through the network of trails that go through the bushland. Much like Wireless Hill Park near where I live, there are fences erected here to preserve the bush and to make sure people don't go trampling through to get wildflower photos. They are a lot bigger than Wireless Hill but with a small zoom lens, I wasn't worried about missing out on the wildflower photos. Scooting along the southern end of the reserve first, the plan was to do a big loop around the outer paths and see where the afternoon took us. The first section is really nice with mature trees lining the trail and lots of wildflower finds early on including Yellow Buttercups, Green Stinkwood, Banded Greenhoods, Cowslip Orchids, Prickly Moses and Large Pansy Orchids. Unfortunately it wasn't until I was editing photos that I noticed a few Carousel Spider Orchids lurking in the background behind the Pansy Orchids.