Paruna Wildlife park is a little know secretive spot located about 50km North East of Perth. At only 20 square kilometres (about 7.7 sqm to my American friends) this small park was created as a nature corridor linking to major national parks together – the Avon Valley and Walyunga national parks. Paruna provides a safe haven and link for nature between the two parks. Due to feral animals like foxes being prevalent in the area (and most of Australia really thanks to the British!) the park is fenced off so that unique species can breed in safety. The park itself is hard to get to unless prior research and contacting the park officials is done – there are no signs pointing the way, a dirt road leads to the entry gate. Entry into the fenced off portion is by a coded electric gate – the code is given to you when you contact the park and pay a small fee. All of these precautions make for a safe haven for some unique animals and plant species, and of course, it makes for some great quiet nature for “those in the know” to enjoy.
Our ever awesome bushwalking superstar, Ms L, organised payment, got the code to the gate, and off we went. It was just the three amigos once again, and the weather was cool and overcast, which made for a perfect day to hike! Ms L had a map of the numerous trails within the park, and we opted for the longest, the “numbat trail”, which was said to be 12km (although my app at the end said it was 14km???).
This was, to me, one of the best walks close to Perth. There was such a variety of landscapes in such a small area – various pockets of tree species like Powderbark, wandoo and marri, there were rocky granite outcrops, in the distance we could see rolling plains, and even a small creek. The trail was well signposted, and well made. There were LOTS of ups and downs, up the side of hills, down into valleys. A lot of the trails around Perth are pretty flat, but this was great, a bit more challenging than some of the sections of the Bibbulmun track for example that we have been on. As mentioned before, the park is not well known, so apart from ourselves, we only came across one other small group of hikers enjoying the trail, a group of 6 friendly men.
At the end/entry of the park/trail there is a dam with some picnic tables around it, and a clean decent toilet. After our walk we sat by the water and had our lunch and rested our weary feet. It was such a beautiful day, and beautiful trail, that we will definitely be back to do it all over again!