Mundy Regional Park
Directions - Starting at the end of Lewis Road, it can be found by taking the first left after the intersection of Welshpool Road East and Tonkin Highway. The gravel car park for Whistlepipe Gully is at the end of Lewis Road and the trail starts leading up the hill.
Update - Due to the popularity of this trail and access issues, please park at the bottom of the hill at the end of Lewis Road.
The Hike - After spending the morning out at Lake Leschenaultia enjoying a hike, it was time to move on to the second of four hikes for the day. Aron and I would be meeting a newcomer to The Life of Py, Clare, and she would join us for the remaining three walks of the day. We arrived to find her already exploring the area around the trail head so we laced up the boots and started what is regarded by many as one of the nicer trails in Perth. Following the lovely flowing waters of the namesake Whistlepipe Gully, this was one hike I had been waiting until later in the hiking season to tackle. With a couple of months of above average rain I decided that the time was right and added it onto the list of hikes we would visit today.
I am very happy I waited as the gully was brimming with fast flowing water and early signs indicated that the wildflowers were well and truly out. Aron and Clare shot off into the distance while I hung back and took photos of everything in sight. The path narrows occasionally and as you hug the side of the hill to the north you are thrown into the masses of wildflowers among the scrubs. Immediately there is a connection with the water course that will become a familiar companion throughout the hike and it's a nice feeling being surrounded by the forest while listening to the sounds of the flowing water. Sets of rapids and rocky obstacles keep things interesting, along with the winding nature of the path, so there is no shortage of sights to hold your attention. Making things more enjoyable was the anti-clockwise loop we had chosen was taking us downhill to start so we could just concentrate on taking photos and enjoying our surroundings.
The winding path through the forest eventually takes you to an open section of granite providing spectacular views of the Perth Coastal Plain and the CBD, just a speck in the distance. While most hikes on the Darling Scarp have views of the city skyline, I like the one here at Whistlepipe Gully a bit more as the industrial area to the east of the city is mostly hidden from view by the forest canopy. This granite section is very open and a bit steeper, caused by the flowing water carving a path into the landscape. The result is a cool little section to climb around in trying to get the best photo spot for one of the bigger rapids of the hike. Aron stayed up top while Clare and I jumped down the rock face and took turns in various spots capturing the scenes around us. With an unsuccessful attempt at long exposure photography of the rapids (it was too bright) we moved on to the next set of rapids. Being a lovely sunny day (for now), there were plenty of people and pups enjoying the trail as we made our way down to the half way point at Lewis Road.
Several flower and rapids stops later we reached Lewis Road (which takes a long time to reach by car as we found out later) and headed back up the hill to check out the other side of the trail. As we made our way to where the trail splits into two, the clouds that had been threatening to unleash a dose of fresh water started to do just that. Undeterred we continued on our merry way, photographing what was the foundations of a house built by an architect in the 1960s. It's an interesting thing to imagine that this beautiful section of Kalamunda that is now a walking trail everyone can enjoy was once a private residence until the 1980s. For more information on the house and the history of the area click here. The rain got a little heavier so we sheltered under a tree contemplating whether or not to get out the wet weather gear. Eventually we looked at each other and just moved