Hovea Falls and National Park Falls were the two main waterfall attractions in the John Forrest National Park in the eastern suburbs of Perth. Hovea Falls was a sliding type waterfall traversing over slippery smooth rocks on the Jane Brook. National Park Falls was also on the Jane Brook, but it was further downstream and appeared to have a bit of a steeper appearance. Neither of the two waterfalls were flowing particularly well as Hovea was trickling while National Park was dry. The low scenic rating we put on this page was reflective of the disappointing waterfalling experience.
We weren’t sure whether our visit in June 2006 was mistimed as it was the start of the Australian Winter when perhaps the water table hadn’t had a chance to saturate from the expected Winter rains. However, we also weren’t sure whether we were caught in a longer term trend of the Great Australian Drought, in which case it wouldn’t have matter much what time of year we showed up. So whatever the case, we hope that one of these days, we’ll return to Perth to pay better attention to the sights that are here as well as to have better luck waterfalling in the John Forrest National Park.
From the car park (see directions below), we headed east along a well-signed walk. It eventually passed an arched tressel bridge before continuing towards the top of Hovea Falls. After crossing over the top of the falls, I managed to scramble towards the base of the falls. However, none of the views I was able to get of the front of the falls seemed official, and given the disappointing waterfall’s disappointing flow, the best views that we were able to get were actually on the approach to the falls prior to reach its top.
As for the National Park Falls, we headed left (instead of right) from the same car park as that of Hovea Falls. After a few minutes of walking downstream along the Jane Brook (which was dry during our visit), we finally reached the view and bridge around the falls. We had to do a little bit of a double-take at this falls since there were no sounds of moving water.
It took us about an hour to visit both falls though we were hastened by the onset of darkness given we made our visit during Australia’s shortest day of the year (i.e. the Winter Solstice).
To access the falls, you’ll need to look for a Park Rd entrance into John Forrest National Park leaving the Great Eastern Highway (Hwy 94). This was about 7km east of Roe Hwy (Hwy 95) or about 6km west of the town of Mundaring. Heading west on the Great Western Hwy, we turned right to get onto Park Rd (left in we were heading east). Then, we followed the signs for the Glen Brook Dam (keeping right, then going left at the next turn) towards the car park by the dam. This was the closest starting point for both waterfalls.
John Forrest National Park was about 28km (45 minutes drive) east-northeast of the Perth CBD.
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