One of the first things I did once we had settled here in Perth, was to visit the Kalamunda Visitor centre. Visitor centres are a wealth of knowledge and it is a good idea to visit if you are searching for inspiration on local trails. They are usually wonderfully interactive as well so the kids love them. My kids still talk about the visitor centre in Mareeba FNQ with the man on the toilet….don’t ask, but definitely worth a drop in if you are up that way! Anyway, I digress. Kalamunda Visitor centre has a whole stand on trails in the area which I am slowly working my way through. The Statham Quarry walk was recommended as being an enjoyable scenic walk and the centre gave me a copy of directions and map. The walk is 5.9km and is rated as a Grade 4 out of a possible Grade 5 rating. A list of all the trail walks and corresponding maps can also be found on the Kalamunda Shire website page.
After roping in a friend to come with me, we set off one fine day to explore. Since moving to the Perth Hills recently, I have been asked by several people whether I have done the Zig Zag scenic drive and I hadn’t yet worked out what and where they meant…until now. Instructions on the map indicated that we needed to travel to Gooseberry Hill National Park on Lascelles’s Parade and park in the gravel carpark before the Zig Zag began. Although we felt like we were parking in the middle of nowhere we decided to put our trust in the directions and map. This allowed us to come upon the Zig Zag drive gradually and feast our eyes on the view. I had my ‘aha’ moment as I looked at the very definite zigzag down the hill. Gooseberry Hill itself is quite scenic and I also found myself admiring the many beautiful houses built in this area.
The first half of this walk was relatively easy being the downhill portion of the trail. While the trail was clearly defined, there are many different offshoots which can be confusing. The directions were pretty good, however I did find in some places we had to stop and double check whether we were going the right way. There are small signs along the way but it would be easier if they had a few more at strategic points. Statham Quarry itself is pretty fantastic and the walk skirts around the top of the quarry and also passes below, so you get a great view of the quarry from the top and bottom. There is nothing to stop you going right to the edge but do so at your own risk! On the day we went, rock climbers were making use of the sheer cliff face for abseiling and climbing.
View from the bottom.
This was the turning point for the walk, which had been quite easy til now, and we found that we had come to the business end as it was uphill from here. There were a few difficult climbs, and both on the uphill and downhill sections you have to be careful as the loose rocks can trip you up quite easily. Great walk and an easy way to mix your normal routine. Some wildflowers were just starting to bloom, so I can’t wait to go in Spring. It took us about 1 – 1 1/2 hrs at a comfortable pace with several stops to check the map. Recommendations from Kalamunda Shire website advise walkers to allow 2 – 2 1/2 hrs for this walk.