Places I Love – Lesmurdie Falls

Words and pictures by Jean Hudson @jeansodyssey

 
I love to chase waterfalls. Recent rains have swollen Lesmurdie Brook and Lesmurdie Falls are flowing. It is one of the largest and most spectacular waterfalls in the Darling Ranges.
 
Lesmurdie Falls are in the Mundy Region Park, 38km from Fremantle. It is a beautiful place all year round although water does not flow for several months of the year. The falls are impressive from both the bottom and the top. Spring is the busiest time of year when the falls are flowing and spring flowers are on display.
 
I began my walk from the cascades, which are upstream from the head of the waterfall. Lesmurdie Brook winds its way through a wandoo and quandong forest. At sections of the brook, patches of blue sky and trees were perfectly reflected in the still water.


 
I stopped to look at the information board in the main car park. It has maps and details of the various walking trails and lookouts. There are several trails to choose from depending on the amount of time you have, plus your level of fitness. Disability access is available to the toilets and picnic tables from the car park.


 
I hiked The Foot of the Falls Trail.  This trail takes about an hour; it begins on a paved path at the top of the falls, and ends in the valley at the foot of the falls. The first lookout is a steel platform directly above the head of the falls.  Water flows beneath the platform and cascades down the Darling escarpment.


 
Views of the Swan Coastal Plain, Perth City and the Indian Ocean spread below me. It was a perfectly still winter morning with high cirrus clouds. A little further along the trail, a second lookout has views of the upper section of the falls in action.

 This is where Western Australia separated from India 135 million years ago.  The grey granodiorite rocks of the escarpment are some of the oldest in the world. These rocks formed deep within the earth, 2.6 billion years ago. It is difficult to imagine that the Darling scarp was a line of cliffs with sea, beaches and bays below.
 
I was glad of my hiking boots when the trail became compacted dirt with deep rocky steps. Metal navigational signs marked the trail, which eventually joined the brook below the falls.
 
I followed a forest trail for a short distance upstream to the foot of the falls. The vegetation was lush and bright green after the recent rains. Ring necked parrots (twenty eights) flew about the trees.


 
Sitting on a large boulder, I watched the waterfall and enjoyed having this wonderful place all to myself. It was definitely worth coming here early in the morning and on a weekday. The climb back up the hill was steep.  By 10 o’clock the car park was full with people everywhere.
 
You should go chasing waterfalls. It is a great opportunity to spend time in nature and explore some of the beautiful sites around the Perth metropolitan area.
 

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