Heaven in the Hills: Araluen

Araluen

I’d been told it was a magical place in Springtime. I’d been told to expect a little slice of heaven.

But it seems  I didn’t believe the rumours because we’ve managed to stay away from Araluen Botanic Park for about 6 years – always having something else more pressing to do.

More fool us.

Araluen Botanic Park is an unexpected delight situated on the Darling Range near Roleystone about 35 kilometres from Perth, and if you can I would definitely suggest a few hours here for a little walk around what’s been described as ‘heaven in the hills’.

Araluen actually means singing water, running waters or place of lilies in Aboriginal. It’s a beautiful spot, and a quiet place to get away from it all; a place to contemplate life the universe and everything.

Araluen

We wanted to visit in Springtime because of the tulip displays, and we weren’t disappointed. I’m keen to go back later in Springtime because I’m sure there will be other spring flowers coming through  – I think we might take a picnic when it’s warmed up a bit and sit in a shady glade by a waterfall and while away a few tranquil hours.

Araluen

What to expect

There are streams, picnic spots, bush walks, waterfalls, a tea room open from 10am to 4pm and a giftshop.

You’ll find heritage structures, gardens, paths, steps, and terraces leading down to a grassy area by a pond.

If you visit during late August to the end of September the park should be ablaze with massed plantings of tulips and other spring blooms.

Expect forests of eucalyptus including karri, tuart and jarrah, along with  magnolias, acers, paeonias, daphnes, lilacs and millions of bulbs.

Electric barbecues are provided for free use, and there are wood fired barbecues and firewood available throughout the park – fire restrictions permitting.

The park is special needs friendly.

For those who can’t or don’t want to walk there’s the Araluen Train to ride around the park during peak spring period.

Araluen

History of Araluen

Araluen Botanic Park is set in a valley with high rainfall and cold winters. A man called JJ Simons brought back plants from overseas and interstate trips in the early days of the Young Australia League (YAL)  and in 1929 established a holiday camp for the YAL on 60 hectares of shaded valley near Roleystone.

Araluen

The result of his overseas trips resulted in plantings of exotic species including: Western Red Cedar, Rhododendrons, Bay Tree, Holly, Camelias and Wisteria among others. The planting was coupled with creation because YAL members and volunteers began to build pathways, roads, steps and terraces.

Araluen

The YAL sold Araluen in 1985. The State Government purchased the park in 1990. Since 1990 the Araluen Botanic Park Foundation has cared for the trees. 

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Araluen

The beautiful Grove of the Unforgotten is a memorial which was built in memory of 88 YAL members killed in the World War 1. A series of terraces descends a steep slope flanked by pencil pines formed in the shape of a lyre, the symbol of music. A waterfall cascades through the terraces and finishes in a reflection pond.

Araluen

How to get there

I do hope you can get to see the tulips at Araluen. I’m sure you’ll be blown away just as we were.

Araluen Botanic Park is located in the Darling Range, 35 kilometres south east of Perth. Follow the signs from the junction of Albany and Brookton Highways.

You might also like : Springtime Tulips at Araluen by Lyn from The Travelling Lindfields.

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Comments

  1. I can’t decide between a picnic near the water and flowers or the tea room. I think I’ll arrive at morning tea time. Have tea and scones and walk around the whole place, whereupon I’ll have a picnic under the trees. I’d love to see the tulips too.

  2. I think you’ve got it sussed, Jan! It’s a great spot to chill and just ‘be’. Yes, those tulips aren’t too shabby a sight either 😉

  3. Stunning photos Jo – this is somewhere so close to home and yet I’ve never been there. Needs to go on the list I think.

  4. I love tulips but I have never associated them with Western Australia. It looks an amazing place to picnic and chill out.

  5. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go says:

    The Aboriginal names for Araluen, “Singing Water” and “Place of Lilies” conjures up images of a paradise and I can see why you were blown away! I’d want to visit this place several times during the year to see it during different seasons but springtime and the tulip season are absolutely awesome!

  6. Definitely Pam. Some nice walks there too 🙂

  7. Hi Paula, I agree. Tulips and WA are not the picture we might be familiar with, yet they grow so well here in the south west.

  8. I agree Anita. Returning at different times will be on our list too.

  9. Heaven in hills alright! You know how much I love tulips, but the other flowers are gorgeous as well. Your photos are stunning!

  10. Beautiful! Don’t really think of Australia for tulips but this looks fantastic.

  11. I always have to stop remind myself about the seasonal reversal down under. It sounds like conditions are just perfect in Araluen for healthy and happy tulips. There is nothing that says springtime more to me, having been raised close to Holland, Michigan. Lots of Dutch heritage there!

  12. With all your Dutch heritage Betsy, there’s not much I can teach you about Tulips 😉

  13. It’s true, me neither GyspsyNesters. It came as quite a surprise when we first discovered a Tulip Festival in Nannup, down south.

  14. Thanks Kathy – I’m a little besotted with tulips right now 😉

  15. When I think of W.A I never think of tulips. Wildflowers,yes but not exotics. They look lovely.

  16. How absolutely wonderful. Such colour and vibrancy. And, so very close to Perth. Magic and thanks for bringing Araluen to us!

  17. It’s great to be discovering new things Wanda. Very fortunate to find magical gardens so close.

  18. Me too Lyn … wildflowers and wattle!

  19. Oh yes, I do love tulips. It is interesting to hear about Araluen Botanic Park near Perth. I’ll definitely stop in if I’m there in spring. This is a piece I wrote about the famous tulips in Holland, which is a must-visit at least once in your life. http://berkeleyandbeyond.com/Way-Beyond/Travel-Articles/Abroad/Tulip-Time/tulip-time.html

  20. Your photos of Araluen are very beautiful! We used to go there most years to see the tulips and have a picnic. I haven’t been there for a very long time (although I did see the tulips in Holland last year), but just the other day we were talking about revisiting Araluen for a picnic sometime soon.

  21. Thanks Bonny. I wonder if there are even more tulips these days? It is a lovely place for a picnic 🙂

  22. It’s well worth a visit if you’re in Perth Carole, I think any season would be interesting. Thanks for your lovely tulip heads-up – just gorgeous 🙂

  23. Carol Colborn says:

    I never associated tulips with Australia, but I guess I don’t know about Perth! My daughter is migrating to Australia end of next year so the continent will be our next area of exploration. I love tulips!!! Were there any yellow ones???

  24. I just adored seeing all the beautiful tulips this time of year. Araluen Botanical Gardens look like a perfect place to enjoy natures beauty, breathe in some fresh air and relax. Now the trick is getting there sooner than later. Thanks for the lovely tour.

  25. Yes Sue time is ticking on for the tulip season. Thanks for popping by.

  26. Timely reminder that I will need to visit Araluen again in the coming weeks. My favourite thing at Araluen a part from the Tulips is the Magnolia garden, a heavenly spot for a picnic.

  27. I went there just recently and it is stunning

  28. Wow! That’s an AWESOME array of flowers! AND interesting to see a Western Australian flower hot spot that isn’t just about natives!! One day, one day …

  29. Jo how beautiful to see the contrast to the season I wrote about this week, Spring. It concludes that Araluen is beautiful at any time of the year.

  30. Hi Lyn, ahh, it is indeed lovely 🙂

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