Just 30 minutes from the Perth CBD, Whistlepipe Gully is a hidden sanctuary of woodland charm and serene beauty. Located in Forrestfield, you will be surprised upon arrival to find it somehow situated in a suburban town. As you head down Lewis Road towards the carpark, you will be surprised at just how close this trail really is to civilisation for what is about to come.
As you embark down a gravel trail, you actually walking along an old driveway that led to the Japanese style house where a gentleman by the name of Walter “wallace” Greenham lived in the 1960’s. You will see the old bitumen bits under foot as you begin to turn the corner and head up the hill towards the granite boulders and cascading waters. To the right, you will now be able to see some of the ruins of the house that once stood. It had apparently incorporated the granite boulders in its structure and the whole concept had been to make the building one with its surroundings in a style known as ‘organic architecture’. The house featured a sloping roof, trees growing up through the floor, raw timber beams, suspended walkways and a magnificent stream of rushing water straight through the middle. This is of course, what we now refer to as Whistlepipe Gully. The name ‘Whistlepipe Gully’ is believed to have come from Wallace losing his whistlepipe in the creek!
As you continue on from the ruins, take a moment to admire the flowing water around you. Surprisingly, most of the creeks which flow down the escarpment and onto the sand-plains of Forrestfield, Redcliffe and Belmont, peter our and become groundwater which drains eventually into the Swan River.
We recommend exploring this trail on the left hand side of the stream on your way out, as it gives you the best scenes along your hike, and on the return. Once you reach the top of the granite boulder, you can enjoy a meander along the side of the stream on a fairly even and flat trail for the remainder of this 3.6km loop. The diversity that becomes apparent as you enter the mystical and magical world of Whistlepipe Gully is just phenomenal, and provides an extremely positive, rewarding, and enjoyable first hike, or family adventure. Great for the small kids, this trail also has two beautiful bridges that will give you a chance to cross over if you want to shorten your trail, although the best bits come down near the turn around point at the end, if you ask us!
Now that you have made your way through the whimsical forrest of Whistlepipe Gully, you will begin to see the views that await you at the top of the boulders as you return. It is truly the perfect spot to stop and pour a cup of tea, or clink a glass of champagne as the sun sets. With enough room for the crowds that often gather in this popular spot, it can give you the feeling of being out there alone, even if you’re not!
If you are a beginner, never hiked before, and very little fitness, then this is a must try adventure. If you are concerned about tackling the initial uphill section, you can park at the other end (Orange Valley Road) and stop when you get to the boulder before returning.
We highly recommend this trail and it can be so much more enjoyable if you are sharing the joy! Join us on a guided tour to hear more about the trail, the history, and experience the magic in safety!