It has currently been all about school holidays at my place these last couple of weeks. Now, I am not one of those mums who love school holidays and quite frankly, school holidays scare the crap out of me. Can you imagine what four young boys can do to a house in a few short hours?? How much whinging and fighting and how many times they state, ‘There’s nothing to eeeeat!’ ‘There’s nothing to dooooo’. And these holidays were even scarier. Due to a recent move to WA from the east coast and a FIFO lifestyle, there was no husband coming home to save me from them, to untie me if necessary from where the kids managed to tie me to a chair, or to bring me chocolate on the way home so I could have a complete emotional binge eating session. There were no visits to Grammy and Grunda, or to my sister’s place on the Blue Sky farm. How was I going to survive? I just had to suck it up and plan like I had never planned before. These school holidays were planned with military precision. We would enjoy them or die trying. Ok, ok, a little dramatic but you get the picture. For my holidays to work I had to keep them busy and tire them out so they would be happy to enjoy the quiet days. Enter Lesmurdie Falls item on Hitlist No.1.
The reason Lesmurdie Falls makes the list is that I drive past the sign everytime I go to the shops and everytime I take my eldest son to footy. How many times do you drive past signs for your local attractions and always tell yourself that you should turn off and check it out? Put it on your hitlist, I tell you. You never quite know what you will see and that is half the fun.
I decided to park at The Palm Terrace end of Lesmurdie Falls in Forrestfield rather than the head of the falls which is further up in Lesmurdie. I chose this to be our starting position because it has a beautiful little creek for the kids to play in and I wanted the kids to tackle the uphill stage first while they were still enthusiastic and full of energy. Besides, anything worth having deserves a little hard work. Lesmurdie Falls trail is pretty well marked so the kids were going to lead the way and follow the markers. Pre-trail brief always includes the safety talk. In this case it was a reminder to the boys that they stick together, that they keep their eyes open for snakes and a review of what to do in an emergency especially the, “Don’t panic. If you are too busy crying or fluffing around you won’t be able to work out what to do!!” speech. I don’t tell them these things to scare them, but I want them to know that there is an element of risk in all things and I want them to start learning to assess situations and think of solutions if things go wrong. Once the safety issues had been addressed off we went to see what we could see!
The walk starts by following the creek for a few hundred metres. The sound of the creek bubbling away, the random bird noises, that damp earthy smell and the excited chatter of the kids as they came upon each new discovery was just lovely. I could honestly feel the tension melt away. Our first discovery was a fallen tree across a little creek and of course the boys just had to cross it….and….no one fell in! Yay for me!!
My boys loved following the path and looking for all the signs. There are a few forks in the road and once you get to the stairs the path drops off quite steeply to one side, so it is a good idea to keep the kids close at hand. The great thing about this track is that around every corner and over every rise we were rewarded with another great view, whether it was looking out over the city of Perth, or our first sight of the waterfall which was thundering over due to all the recent rain. The sound of the falls could be heard early in the walk which increased the excitement for the boys as they wanted to find the source of that noise. It makes me smile just thinking of all their exclamations.
At the top of the falls there are several more tracks heading off in varying directions. The kids and I continued on and found The Cascades and climbed a little further up the hill for a look. Don’t look at me like that…they did want to…..ok, maybe that last hill was to make sure they slept well that night. No judging!
To top off a great walk, there was the little creek waiting for us at the bottom. Of course I had snacks, its like Rule No.1 right out of Parenting Basics 101 – Must…bring…food…always. So they had food, played in water and built a dam. What more does a kid need?
And the million dollar question?? Did they behave all afternoon and sleep well that night?? Hell yes they did……Thank you Lesmurdie Falls.