Inner-city parks don’t come much bigger or more beautiful than Perth’s beloved Kings Park. Sprawling 400 hectares along the Swan River, the park is home to the city’s treasured Botanic Garden. The garden boasts not only more than 3,000 species of plants native to Western Australia, but also a rich history that dates back some 40,000 years.
Home to the Nyoongar aboriginal people for thousands of years, this land still holds important cultural and ceremonial significance to indigenous Western Australians. In 1872, Governor Frederick Weld and General Malcolm Fraser established the land as a public park. The name changed from The Perth Park to Kings Park in 1901, when King Edward VII ascended to the British throne. Seek out the stone amphitheatre, Beedawong (which means ‘celebration’ or ‘meeting place’), in the heart of the Botanic Garden, which the Nyoongar people still use for dance ceremonies, storytelling and other activities.
For spectacular views of the Swan River and the city, take the treetop walk along the 620-metre Lotterywest Federation Walkway, where you can also view artworks by local indigenous artists along the way. Loads of other gorgeous nature trails weave throughout the park for you to explore at your leisure, and a range of free guided tours are on offer. Join a friendly and knowledgeable volunteer guide to learn more about the Botanic Garden, the bushland trails and the park’s unique wilderness and wildflowers. (You don’t need a booking for fewer than 10 people.)
For little ones, there’s no shortage of play areas and educational opportunities, including the delightful Rio Tinto Naturescape activity park. Pack a picnic for the whole family or enjoy lunch at one of several on-site eateries, including kiosks, cafes and even an award-winning restaurant. Kings Park is just 1.5 kilometres from the Perth CBD. It doesn’t take long to walk, or you can take the free Transperth Bus Route 37 from St Georges Terrace. The bus drops you off in the heart of the park, where an avenue of stunning red-flowering gums pays homage to Queen Victoria’s 1898 jubilee. The park is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 9am to 4pm; admission is free.