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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.