Last week for Hidden Treasure I explored Scarborough and promised something more about the area that make it a hidden treasure and perhaps the opportunity of a staycation to enjoy the sunset coast for longer than a day trip.
Earlier this year, Molly gave me some homework, made me read a book, and I think I met the challenge of studying about staycations and just how close they could be to home when we explored Innaloo as a Hidden Treasure.
I think she gave me a B+ on my assignment so I’m seeking permission to resubmit my assessment in the hope of attaining my first ever A.
Karrinyup and Gwelup. Enjoy the audio link below, reading the story and looking at a few pics as well.
These are suburbs that many of us are familiar with. Gwelup is a suburb you might travel through on the way to Karrinyup which has a shopping centre that was always big and has just emerged from a cocoon of scaffolding and is now even bigger and even has a mini golf course and bumper cars.
But while the shopping centre is Karrinyup’s known treasure there is hidden treasure in both Karrinyup and Gwelup.
There’s a place to stay in Karrinyup called Karrinyup Waters Resort that until a few weeks ago I’d never heard of and is where you go when you’re on L plates for camping and caravanning. There are very comfortable chalets if you don’t like the idea of reversing your caravan while every grown-up, child and resident duck watches you but that’s what staying here is all about. It’s like walking through an Anaconda catalogue.
Wherever you look there’s sparkling off-road rigs and camper vans and 4WDs and tongs being flourished for bbqs that have the look and gleam of King Arthurs sword Excalibur. This is where people come to learn how to reverse, set up and pack up all of this wonderful equipment before they venture into the world of regional Western Australia.
There are resort style pools that are as good as any of those we’re dreaming about when we can return to Bali and beyond and designed to be the reward for setting up camp successfully. There’s a café that even locals sneak into for breakfast because the mushrooms they serve are as big as my hand and the range for pizzas is great for everyone in the family.
Careiniup Reserve runs alongside the Karrinyup Waters Resort and you can walk along the edge of the Reserve and there’s a little grassed area and gazebo on the western side that’s wonderful to sit and watch the bird life and because there’s a bit of water from a local brook, there are great photographic opportunities in a small reserve that is genuinely a little green oasis in the middle of suburbia.
Now Molly has been wanting to me to try and do a Hidden Treasure on flower vans and I haven’t quite got around to it but I did recently visit The Karrinyup Flower Shed is an operating vegetable and flower farm that is a reminder of what these suburbs once were, full of operating farms, many by migrant families, growing all sorts of produce.
The Karrinyup Flower Shed is one of the few remaining small farms in the metropolitan area and as well as growing and selling more than 10,000 sunflowers every year they also sell the most bizarre multicolour flowers that are more like a kaleidoscope than a flower.
Lake Gwelup has a boardwalk that winds its way over a mangrove style environment and you can spot tortoises and all sorts of birds, including perhaps the Rainbow Bee-Eater.
This migratory bird flies down from the highlands of Papua New Guinea just to breed at Lake Gwelup, although if there’s no room at the inn and all the sexy nests have the sign up that says ‘If This Nest Is Rockin’ Don’t Bother Knockin’ sign they will find another lake elsewhere in Perth to get down to business.
Lake Gwelup also has a great trail around the lake that is about 2.5km and takes you past suburban cricket grounds with suburban champions at their best and through the wetlands.
There’s also another trail that’s just a kilometre in length that makes its way through the native bushland in the north of the reserve and if driving to our regional areas to find wildflowers is all a bit hard then this patch of bushland always has a great range of wildflowers.
Jackson Wilding is a really good, simple park that is just full of logs and branches. I love this park because it’s a small and safe space with a very random feel to it. There’s no colourful slides or swings, just logs to climb and clamber over and branches to mount up into piles or make patterns in the dirt with. It’s a park designed to let you get a bit dusty and maybe even a scratch or two if you’re a bit uncoordinated like me.
Now for sport, the Lake Karrinyup Country Club is on the other side of the road from the Karrinyup Waters Resort and if you are a member of an affiliated club or get special permission, you can relax on one of the great courses not just in Western Australia but in Australia. There’s even some resident and very judgemental big grey spectators!
Karrinyup and Gwelup is a worthy Hidden Treasure of Perth because you can find yourself part of a camping community you might not have experienced before that is not far from home and get you thinking about familiar destinations as a traveller does, with fresh eyes for adventure.
Always remember that what you spend on holidays, even a staycation, is outside your normal budget, it’s holiday spending. Karrinyup and Gwelup are also floral hidden treasures with a flower farm and natural bushland to explore. Do I get an A?