The Serpentine National Park is located about 50 kilometres south east of Perth and covers an area of 4,500 hectares.
The best known feature of the park are the Serpentine Falls that sit at the base of the Darling Scarp.
There is a 400 metre walk from the car park to the falls and facilities at the car park include grassed and shaded picnic areas, tables, seats, shelters, barbecues and toilets. (During our visit in April 2021 the toilet block was in the process of being re-developed and temporary toilets were available.)
The pool at the base of the falls is a very popular swimming spot but care should be taken when walking over wet rocks as they can be very slippery.
Ignoring the hazards can be extremely dangerous but people still take risks and climb to the top of the falls and jump into the pool below. This has lead to over a dozen deaths at the falls over the years and many serious injuries.
Jumping or diving into the pool is simply not worth the risk. Enter and leave the pool area via the concrete steps to stay safe.
The falls are sometimes closed to the public due to water quality when bacteria that cause amoebic meningitis are present in the water. As a general rule you should NEVER put your head under water when swimming in untreated dams, pools, streams and lakes.
The area is popular during most times of the year but is especially so during spring (when the wildflowers are blooming) and summer when the pool area is very inviting.
There are resident kangaroos that you will often see munching away on the lawned picnic area as well as other animal species like echidna, quenda and brush tail possums.
Birds that inhabit the area include red tailed black cockatoos, pink and grey galahs, pardalote, fan tails, wrens, magpies just to name a few of the 100 plus species that call the area home.
Amphibians and reptiles (including snakes) live here too. Death adders are known to frequent granite outcrops so care must be taken when bush walking.
The Serpentine River was first discovered by Europeans in 1829, just months after the first settlers arrived. The name 'Serpentine' first appeared on maps from 1832 and refers to the twisting nature of the river.
Settlement of the area started from about 1850 and timber cutting became one of the major industries. Mining for gold and silver was also tried here but records of any successful finds have not been located.
In 1894 a flora and fauna reserve was established over an area of 16,000 acres. Demands for land were such that the first reserve was cancelled in 1911 but the area around the falls became the focus for a recreation reserve.
Management of the area passed through several bodies and Serpentine National Park was declared in 1957.
Baldwin's Bluff Nature Trail leads from the picnic area to the top of a 180 metre granite outcrop and the Kitty's Gorge walk trail leads up the face of the Darling Scarp and continues all the way to the hill top town of Jarrahdale.
Sadly when the National Park was extended to include the popular picnic area at Goorolong Brook, all vehicle access was cut off and one of the most popular picnic areas in the hills became inaccessible to most people.
The closure was based on a lie about the danger posed from pine trees and we have always believed that this area should be re-opened to the public as soon as possible.
Being a National Park, there are entry fees charged and pets are prohibited.
NPW Website for more information
Best time to visit: